County market holds centenary celebration
By David Wibberley - Reporter
A NATIONAL organisation with its roots firmly set in the Women’s Institute is celebrating its centenary this year and its Teesdale branch is joining in.
In 1919, the first WI Market was set up in Lewes, in East Sussex. Barnard Castle Country Market, which is held in the parish hall every Wednesday, will be playing its part in the celebrations.
Beverley Pilcher, from the market, said: “We are holding an extra celebration market on Saturday, August 3, from 9.30am. There will be free country market cupcakes and some cool refreshments on offer on both Wednesday, July 31, and again on the Saturday.”
She added: “By doing this we hope to reach more people and let them know we are open each Wednesday morning from 10am to noon.
“Many people are not aware of the market’s existence and are surprised by the variety of produce on sale each week.”
The organisation has a network of about 250 markets across England and Wales selling homemade baked goods, preserves, garden-grown fruit and vegetables, plants and handmade crafts including knitting and jewellery. The producers pride themselves on keeping traditional home cooking, home growing and home handcrafted items alive.
The markets run as co-operative social enterprises. Membership is open to everyone over 18 and the cost of joining is just 5p – the modern equivalent of an old shilling.
Everything is sold co-operatively – producers receive payment every month for their sales minus a small commission to cover running costs and insurance.
Ms Pilcher said: “We are always on the look out for new members – why not come along and say hello and see what we do?”
She added: “We would like to thank all our customers for their support and look forward to welcoming new ones.”
Visit the group’s Facebook page, Barnard Castle Country Market.