Numbers double at Oswestry Market after stalls taken into streets
Markets in Oswestry have had a major revival in fortunes after moving stalls into the street.
The number of traders setting up their stalls at the town's open air markets have been in decline.
But figures published this week show a numbers doubling at both the Wednesday and Saturday markets, the first increase for many years.
In line with markets across Britain stallholders numbers have plummeted from the 1970s and 80s when up to 100 traders would flock to the Wednesday market each week.
Last year numbers had dropped to an average of just 11 stalls.
But a report to the markets and car parks committee of Oswestry Town council says that on average this year 19 have attended with many weeks attracting more than 20 stalls.
The Saturday market has also fared well with an average of 17 stalls compared to eight last year, while the monthly artisan market has seen 19 stalls compared to 16 last year.
Retail markets and events manager for the council, David Clough, said all the outdoor markets had welcomed a number of new traders - 19 in all.
"The outdoor markets have increased for the first time in many years and, as a result, the reputation for our markets has improved throughout the county.
"The consistent, dry weather has certainly helped but, essentially, the use of Bailey Street has helped attract some quality new traders."
Mr Clough said regular, live music on the Bailey Head on Saturdays had also helped to create a lively atmosphere and he said that the main focus was on promoting the number of events held in the market area.
This weekend saw dancers take over the market square, including Shrewsbury Morris Dancers and the Chloe Elizabeth School of Dance.
He said the future also looked promising with the possibility of more day trips to the town.
"A number of industry registered coach tour publications will be feature Oswestry soon as it is around this timeof year that operators plan their diaries."
The town's indoor market has, Mr Clough said, also seen some positive changes, with new stalls and shops.
"The new wifi system has also been installed to allow more users to gain quicker access."