Saturday, 11 May 2013

Street Market Sidmouth

Street Market Sidmouth

Just Wondering....  If anyone thinks Sidmouth would benefits from a  Street Market, as most small towns seem to have them, and they are very popular for selling local produce, and also promote local crafts.

Market Square would seem the obvious choice. I would of thought this area outside of fields and Gliddons (Market Square) would be perfect. I would think maybe once a month to start.  I know they are becoming more popular.
I understand that there has been a 'market' indoors at St Johns, however I was thinking more on the lines of 'local businesses' to promote local produce. The winter months maybe using Kennaway  House .  Anyway just an idea! 


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Tell It As It Is 

It would certainly get my vote .................. as well as local businesses promoting local produce it could attract other stallholders with a more diverse offering ................. one of the most popular lines in most markets I have been to is the "Meat Van" ....... a relatively local butcher offering good quality meat bundles at low prices. I find it quite extraordinary that local shopkeepers tend to think of any sort of market as competition and not an enhancement of what is on offer in the High Street. Markets bring people and people bring money ............. I cannot understand why they don't see that.

Katrina L 

Street / farmers market would be fab and I think the chamber of commerce were toying with the idea. As long as it wasn't full of 'old tat', it would certainly give people another reason to come to Sidmouth. I think some traders feel that they pay rent / rates all year round so why should someone come in, pitch up for the day and reap the benefits, understandable I suppose, but I personally think it would do more good than harm to local businesses.

Teresa M 

Personally, I feel people are tired of giving their hard earned money to corporate business, such as Tesco, at least we are supporting small business's and local crafts.  Its away of keeping the small business's going, who have been pushed out by these larger companies.   I can remember Butchers shops and Bakers, Sweet shops, hat shops, cobblers, and many more which have gone from all the small towns, to be replaced by Costa Coffee, and chain shops like new look!   Why? because they can not compete with the money that corporate companies have, they can use cheap labour abroad to make 'tat' to sell .  I think we have to make a stand in the small town, yes we may pay a little more for the produce, we may prefer to go to Tesco and buy a loaf of bread a lot cheaper, the cost is we lose a lot more in not supporting sometimes generations of family business that have been in this area for many years. The local business have the opportunity to take part in the market , I see no problem in them setting up a table with their own produce on there to sell, as long as its not 'bought in stuff' and has a connection to the town, and encourages free enterprise.  We have to show our young people that buying 'local' is important to keep the community and small family business going.  In the era of internet buying and out of town shopping, many towns in the future will have to look to the community to support local shops, lets start by showing the town what we have to offer, a Street market should be a place to encourage young people and old to come together to work on helping keeping Sidmouth the unique and wonderful seaside town, by showing what we have to offer and what our local people work hard to produce and make.

Tell It As It Is 

That looks brilliant ................. such a shame that the so-called "shakers and makers" in this town haven't got the ability or the knowledge to make it happen here. Plenty of 'vision' and huff and puff but thats about it ....................

Barnacle Bill 

I don't mind shopping in the supermarkets but would certainly welcome the opportunity to explore the wares of a regular proper market in town.

I'm not sure how having a market would make Sidmouth unique - a lot of towns have them - but it would bring us in line with places where the positive contribution of a market is appreciated.

I'm all for a proper market and not just a pretend one selling, say, veg produced from local gardens and allotments - think a bit bigger.

One of the benefits of yester year was that pubs were open all day on market days - but, this doesn't have the same attraction now because all day opening is the norm but, it sure would attract shoppers.


Whilst I am a great fan of street markets, it would also be worth throwing into the debate - How do we put pressure on the Landlords who are charging high rents for the properties that our local traders are renting. The local shops have enormous rents to pay before they can even think of breaking even let alone pay rates/insurance /wages /heating /lighting -  that is a valid reason why they would throw up their hands at the thought of a market trader paying a paltry daily rent and none of the responsibilities.. Just a thought!!

Teresa M 

Street Markets have the opportunity to highlight the town, although the market it self is not a new idea, the opportunity to bring more people into Sidmouth, and keep local shops busy has to be a positive move.
Having a 'vision' is always a good thing , if we had not had a 'vision for Kennaway house, I don't think it would of got to the wonderful building it is today.

There are many types of street markets and as we can see by the article, posted by Tom, there are some very good ones ,if run properly can encourage local produce and crafts to be seen, and also bring into the town, not just the occasional coach trippers, but family's and a generation of people who search out these type of Markets for the quality goods they sell.

However I do understand the rising costs of running your own business ,  the overheads are one of the arguments for not having street markets in the town, as they may take away custom from local shops.  I have seen both sides, in many cases the shops have actually purchased at a reduced rate a stall in the market to sell there own lines or produce from their shops, I would not see a problem with this, for example there are lots of craft shops in the town that could do both encourage the market so that more people come into the town and use the market to sell.
If there was a market in the town, I feel it should be quality items, and produce that Sidmouth shops are known for, hand made crafts. family business's, and local produce from near by farms, not imported tat, or anything which could be considered not 'fair trade'.
We have to think about the future generations of Sidmothians, what we are allowing to sell in our shops and markets sends a message, as previously said, shopping online for young people has become the 'norm' Street markets are more about the 'community' than about  shopping!
I also remember street markets as a place where people would meet have fun, and get to know other local people, this has to be something positive for our young people to see, maybe even the local schools  could be part of.

Tell It As It Is 

Local traders have to sort out their rents with landlords themselves that is nothing to do with the average customer but the shopkeepers do need to look beyond their noses when 'throwing up their hands' at the thought of stallholders getting a pitch relatively cheaper than their own rent  ............... they should instead concentrate on the increased footfall that a regular market brings into town and the benefit this would be to the many cafes, restaurants and eatery pubs to mention but a few.

Teresa M 

I agree Landlords, although I know it can be a struggle in this day and age to compete with larger companies and chain stores, and now the internet boom of on line shopping.  The alternative is the empty shops that we now see in seaside towns.  I feel it a combination of working together with market traders to make sure what is sold does not conflict with the shop keepers in the town.  I agree if anything it would bring into the town the opportunity for the coffee shops and others to encourage on going trade.
I know Honiton market has been running for many years, and the shop owners have benefited from increased trade in the town, I myself enjoy the market, and walking around seeing what is on offer, but it also encourages me to call into shops, and coffee shops while I am there.  I am sure the feedback and concerns of shop keepers in the town, would be a huge consideration in the decision to go forward with a street market, and  a  happy medium can be found.
 I would also like to point out that European country's such as France and Germany have town and city markets everywhere, and even have tourist taking trips, especially at Christmas to go to these markets, why should our country miss out on this boom industry, when we should be encouraging the markets to expand and show exactly what we as a  country can produce and sell can do.

F B 

Providing it was an upmarket style artisan craft, home producer, quality style and comoetitively pricedand not the general tat and replicated stuff we see on the Esplanade now during folk week it could be a definite draw. I can't remember if it was the Lions or the other association who had a fete in Blackmore Gardens a year or so back had artisan producers and crafts and set out very well proved very popular.
There is no shame in being known for and providing a quality standard and gaining a reputation for it rather than going down market

Tom Putt 

"Market Move A Hit"  There seems to have been a very positive response to the Street Market in Ottery St Mary moving from tucked away car parks into the centre of town.  See letter in Herald from one Tony Wilkinson, Honorary Alderman of East Devon!

Teresa M 

Yes I agree, I feel this would be a great opportunity to exhibit local crafts and encourage young people to take an interest in local craft work.  Also it gives an opportunity for crafters to have a place to sell their work.

I think it should be about what local people produce, not about what you can buy and re-sale! so yes I do agree with you FB, the craft articles that you see on the Esplanade are mostly purchased and re-sold.  I would not like to see anything like this.
I feel it should be about highlighting what local people can produce, such as Honiton Lace, and there are many talented local artist, jewellery makers,  bakers, quilters and many more, who are sometimes missed  by visitors and Sidmouthians because they are not seen

These crafts are a little more expensive, because of the work and materials used.  However  some people do understand this, and like myself are prepared to pay a little more to keep local crafts in the area.

 I know Sidmouth has a good reputation in providing within some of it's shops quality stock, and unusual purchases i.e soap shop, selleys craft shops, a market would just expand on this.

A market would give Sidmouth the opportunity to 'showcase' crafts from in and around this area.


The Vision Group runs a local food market at St John Hall every second Sat of the month. Should this be run more often? In a more central location? Where?


You can get local lamb, venison, chicken, sausages, eggs, veg, jams, flowers, artisan bread and delish Indian samosas, curry and chutneys there. Plus some local crafts. It would be interesting to get some feedback on what customers think of the market and its offerings. The next one is on 8 June.


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