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'Fantastic' return for Windsor Farmers' Market in new location

Sharon van Geuns. Photos by Mike Swift

The sun was shining on the debut of one of Windsor’s most popular markets last weekend in its new permanent location in Bachelors Acre, in the town centre.

Windsor Farmers’ Market had been based in St Leonard’s Road for the last 16 years offering locally-grown fresh produce and hand-made artisan crafts and has become a beloved monthly fixture for the local community. Once the pandemic hit, the market moved to a temporary location in the car park behind East Berks College.

But this month it has come back with a new, permanent location in Bachelors Acre, off Victoria Street and moments away from Victoria Barracks. The market opened for the first time in its new home this Saturday, and welcomed hundreds of visitors in a COVID-secure environment.

Tom Pack, who lives in Windsor, said: “We’ve been coming to this market since our kids were small. They’ve now both left home.  We came to the very first one 16 years ago and loved it so of course we were going to come to its new location. We think it’s brilliant.”

The move came after the Thames Valley Farmers’ Market Co-operative, who run the market, consulted the local community that they could no longer stay in the college car park. It quickly became clear there was an 'overwhelming desire' to relocate to the original site of the market in Bachelors Acre.

Windsor Farmers’ Market was developed in association with the Windsor, Eton and Ascot Town Partnership back in 2005 and has run on the first Saturday of every month ever since.

The traders reported record number visitors. Barbra Scoins-Arden, a TVFM committee member who runs her stall Sunningdale Candle Co, selling natural diffusers and candles, said: “The support we had on Saturday from Paul Roach and partner of the Windsor,  Eton and Ascot Town Partnership and all our lovely customers was fantastic. We are delighted with our new home which is a real focal point and has a nice community feel to it.”

Deputy Leader of the council and cabinet member for Windsor Cllr Samantha Rayner, also came along, said: “It was fantastic that the sun was shining on its debut at Bachelors Acre. There was a fantastic array of stalls and it was great to see the community come out.  People seemed relaxed being in the fresh air. There was a wonderful atmosphere and I think it helps that there is so much space and that people can easily park nearby.”

She added: “With COVID we have all been inside for so long that it was good for everyone’s mental health to come out to such a fantastic market, to meet people and try new things.”

Paul Roach, Windsor, Eton and Ascot town manager, was at the market on Saturday for its relaunch. He said: “History says that there has always been a traditional market here in the past so it’s great that it’s returned. It’s been good to work with the Thames Valley Farmers’ Market Co-operative, the Royal Borough and the Town Partnership to deliver what I hope will be a successful new vision for farmers’ markets in Windsor town centre.”

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