Page 40 - MarketTimesOctober2019
P. 40

40 MARKET TIMES • OCTOBER 2019 Whitchurch Market
move is hailed a success
   WHITCHURCH Market in north Shropshire has been given a new lease of life thanks to a relocation within the civic centre.
And it’s all down to some expert advice from a couple of market veterans.
Norma Raynes is the daughter of Harry Cross, a well-known and much-loved market trader who hailed from Salford and served a term as President of the NMTF as well as standing markets all over the country.
“Dad was a big character. He was very generous and bright. He loved people and there wasn’t much he didn’t know about market trading,” Norma said.
As a child she recalls travelling all over the country to different markets and fairs where Harry sold linen.
And although she pursued a career in academia, becoming a professor of social care, Norma has always loved markets.
So when she moved to Whitchurch, a market town with a charter dating back to the 14th century, she was looking forward to shopping on the Friday morning market.
Sadly, it proved quite a
The market in Whitchurch is now housed in the civic centre, fronted by a small outdoor
Market manager Zoe Dean,
who runs the 100-year-old market for Whitchurch Town Council, explained that the market had lost quite a bit of its sparkle in the 60-odd years it had been in the civic hall.
So Norma stepped up to the plate to try to improve the situation.
She was co-opted on to the town council and persuaded her fellow councillors to get some expert advice on how to transform the market.
She turned to the NMTF for help and Joe Harrison, the CEO,
travelled to Whitchurch to have a look at the market to see what could be done.
“Shoppers had to make their way down a long, quite steep corridor to the market which was in a large hall at the end right at the back of the building,” he added.
It was quite unattractive and didn’t feel particularly welcoming, although there were some good traders, Joe said.
He suggested moving the market to the much brighter main hall nearer the entrance, the information points and the library.
Zoe said: “We consulted with the traders who were keen to move and the council agreed to a six month trial in the new location.”
One trader, fish man Tony Kemp, decided not to make the move.
Tony has been travelling from Fleetwood to sell his fresh fish on the market for the past 13 years and he said his outdoor pitch by the entrance to the back hall was where his loyal cust- omers expected to find his van.
But he agreed that the large hall was quite off-putting for market shopping and said he now gets additional footfall from the rejuvenated market.
Traders made the move at the beginning of July and they are delighted with the new venue. David Welch, who sells poultry, sausages, eggs and game, has been trading on Whitchurch market for the past 40 years.
“It used to be very busy in the back hall.
“We had two fruit and veg stalls and there were casuals queuing to get on the market,” David said.
“Now that we have moved there is definitely more buzz about the market and traders
  It’s always busy in the market, where traders sell from table tops

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