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Wincanton Street Market Off to a Strong Start VIDEO UPDATE

Saturday 21 September 2013, 20:31
By Penny Ashton

Wincanton Street Market shoppers

The day of the market was grey, but there was a good turnout of people to see what was on offer at the street market on Sunday and I don't think they will have been disappointed. Certainly everyone I spoke to seemed enthusiastic about it.

It was a shame that the number of stalls fell short of the advertised 40, causing large gaps in the rows lining the High Street. I can only think that some of those who had intended to come were put off by the dreadful weather forecast and decided to give it a miss. Let's hope the support will be better in October.

Market Musicians

Wincanton Silver Band playing at the first new Wincanton Street Market

Children's storytelling teepee

Those traders who did come provided a good variety of goods to be admired and bought; there can be very few people who did not find something to interest them. As well as trade stalls, there was live music and a story teepee to keep the children amused; the Town Team was also on hand to hear the views of anyone who wished to give them.

The Town Team stall at the first Wincanton Street Market

It was a shame that the dry, calm weather did not last and the gusty wind completely blew the shelter off at least one stall. Fortunately there were plenty of willing hands to help erect it again. The rain began to set in as the day progressed, and umbrellas and waterproofs became the order of the day, but people who had come seemed determined to make the most of the market, and didn't run for cover.

Help at hand to reconstruct a gazebo blown away by the wind

Umbrellas came out when the rain started

It was also good to see the number of High Street shops that had opened for the day, and those I looked into seemed to be doing a good trade. I hope that the market was worthwhile for all of them. I am not personally convinced that Sunday is the best day for this market, but that is the current plan, so I hope that the sun shines and the crowds come out in force for the next market on Sunday 20 October.



Wincanton Window grabbed Market Coordinator Millie Burr for her thoughts after the first Sunday Market.

The new Wincanton Street Market logo"The Wincanton Town Team would like to thank everyone who attended the first market – shoppers and traders – for all their support. It was great to see such a buzz around Wincanton, despite the weather.

"We were really pleased with such a great turnout of around 1,000 visitors and we hope that this will keep increasing as the market develops and word gets around about it.

"The first market has been a lot of hard work for everyone on the dedicated Town Team and we know that there are things which need to improve with it, i.e. the number of food stalls. Unfortunately we had a setback at short notice, which left us with few food stalls. This is an area we are working hard to develop over the coming months as we attract more traders. As we are sure you appreciate, a market needs to establish and word get around amongst traders for them to move to join us.

"We would also like to thank the shop owners of Wincanton who opened up on the day. We have heard that the shop owners were very happy with the footfall and shoppers were overjoyed to visit shops which they might not have been able to during the week.

"Thank you once again for your support and we look forward to seeing you at the next Wincanton Street Market on Sunday 20th October.

"If you would like more information about booking a stall or have any photos you would like to share of the day, please contact Millie, the Market Coordinator on . You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter."



The following is added by John Smith after the Market debrief meeting on Tuesday 17th.

Feedback from the stall holders has been very encouraging. Several of the stalls sold out of their products on the day. One stall holder remarked that the Wincanton Street Market had given them a serious issue. They didn't expect such a small town to provide such a good market. They are having to decide whether to come to Wincanton in future instead of another market. Feedback from High Street Traders who opened on the day was also positive.

At the Market debrief meeting on Tuesday 17th Millie Burr, our market stall organiser advised that on the strength of this first market we already have advanced bookings for both October and November. This is very encouraging indeed. The next Wincanton Street Market on 20th October should be bigger and even better.

The success of this first market has also raised the issue of support manpower. The Team are looking for more help on the day of future markets. Would you like to become part of the Street Market Team? Volunteers are required to assist with stewarding the events as well as the erection and dismantling of gazebos.

There will be other ways to help too, but it all comes down to having bodies on the ground. So if you would like to get involved and help to build the Wincanton Street Market into a 'must-go' event please contact The Wincanton Town Team. The Team has a website on which you can find more information about what they're doing for the town:





Market Photo Gallery

Several people have contributed photos of the event so we've compiled the gallery below. If you have any interesting photos you'd like to share, please email them to . Click the thumbnails for a larger view.


Posts: 1
Wincanton Street Market
Reply #1 on : Sun September 22, 2013, 04:54:06
Firstly, thank you for an honest and supportive article, we were so encouraged by the turnout for our first Street Market and would like to thank everyone from the high street traders who opened their doors, market traders who fought with the wind and rain ans the fantastic visitors and locals who attended.
As a town team we are all voluntary and Millie Burr the Market co-ordinator really did work incredibly hard to make the first market go as smoothly as possible. Huge thanks also goes to the friends of Verrington Hospital who supplied tables at very short notice and James from Over the Moon tents who was amazing!
We were sadly let down at the last minute, hence why there was a shortage of food stalls, however all systems go to improve this for the next market and the addition of children's goods. Please do keep your comments coming in to the town team at or our dedicated Wincanton Street Market FB page.
Posts: 1
Wincanton Street Market
Reply #2 on : Mon September 23, 2013, 16:35:27
As a stall holder I wanted to say a big thank you to the team who organised the market. Living in Templecombe it is lovely to have a market so close and I am really looking forward to the next one in October. It was fantastic to meet so many local people and for the town to support and clearly give the thumbs up to the event. Despite the weather spirits were high and the stall holders I chatted to all said they had been very pleasantly surprised by the number of sales they had made. I do feel that Sunday is the best day for the market and with a few more stalls it will gain in reputation and become the local event to attend.
Posts: 1
Sunday vs Saturday
Reply #3 on : Mon September 23, 2013, 16:46:02
For my benefit, if nobody else's, can I convince anyone (magicpumpkin?) to explain the argument *for* Sunday, as opposed to Saturday?

My understanding is that there are those who believe that the Market is a good platform from which we could revitalise Wincanton's Saturday trade, where at present the place is rather dead.

Sunday is fairly traditional for markets, no? But isn't Saturday more of a High Street day?
Posts: 1
Saturday V Sunday
Reply #4 on : Mon September 23, 2013, 18:52:29
If I could get the rest of my shopping in the High Street, I'd argue that Saturday was as good as Sunday, but our family is off looking for shoes, kids' clothes (or adult clothes come to that), furniture, toys or electrical goods and unfortunately I need to go to larger towns for a decent choice of those things. I don't know about other people's habits, but I do that kind of shopping on a Saturday, not to mention squeezing in the supermarket run.

Saturday mornings are a total write-off for my family, anyway - it's all about kids' clubs, swimming lessons etc. Families with children are often in the same boat - take a peek into the Sport Centre from 8.00am onwards if you need proof...chaos!

Sundays however, are more chilled out. I'm far more likely to be in Wincanton, with leisure time to saunter through a market.
Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 18:53:21 by mandycochrane  
Posts: 1
Saturday vs Sunday
Reply #5 on : Tue October 15, 2013, 21:26:38
I too, am struggling to see the argument for Sunday.

I work for a business that attends many local farmers markets, not one of them takes place on a Sunday. The Sunday markets that we do attend are usually only once a year.

I can't help but feel that having this market on a Sunday is a lost opportunity for the shops; I thought they were supposed to be the ones benefiting from the whole idea?

Getting people to return to the town for their shopping can be done by getting them in to the shops to see what is on offer, a community event like this is perfect for that. Personally, I wouldn’t appreciate half the shops that I do if I had not first ventured in to them during the night opening of the "Christmas Extravaganza" of my first year.

I know of a couple of shops that weren't able to open on the Sunday because that is the only day off the shop keepers usually have. I am pleased that the shop keepers who did open have been rewarded with a good turnout.

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