New site for Cliftonville Farmers’ Market proves a hit with traders and customers

Cliftonville Farmers' Market Photo Frank Leppard

Organisers of the Cliftonville Farmers Market say their 20th anniversary event yesterday (September 26) was so successful they hope to make the Walpole green a permanent home.

The market used the site, near Bethesda surgery, after needing to move from its home of almost 20 years at The Oval lawns.

Although granted as a one-off site by Thanet council the lay out for stalls proved such a hit that it is hoped the arrangement can become permanent.

Photo Frank Leppard

Organiser June Chadband said: “It was a challenge setting out the new site (horseshoe shaped) but it worked out very well.

“We arranged toilet facilities with the Indoor Bowls Centre and lots of people said that they did not even realise that it was there so, hopefully, it will help their future business as they serve great lunches on Sundays which have to be pre booked.

Photo Frank Leppard

“Jane Bishop, owner of the Walpole Bay Hotel, was a tremendous support and some of her guests shopped and even attended the concert.

“All the stallholders said they preferred the site as they could see all the stalls for a change and not just the one’s next door to them.

“The shoppers we spoke with all said the same about the site and are hoping that we will be able to use it again.

Photo Frank Leppard

“Most traders ‘sold out’ and some by 11.15am, wishing they had brought more produce with them. Real Deal Roasters our coffee stall had a continuous queue from start to finish.

“The Wildlife Trust, our charity stallholder, were also pleased with the interest in their organisation. We do not charge charitable organisations for attending and they are a worthy cause.

Photo Frank Leppard

“We had our concert with Brad Pittance & the Pirates in the afternoon, which all who attended enjoyed. Brad and his group are very community spirited and appeared over many years at the old and existing Oval bandstand.

“I would like to thank TDC Events Team, for allowing us to use the site for our ’20th’ and we are hoping they will be able to let us use this site as our permanent home.

Photo Frank Leppard

“I have learned that historically, the site was bequeathed to the corporation for the use of residents of Cliftonville and holiday-makers in perpetuity and in 1890 was going to be for tennis courts.. It did have a bandstand on there at one time.

“More recently it has been used for a Rolls Royce car rally, meeting point for the Pride March and as a Helicopter pad for a bride to arrive for a wedding at a local hotel.I am hoping that the Farmers’ Market, fits into this remit of community.

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“Thank you once again for all the support we have received from the community, it has been greatly appreciated by the CRA & the Farmers’ Market.”

Updates will be issued on social media and in the news ahead of next month’s market.

29 Comments

  1. Many well deserved congratulations to the organisers of the Cliftonville Farmers Market on there 20th Anniversary yesterday,26th September at the new, hopefully permanent site at Walpole green.

  2. This is the spirit and resilience that is so important to our community. The turnout was remarkable, given how short the notice was of where it would be held, but that is the measure of its popularity and relevance. The buzz of activity, greetings and conversation went on long after closing. Having been excluded from its traditional site, where it contributed so much over many years and what exists there remains largely due to it, it is only right that we protect such a precious monthly event.

    • Fantastic. Actually a better site than the oval. Village green feel for sure. Great stuff well done all. Winner winner market dinner…@ TDC please please allow this to continue for the community.

  3. It was TDC who gave away the Oval site to the GRASS group without any thought for all the work and repairs that had been done in doing up the bandstand and facilities by the group who runs the farmers market. I fully understand why they feel aggrieved by what Grass have done in making sure the farmers market as a community asset were no longer welcome there under their new and different regulations.
    I am pleased a new patch was found so quickly to allow the event to happen yesterday and that it was still a success. Well done all.

  4. It was a fantastic market!.
    Very much like a big fair on a village green, with children playing on the green as well.
    I bought all my favourite goodies from such friendly stallholders.
    It is lovely meeting up each month, seeing friends, chatting with the stallholders
    Well done June and her team.
    Congratulations!

  5. Well i thought the market couldn’t get any better, how wrong i was, probably the best Cliftonville farmers market we (stour valley game and butcher’s) have had. What a Great new site,
    June has gone above what us stallholders should expect from a market manager, THANK YOU JUNE AND CRA XX

  6. It was a great day loved by all!!!!! This market can’t be ignored and won’t go away…..it’s just too damn great (even if TDC did try to shaft it from its original site by selling the site; a site which incidentally belonged to residents as a community asset!!) Hope this will be the new site for such a great market as I understand the green is gifted to the residents, thanks to its restrictive covenant which prohibits development. In the interim, we wait to hear from TDC!

  7. Superb Market with a stunning sea view. Vital market to have in the community. Really hope to be back next month! Huge credit to June and her team for making it happen.

  8. I sell my plants at the market and I agree it is a much better site than the previous one. It was very, very busy and everybody seemed to enjoy the day.I hope it can continue there.

  9. Am I glad I got there early.! Even so, the plant man was almost sold out as I queued to pay for my purchases.
    I take more money every month I go to the market. Staggered home this time with £85 worth of plants, sausages (gluten free!), sausage rolls, jam, Asian pickles, savoury pickles, cheeses, pears, raspberries, strawberries & fudge: yum! yum!
    Looking forward to the October market having lots of Halloween & Guy Fawkes goodies to buy.

  10. It’s fantastic that the Farmer’s Market has found a new site. By the sound of things, a better site and most importantly, still in Cliftonville. Let’s hope that this becomes a permanent home.

  11. Its so lovely to hear that the much needed Farmers Market has found a more welcoming and appropriate site. Its such a shame that such bullies find any old excuse to exclude much needed social interactions and traditions in the pursuit of money. Public land is after all, for the public, isnt it?

    • Not only a PR disaster for GRASS, but also TDC.
      What were their reasons for not including some clause in the Freehold Asset transfer of our land, to protect the incumbent group of 25 years and their fantastic community run Farmers’ Market for it’s future.
      I visited the new site on Sunday and agree, it is a much better set up.
      It was really busy and I agree with other comments, it was like a big village fete by the sea.
      I hope TDC allows the CRA to use this site on a permanent basis.They owe it to them for what in my opinion was one hell of a ‘cock up’.
      Respect for June Chadband in her fight for the markets continuation for the local community.
      Well done!

  12. The new market location is not great for people with mobility issues, if it was to rain this will stop me attending what potential will become a muddy field in my wheelchair. I had issues with disabled parking on Sunday.

  13. This was a great market and I hope it will continue at this new site as it had such a lovely feel to it. With such an amazing range of products from all walks of life. I can’t wait for next month’s market. Fingers & toes crossed it will be sited at Walpole Green going forward. Thanks June and team for all your blood, sweat and tears to make this happen for the community.

  14. What an improvement this site makes. Just what the town needed, attractive to locals and visitors alike.

    Take note TDC and make it a permanent addition to the area.

    Well done all who worked to get it back on.

  15. Brad Pittance & the Pirates had a fabulous time performing at The Market and mede many new friends. Thanks for having us play our music for you. Best wishes. Brad

  16. Congratulations on an excellent 20th Anniversary Farmers Market. Your tireless work for the community despite all the adverse conditions piled upon you was rewarded with a great turnout. Keith will be looking down upon all you have done and be very proud. Thank you June. Sheila and Steve x

    • Thank you to all our lovely stallholders for their support.
      For 3 hours on the last Sunday of the month, the community comes together, to shop, meet friends and chat to the producers.
      There is something for everyone at the
      multi award winning
      Cliftonville Farmers’ Market
      We will keep you posted on our social media sites before the next market.

  17. Truly hope TDC sees sense and allows the Farmers Market to regularly use the Walpole site. It needs to keep the community in mind for a change, and make up for its abismal lack of process when transferring the land to GRASS. So good to see that the community came out in force to support the farmers market (recognising that GRASS have been disingenuous, self serving, and not in the slightest bit interested in making allowances for the farmers market). Support the farmers market and give any events organised by GRASS a wide berth.

    • I agree with all you have said. Speaking to one of the stallholders on Sunday and he said that they were all furious with the comments made by
      Cllr. Rob Yates on August 20th, when the market was cancelled by GRASS. Cllr Yates said that the market organisers and traders did not have public liability insurance and food safety ratings.
      The stallholder told me that they would not be able to trade at any market without them. Apparently
      Cllr Yates had not contacted the organisers to clarify if this was so before his comments.
      The organisers have contacted him for a retraction but he has declined.
      The stallholder also said that it had been a very damaging remark to make without clarification.

    • Thank you Matthew for the second link.
      I have just re read the councillors comments and the stallholder is right
      he did say they did not have those docs.
      On the day, Aug 20th, I had not seen the comment from Dickie Ovenden, the veg farmer.
      That must have been added after the closure. Very good letter, sums it all up.

  18. It was a lovely day had by all.
    June Chadband worked tirelessly to get a site for our ’20’. For those unaware, she does not get paid as market manager or amything else that she runs. Like all of us on the CRA committee, we are unpaid volunteers.
    I really hope TDC allow us to continue on this lovely site.

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