“We had the idea of bringing speciality markets into the city before Mary Portas,” says Jackie Edwards, who runs two booming Sunday monthly markets in Winchester.
There is an antiques market with vintage and
retro, which started with just 15 stalls two years ago and is now
almost up to bursting with 70 stalls, plus an art and design market
at 60 stalls, both held in the city's High Street. These are good,
consistent figures for open-air antiques street markets.
Jackie, a freelance events manager with
Winchester City Council, started it all for the council with the
monthly art and design-led market in 2009, which bounced up from 19
stalls to 60.
Buoyed by the success of this, the council
asked Jackie to see what interest there would be for an antiques
market. She said: "Both markets have just snowballed and I'm now
looking to expand the antiques and retro markets into a nearby car
park, which would be particularly handy for the furniture dealers."
The antiques and retro market is held on the first Sunday of the
month; the art and design market on the third Sunday.
A big plus is that car parking is free on
Sundays in Winchester - not always the case in cities and towns
across the UK - and £40 buys a 3m gazebo from which the "mixture of
antiques traders and passionate collectors may wish to buy as well
as sell" linens and textiles, homewares, prints, books, furniture,
silver, jewellery, retro and vintage, and all the other enticements
that a busy antiques market can offer.
Jackie added: "The market suits the
environment and both the public and shops are very happy with the
idea of having it in the city centre. It attracts students both
from Winchester College of Fashion and local universities as well
as offering something different for all the tourists who visit." A
blueprint for other cities, surely?
Contact Jackie, who is the markets' co-ordinator, on 07515
797878 on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday.