In the market for…

Transition is a grassroots network of communities that are working to build resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability (Wikipedia). Which translates, in practice into communities where you find food groups, community owned bakeries and breweries, transition street projects (where householders work together to reduce costs and energy use), REconomy projects (creating jobs, building the local economy and even creating their own currency) and community-owned energy schemes. If you live near a transition town, you will often find thriving local businesses and access to local products.

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I live on the west coast of Wales, about 12 miles from our nearest Transition Town –Lampeter. One of the successful community initiatives there is the People’s Market, which takes place on the second and fourth Saturday of each month and boasts a wide range of stalls all selling local products.

The aim of Lampeter People’s Market is to encourage Lampeter to become a thriving Market Town once more where local people cater for the majority of local needs for food, products, skills and services.

Last Saturday – the second in November – I decided to take not only my shopping bags but also my camera along so you can get a picture of what it’s like. The market is held in Victoria Hall – officially opened in 1905 as the town’s assembly rooms, to be used for concerts, dances, theatrical performances and public meetings, and now being resorted through the efforts of a community based, not for profit, social enterprise group, Transition Llambed Development Trust, for the benefit of the people of Lampeter (this is one of the action groups born out of Transition Llambed).

Although not on the main shopping streets, Victoria Hall is very close to the centre of the town and, on market days, signs lead the way:

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And just outside the door, there are examples of the goodies inside:

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I had intended to talk to all the stall-holders, but I spent so long chatting to a few of them, that I didn’t have time! However I did manage to chat to a reflexologist who has a stall selling essential oils and blends, a heating engineer who bakes bread and sells it at the market, a pig farmer, the Simply Caws ladies who sell cheese, a local artist who invited me to visit her home to see her original pictures after I had commented on how much I like her prints (she wasn’t even a stall-holder, she was a customer) and various friends who I bumped into. The balcony gave me a great vantage point to appreciate the bustling market:

A busy market day

A busy market day

But it was down chatting to all the people involved that gave me real pleasure.

White bread, wholemeal bread, olive bread, rolls... all delicious

White bread, wholemeal bread, olive bread, rolls… all delicious

From the HedgeRose - free range, rare breed pork

From the HedgeRose – free range, rare breed pork

Denise preparing wool for spinning whilst tending her stall

Denise preparing wool for spinning whilst tending her stall

Local cheese from Simply Caws - mileage specified

Local cheese from Simply Caws – mileage specified

I could also have got my bicycle fixed, bought fruit and veg, found out about the transition town, selected from a range of crafts, swapped a book, CD or DVD and bought cakes. All finished off with a nice cup of tea and a cake from the COASTAL cafe (who help people gain experience to help them into work).

Information on Transition and the COASTAL cafe

Information on Transition and the COASTAL cafe

I had  a lovely  morning and came away with lots to think about, one invitation to visit a farm and one invitation to see some artwork, not to mention cheese, bacon and bread. If you have a market like this near you, do go along and support your local farmers, producers and crafters – you won’t regret it. And if you are in west Wales, go to THIS market and say hello to all these lovely people and more.

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18 Comments

  1. that is such a great grass root initiative 🙂 thumbs up… wish I was nearby!

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  2. What a marvellous idea.

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  3. Lucky you. Nothing at all like that where I am…

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  4. Thanks very much for the recognition of what we are trying to do. If you understand what we are about, and you live nearby, please support the Peoples Market.

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  5. I love this idea!

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  6. Hi, can I pass the link to this blog on to our Transition Llambed website people and the Victoria Hall website people please?

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    Reply
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