Bright start for Ipswich market at its new home in town’s Princes Street
PUBLISHED: 12:11 30 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:27 30 January 2018
Fine January sunshine brought out the shoppers to try Ipswich market at its new site at the top of Princes Street – and the reaction of most traders was cautiously positive.
The market has had to move off the Cornhill because work to redevelop the town centre square has now started – and will be under way for the next nine months.
But many of the stalls are only a few yards from their previous location, and shoppers appeared to have no difficulty in finding them on their first day.
They have slotted in between the Town Hall and the Old Post Office building – and the food stalls have a new home in Queen Street.
The stalls have new gazebos with Ipswich Market branding, and most of the traders felt the first day was going as well as they could have hoped.
Mick Catchpole, who owns Coxy’s Fruit and Veg – the largest single stall on the market – said his customers had been able to find him and things had got off to a reasonable start.
He said: “It’s been okay today. I am worried about what happens when they replace the wire fencing around the Cornhill with eight-foot high panels.
“Will people be able to find us then?
“We shall just have to hope they still come. But today it’s looking okay.”
Lucy Young on her family’s fish stall was also looking at the positive side: “The Cornhill does need to be done.
“It is looking a bit grim and customers have been finding us here.
“We’ll see what happens – but so far so good.”
At the food court area on Queen Street, the stalls were also quite busy – and the seating area under more new market gazebos was proving popular.
Cheryl O’Brien from Foxy’s Food stall said many customers had come to buy their food from her as usual.
She said: “It’s been okay. A lot of people say they don’t like being down here, but a lot of people just don’t like change.
“We’ll see what happens in the next few months – but it’s been a reasonable start.”
The borough council, which runs the market, is planning a new Love Your Market campaign which is due to start in a couple of weeks to coincide with Valentine’s Day – and there are expected to be special events through the year.
The food court, in particular, is expected to become a bigger feature once spring arrives in a couple of months’ time.
Trees coming down as Cornhill refurbishment continues in Ipswich
While the market was settling into its new home at the top of Princes Street in Ipswich town centre, work started on removing two trees outside the Old Post Office.
That provided considerable interest for shoppers who watched as tree surgeons cut back the branches before the trees, planted about 30 years ago, were finally removed to allow the area to be rebuilt.
There will be five trees on the new Cornhill – but work could not have been carried out around the existing trees because their roots had reached near the surface and was damaging the current paving.
The trees are being removed by specialist tree surgeons before that part of the Cornhill is handed back to main contractors Brooks and Wood which is carrying out the main work.
The current wire fencing around the Cornhill is due to be replaced by solid panels within the next fortnight, but they will be covered in art to reduce their impact.