Local market set to be held weekly as its success grows

Oxford Mail: Volunteer Val O’Brien helps Juris Harrisson create a Christmas table centrepiece Volunteer Val O’Brien helps Juris Harrisson create a Christmas table centrepiece

A COMMUNITY market in Blackbird Leys celebrating its first birthday could become a weekly market as a result of its success.

The Leys Community Market launched on December 15 last year at the Barn, in Nightingale Avenue.

Organisers, stallholders and customers celebrated its first birthday on Sunday and picked an official logo for the market.

Oxford Mail: Christine McDermott is co-organising the new community market

Christine McDermott

Co-organiser Christine McDermott, said: “We want to run it as a weekly market. It is growing well, although it is slow progress, and we have a committed team of about 10 to 12 people.

“It has had its busier and quieter moments but we definitely think we could do it.

“It is about making local food available and providing a place for businesses to start up.

“It is brilliant to be celebrating one year so we are looking ahead now.”

Ms McDermott and market organiser Katie Chester were chosen as market co-ordinators earlier this year.

Residents had been calling for a community event for Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys since January 2012.

A permanent base at the Barn in Nightingale Avenue was found towards the end of last year.

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Volunteer Cheryl Marsh

 

Now about 50 people visit the market, which runs on different days each month.

The 15 indoor stalls sell produce such as fruit, vegetables, bread, eggs, Blackbird Leys-made honey, and nuts.

Most of the produce is grown locally, often by allotment holders from the sites in Kestrel Cresent and Watlington Road, who set up stalls to sell their produce.

A children’s arts and crafts creative corner is also run, with a supervisor to watch them while parents shop.

Peter Lefort, who helped set up the market, said: “It is fantastic.

“It is really nice just to see it has gone from nothing to having gone on for so long already.

“It seems like it is going from strength to strength.”

“It takes a while for people to get on board with something like this but it is getting there.

“It provides a really fantastic service for everyone in Blackbird Leys.”

For more information see leys communitymarket.moonfruit.com

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