First there were 19 stalls, then 28 and now this Sunday’s super community market has become such so popular that it has taken over Marlborough town hall and will have a total of 40 stalls.
The markets’ booming business is due to a combination of stallholders seeking out a high quality venue with enticing prospects and the “feel good factor” encouraging the public to support a community rather than commercial event.
That’s why the town hall has been specially hired to house an Affordable Arts and Crafts Fair while, under the marquees outside in the High Street, 30 stalls will be offering fresh local produce and other goodies in the farmers’ market.
“And it is also partly due to our very effective website, which a supporter donated to us, and means that we can reach many more stallholders who want to come to a wonderful town like Marlborough,” market organiser Ellie Gill (pictured) told Marlborough News Online.
“There has been tremendous public support and goodwill too because it is a community market. People do enjoy the enormous variety of fresh food, helpful local services and arts and crafts that we have been putting on display.”
“It gives them a feel good factor and something for them to support rather than spending their money in faceless supermarkets. And the market is a place where they can shop and socialise among friends.”
She added: “The town hall will be showcasing beautiful pieces from local crafts people as well as offering affordable arts and crafts from new businesses like Scarlett Camm, who makes fabulous collars and cuffs from recycled materials and feathers.”
“She is a St John’s School graduate starting up in business. And there is a local boy, Joe Melhuish, taking the summer off from studying graphic design at university who will be selling his funky T-shirts alongside his mother, Jacqui, creator of exquisite pottery.”
“Meanwhile, the marquees will be packed with even more food producers and local farmers than you have seen before and your taste buds are going to well and truly tantalised with all that’s on offer. We are holding our flag making workshop again and hope that you can bring down children and grown ups to take part.”
“And there is even talk of some live performances to entertain everyone.”
The food stalls will include Paul’s Poultry, winner of Wiltshire Life magazine’s for top independent food producer of the year award, and Hinton Marsh Farm, who scooper two gold medals at the Guild of Fine Food Awards.
Other stall holders will include the Soap Company from Ramsbury while Marlborough Box Office will be on hand selling tickets to local events.
And the Green Machine will be offering a computer recycling amnesty, taking old computers and IT equipment to be refurbished.
There is growing evidence too that the community market is boosting trade in the High Street generally, normally closed shops opening up to take advantage of Sunday shoppers coming to town.
“We’re delighted by our booming community market,” added Ellie. “It’s created a lot more work for me than I ever expected. And I am just about able to cope with everything, no matter if the weather is rain or shine.”
The market opens at 11am and runs until 4pm.