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It was great to see lots of people visiting Ross Market on Saturday for the visiting French Market. The large variety of stalls selling cheeses, olives, cakes and other French goods drew in the crowds, as did the Italian Market a few weeks ago. The market coming on a Saturday seemed to help as more people were around to visit and, combining with the usual Saturday Ross Market made for a good mix of stalls.

One of the regular Ross Market traders told us that his takings were up on the average Saturday, and that, 'although setting up in the morning had been more difficult than usual due to the extra vans unloading goods, the larger market had attracted the crowds to the top end of town'.

Continued . . .

The French Market in Ross. A stop motion / time lapse sequence.

W.N.N. Opinion: Attracting more regular, local stalls to the Saturday and Thursday Ross Markets should become a high priority item on the agenda of things to do to help Ross-on-Wye. Markets attract large amounts of people, who also use local shops, cafés (of which Ross has an abundance) and pubs.

Coincidentally to the visit by the French Market, somebody who did not know that I am involved with 'Wyenot' but whom, it turned out, had booked a room locally having found it on this web site and seen the photos of Ross Markets taken on rare busy days, asked me on Sunday. 'What day is market day?' I told him that market days were Thursdays and Saturdays. 'That's good,' he replied, in a Northern accent. 'I'm a market man and there's nothing I love more than a good market'.

This made me feel somewhat embarrassed. I could imagine the disappointment he was going to feel when arriving at the regular market in 'Ross-on-Wye: Market Town and Gateway to the Wye Valley', finding only the usual three or four stalls, two of them selling plants (albeit good plants). 'It's only a small market,' I explained. To which he replied, 'Oh! In that case I'll go to either Hereford or Ledbury instead. I love a good market'.

Having tried market trading myself, during the early days of 'Wyenot', I know that what puts the traders off coming to Ross is the large ground rent charged by Herefordshire Council, for doing nothing other than allowing a trader to set up a stall, on a piece of land which otherwise (and most of the time) earns nothing. When we tried trading, we more often than not did not take enough money to cover our ground rent and as a result, we gave up.

Drastically reducing the ground rent charged, would attract more traders, which, if enough began trading, would increase the popularity of Ross-on-Wye, 'Market Town' and attract the visitors that Ross relies upon. Just a thought. I'll leave somebody else in a Government paid job to come up with the idea.

The French Market on Saturday.

The French Market on Saturday.

The French Market on Saturday.

Dave. Everybody knows Dave.

Dave's assistant poses for the camera.

The French Market on Saturday.
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