Aberystwyth Christmas Market

19 Dec

Saturday saw me in Aberystwyth, in North Parade, the normal farmer’s market site, to see how the festive market was running without support from Wag this year. Wag had decided that in previous years, this event had too many craft stalls. Not an opinion that I would agree with, I’ve never felt that Aber. Christmas market had lots of craft, but if it had, I believe this was a plus for a festive market. But Wag, in their wisdom made that decision, but still went ahead supporting many other events this year that are clearly craft top heavy.

I’m disappointed that the organisers didn’t raise an official objection about this funding withdrawal, but perhaps they decided an objection on this one might not help their further applications for their other food events. If that’s the case, which seems likely, it makes a mockery of Wag’s system, but then as it’s never appeared fair to me, is that going to change now? I’ll leave you guessing as to the person in Wag that Aberystwyth’s organisers should have complained too, if they wished to have taken that risk …………………

My view is that this has always been a good festive market, it’s much needed for the town, it’s very popular with the traders and deserved some funding, but there again, what do I know about what Wales needs as regards food?

This year there were about 30 food stands and the quality of stands was very good indeed. There were roughly about eight craft stands and I do think the craft stands certainly added to this Christmas market. What better opportunity to blend food and craft all made inWales? I’d loved to have seen more banners and posters around the town, but at least there were some! This year the organisers were lucky with the weather, it was chilly and windy, but with spells of sunshine breaking through. As always there were some mixed reports from stallholders about how trade was, but generally they were fairly positive and it was lovely to see Gill’s Plaice there and the chance for me to purchase some excellent fresh Welsh fish. Always a delight to see some of our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers there to, they always tell me just how well, or not an event is going!!  

Some serious thought needs to be put in to see how trade in all Welsh markets can be improved. That needs to be done now whilst we still have markets and have traders willing to do them. Ihad hoped that with the fork2fork, 2 year, £800k project, markets would now be on a stronger footing, but it is certainly not what I m hearing.     

As I drove passed the market later in the morning, I spotted a large white van signed up as Pembrokeshire Produce Direct, (PPD). Perhaps I need glasses as I saw a PPD van at the festive market for Pembrokeshire Produce Direct, (PPD), but didn’t see their stand there. So why was one of PPD’s van parked up along with other trader’s vans?

I’m not sure how many vans, we, the taxpayers have funded to help PPD carry out their project, but are these vans available for all PPD members to use?   Or was this a one off?


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  1. local Aber guy

    December 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I called into town on Saturday lunch-timeish, but didn’t know this market was on.
    There were some great stalls and I’m surprised that the government didn’t fund it this year. That was poor and petty. I don’t see that craft should be a problem, there were some wonderful craft gift ideas there.
    The council should also be more supportive of this type of event and more supportive of the market all year round.
    Banners should have been plastered all over town and all over the outskirts of town last month, if not earlier.
    Markets like this should be helped, not hindered – anyone listen to Queen Of Shops Mary Portas pushing markets?
    You have to find reasons for people to come into town and unless there’s very good marketing of events, this will not happen.
    It’s important that the traders have a good time and make lots of cash money. Some of them looked so cold on Saturday, it’s not the easiest way to earn a living and council and government support is essential.
    Good to see MP Mark Williams as well as Kath and Ian there supporting the event and buying food ..

  2. Listener

    December 21, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Yes, some serious thought is needed about both festivals and markets, but some simple thoughts are also needed, and listening to the traders would be a start. A place to unload would be a start, or a trolley without a flat tyre. Tables that are not rotten, and clean covers. Not putting two stall holders selling the same thing next to each other. Such simple things, but not done…
    It is a shame the promised choir did not materialise, as this would have helped create a Christmas atmosphere. I also wonder if this Festival or any other in Ceredigion benefited from the Ceredigion Rural Events Development Program, which was funded to the tune of £277,727.00. That is a lot of money, so where did it go?

    As I understand it, one of the stallholders owns the van advertising PPD, which is also used to make deliveries.