Glastonbury on a Tuesday market day.
By VictorMildew | Friday, March 05, 2010, 21:37
It was the first warm and sunny spring morning of the year so I decided to check out what was happening around town on “Market Day” and chat to some traders.
Unfortunately it seems that although the winter is over, it is still quite quiet on the market as several of the stall holders agreed, although they advised me that business usually perks up from around Easter onwards when the tourist coaches start to park up in the Abbey car park opposite, and the market is the first point of call for many of the tourists.
My first stop was the outdoor market run by Mendip District council. This used to be held in the St. John’s car park until a few years ago when as hardly anyone was using it and it had virtually faded away, a decision was made to relocate it to Magdalene Street and the Market Place, which does make sense, although it does seem a little out of place and can cause traffic congestion at times. Unfortunately due to the layout it also lacks the atmosphere and colour of some of the other local markets, and certainly those of places like Spain, France and Italy.
There were around a dozen stalls selling fruit and vegetables, herbs, alpaca wool products, fish, a florist, Dickies clothing and footwear, feta cheese and olives, hats, socks and gloves and a few general bits ‘n’ bobs. See the gallery here: http://bit.ly/dgRIPO
On the opposite side of the road, in the town hall is the Glastonbury Country Market, which is not affiliated with the council market but which coincidentally is on the same day, and has been at this site since August 2001. This market only runs until 12.30pm rather than 3pm but is well known for the quality and quantity of local crafts including pictures, prints, paintings and sculptures as well as a hat stall, a cake stall, and one selling jams and preserves. There is also a cafe, and a quaint somewhat old-fashioned feel to it. For a feel of the market look here: http://bit.ly/d7pLJg
Further up the high street in the Assembly Rooms is the third Tuesday market, the Byzantine Bazaar and Craft market. This runs from 9am to 4pm and has a bit more of an alternative feel about it with local artists working away as you peruse with books, jewellery, bead supplies, collectibles and curios, as well as a chap conducting psychic readings. At the time I visited it was very quiet although I imagine it can get quite busy, and it is definitely worth a visit.