Wiltshire Publications

Issue 461 – C’est bon! Westbury gets a taste of the continent

WESTBURY savoured a taste of France on Saturday 1st May, when the French Market returned to the town.

The wide variety of genuine French produce ensured that the event was a hit with shoppers and visitors, as people from Westbury and beyond filled the Market Place to make the most of the specialist selection available.
Manned by French traders, the market offered a variety of items from the continent including fresh bread, cheeses, meat, sweets, and clothes. There was also a patisserie and delicatessen, and hot food such as crepes on sale. Fine weather, French style music and a bouncy castle and fairground rides for children ensured there was something for everyone.
Cllr Sue Ezra, Mayor of Westbury, and David Jenkins, chairman of Westbury Chamber of Commerce, opened the market at the beginning of the day. Cllr Ezra said, “I welcome the French market, I think it’s a good thing for the town, and I hope everyone enjoys the day.”
David Jenkins added, “I’ve always found the atmosphere of a French market is quite unique – the noise, the hustle and bustle of traders and people, with the aroma of coffee, cheese, and French bread gives you a taste of the continent.”
Other shoppers also voiced their approval. “It’s lovely!” commented Jean Brown of Westbury. “The traders are all so friendly, even with the difficulty with the language.” Mike Bovey, also from Westbury added, “It’s very good – it’s nice to be able to try something different.”
The French market consisted of traders from Normandy, who make the crossing back to France over 30 times a year to bring fresh produce to markets across England and Wales.
Local traders and organisations also came out to support the market, and the 12 French stalls were boosted by gazebos from the town council, the Lions, Fairtrade, Westbury Police, Westbury’s Twinning Society, and Westbury Music and Arts Festival.
Following the success of the previous visits of French and Italian markets to the town, the French market was a combined project between Wiltshire Council and Westbury Town Council, and there will be more themed markets for Westbury in the future to help attract people to the town.
Cllr Sue Ezra said, “We’re looking forward to having a market like this every spring, it opens the town for the start of the better weather. Next year when we have the market we’ll be looking to introduce our blue plaque trail, people can come here to the market and then be able to a have a look round the town.”
David Jenkins added, “The whole idea was to try and create an event that will attract people into the town. I think it’s a really positive thing for the town, we do need to get people to realise there are things here.”