Weather taking its toll on farmers’ market

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ORGANISERS of the monthly farmers’ market are confident the event will continue to feature on the town’s calendar.

But they admitted this week it has become a “constant struggle” as the wet weather dampens the enthusiasm of shoppers and stall holders.

Derrick Tait, chairman of Future Hawick, who operate the market, told the Hawick News: “The weather has been absolutely horrendous. I think the second Friday of every month, when the market is on, it seems to pour down with rain.

“We’ve only had one decent market this year, maybe two. That puts people off coming and if they don’t come then the stall holders don’t come. It’s a chicken and egg scenario I’m afraid.”

The market, which is held in the Civic Space, has been running for several years now and items on sale include dairy products such as cheese as well as butcher meat and pates. And next month there will also be a Fairtrade stall.

The money generated by the event is ploughed back into other projects in the town by Future Hawick, including the current proposals for shop jackets to enhance the High Street.

Mr Tait said: “I would like to think that the market is safe, but it’s a battle getting stalls and people to come.

“The regular guys come and they wouldn’t keep returning if they weren’t making something.

“We’ve taken adverts in the paper to highlight it’s there and put up banners and bollards at the roadside. So we’re doing everything we can”

Mr Tait revealed that there had been very tentative discussions about the possibility of moving the market indoors throughout the winter, with a potential spot above Beanscene mooted.

However, he said any plans to move the day of the market from the current Friday to Saturday would be unlikely.

“The day that it’s on doesn’t help. We looked at trying to change it, but the trouble is, there’s too many other markets on a Saturday and we don’t seem to be able to find one that suits all the stall holders,” said Mr Tait.

“If we could get it on a Saturday then it would be ideal, but to get that we’d really be looking at another market somewhere else to close,” he added.