“Holding it’s own”
Saturday 6th. September 2008 1:23 pm
This is what South Tyneside Council’s market manager Lynn Telford considers “fairing well”, I guess she doesn’t use the tiny cell of an office secreted in the Old Town Hall in South Shields Market Place before she makes these judgements, but in my recent experience our market has been anything but a market. This is what our council is using medieval donkey laws to try and “protect”.
A market is what we see on the quayside at Newcastle on a Sunday morning, better still a market is what you visit at Catterick Racecourse on a Sunday morning, they are worth getting out of bed for! Even the traders who used to come to our Market Place seem to find it difficult to get out of bed and get here for 08:30 in the mornings these days, they might be up and running by 09:30 or 10:00, but if you are intent on finding a bargain you’d better be quick!
Packing up starts at 15:00 and the market is usually gone and finished by 16:00 (and that’s on sunny days.) Is Cllr. John Anglin still charged with looking after our town centre? If not, he ought to be (charged, that is.)
Comparing our market to Hexham’s is an absolute joke too, Hexham’s medieval market hall is smaller than St. Jude’s Church Hall at Laygate, can we at least get things in the right proportion?
Let’s think out of the box then.
- Discounts for bulk bookings made in advance. (I.E. pay for for four stalls/dates and get one free)
- Fancy dress competitions for traders
- Period Victorian or Edwardian costumes at Christmas time -prizes to be donated by council partners.
- Musical entertainment
- Leaflets to be distributed in Newcastle, Gateshead, the Metro Centre, and Sunderland with “competition” inducements to attract shoppers to South Shields.
- Free parking schemes for shoppers (as previously discussed in this blog).
- Seagull feeding demonstrations (it gives journalists something useful to do and spreads the word about South Shields world wide.) Sorry, don’t take this one seriously.
- Introduce stocks so we can publicly stone our councillors for the daft decisions they make! (O.K. wet sponges will do)
- Punch and Judy shows.
- Clowns, buskers, and other street entertainment.
- Farmers market to be incorporated with Friday Flea Market.
- Most importantly be strict about the contracts, if traders take a stall then they must be prepared to stay until at least 16:30
Sorry about the lateness of this post, I’ve had a busy day today.