TODAY saw the launch of the Droitwich Spa Charter Market with stalls laid out around Victoria Square and Saltbarrow Market in the town centre, selling everything from fruit and vegetables, plants and cheeses, to leather and wood items, decorative mirrors and carpets.
The deputy mayor Councillor Bob Brookes gave the market its official opening, with people milling around the stalls creating an instant community atmosphere.
Coun Brookes said: “Many residents told me that they missed the regular markets that Droitwich used to have, and since Droitwich Spa Town Council want to encourage trade and make our town a more interesting place to visit, it seemed a good idea to try and bring back our weekly market.
One shopper, Margaret Gardener, was glad to see the market returning to Droitwich.
She said: “I think it’s ideal. It used to be running when I first came here 20 years ago, and I hope they do stick with it. I bought a little top I was looking for and I’ve bought a rug.”
Market trader Chaman Mahay had travelled from Wolverhampton to set up his carpet stall.
He added: “To us, we’re market traders, so we’re always looking for new places. Considering it’s the first day today, it’s not been too bad, so we shall see. I’ve been at brand new markets before that didn’t look promising and then a few weeks later it’s really good, it does take time.”
Joe Jones is organising the market. He said: It’s gone brilliantly I think. We’ve had the weather on our side people have been out and supported it.
“I’ve been campaigning to various people to get the charter market up and running again for 18 months I knew it had potential, it was just getting the wheels turning “Bob Brookes has been brilliant really he’s done his job it will get people coming back to the town instead of going somewhere else. People get into a habit of going out of town and they never come back. Putting the market in gives them another reason to come back. Everybody gets a smile on their face.
“It’s not just about a market, it’s about how can we get the feel good factor back in the town. We’re organising entertainment, so every time they go to town there’s something going on for free, and it’s a nice place to go and sit again.”
Droitwich Spa Town Council had to apply for planning permission to set up the market, but councillors are hoping it will prove to be a real draw for shoppers, and far exceed its initial three month run.
Coun Brookes added: “We, the town council, have done our bit, dozens of legal documents with all the ‘t’s crossed and the ‘i’s dotted and the ink not yet dry. Lots of stall holders here as you see.
“The next stage is up to you. This market will take place every Friday for the next three months. If it is well supported and successful it will continue, so if you want a market, if you like a browse and some bargains, come along and support it as many Fridays as you can, tell your friends and neighbours and get them to come too.”