Future of Baldock charter market hangs in doubt
THE FUTURE of a historic charter market is in doubt if it is not supported by shoppers and traders.
The Wednesday Baldock market, which has been running for more then 300 years, has lost seven stall holders over the last few months, leaving just five still trading.
The market, which is held in the High Street, saw the latest trader, a meat stall holder shut up shop last week.
Last year the market had 12 regular stall holders but over time it has been poorly attended and is now only left with a cards stall, kitchenware stall, a fruit and vegetables stall, plant stall and a books and haberdashery stall.
Baldock town centre manager Murray Fastier said: “It is a shame to see the market reducing in size lately. It is easy to blame the weather as we have had some horrendous rainy Wednesdays this year.
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“But, our fish stall left as he had a better offer elsewhere and the clothes stall, Street Boutique, was so successful he has opened a shop in Hitchin.”
Mr Fastier said ideally he would like the traders and footfall numbers to increase together.
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He said: “We only need a couple of good stalls to attract more people, so maybe folk from the villages will make a trip to Baldock.
“We have some fantastic events in the town centre over the course of the year and we can’t allow the regular market day to be taken for granted. It is worth a wander round.”
Asked whether the market would continue if numbers kept falling, he said: “The traders have been coming for years but they need to be supported by the people for it to grow and continue. The decision to close the market would not be down to me.”