2 November 2001

Farmers markets success results in silencing of clock

THE chimes of a famous Gloucester clock are to be silenced in protest at a farmers market which is so successful people are staying away from shops.

Rex Mann, owner of Bakers Jewellers in Southgate Street, pledged to stop the famous clock above his shop on market days. Takings had fallen by up to 40% because stalls placed in front of his shops were stealing passing trade, he said.

"I am not against the principle of farmers markets, but they should be spread evenly throughout the city to ensure the disruption to business for each trader is kept to a minimum. My business suffers every time the market hits town."

Other businesses on the street have reported a drop in sales. Shopkeeper John Godwin said: "I do support the farmers, but I cannot afford to lose 25% of my sales on one Friday of every month. The problem is with the way the market is laid out. There arent enough gaps to allow access to shops."

But Gloucester City Council spokesman Marcus Grodentz insisted the farmers market would stay. "If there are any further concerns, we will talk with the shopkeepers again to see what can be done. The farmers markets are very popular with the shoppers and we have decided to continue with them." &#42