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Nothing Beats An Independent Market…

April 7, 2012

We’re big lovers of independent enterprise – and often markets reveal real hidden gems and treasures. Not every “street market” gets it right every time – but when they do, they are perfect examples of how independent and creative businesses can co-exist and breathe fresh life into areas.

Having had a few contacts via our website re the West Didsbury Market (more of which later), we decided to head off last Sunday & visit a couple of markets. It helped that Castlefield was bathed in glorious spring sunshine at 10.00am and Manchester was looking at its finest – but we’ve been to this market before, and even when raining, it still works. And it works because the organisers insist on standards. This doesn’t mean you’ve got to be trading the highest end goods – it means you’ve got to have a pride and a passion and a love for what you do, whether you’re selling vegetables or mugs or pies or flowers. The stalls were an absolute joy to browse around and by the time we left, we were laden down with fresh veg, pies, fudge, pate, bread and beers.

Castlefield Market April 2012

Castlefield Market April 2012

Castlefield Market April 2012

Castlefield Market April 2012

Castlefield Market April 2012

Castlefield Market April 2012

Castlefield Market April 2012

Castlefield Market April 2012

Castlefield Market April 2012

Castlefield Market April 2012

Having been alerted on Twitter to the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival there was no way we were going to pass up the opportunity to experience this, so off we headed. Again, another example of how to do a market. Although it was billed as a “festival” – and admittedly the first stalls you came to were truly a chocolate fest, there was a lot more on offer. It was choc (no pun intended) full with craft stalls, food stalls, music and entertainment. We spotted regular favourites such as Ginger’s Comfort and The Hungry Gecko mixed in with unknowns – but again, all traders with an obvious pride and passion for their wares.

Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival 2012

Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival 2012

Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival 2012

Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival 2012

So, two excellent markets in one day. The City Council run West Didsbury Market is not looking as if it’s coming out of hibernation judging by recent communications we’ve had, but we have a couple of independent opportunities we’re exploring which make us VERY excited.

More information when we can put it out, but hands up – who’d like a market like Castlefield or Ramsbottom,  back right here in West Didsbury?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2012 7:12 pm

    Didsbury NEEDS a market! A market makes for a great community spirit, gets people together and encourages local support. Didsbury has most of this already but a market would get more people involved! X Go Didsbury Life!!! Xx

  2. Tracy permalink
    April 7, 2012 8:42 pm

    Didsbury is aching to be a market town , fabulous idea!! I want to be a stall holder, just not sure selling what!! 😉 Do It!! X x

  3. Kirsty permalink
    April 8, 2012 7:52 am

    I’d love one. Would really suit the area’s community spirit!

  4. Victoria Jackson permalink
    April 8, 2012 11:22 am

    Excellent idea, very much needed. Can you get permission to hold it from Manchester City council? I can help you with infastructure, I’m one of the organisers of the Wilmslow Artisan vicky@nichefestivals.co.uk.

  5. Matt permalink
    April 11, 2012 1:48 pm

    Don’t get me wrong, there are some great products on offer at the already numerous markets that we see around the area. But you should definitely focus on celebrating and support the local traders you have in West Didsbury and also Didsbury village, not invite the competition in from all over the north west and beyond.

    Do a market yes, but with the stalls by West Didsbury and also Didsbury village traders only – similar in a way to part of the Beech road festival I suppose, bringing the shops out onto the street (but with less drunk people hopefully!). Make it clear that these shops are all there all the time and then people who come for the event might still come back when the market isn’t on. Anything they buy on the day will boost local trade, not the pockets of other independent traders. Yes, independent traders are great, but they are still in competition with each other, you should be focussing on supporting didsbury/west didsbury traders.

    Leave general markets for places like castlefield where there aren’t that many local traders and it can be a showcase for a wider area, or northenden where they fill a gap in the local offering. Ramsbottom was different because that had a focus on chocolate – it wouldn’t make me go back to ramsbottom on any other weekend.

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