AROUND 700 to 800 years ago, the right to hold a market was a highly valued privilege granted by the monarch to nobles who enjoyed his favour.
People travelled from miles around to buy and sell the essentials of everyday life.
A day at the market was just that. The journey took a third of the day, trading required another third and the weary trek home used up the remaining third.
Fast forward to the modern age. The modes of transport may have changed, but little else has. There is still a buzz on market day that few else can match and, let’s be honest, everybody loves a bargain.
Nowhere is the market valued more than Swadlincote, the proud home of three of the best and most varied bazaars around.
Traditional. Farmers’. Plant. All have grown, all are popular and all offer a little something different to enrich our daily lives.
So imagine them coming together, like some kind of superpower, even if only for one day.
It would be like the Avengers Assemble, with the strengths of each perfectly combining to offer a shopping nirvana.
Luckily for us all, that is exactly what is happening between 10am and 4pm on Friday, August 23. The mega market is coming – make sure you don’t miss it.
There is so much to enjoy, from flavoursome fresh food to hidden gems to a sizzling social scene.
It comes as part of the national Making Markets Matter campaign designed to encourage shoppers to show their support for their local market.
We are expecting more than 50 stalls – double the usual number – lining the length of the High Street and The Delph. Several local businesses are getting in on the act with their own sponsored stalls.
Farmers and producers are ready to sell products grown, raised, made, brewed, pickled, bottled, baked or caught within The National Forest.
They will be joined by numerous growers displaying some striking flora and fauna. Bedding plants, hanging baskets, shrubs, perennials and tubs can be picked up, along with tips on how to bring gardens to life.
Throw in the traditional elements, as well as local good causes, and you have yourself a party.
Bring some super strong arms, as you will need them to carry many, many bags home. To make your money stretch further, enter the Voucher Vault to claim discounts and special prizes.
And that is not all. As it is the school holidays and we know how difficult it can be beating the boredom, we have laid on a plethora of entertainment for all of the family.
Competitions, free face painting, fairground rides, bouncy castles, giveaways and games are waiting in the wings. Cookery demonstrations will tantalise the tastebuds, while a visit from a life-size Dalek promises to go down a treat.
Councillor Bob Wheeler, leader of South Derbyshire District Council, which is organising the event with Geraud Markets and the National Market Traders Federation, is looking forward to the extravaganza.
He said: “We are very proud to have maintained a vibrant market trading scene in the heart of the town centre because it helps Swadlincote to stand out from the crowd.
“The Council is doing everything it can to attract as many quality events as possible into the town to boost footfall and give a helping hand to market stallholders and shopkeepers in the area. With free parking available too, Swadlincote is the place to be on Friday.
“This event will have something for all of the family and we would encourage people to make a visit and discover everything the town has to offer. Many activities are free of charge.”
Following Making Markets Matter, the next farmers’ market is taking place on Thursday, August 29 and the Plant Market on Thursday, September 5. The traditional market is held on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday every week.