Joy from traders at move to new venue

Traders who were forced to move home because of the near £1 million revamp of a town hall in Shropshire say relocating to a nearby venue is already proving a roaring success.

Three of the five market stall holders made the decision to break away from the town council-run Friday market in Bishop’s Castle when the town hall, the usual venue, closed last month for the start of essential repair work.

They claimed the alternative site being suggested by council chiefs, at the auction yard in the town, where only one trader opted to move, was not viable.

The trio found their own site, two miles away, at Lydham Village Hall, and set up a new market.

Sally-Ann Hudson, who works on the greengrocers’ stall, said they had been delighted with the quick growth of the new venture and the feedback from customers.

Since the first “new” market at the start of last month, they have been joined by four more stallholders and have even managed to set up a cafe.

It means the fledgling market now has stalls selling ethnic clothing, gifts and cards, fresh bread, fruit and veg, cheese, bacon, jam, butter, pickles and eggs, handmade chocolates and plants.

There is also a stall which sells parts for washing machines and offers service and repairs. Ms Hudson said it was going from strength to strength.

“We had another really busy day on Friday. We are still seeing lots of new faces, which is really good, but especially great is all the regular faces we are seeing.

“Everybody is giving us really good comments and seem really excited about our market.

“It is so nice to see how popular it is and how what we are doing is being valued by the community. It’s great to receive such positive feedback.

“The Friday market traders never wanted to leave Bishop’s Castle. We very much value the loyalty of our customers in the town, some of whom have been supporting us for more than 30 years.

“But neither of the two alternative venues the council offered us would have been viable, so we quickly had to find somewhere for ourselves.”

The renovation of the historic town hall started at Easter and is expected to take up to 12 months to complete.