FOCUS: Support local trade at Wokingham Outdoor Market
December 06, 2012
For four days every week traders descend on Wokingham bringing the heritage of the town to life with an outdoor market.
Traders say they now have even more stalls at the market, but are calling on Wokingham shoppers to support local, independent businesses and use the market for this year’s Christmas shopping.
Kathy Osborne, owner of Shedkraft and a spokeswoman for the market traders, said: “There is a very good mix of stalls and it’s not cheap market goods, there is a lot of handmade stuff, designer labels and good quality items.
“A lot of the items are things you can’t buy in shops and you can do all your Christmas shopping at the market as we have Christmas cakes and a lot of unique gifts.”
She continued: “As you come into town the first thing you see is a sign saying Wokingham is an historic market town and we have got a thriving market here, it is full on a Friday and Saturday with stalls.
“It is the main focus of Wokingham town centre.”
The market is held on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday with specialised farmers’ and craft markets taking place once a month.
Mrs Osborne continued: “A lot of our customers are local but we do get people from around the surrounding areas, especially for the fresh produce and there is a farmers’ market.
“The market is a good draw for bringing people into the town centre. Everybody loves markets and this is different from others because it is good quality, which unlike a lot of markets where the goods aren’t such good quality, and we are very friendly.
“But we need people to know we are here. I have spoken to people in Swallowfield who didn’t know Wokingham still had a market, which is incredible. People have seem to have forgotten there is an outdoor market in Wokingham and a lot of the traders from the indoor market are now trading outside.
“I think when people heard the indoor market was closing a lot of them assumed the outdoor one did as well, but I think we have even more market stalls here now.”
She added: “People who want to start their own business can find it difficult to get started and a market can help that.
“We have a charity stall here on a Friday teaching young people how to run a market stall and showing them they can start their own business without big start-up costs and teaching them to interact with the public.
“Most people here are sole traders and often make what they sell and I think that is what makes Wokingham great.”
The markets are open from 9.30am to 4pm four days a week.