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Message from the Mayor #6 - Wincanton SEED Market & Knitwits!

Friday 19 June 2020, 16:17
By Sue Shelbourn-Barrow

Mayor of Wincanton, Sue Shelbourn-Barrow, in front of Wincanton SEED Market

If you’ve noticed all the colourful, uplifting knitted flowers and figures all over Wincanton, you might be curious to know the story of where they came from.

In the summer of 2019, a collaboration between local friends led by local Wincanton retailers Lynne Franks of the SEED Café, Safia Shah of Bootmakers and Claudia Cole of Cole’s Yard instigated the Wincanton SEED Market as a monthly outlet for our local makers and creators, as well as a way to bring life to Market Place on a Saturday when it traditionally closed down at mid-day.

Organised by newly co-opted Wincanton Town Councillor Lizzy Ralph, and supported by the Town Council, the SEED Market was held on the third Saturday of every month. The Market brought a lot of new visitors to Wincanton and was building up to being recognised as a must-visit Saturday event, especially with the teen food market at Cole’s Yard and live music.

The coronavirus outbreak put a halt to this year's Spring launch, so it is very good news that now, with the easing of lock-down regulations, the Market will be reopening in a smaller format this coming Saturday, 20th June, accompanied by uplifting music from our local duo, Left, Right and Centre.

Wincanton Town Councillor Vicky Vagg and a few of her knitted creations at Market Place
Councillor Vagg and a few of her knitwit creations

In the meantime, the team decided at the beginning of the lock-down that it would be a good idea to introduce Knitwits to Wincanton. Creative knitters would make uplifting, colourful shapes and figures to be put around the town to cheer up the community.

Knitted and crochet flowers and pompoms can now be seen in Cale Park, on a tree by the care home behind the Co-op, around the schools and in private front gardens, but the stars of all are the Knitwit characters created and made by Knitwit Queen, Councillor Vicky Vagg, whose latest purple witch has joined her other characters on the bollards at Market Place, alongside the knitted artwork by SEED’s textile artist Tamsyn Gregory and the knitted snake from Bootmakers.

Vicky now has her sights on the rest of the bollards on the High Street, including introducing some of her beloved Terry Pratchett characters near to the Discworld Emporium.

The Wincanton SEED Market team is also working closely with the Wincanton Town Council, South Somerset District Council, One Planet Wincanton and the Balsam Centre in developing a number of other sustainable community initiatives as part of the Wincanton for the Future programme, including vegetable planting, a community fridge, a repair café, a share library, skills training for women’s business start-ups and healthy cooking.

For further information please contact or visit the Wincanton SEED Market Facebook page.

Knitted pom poms hanging from a tree at Cale Park, Wincanton

My heartfelt thanks to all the members of the community who have contributed to Knitwits, and for the support of the local businesses, and of course Tamsyn and Vicky for their creative additions to our Market Place that have made people smile!

Looking forward, it will be great to have the SEED Market and live music back at Market Place.


Cllr Shelbourn-Barrow

Related articles

12th June 2020: Message from the Mayor #5 - Wincanton Community Hospital
11th June 2020: Wincanton SEED Market is back!
10th April 2020: Be a Wincanton Knitwit and help brighten up the town
14th January 2020: Planning the future of Wincanton: Round 2


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