Rye leads way for Farmers’ Market

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RYE’S successful weekly farmers’ market is to be used as a blueprint for a new market at Bexhill.

The man behind the scheme is Iden organic farmer Christopher Strangeways, who is also the driving force behind Rother Environment Group.

A meeting is taking place in Bexhill next week to move the idea forward, with Devonshire Square ear-marked as it’s open air venue.

Mr strangeways said: “The meeting is the initiative of the Bexhill Environmental Group who has setting up asked me to have a go at organising a series of trial markets in Devonshire Square.

“I originally offered to help as I had experience setting up the Rye Farmers’ Market in 2001.

“The aim would be to test the water with a series of trial markets in late April and early May, but first we need to know what sort of support it might get from local people and producers.

“To that end, we’re planning to hold a public meeting at the Manor Barn in Bexhill Old Town next Tuesday, January 24, at 5.30pm which we hope will be well supported by potential stallholders and indeed anyone wanting to know more. We also aim to appoint a steering group.

“It’s important to understand that farmers’ markets not only provide a useful means of selling goods directly from source, but also fulfil a useful social function, in that they ideally become a regular fixture within a community where people can come along, meet and chat.”

Mr Strangeways said stalls from Rye market would be used to provide selling space for farmers and producers coming into Bexhill from within a 30-mile radius, thereby guaranteeing that meat, fish, fruit and vegetables would be both fresh and locally reared or grown.

No bought-in merchandise would be allowed to be sold, but arts and craftwork from within the catchment area would add an extra attraction to the market, which would ideally take place every Friday morning, with space for a maximum of 18 stalls.

Mr Strangeways said: “We have a website at www.bexhillmarket.org.uk and anyone can contact us through that, by emailing info@bexhillmarket.org.uk or calling me on 01797 280226.”

Bexhill Environmental Group’s website is at: www.bexhillenvironmentalgroup.org.uk.