Page 38 - MarketTimesAugust2016
P. 38

Janice Callow, who has been selling ladies fashion on the market for more than 30 years, feels much the same.
“This used to be a good old charter market,” she said. “I also stand Christchurch which is just down the road and that is a lot better. It doesn’t have the traffic problem so people can wander around the market with their children and dogs and not worry about the traffic.
All the traders can see the problem. “We need more traders and more shoppers,” the card man said.
Ricky Fairclough, who has run The Watch Stall on Ringwood market for 27 years, can remember the days when stalls changed hands for £20,000. He said: “We have a lot of loyal customers after all these years, but we need a market around us.”
One encouraging sign is that a number of young traders are keeping faith with Ringwood market.
Martin Pearce, 28, an electrician by trade, has chosen to take over his father’s stall at the far end of the market selling towels,
bedding, socks and hats.
“I can make better money here than as an
electrician,” he said. “But there are fewer traders here this year and the problem is that there is nothing to attract people up to this end of the market — no post office or bank.”
James Vincent, 21, is making a go of his dad’s stall selling socks and underwear at the other end of the market. “It’s not the busiest market,” he said. “But it’s steady.”
Louis Blandford, who took over his cousin’s fruit and veg stall a few months ago, is doing reasonably well, but, like everyone, he would like to see more traders and more punters.
So what’s the solution? Edward said the town council would like to buy the charter and they would turn the stalls round to face the pavement.
He doesn’t think this would work because the pavements are too narrow, and several traders agree.
Edward’s heart is in the market. He picks up eggs, plants and other produce from local growers on his way to market and sells them.
Over the years the traders have become friends and they are all trying to spread the word that Ringwood is a good market to stand and to shop at.
The solution has to be more traders with a quality offering to match the demographic. Several traders say that locals aren’t supporting the market as they should. But that can sometimes mean that the offer isn’t quite right.
There is one obvious gap — food. A barista could do well at Ringwood. The market is crying out for excellent fresh food stalls to complement the few good ones already in situ. A bakery stall, a cheese stall, an olive seller, would all fit the bill.
And any line that would appeal to the many visitors to the town, which has plenty of popular eateries and all the attractions of the New Forest on its doorstep.
It’s a chicken and egg situation. But Ringwood is a town that should have a buzzing market. It just needs a few recruits to get the ball rolling.
Louis Blandford, has recently taken over his cousin’s fruit and veg stall (left) and is doing reasonably well at Ringwood
 l Market Day: Wednesdays.
l Market Rent: £15 for a ten foot
stall and £21 for a 20 foot stall
l Ringwood’s claim to fame: Ringwood is a historic market town at the far west corner of Hampshire close to Dorset and on the fringes of the New Forest. It was once famous for Ringwood woollen gloves and lace collars and cuffs made in the town. It is now home to Ringwood Brewery.
James Vincent, 21, has taken over his father’s stall on Ringwood market selling socks and underwear

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