December 5 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Market traders have been given a reprieve in a short term U-turn which is set to benefit Wells lifeboat station.
As recently reported, the curtain was set to be drawn on the town’s weekly Saturday and Sunday market on August bank holiday after the new landlord of The Captain’s Table, formerly The Ark Royal, told organisers they could no longer hold the event on their car park.
The landlord, however, has reconsidered his plans and has told organisers they can continue to hold the market and car boot for until the end of the season - on the condition that the pitch money is donated to Wells lifeboat station.
The news comes as a huge bonus to the life-saving service which relies on legacies and donations.
Since the condition was made, more than £300 has already been donated - enough to pay for a full set of waterproofs for a crew member.
Town council chairman Allen Frary, who is also the lifeboat coxswain, said it was positive news for the town “without a doubt”.
“The new landlord has thought of the station and allowed the market to continue on that basis which can only be for the good of the station and for market holders.
“It’s absolutely brilliant and it is a very kind gesture by the new owner of the Captain’s Table.”
The event, which started more than 40 years ago, originally began as just a market and at its height used to have more than 50 stalls.
It is still said to be popular in the town and runs on Saturdays and Sundays between March and the end of October and also on Fridays during busy periods in the town.
The long-term future of the market is said to be “uncertain”. Mr Frary said there is a “distinct possibility” it could continue next season while Mel Catton, who has been organising the market for 41 years, said: “It’s a reprieve until the end of the season. We will be endeavouring to find a new location next year based on the fact that the landlord said it was definitely our last season.”
The landlord, Mike Higginson, confirmed he had given the market traders a reprieve until the end of the season.