WESTBURY’S weekly Country Market is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary in the town.
The market, which is held in All Saints Church Hall off Maristow Street, was started in 1985 and will be 25 years old when it holds a celebration on Friday 7th May.
Market manager Mary Kneen said, “We’re very proud, especially in the economic climate, to still be here. People say it would be nice for Westbury to have a weekly market, but here we are, and we’ve been here every Friday since 1985!
“I don’t think a lot of people know that we are here, when they come in for the first time they say ‘Oh, I had no idea!’”
The market was started by Westbury Women’s Institute, eventually changing to become independent of the WI because of rules regarding charities and profitability 10 years ago, and changing the name six years ago.
Mary said, “We’re one of 14 markets in the county, and 400 nationwide. You’ve got to enjoy it to be up baking all day on a Thursday!”
The country market sells cakes, savouries, bread, preserves and pickles, as well as locally produced honey and eggs. When produce such as apples are in season the market also sells them from local suppliers.
There are also arts and crafts for sale, and a tea and coffee area.
Mary said, “It’s just a nice little atmosphere. Often it’s a social thing as well for a lot of people.
“We try and support local businesses as much as possible, and we do baskets that we take round to local businesses that request them.
“Everything is freshly made the day before, with no artifical preservatives and all our cooks have hygiene certificates.”
Regular customer Mary Vince said, “We’ve been coming here the whole time. We come down here on a Friday morning and get what we want, it’s all local produce.”
Another regular Ruby Pocock said, “It’s nice to come down and meet up with our mates. Everyone here is very nice, we know them and they know us.”
Westbury Country Market is open every Friday between 9.30-11.30am, except on Good Friday this week, when it opens on Maundy Thursday instead.