‘I would hate to see another Royston tradition disappear’ – Market stall of almost 60 years ‘to close in six months’ unless public can help

PUBLISHED: 18:40 06 June 2017

Stall helpers Gina Churchyard and Derek Hayden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Stall helpers Gina Churchyard and Derek Hayden. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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A Royston market stall that has been going for almost 60 years is now six months away from closure – unless they can improve business and recruit more volunteers.

The stall is in Royston Corn Exchange from 8am every Wednesday and Saturday. Picture: Karyn HaddonThe stall is in Royston Corn Exchange from 8am every Wednesday and Saturday. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Royston Country Market stall started in 1958, and is described by its present stewards as a small farmers’ market in one stall.

It is based in the Corn Exchange in Market Hill on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Stall manager Marian Brewer told the Crow: “I got involved when my daughter was about nine years old, she’s now in her 30s.

“We sell cakes, biscuits, savouries like sausage rolls, pickled onions, chutneys and jams – whenever any of the volunteers cook, we make lots of extras so we can sell it on the stall because we want to keep it going, and people get into a routine of coming to us.

Some of the homemade goods they sell.  Picture: Karyn HaddonSome of the homemade goods they sell. Picture: Karyn Haddon

“We have a local beekeepers that supply us with honey, and honeycomb – so the honey is very good for people with allergies.

“Our eggs are from the local egg farm too, so we are actually supporting two small local businesses by selling their produce for them. They both became members to sell their produce and help out on the stall – we are a co-operative.”

Mrs Brewer – who has lived in Royston for 31 years – said that although everyone is working just as hard, lifestyles and shopping habits have changed, meaning they are not getting enough business or help.

She said: “We now do gluten-free and different things to move forward, but we aren’t getting replacement staff when people leave, and there is a real risk that it will go if people don’t use it.

Country Market Stall helper Gina Churchyard serving customers.  Picture: Karyn HaddonCountry Market Stall helper Gina Churchyard serving customers. Picture: Karyn Haddon

“I would hate to see yet another Royston tradition disappear.

“We have only managed to recruit one volunteer recently, and a lady that makes the most amazing small items.

“When new customers do come to the stall our feedback is that they didn’t know we were here, because we are in the Corn Exchange people don’t tend to come in.”

Marian and the team set up at the monthly Orwell Pannier Market, and have people from Royston go to that – something Mrs Brewer said is “very peculiar”, considering they’re in town every week.

If you think you can help, give Mrs Brewer a call on 01763 249858.

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