Brecks Food Festival to celebrate Swaffham’s market heritage

Swaffham Market 800th Anniversary celebrations at the Buttercross ANL-150720-081313009
Swaffham Market 800th Anniversary celebrations at the Buttercross ANL-150720-081313009
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The best of the area’s food and drink will be showcased in Swaffham this weekend as part of continuing celebrations of the town’s market heritage.

An extra 15 stalls are expected to be in place at the town’s traditional Saturday market.

And that will be followed by a special farmers’ market on Sunday, featuring more than 30 local food producers.

Both events are being held as part of the annual Brecks Food Festival and continue the celebrations marking the 800th anniversary of the earliest written reference to a market in Swaffham.

David Wickerson, chairman of the Swaffham Town Team, which has led the celebration programme, said: “The Festival weekend is a wonderful opportunity to bring together Swaffham’s community and to celebrate the town’s history, heritage and culture.

“Food and drink have been central to the town’s economy from day dot and formed the basis for the growth of the town’s market.

“So, it is totally appropriate to showcase the work done through the Heritage Lottery funded Swaffham Market 800 project during the Food and Drink Festival.

“We hope that many people will be drawn into the town over the weekend and be impressed by the range of activities that the town has to offer.”

As well as the sales in the Market Place itself, indoor markets will take place tomorrow and on Saturday, while an international food event will take place in the Assembly Rooms on Sunday.

Norfolk chef Mary Kemp and food broadcaster Caroline Holmes will also host a number of demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday.

Elsewhere, the town’s museum will offer free entry on Saturday and Sunday, while there will be free workshops for children at the Community Centre on both days.

Students from the Sacred Heart School will be selling harvest baskets in aid of the St Peter and St Paul church restoration fund and other local charities, while youngsters from the Nicholas Hamond Academy will recreate Medieval market stalls on the Buttercross.

The events, which follow on from a popular medieval festival which attracted thousands to the town in July, have been supported by a grant of more than £36,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of the HLF in the East of England, said: “The Swaffham 800 project offers a fantastic programme of events and activities to allow the local community to celebrate and learn about the history of the market.

“We are delighted to be able to be a part of the Festival and the wider anniversary celebrations.”