Will there be an extra market day for Stone?

Still room in the market?  Cllr Jill Hood in Stone Market Square
Still room in the market? Cllr Jill Hood in Stone Market Square

Stone’s Craft Market could be re-launched, thanks to Town Councillor Jill Hood’s move to re-schedule it from the 2nd to the 3rd Saturday of the month.  The Town Council’s November 6th meeting approved her initiative, though costs are still to be worked out.

   “We have a wealth of talented craft makers in Stone and the surrounding district,” Jill told the Gazette.  “I have done my homework and they are eager to showcase their work in the town. Throughout the summer, we also had vendors moored on the canal and they have reported successful trading days.”

During this year’s Stone Festival, the extra Saturday market which was held on Festival Saturday last June proved such a hit that Jill is calling for the 3rd Saturday to become a permanent fixture. Moving it from the 2nd to the 3rd Saturday would avoid a clash with the Farmers’ Market in Stafford.

While the 2nd Saturday craft market is now down to two stands, Jill is confident that with proper promotion, a relaunched and re-scheduled market can be a success.

“We need to advertise it on social media, and put up A-Frames and banners in the High Street,” she insists.

Jill, who helped launch Stone’s successful monthly Farmers’ market nearly 10 years ago, is convinced the Council has both the expertise and funds to host a Craft Market as well.

“We will also encourage antiques dealers and small business owners to take regular stalls,”Jill continued.

“If successful, this could be a natural progression to them renting business premises in the town.  The market would also be an ideal opportunity for young entrepreneurs to showcase their wares or community groups to advertise forthcoming events.”

  “Stone is a market town and visitors expect a market in the High Street,” Jill insisted.  “The market has to be well-organised and vibrant to attract tourists, who in turn will spend money in our shops and eateries, boosting the local economy. The market would attract more footfall for local shops, too.”

“I will be working with Town Clerk Les Trigg on drawing up the costs,” Jill explained. “Hopefully we can launch it early next year with a Valentine’s Day Craft Market in February.  Stone Town Council will play its part in promoting the market, then it’s up to residents and local traders to support it through social media and word of mouth.  We need  more busy Saturdays in Stone!”