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‘Bigger and better’ market to return to Downham Market today

The market in Downham promises to be “bigger and better” when it re-opens again today – with seven times the number of stalls it had when it first re-opened last month.

The town council welcomed traders and customers back to the historic market for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, June 5.

At that time, the authority stated that it needed to re-open in a “phased” way, meaning that there was space for just five traders, but only two attended.

Traders will be on both sides of Downham Town Hall for today's market, including the clock square, pictured above.
Traders will be on both sides of Downham Town Hall for today's market, including the clock square, pictured above.

Tensions started to rise, with some traders claiming they believed the market was being “run down” – something the council strongly denied, saying it instead wished to see it grow.

The market was then cancelled for two weeks over rumours of a demonstration against the way it was being run – but last week, the town council said the market would re-open once again today after a “fruitful meeting” with traders.

It returns to the town this morning, and the council is expecting its largest number of traders to attend since the coronavirus pandemic closed it earlier in the year.

A total of 14 stalls – old and new – are expected to attend, and for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown, traders will be spread across the two squares either side of the town hall today. On Saturday, traders will just be on the car park side, and on both days, the market will be open from 8am to 3pm.

In a statement, Downham Market Town Council said: “We are still practising social distancing and are providing hand gel and masks so everyone can stay safe.

“Come and pay us a visit. The market is bigger and better and we are planning on it getting even bigger and better.

“A town needs a market but a market needs a town.”

On Downham Market Town Council’s Facebook page, officials posted a list of the traders which will be spread across the two locations.

On the clock square, the stalls include: English Country Gardens (plants and more); Southery Mobility Centre (mobility aids and scooters); GKM Watches (watch repairs); Simply Coffee (mobile barista); Roy’s Cakes and Bakes; and MG Building Maintenance.

And on the market square, the stalls will be: J’s Snacks (hot takeaway food); Knicat Bakery; Haberdashery; The Norfolk Cheese Company; Routs of Wisbech (fishmongers); Bella’s Beds (pet beds); Eastenderolls (carpets, rugs and vinyls); and Moyses (fruit and veg).

In a message to the community, mayor Becky Hayes said: “It will be, as we always promised, bigger and better.”

She added: “We hope the sun shines, everyone observes social distancing and a good day is had by all.”

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