Market is on brink of closure

PUBLISHED: 07:07 08 March 2007 | UPDATED: 10:14 31 May 2010

Doreen Lambourn who cooks for the Saffron Walden market - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Doreen Lambourn who cooks for the Saffron Walden market - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

A PIECE of Saffron Walden s history is under threat due to a lack of support for the Women s Institute s bi-weekly market. The market, now run under the name Country Markets, has been held in the town since the 1920s, but fewer shoppers buying fewer items

A PIECE of Saffron Walden's history is under threat due to a lack of support for the Women's Institute's bi-weekly market.

The market, now run under the name Country Markets, has been held in the town since the 1920s, but fewer shoppers buying fewer items has seen it cease trading on Tuesdays.

And Friday trading looks likely to come to an end when the committee addresses the situation again in May.

The market's committee only has to pay £5 per hour to rent the town hall, but poor sales are putting its future at risk.

But Reporter readers can do their bit to save the market by supporting the loyal brigade of people who want to keep the market running.

The chairman of Saffron Walden's branch of Country Markets, Doreen Lambourn, 76, is upset the traditional market is not getting the support it needs to survive.

"It's extremely sad because all of the ladies help out because we love it and have always done it," she said.

"I've been cooking for the market for the last 20 years and chairman for the last 12. It's upsetting we've had to close on Tuesdays.

"But if we don't get any more encouragement and support from customers then we'll have to say enough is enough."

Mrs Lambourn, who has lived in the town for 20 years. She said they closed on Tuesdays before Christmas but re-opened in the New Year.

"We closed on Tuesdays but people kept saying we should re-open so we did after the Christmas break, but many people just buy teas and coffees and we can't do much with that," she said.

"We sell cakes, knitted items, toys and jewellery, and we really want to keep it going on Fridays, but we need people to come and support us."

Mrs Lambourn said not being able to sell the homemade produce at future markets if they have not been sold was also adding to the market's troubles.

"I took nine cottage pies in on Friday and I had to take four back home with me - what do I want with four pies?" she said.

"We can't take them back to the next market to sell them another day as they're deemed out-of-date by then. If no one comes and buys them, what can we do?"

Saffron Walden town clerk, Malcolm White, said: "We only charge them

£5 per hour for the town hall and it would be a real shame if the women's institute's markets were to go."

The market is held on Fridays between 8.30am and 11.30am.

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