Launch of the People's Market in Lampeter
A colourful display of organic polytunnel veg greeted the 150 people who came through the doors of Lampeter's Victoria Hall on a chilly Saturday morning in mid-February. Each tray was marked with a reassuringly small number of food miles. Phil Drayton of Fferm Rhyd-y-Gwin was alternately counting visitors and piling veg into their bags-for-life. One of the Directors of the Development Trust that has worked hard for the last three years to gain the lease on the building, Phil was hoping for a successful day's trading for the 18 stall-holders.
Local musician Georgia Owen sang and played guitar, occasionally interrupted by the sounds of carpentry from Denmark Farm's make-your-own-birdbox stall. Meanwhile visitors tasted slivers of goat's cheese, bought local meat and/or vegan satay sausage rolls, drank tea and examined the pink and purple woolly knitwear of the Craftmakers' Collective.
Now that the Transition Llambed Development Trust has taken charge of the hall, all things local, Transitional, green, cultural and Permacultural are being welcomed in. The Trust has been given £20,000 by the Town Council to begin much-needed renovations. A team of volunteers have signed up to help scrub and paint the frontage (in colours approved by the building's previous managers, Ceredigion County Council). Lampeter Youth Theatre Group has already put on their low-impact pantomime "Al-y-Dyn" and plans are underway to celebrate Earth Hour on 31 March with a lantern parade, choirs and a twmpath dance.
But the People's Market was the first dream of those who had visualised having a physical base for Transition in Lampeter, with its local produce and crafts taking centre stage.
As Gary Thorogood, one of the organisers, said: "We were really pleased with the first People's Market. The stall-holders were happy, the shoppers we spoke to all commented positively on the friendly atmosphere, the quality of produce and the general buzz about the market. We have learnt a lot and the Market will evolve as we go forward. But what a great start."
Information on Victoria Hall and Transition Llambed: