We still need market

On Saturday, July 27, there was an arts, crafts and collectibles fair running alongside the usual Pannier Market in Bideford.

The publicity via leaflets was good the market manager had done a good job getting the stalls booked.

Butchers Row and the market looked great with all of the stalls taken; this made a nice change from some market days where there are often a number of empty stalls.

I shared a market stall with a friend and everything was ready well before 9am. Now all we needed were some visitors/potential customers.

When only a few people came, I went into Bideford town twice to hand out flyers in the street and in the cafes, along the quay and in the park.

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Most people I approached were positive and seemed quite keen to visit the market. Sadly, quite a few of the older people I talked to said that they would love to come but couldn’t get up the hill.

In the end, the fair had quite a lot of visitors coming throughout the day, many of whom I recognised from my forays into Bideford with my flyers. I know someone else went out from the caf� to drum up customers in town too.

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Years ago, my family and I got as much of our shopping as we could in Bideford Pannier Market. It was very busy and flourishing.

We used to go there to buy most of our fruit, vegetables, eggs, dairy, plants, plant pots, whole foods, books, cards, toys, and gifts for friends and family.

We still need places like this in our busy lives and we need to value and protect the Pannier Market before it disappears.

Right now there are a number of stallholders, especially in Butchers Row, who are keen to keep it going and expand its use and popularity.

There are plans to have more regular special market days like this one. We need transport up the hill for our less mobile citizens so that they are not disadvantaged.

I hope that the Pannier Market becomes more valued and well known, and would like to ask Bideford Town Council to put up more banners to promote it – maybe one in Jubilee Square.

Use it or lose it!

Jan Coutu

Honestone Street


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