Thursday 28 November 2013



JUNE 2012 - NOVEMBER 2013

The Artisan Market, pioneered successfully  in Wilmslow, proved to be equally successful in Middlewich during a trial period which took place on June 30th, July 28th and August 25th 2012. Response from local traders and shoppers was overwhelmingly in favour of the market  continuing after the trial period and, at the beginning of September, after negotiations between Cheshire East, Middlewich Town Council and the market's organisers, it was announced that  the intention was for the market  to become a permanent feature of the Middlewich shopping scene.
In  February 2013 the local press reported that the Town Council were planning to buy the right to close the road each month so that the market could go ahead.
This move would also benefit other events such as the FAB Festival and the annual Christmas celebrations.
Here's a link to the Guardian's report:
If you'd like to make a comment about the Artisan Market please use the 'comments' feature after this diary entry, or e-mail us at

 Please note that your comments, if appropriate, will be included in this diary entry

The market is organised by a highly professional group of people, working in association with Middlewich Town Council, and means that  for the first time ever, traffic is excluded from Wheelock Street for the duration of the event.
It's being seen by many as a much needed 'test' of the capacity of our main shopping street to function as a pedestrianised area, something which has been proposed for Wheelock Street many times over the years, but never before tried outside the worlds of conjecture and theory.
It also, of course, gives Middlewich a rare chance to function as a 'market town' in the true sense of the word.
The First Artisan Market in Middlewich 30th June 2012
Geraldine Williams captured the atmosphere and bustle in Wheelock Street as the Artisan Market came to town and proved that Wheelock Street is a natural venue for an event of this kind

Middlewich people were full of praise for the first market:

'...It was packed. I spent lots of money in our ordinary shops as well. Great occasion. I can't wait until the end of July now...' (our italics - Ed)

'...It was great to see the town so busy, and it was nice to see no cars allowed up the street for a change!'

'...Stalls all the way up the street! About time we had something decent in Middlewich!'

'Pleasantly surprised. I'm looking forward to the next one. Loads of olives, garlic, breads and cheeses and the atmosphere was brill. I'll definitely be making it a monthly thing.'

'It was very busy, even when it rained!'

'...A Resounding Success!'

'...really enjoyed this. I hope we have more in the future.'

'Everything looked ace. And the food was great!'

'We thoroughly enjoyed the market today.'

'I've never seen so many people on Wheelock Street on a Saturday! Plenty of stalls and a great choice of merchandise. Marvellous!

'The Artisan Market was great, and it was  nice to see so many people out and about. I hope its success will prompt more events like this in the future!'

'Some fab food on offer, and it was nice to see so many people out and about'

'Well done Middlewich!'

'I really enjoyed the Artisan Market today. I got the nicest goats cheese ever!
Let's have more events like this in Middlewich!'

'...Stalls all the way up the street!' - Paul Greenwood photographed the market from the Bullring end of the street, after the rain which failed to dampen anyone's enthusiasm.

The scene in The Bullring during the second Middlewich Artisan Market on July 28th 2012

Local reaction to the second Artisan Market on July 28th:

' husband loves the market. he has stocked up on his beer, scotch eggs and hot sauce. He can't wait for the next one...

'Again I loved the Artisan Market. It brings Middlewich to life. I stocked up on the goats cheese!'

'Fabulous! Nice to see the local shops joining in and taking advantage of the extra people in town on Saturday. Just what Middlewich has needed for years!'


'Well organised, and well presented. A pleasure to shop there, and what a boost for the existing traders!'

'Loved my first visit to the Artisan Market and picked up some truly fabulous cooking sauces, some hot some not, but well worth a visit. I can't wait for the next one. Nice to see all the car parks full for this event and another good thing is that the vendors offer 'try before you buy'. Well recommended.'

'We went to the last Artisan Market and have never seen the main street so busy. The atmosphere was great, with so many people browsing and buying. We spent money in the market, and in local businesses, as did many others. This idea is the best that Middlewich has offered in recent years and we look forward to visiting regularly for special and unusual goods. This is something that could become a regular special event which would revitalise the town centre. The local traders that we spoke to had nothing but good things to say about their trading on the day. We loved it and will definitely come back next month!'

'We loved it, and spent more than we should have! The chicken was very tasty and the cheese not good for me when I'm trying to diet!'

'About time Middlewich had something good coming to its town!!
The market is fab, never seen the high street so busy. Fingers crossed it stays!!'

Photos of

The third Market, on the last Saturday of August 2012 proved just as popular as the previous two, and Geraldine Williams took this sequence of photographs which give some idea of the quality and variety of goods on offer:

Local reaction to the third market on August 25th:

'Another fantastic market today!'

'Well done Middlewich! A great atmosphere and it was good to see some of the Wheelock Street shopkeepers entering into the spirit by setting up outdoor displays of their own goods.'

UPDATE (29th JUNE 2013):

Facebook feedback on the first anniversay of the Artisan Market:

From Bernice Walmsley, Middlewich Town Mayor:

What an amazing day today in Middlewich! A fantastic turnout, great weather, brilliant and talented stalls and superb performance from Steven Doyle in the Bull Ring...already looking forward to next month!

Ruslyn Wood Creations Great day! Can't wait for next month!

Jonathan Williams (Middlewich Town Clerk): Yes it was a brilliant day, and the Artisan Market in Middlewich goes from strength to strength. I noticed that a lot of traders had sold out as they passed me and waved to me at the road closure. Some even used all five fingers!!! Well done to everyone who made the day such a success. Middlewich appreciates it.

The Artisan Market Thank you to you Jonathan, and to the Middlewich Town Council. The amount of time and effort you all put in for the event is amazing! Can't wait for the 27th July!

Jonathan Williams's all about working together, and a partnership which means so much to all of us. The Twitter messages are flying this evening, and it's a wonderful response to a fantastic day. So thank you too!
-a link to a story from our friends at the

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This Diary Entry was originally published on 30th June 2012

1 comment:

  1. About time Middlewich had something good coming to its town!!
    The market is fab, never seen the high street so busy. Fingers crossed it stays!!


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