Search

Trader hopeful people will obey distancing rules ahead of market reopening

PUBLISHED: 15:48 15 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:10 15 May 2020

Diss Market. Tony Fields at his stall.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Diss Market. Tony Fields at his stall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A trader has said he believes people are well accustomed to social distancing measures ahead of a town market’s reopening.

Fakenham market day and town centre. 
Picture: MATTHEW USHERFakenham market day and town centre. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

Fakenham Town Council has confirmed the Thursday market will reopen to food and plant traders on May 21 following the initial easing of the lockdown rules.

The market has been closed since March 14 following the prime minister’s lockdown announcement.

Stallholders will be responsible for introducing their own systems for safe distancing.

One of the traders coming back to the town is Tony’s Discount Stall, run by Tony Fields, from Norwich.

Fakenham's Thursday market PICTURE: Matthew FarmerFakenham's Thursday market PICTURE: Matthew Farmer

Mr Fields has been trading at Diss market for the last three weeks and says that people there have been following the social distancing guidelines.

He believes the public understands the importance of it. He said: “I think 95pc of people are trained now with social distancing.

You may also want to watch:

“You get the odd person who does ignore it. I had an incident last week but the customers asked the other to move away.

Iain Mcewan (left) and Tony Fields (right) preparing boxes for delivery across Norfolk. Picture: Tony FieldsIain Mcewan (left) and Tony Fields (right) preparing boxes for delivery across Norfolk. Picture: Tony Fields

“People know the situation and we just have to get used to it.”

The trader has introduced a one-way system when browsing his stall, a hand washing station and bollards to keep customers apart.

The reopening of markets elsewhere, such as in Swaffham has been met with divided opinion. However, Mr Fields believes it is time to bring back traders, or risk losing them.

“I agreed with shutting them but food workers could die completely if they didn’t reopen,” he said.

Fakenham town mayor, Gilly Foortse. Picture: FAKENHAM TOWN COUNCILFakenham town mayor, Gilly Foortse. Picture: FAKENHAM TOWN COUNCIL

“If we lose them it would be awful. This whole incident has shown how important the markets are. It’s not just about coming to buy something but getting to talk to someone.”

Mr Fields also said that reopening will ease his stock control. While markets have been closed he has run a delivery service.

He said that he has not struggled to get hold of goods, but that knowing what amount to buy has been difficult.

Fakenham mayor Gilly Foortse said: “‘Fakenham Town Council is delighted to be able to reopen our Thursday Market to our food and plant sellers.

“We are keen to support our traders to ensure their survival into the future. Measures are in place to ensure that everyone can enjoy the market safely by following the social distancing advice.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Fakenham and Wells Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Fakenham and Wells Times