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Ealing's first Town Hall market flops
Many of the traders booked for Ealing Council’s pop-up market, packed up early on Saturday (13th April) complaining of a lack of publicity.
This first event was held outside Ealing Town Hall and organised jointly by Ealing Council’s Economic Regeneration Team and the Pop-Up-Emporium.
Meena Toor spoke to the traders about what went wrong:
Lee has just got to the finals of a Dragon’s Den related competition to win a year’s mentoring with Deborah Meaden. He said “I live in Essex, got up at six and got here for eight, and I’ve had enough”. Lee leaves at 2.30pm, and he’s not the only one.
Duncan White, manager and cook at Spanish Style Street Food, based in Hampshire, explains “I’m very surprised how quiet it is, not many people at all. It’s doesn’t feel like a Saturday”. His dish, Paella, is cooked on the spot “using fresh ingredients, authentic Spanish ingredients, and the meat is supplied by a local butcher”. Less than half of his large steel pan has been sold and the other stands unused. He has said ‘No’ to attend again, based on the day, which he has called a “write off”.
It started off sunny, but quickly turned and gave traders and customers biting wind and heavy rain in the late afternoon. One trader, Aku Elizabeth Allotey, thought this this to be the main reason one stall holder left at midday, just two hours into trading. The weather also caused trouble for traders near the road, which had stand displays and products blown out the back of their open tent and clear across the road.
Jayne Kelly, owner of Loving Chocolates, was surprised at the lack of visible promotion, “When I came in last Sunday, I didn’t see any signs up so I was like does anyone really know it’s happening?”. Even more recently, the basic promotion was missing “On the council website, it wasn’t listed on there, because I just checked yesterday.”
Sam Adaci, owner of Falafel Co., has a similar experience, “I went on the website yesterday and I clicked ‘Events’ and I don’t think I saw anything on there.”
Amid speculation by traders that Ealing’s residents were not interested in a food and craft market, the response from Alison was favourable: “It’s one of those things – it has to grow by word of mouth. It would be great on a Saturday afternoon to walk down and have something to eat.”
Lee, of Henry’s Coffee Bar, said it was “too much of an open area, a side street would be better”. Jayne, of Loving Chocolates, suggests that the “ideal location [is]where those stores are in Ealing Broadway Shopping Center, where you go upstairs to the library and the car park”, while Sam of Falafel company noticed the action and footfall around by the station.
Lemuel says the mission of the Regeneration Team is to make Ealing “more attractive so that we make it welcoming, more attractive so people come down and encourage footfall, encourage business and make Ealing the place to come… where people want to be.”
© Meena Toor 2013
A council spokesperson told Ealing Today: '' "It was agreed that publicity for The Pop-Up Market would be managed by the event organiser, and the council provided support by putting up posters in central Ealing, as well as publicising the event on social media."
"This was the first time a pop-up market was held outside the town hall and information and feedback gathered on the day will now be used by the council to shape a borough-wide strategy to encourage more markets into town centres."
Did you know about the market? Did you go? Why wasn't it a success? Discuss on the forum
17th April 2013