Harleston Country Market celebrates 35 years

A popular market in Harleston, which showcases the work of local bakers, crafts people and growers, is celebrating its 35th anniversary.

The Harleston Country Market was first established in 1976 and has staged a weekly sale at King George's Hall in the town centre for the last ten years.

Every Wednesday, a queue of keen shoppers forms outside the hall ahead of the opening of the morning market at 9.30am, which sells a host of cakes, pies, jams, vegetables, fruit and plants.

Organisers spoke of their delight at reaching the landmark anniversary and held a celebratory dinner at the Apollo Rooms in Harleston last week.

Hilda Thomas, one of the founding members, said she hoped the market would continue for many more years. She added that up to 50 people queued outside the hall on some weeks before the opening of the sale.

'People like the quality of the cooking and produce. Everything is home made and that is the essence of it all. Our customers are not just customers, they are friends. We have several widowers come in who have lost their partner and like home cooking and buy the odd meat pie and cake,' she said.

Manager Ruth Wharton added that the Harleston Country Market was one of the oldest in Norfolk and there was a 'nice atmosphere' with shoppers enjoying a biscuit and cup of tea or coffee afterwards.