Do the Continental, or not?

Cheese-stall Once again, a couple of weekends ago, our high street hosted the continental street market. We all love the sight of a market – it brings a town to life. It's the perfect excuse to get out and enjoy our lovely neighbourhood.


The question is, what value does this travelling market add to Wanstead?

These days, it's less of a celebration of continental gastronomy (bonsai trees? Peruvian style hats?). It seems to be all about their commercial needs, and not the needs of the local community. It feels, well, a bit selfish.

It's good when we're exposed to different types of food. So why not have our own market selling great, interesting food from UK producers? Perhaps some of our local businesses and crafts people would like some of the action too.

Mustard-stall The person at Redbridge who agreed to having this market did a good thing; they've proved that Wanstead has ample space for market stalls.

At the Wanstead festival last year, our 'wish tree' had several requests for a real, local market – so we are currently discussing if it is appropriate to take this up with our council.

The WS Committee is divided on the matter, some members being concerned that there might be downsides eg local traders could be adversely affected.

So, would a local, or farmer's style market be good for Wanstead? We welcome your views.

3 thoughts on “Do the Continental, or not?”

  1. I completely agree with the point made about the current “Continental” market. Many of the products on sale simply appear to have been bought in a French discount outlet, trucked over and sold at 4 times the price (Can of French stew, £7 anyone?).
    What it would be good to see would be an Essex Farmer’s Market, with all goods/ produce sourced from farms in the local area, which would be a bonus not just to the local economy, but also in terms of sustainability.
    I also think it would be a boost to the traders on the High Street- a good local market would bring new people to Wanstead; just look at how many people travel to Walthamstow or Blackheath farmers market.
    So I definitely think a local/ farmer’s market would be a great thing for Wanstead (and of course our pavements are the perfect width for it!)

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  2. I would love to see a Farmer’s market in Wanstead. I do enjoy the ‘Continental’ one but limit my purchases to cheeses and biscuits. I noticed the French bakery stall was not present this time, but instead we had the Flour Power stall and that was fine (they run a stall at Borough Market).
    What I really want to see is a fishmonger’s!!

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  3. I visited the Loughton farmers market the other week and it was such a nice change to get real local products sold at reasonable prices. The atmosphere was completely different – they even had a local residents stand with information about developments in the area and opportunities to sign up for community events.

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