Hopes are high new spot will save Attleborough’s weekly market

Queen's Square in Attleborough. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Queen's Square in Attleborough. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2015

It has been the beating heart of public life in the town for centuries - and it was slowly dying.

Attleborough Market stallholders at the market's previous location in the Queen's Square Car Park.

Attleborough Market stallholders at the market's previous location in the Queen's Square Car Park. From left, George Bunning the fishmonger, Kevin Blyth, general merchandise, Michael Greenwood, who runs a produce stall and Terry Staff who looks after the market. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2016

But hopes are high that Attleborough's weekly market will once again take its rightful place as a hub of activity, thanks to a location change.

Terry Staff, who organises the Thursday event, said the market would now be held every week on the pavement in front of the town hall.

Mr Staff said: 'We were able to hold it there a couple of times before Christmas, and it was again at that location for the first time this year last week.

'We've had so much good feedback about it - I'd say 99.9pc of people I've spoken to say it's a much better spot.

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'At the end of the day, if we didn't have the market out in the street, it would have died.'

The market had been held at the Queen's Square Car Park for more than 10 years.

But the number of stall holders gradually dwindled, and a lack of passing foot traffic threw the event's future into doubt.

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Last year, with the support of the town council, the market was given permission to move to Queen's Square itself.

Mr Staff said there were five stalls at last week's event, and there were already a few more vendors interested in opening their own stalls, because of the new location.

He said: 'We've got lots of people interested.

'We're hoping that once spring time comes around we'll be more established at that new location and we'll have even more stalls.'

There has been a Thursday market in Attleborough since 1285. Before moving to the car park it had been held at Connaught Hall, but it is believed the market's original location was at Queen's Square.

Between mid-2015 and mid-2016, stallholder numbers at the market in the car park dropped from about 10 to just four a week - including a fishmonger, a toy and general merchandise vendor and a grocer. Mr Staff said he hoped the relocation would herald a new era in the market's fortunes.

He said: 'We'd just like to encourage people to come along and have a look. You can't fail to spot us now.'

The market runs from about 8am to 2pm. There is a £6 fee to have a stall there. For more information call Mr Staff on 07876 171829.

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