Posted: 05.06.20 at 12:32 by Philip Evans
Axminster’s weekly street market is back in businesses with stalls no longer restricted to just food stuffs.
The market was forced to close down due to coronavirus on March 19th but a few food outlets drifted back complying with government instructions and self distancing rules.
Yesterday the market returned to full trading with 13 stalls in all, around half of the number during its peak period.
The stall-holders assisted in setting out the market so there was a one-way system for customers with barriers and notices to ensure self-distancing was observed.
Lord of The Manor Jim Rowe, who owns the market rights, said he was pleased with how the arrangements worked and next week he is expecting three or four more stalls. He said he had followed the advice of East Devon District Council’s environmental department at all times.
Mr Rowe, who inherited the market rights from his late father Frank Rowe, told Nub News: “The traders were very helpful in laying out the market and things went well. It think next week we will be able too take up to another four stalls and still be able to adhere to social distancing.”
When there is the demand, Mr Rowe utilises the adjacent Minster Green with all stall fees going to church funds. This is an arrangement which goes back many years instigated by Mr Rowe senior who was a church warden at St Mary’s.
Frank Rowe was the senior partner in auctioneers R & C Snell and was one of Axminster’s biggest characters. He ran the now defunct Thursday cattle market off Coombe Lane and was a leading light in many local organisations, including Axminster Carnival, the Christmas fatstock show, the cricket club, the operatic society and the Freemasons.