Around 3,000 people attended the Farmers’ Market in Stone at the weekend on its return to the town for the first time since lockdown.
Twenty traders selling a range of products including breads, meats, sweets and pies set up stalls on the town’s Westbridge Park on Saturday (13th). A one-way viewing system was introduced for customers, queueing and social distancing measures were in place, and marquees were spaced further apart than usual.
Stafford Borough Council moved the popular event to the park, from its normal venue in the town’s High Street, to comply with social distancing guidelines.
Many stallholders had sold out of stock before the expected 3pm closing time - and praised organisers for getting the market back up and running. Volunteers from the ‘Stone Food and Drink Festival’ and market company, Bescot Promotions, helped to ensure the event was a success.
Marie Powell, who runs Powell Pies, said: “This is fantastic. It is nice to get a little bit of normality back. We have been doing the Stone market for four years now and it is great to see our customers again. The move to Westbridge Park is working really really well with the social distancing, the one-way system and the queuing. Things have been challenging but you have to keep going and do what you can to make it work.”
The market’s return attracted interest from across the region with BBC Midlands Today turning up to cover the event – especially as it had been scheduled to take place the previous weekend but had to be called off at the eleventh hour because of weather conditions.
Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning, said: “Well done to the team for getting this on despite the setbacks they have encountered.
“It was great to see the market looking so busy and good to hear the stallholders did well. I’m glad residents supported these local businesses who have had a very tough time over recent months.”
The market will be back at Westbridge Park on Saturday 4 July. The Stafford Farmers’ Market will return to the town centre for the first time since lockdown on the following week – Saturday 11 July.
Press Release No: 5651