I'm sorry if this post is of little interest to those of you who may visit my little corner of the www for a nostalgic post, but today I need to look forward...(I like to keep my blog as a bit of a diary, so to be able to write about things going on local to me is important. I have taken a risk setting up my shop in a less than thriving town, so it will be good to look back on my blog in the future when hopefully Shepton's fortunes will have changed for the better...)
A huge amount of work has been going on behind the scenes to re-launch the market today and to secure its future. This time I think the local councils and other organising bodies got it right; it was a success and a huge amount of fun was had by all. There has been a market taking place in the town for centuries, which makes it even more vital that its history continues...
I arrived early(ish!) this morning and the finishing touches were being put to some of the stalls on the Market Place.
A band were also doing their sound checks ready to rock the socks off the shoppers!
11am was the time of the official opening ceremony performed by local celeb Michael Eavis, founder/organiser of the famous Glastonbury festival.
A large crowd gathered to see him standing on the ancient market cross and listened to his excited words announcing the market open. He seemed genuinely overjoyed to see the huge turn out of people (admittedly not quite on a Glastonbury festival scale, but huge for Shepton, and more than could have been optimistically hoped for.)
Then the band struck up a belting tune and hardly paused for breath all morning, to well past lunchtime. With well known songs from Coldplay and Take That, to ACDC, The Jam and The Wurzels(!); there was something for everyone. And seeing the two elderly ladies in their plastic anoraks dancing to 'Sex on Fire' was a sight not to be missed! ;-))
As wonderful as they were, my one small criticism (given that the band was just a few feet from my door) was that they were very loud - no, not just a sign that I must be getting older! - but a criticism that I was unable to talk to customers coming into my shop...we ended up having to mime, as if we were at a concert or in a club! Everyone coming in had a smile on their face though and were all excited about how well the new venture had been supported...I think some of the older longstanding locals who know Shepton well, were the most surprised as they knew how the town once was with its thriving market, so could finally see how it could be again...
I love this picture of the three groupies - there should be a witty caption to go with it...but its been a long day...
(answers on a postcard please!)
I'd have loved to have walked around to capture some better photos, but had to be 'on duty'...at least I did have a great view from my counter and could watch everyone enjoying their day.
For several hours I couldn't see up the high street through the old stone arch for the crowds -brilliant to see though and not something I had experienced since opening in January.
Wisely, the market management have been very generous with lower rents and incentives to keep the stall holders coming back on the Fridays to come...so all is looking rosy for the continuation of the ancient market tradition in Shepton Mallet.
Have a lovely weekend...I shall be back with my more usual 'fluffy' and nostalgic posts again soon ;-))