started these Sunday Farmers Markets in July 2002 as a way of meeting a
need in the town. We had no experience of managing markets, and we had
no stalls or other equipment, so we turned to Hughmark Ltd. When in
2017 Hughmark were no longer able to supply gazebos for the stalls, we
switched to Essex Farmers Markets, who ran several markets in the area.
They took the bookings from stallholders, supply the gazebos and
collect the rents from the traders; LRA received no money for arranging
on the second Sunday of every month, residents found a wide range
of stalls in Loughton High Road opposite The Last Post selling a
range of foods direct from the producers. Those who came along
were delighted that this regular space gave them the opportunity
to meet each other.
Most months, LRA had a display with a
topical theme about the
town, a 'help point' where residents can consult LRA Cllrs or
the LRA Executive Committee and a second-hand book-stall (which paid for our
materials and contributed to our other running costs). We’re
very disappointed that we’ve been unable to re-start our Farmers
Markets in the High Road. We need to work with a firm of market
organisers – they handle all the dealings with traders, and need a
licence from the District Council to hold the markets (unlike the
“Charter” markets in North Weald, Epping and Ongar, which don’t need
licences from the Council).
previous organiser closed down because of illness just before the Covid
pandemic and associated lockdowns started in 2020. In 2021 we found a
new organiser and started discussions with the Council. Unfortunately,
the Council decided that their previous procedures for licensing
markets were inadequate. They decided to develop a new markets policy
and licensing procedure, which took until October 2022. In the
meantime, the LRA-led Town Council decided to step in, and it has now
become the relevant authority for markets in Loughton.
latest position is that we have a firm of market organisers which is
interested in starting a weekly market in the High Road, but they have
not been able to interest enough traders given recent economic
uncertainty, price rises and problems hiring staff. We will continue to
work on starting a market in 2023.
details when available will be provided on
our Twitter and Facebook feeds, as well as our Loughton News emails to members.