08:00AM, Saturday 17 April 2021
The organisers of a village market in Cookham have branched out into Holyport.
Metre Market, which started last June, operates out of Cookham Dean Village Hall on Fridays. It had now begin running at Holyport War Memorial Hall on Saturdays.
The market is open from 9am to 1pm and will have many of the same stallholders, selling breads, sweet, savoury and baked goods, flowers, local beers and wines and fresh foods.
Organiser Finbar Murphy said that the plan was always to have small cluster of markets operating on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
“We always thought as a standalone market it wouldn’t work because of the cost of running it, but a cluster it would be commercially viable, and wouldn’t have to compete with the bigger markets. It’s good for suppliers, too,” he said.
He said that Metre Market has changed how people shop, coming to the Friday market in preference to a weekly supermarket shop on a Saturday.
“People have taken COVID-19 as an opportunity to shop local,” he said.
Holyport War Memorial Hall is a slightly bigger space than Cookham Dean Village Hall, with more parking space, which at the moment is helpful for maintaining social distance.
It has recently had its floor revamped as part of refurbishments, while social groups and clubs have been unable to use the space.
Holyport Community Trust, which manages the war memorial hall, said it received ‘only positive feedback’ in response to proposals to bring the market to Holyport.
“Like everybody else, we have been severely hit by the pandemic,” said treasurer Anette Abrahamse. “We had to be closed for the majority of 2020.
“The market presents the opportunity for the hall to bring Holyport together. It provides somewhere people can go to shop without having to drive into Maidenhead, somewhere to go while retail shops are shut.”
The market is a trial and if all goes well could become a permanent fixture.
On its first day last Saturday, April 10, there were more than 350 visitors.
“We slightly underestimated the demand so sold out of some items like sourdough bread and handmade pies early but we will have more this week,” said Finbar.
When COVID-19 restrictions ease, it is hoped that more stalls will be set up in the hall, particularly Holyport local traders.
The same pickup and delivery services that are offered for the Cookham market are available on Metre Market’s website at www.metre-market.com
The race to get as many people vaccinated against coronavirus has ramped up in the Royal Borough and Slough amidst an ongoing rise in cases across the country.