New era for market town

The Sun Inn, Market Street, Kirkby Lonsdale.
The Sun Inn, Market Street, Kirkby Lonsdale.

A MARKET town, which had traditionally offered visitors and residents alike a special start to September, is trying something new this year by turning the clock back.

Kirkby Lonsdale’s once-popular Victorian Fair lost its attractiveness and the town abandoned it several years ago.

Traders then tried a variety of events, including fairground entertainment and parades, but critics said these efforts ignored the character of the town, so they, too, were scrapped.

Now a new community interest company, formed with the backing of the town council and South Lakeland District Council, is hosting a traditional arts and crafts market on Saturday, September 1, for one day only.

The brainchild of the company’s community manager, Jane Richmond, the market will feature vintage furniture and homewares, bags, jewellery, health and food stalls and something called ‘garden goodies.”

Jane said: “Kirkby is the sort of town which needs to capitalise on its character. It is an old-fashioned town in many ways, and our market will set out to reflect that.

“We’ll have recycled goods, household tips from yesteryear and demonstrations, as well as local food produce for which the Lune Valley is justifiably famous.

“At the same time, there’ll be the traditional flower festival in the parish church, St Mary’s, with a comprehensive bric-a-brac stall run by the Friends of St Mary’s. These two attractions are open from Friday to Sunday from August 31. So we hope we have made Kirkby somewhere well worth a visit over that weekend.”