‘Very sad’ - Farmers market to close after almost two decades

Fakenham's Thursday market PICTURE: Matthew Farmer

Fakenham's Thursday market PICTURE: Matthew Farmer - Credit: Archant

A founding member of a town’s farmers market said it will close after almost two decades.

Views of Fakenham town centre taken from the tower of Fakenham Parish Church. Pictured: Fakenham Mar

Views of Fakenham town centre taken from the tower of Fakenham Parish Church. Pictured: Fakenham Market Place and the surrounding area. - Credit: IAN BURT

Fakenham’s farmers market announced its closure on its Facebook page on October 20, offering thanks to traders and customers for their support over the years.

The market has been going since 2001. In a statement, the page said: “In view of recent and ongoing challenges must sadly announce the market has now closed down.”

The town’s deputy mayor Janet Holdom, a founding member of the market, said a number of factors were behind its closure.

Mrs Holdom was part of the council in 2001 and worked alongside fellow councillor Ann Chappel to bring the market to the town.

Fakenham farmers market has been a part of Fakenham's history, and Janet Holdom worked alongside fel

Fakenham farmers market has been a part of Fakenham's history, and Janet Holdom worked alongside fellow councillor Ann Chappel to bring the market back to the town . Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library


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“It was amazingly successful for many years until the growing popularity of farm shops and similar markets expanded competition,” she said.

“Long standing traders retired and in the last five years, it has run on a small core of traders, but all the while gradually declining.

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“Then Covid hit. Traders started delivering to their loyal customer base, and less footfall when the market returned.

“The September market had a number of guest stands but severe weather meant only three able to attend.”

Norfolk Business Mums at Fakenham's farmers market in August. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Norfolk Business Mums at Fakenham's farmers market in August. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte bond

The September market was also the last for Matt Cowling, the artisan baker who has been involved with the market for the past 11 years.

Mr Cowling was part of the Pye Bakery stall for ten years.

He said that in the market’s final six months, that they were one of only two stalls turning up for trade on some ocassions.

“The passing trade I used to get, I don’t anymore and we have lost the holiday trade,” he said.

He said that at the start, the market, held on the fourth Saturday of every month, was thriving, with almost 30 stalls.

The 41-year-old said the business will lose out with no trade in North Norfolk, and he will now miss the friends he made when working in Fakenham.

“It has been very sad, we are going to miss friends and customers but hope we can see them if they travel and see us in Norwich or to the other farmers markets we do in Norfolk,” he said.

This sadness was echoed by Mrs Holdom who has ‘fond memories of a very successful market with a busy town centre.’

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