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.