Page 5 - MarketTimesOctober2013
P. 5

welcome in
welcome in
the Wolds
the Wolds
Driffield Market has been brought back from decline to robust good health thanks to the combined efforts of the town council, the market team and the traders — not to mention the support of locals. NICOLA GOULD visits a rural market in the Yorkshire Wolds that is on the up
Serving a rural community in the beautiful, unspoilt Yorkshire Wolds, Driffield Market is a relatively small, modest market lining the town’s main street, Market Place, every Thursday.
But what it lacks in size and stature, it makes up for in warmth, character and friendliness. And the diverse, unusual offering alone makes it well worth a visit.
Traders include a former service engineer whose hand-painted tiles depicting rural scenes, animals and aircraft have been sold all over the world. A former show business couple now run The Flying Coffee Bean, and the market manager is a former police officer, who wears a trademark bushman’s hat, and for
whom nothing is too much trouble.
Driffield is a charter market dating from the
13th century. Originally held on Thursdays and Saturdays in Market Place adjacent to the Bell Hotel, it was moved in the 1960s to a purpose built market hall on Cross Hill car park.
In the late 1980s, the then East Yorkshire Borough Council demolished the market hall and it became an outdoor market on the car park.
A once thriving market went into a slow decline and by 2000 the situation was dire, with only a handful of traders left.
In 2001, Driffield Town Council took over the market and in August of that year the
Thursday market relocated to its original home on Market Place, a decision that turned the tide on decline.
Claire Binnington, town clerk, said: “The market has thrived ever since.”
Claire became market officer back in 2001 and shadowed Dave Young, who then ran markets for East Riding. She received invaluable help from traders, in particular from Alan Richards, who died tragically in a road accident in 2005, and his wife, Rita, who ran the market’s flower stall.
Claire said: “We have never put the rents up and the market is run by the town council through a market committee made up of town councillors.”
The Saturday market remained at Cross Hill and eventually closed down five years ago.
It was felt that the relatively small town could not support two successful markets within two days of each other.
But last summer the town team launched monthly Sensational Saturday Markets in July, August and September. Specialising in locally produced food, quality arts and crafts, and featuring live music and entertainment, the initiative has been a big success.
Claire said: “Best of all, the Thursday market has now become a much loved part of the weekly calendar of the town and has played a vital role in maintaining our town centre viability.
“We work well with local shops and, as part of the Love Your Local Market 2013 campaign, we purchased blue and white covers for all the traders to improve the market appearance.”
The day to day running of the Thursday market is down to Dave Young, a retired police officer who came out of retirement to help make a success of Driffield market.
 Market manager Dave Young, a familiar sight in his trademark South African bushman’s hat is pictured (right), with his ‘right-hand men’, Chris Brotherton, centre, and Andy Wilson. Traders are unanimous in their praise for the team

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