Page 5 - MarketTimesAugust2019
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FEATURE • BAKEWELL 5
 The tourist hotspot of Bakewell in the Peak District boasts a Monday market that is heaving in the summer and busy all year round. Nicola Gould visits a market that continues to defy all the odds
      Bakewell Market in Derbyshire has an unusual challenge — for customers, not traders. The challenge in the sum- mer months is getting into town early enough to avoid the queues for parking spots.
Then you have to make your way through the throngs, queue at the most popular stalls and avoid bumping into people in the melée of shoppers browsing the eclectic mix of stalls and businesses.
It’s a familiar and nostalgic scene for market shoppers and traders who are a little long in the tooth, but not one that is often seen in market towns up and down the country.
The tourist town of Bakewell, which nestles in the lush, rolling hills of the Peak District, appears to be the exception to the rule.
And Nicola Goodwin, Derbyshire Dales District Council communities officer, who has managed the market for the past five years, is
unable to put her finger on exactly why the market does so well.
“We have a number of good things going for this market,” she said. Bakewell still has its traditional cattle market, also held every Monday. It has a wonderful mix of seasoned and new traders who sell everything from staple food and market lines to quirky, arty products and crafts.
It has a core of local shoppers who visit the market every Monday come rain or shine, and a massive boost from tourists who throng here every summer and continue to visit, albeit in smaller numbers, off-season, attracted by the picturesque town, its independent shops and its proximity to Chatsworth House.
Bakewell is in easy travelling distance of several large cities. But the main reason for the market’s resilience, according to Nicola, is Bakewell.
“There’s just something about Bakewell that people like,” she said. It’s a pretty town with character and heart. “I can remember as a child coming to bank holiday markets. We would eat chips by the river, be given a balloon and visit the market. People from miles around all know that Monday is market day in Bakewell and it’s the same big attraction it always has been.”
No one knows that more than the Knowles family who have been selling ladies fashion on the market for the past 49 years.
Graham Knowles remembers the halcyon days when the market was even bigger and busier than today.
The market dates from a charter granted in 1254 and used to be held alongside the cattle market every Monday.
When Graham and his wife Jenny — NMTF Liaison Officers for both Bakewell and
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