The market hall on Scotland Street in Ellesmere is run by the group Altogether Ellesmere with the support of the town council.
Not only is there a market that takes place every Tuesday morning and a youth club on Tuesday night, but there is a children’s martial arts class on Wednesdays and dog training classes on Thursdays.
The activities don’t stop there, the hall is also used for a food and drink festival every June across the Father’s Day weekend and Chris Scott organises craft fairs on selected days throughout the year. On the third Sunday of every month the hall even gets kitted out for a children’s skateboarding session costing just £1.
Lincoln said: “Its something a bit different for the kids and they love it. The food festival is also a popular choice, every market town has their own food festival whereas before you could expect to see lots of people coming from different places, when we have our market days a lot of people will spill out into the town as well, it’s definitely our busiest day.
“Ellesmere is an excellent town, it is very hard to find an empty shop here as business owners are always in line waiting to take over a building. I think independent businesses do really well in little shops rather than big chains because they don’t step on each others toes, so it is successful.
“Unfortunately, times are changing and people do go online to shop.
“Markets started in 1100 then expanded and local authorities realised revenue was coming in and supporting towns. In 2021 we will be celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Charter and it just shows how much it has grown. Stallholders made money and then expanded into shops, shops came from markets and people created a business that way.”
Lincoln explained how a market to any town is important and how permanent structures were built to bring the community together and give the town a place where people can meet, buy their essential products, have a cup of tea and a chat with their friends.
He added: “One example is when a woman was late setting up in the hall and she said ‘I’m so sorry I’m late, I just had to dig up the carrots for the vegetable stall’ and that’s when I thought about how great it is people can go and buy things that are that fresh. That is what people want – shop bought fruit and vegetables aren’t as fresh as what the traders can bring to the market.
“However, it is a vicious circle if more people come then more traders will want to sell their goods, but when there isn’t many people traders won’t come. We have some great regulars and traders, for example Rodney Stokes with his award-winning pies which are always sold out in a flash.
“We have 10 stalls at the moment but I’d love to see more, we do need fresh blood.
“I just wish people wouldn’t complain about deliveries, bear with it for five minutes because without those deliveries you won’t get the produce from the town.”
The council supports the town hall by supplying a cleaner and bin removal service and they have recently confirmed its future leading to the signing of a five-year lease.
Lincoln said: “I am really pleased with the support of the council. Altogether Ellesmere run the market hall but we couldn’t do it without the council. We don’t get paid and we all work hard to keep it open. If we don’t collect the money from the traders there wouldn’t be a market.
“I want to thank the council for their support and I hope they renew it after the next five years are up and carry on renewing the lease in the future.”
n If you are interested in getting involved you can visit their website – ellesmeremarkethall.co.uk