Watton Country Market bucks supermarket trend to celebrate 40th birthday

June Todd at the Watton Country Market. Picture: Ian Burt

June Todd at the Watton Country Market. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

In a day and age when superstores have become the norm one town's market is celebrating its 40th birthday.

Watton Country Market, formerly known as Watton Women's Institute Market, has been a fixture in the town for four decades.

It is based in the Christian Community Centre, on High Street, and, with 12 active traders and producers, still attracts its loyal customers each week.

Market treasurer Deborah Barker, who has been trading at the market for eight years, said she hoped the market would still be open for business in another 40 years.

She said: 'I hope it is still here but we have got an uphill struggle.

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'Hopefully out of all this new people will come and find us, we still get people who have lived here for 10 or twelve years who say they didn't know we were here.

'There was 23 markets in Norfolk and we are down to 11 now.

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'We have all got our own issues keeping going and finding new customers and producers.

'We have our loyal customers who keep coming back but a lot of people are getting older and are not able to come out as much as they used to.

'Younger people tend to be in the supermarket brigade.

'They should come and give us a try. We are all local people producing local goods.

'If they come and speak to us we can personalise things, you won't get that in the supermarket.'

To celebrate hitting 40 a special market was held at the usual time on a Wednesday morning which included a quiz, games and a birthday cake, cut by one of the markets longest supporters Joyce Symonds.

The event raised over £300 for the East of England Air Ambulance.

What do you think of the issues facing our region's markets? Write to doug.faulkner@archant.co.uk.

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