Royston stallholders anger over eviction for ‘dismal’ car boot sale
08:33 06 February 2014
Stallholders have left Royston market after being moved from their pitches to make way for a car boot sale – which attracted no traders.
The Saturday car boot sale was launched in January at Royston Market Square, but has already been postponed following a lack of interest.
Barbara Maylor, who runs the Human Nature stall on the market, said several stallholders had immediately stopped attending because of the decision to hold the car boot sale.
She said: “In December, we were all given notice that the car boot sale was going ahead, starting in January.
“All Saturday traders were informed they would be losing their pitches and were all being forced to move down to the car park outside Angel Pavement.
“Immediately, we lost the card stall, the cake stall and the handbag stall as they were not willing to move. We were told that the boot sale would bring in more customers.
“The first week no car boot people showed up as it was raining. The second week one car came and left at 9.30am, and the third week no one turned up.
“As a result we lost valuable customers on a Saturday, as well as our fellow traders.”
Mrs Maylor said previous market manager Steve Barrett had been taking steps to increase the number of traders on the market, which had been picking up.
However, he left his post earlier this year, and she said she hopes his replacement will be able to attract more stalls to the twice-weekly market. Mrs Maylor also called on the people of Crow country to get behind it.
She added: “We market traders contribute greatly to a very supportive community on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Somewhere where people from Royston and the villages can meet, shop and keep up with local events. With new customers will come new traders, we all need to have the same goal – a successful market town.”
The market and car boot sale are run by Royston Town Council.
A spokesman said: “The car boot sale has been postponed until a new market manager has been appointed and then it will be looked at again. The stallholders are aware and are happy about this.”
Royston’s mayor, Cllr Bob Smith, is disappointed with the response to the car boot sale.
“We thought it was something that would help attract more people to the market, but unfortunately take-up has been dismal,” he said.