Support your 900-year-old town market to keep it alive, residents urged

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Ringwood's market
Ringwood market is held in the town centre every Wednesday

A PLEA has been made for Ringwood residents to come out and support the ancient weekly market when it is relaunched on Wednesday.

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The town council has helped with the reboot of the flagging market and the event will be marked with a town crier and music acts from 10am alongside a plethora of new stallholders.

Boosting the Wednesday market has long been an aspiration of the town council and it has worked with the charter holder Edward Morant over the past few months.

Spearheading the campaign has been Cllr Tim Ward, who said: “We have had a great deal of interest from new traders and Mr Morant now has a diverse mix of stalls with which to fill the Market Place, recreating the vibrant atmosphere we used to enjoy.

“All we need now is the public to come along,” he added.

The market is over 900 years old and was started in 1226 when King Henry III granted the Lord of the Manor the right to hold a market in Ringwood on Wednesdays.

In 1792 the Manor of Ringwood was sold to John Morant of Brockenhurst and it soon became the main centre for local produce and New Forest pony sales in the area.

Over the subsequent centuries the goods on offer gradually changed from livestock and feed, through farming equipment and household goods.

A spokesman for Ringwood Town Council said: “Unfortunately, along with most retail trades nationwide, it has declined in recent years, we want to help reverse that trend.

“At the relaunch there will be many new stalls offering traditional merchandise, crafts, foods and we hope to attract sellers of local produce and a select few car booters, to create a varied, vibrant market experience.

“We need the support of the townsfolk to ensure the survival of the market, not only at the relaunch, but every Wednesday thereafter. The traders will keep coming if the buyers do!

“So please come along and help us revive this ancient asset, you will be helping the whole town.”

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