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6 FEATURE London Chat


By Roger Mills Twenty years of LFM


It was inexcusably remiss of the Chat not to wish London Farmers Markets Ltd many happy returns as they celebrated their twentieth birthday in June. Especially as the founder


was Nina Planck maybe the most impressive market figure I’ve met in the two decades covering the trade. Nina came over to work


in the American embassy in London and, in her own words, found herself: “homesick, not for the farm where I grew up, but for fresh seasonal produce.” Having tried organic box


delivery schemes and found them wanting and being too far from farm shops she resolved that the remedy had to be in her own hands. She decided to impor t


from the states the kind of local Farmers Market that had been the saviour of her


own farming family to supply fresh English food, in season, straight from the farm. “I thought it was a sure


thing. I was sure it would work,” she told me in an early interview for MT. “I knew supply and demand was there and it seemed simple to bring them together. Actually I was astonished it had taken so long and that people didn’t see the simplicity of it all” So she took a si te in


Islington, and on the 6th June 1999 then agriculture minister Nick Brown rang the opening bell, and they were away. Twenty years on when


many – one is almost tempted to say most – others have withered and died often after massive injections of public money LFM is still going strong. Why? Is London more


farmer f riendly? I think there’s an element of that and cer tainly LFM have found some consistent good performing locations.


But for me it was actually


bound up with Nina Planck herself. She is without doubt the most inspiring newcomer to the game I’ve ever met. Ruthlessly commercial knowing exactly how many beans made five Nina was clear right from day one that if farmers events were to survive they had to stand on their own two feet. This when others were talking about subsidy not only to get things going but as some kind of socially desirable long term crutch. Nina would have none of


it telling me: “I didn’t want Farmers Markets to be another example of charity for farmers. US experience showed they could be commercially viable and that’s what I wanted here. In the states they are commercially driven and demand led. In Britain it’s been an activist Green agenda mixed with sympathy for farmers. We welcomed the pol i t ical


Chegworth Valley’s flash of apples and juices still at the original Islington gaff a few years ago and still there is 2019


agenda but didn’t want it to be the only driver.” So Nina’s markets were


unusual from the start in running along the lines that retail market operators would find normal. Traders bring their own stalls and pay a commercial rent. Beginners wanting to test the water were advised to go to Argos and buy a cheap shelter and a wall paper table. More important – maybe


crucially looking back – London Farmers Markets ope r a t e d t h roughou t the 2001 Foot and Mouth outbreak when elsewhere, for


political rather than disease risk considerations, most Farmers events simply shut. “When Tesco closes we will!” was a comment Nina made at the time. Bending the knee to the


big farmers lobby, mainly by heavily subsidised council backed operations, cost the fledgling Farmers sector dear – indeed it saw off a good few at once and mortally injured a lot of others, deservedly so in my opinion. LFM supported its traders


and customers and went on not only to survive but to expand.


Happy Birthday. Stop here to sell one?


Camden Council is inviting residents, businesses and interested parties to have their say on an ice cream van licensing trial at five locations across the borough. In London boroughs,


ice cream vans do not need a licence to trade on authorised streets, provided the van does not remain in any one location for more than 15 minutes and does not return to the same location or street that day. But Camden is considering a scheme that will involve the


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More protection for Christmas market


Bath’s Christmas market will this year employ “robust” defences to prevent extremists from using vehicles as weapons when the event expands to a new location. Although no specific threat


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to the city has been identified, Visit Bath, which organises the market, wants to place 24 chalets and two food stalls along the city’s Milsom Street for 18 days this winter, and again in 2019, and only ambulances, police cars and fire engines will be allowed access. The move has been


prompted by major renovation works, some of which are already underway, in Abbey Churchyard, Kingston Parade and around Bath Abbey, as well as York Street and Swallow Street, which mean some stallholders will be displaced. The planning application


submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council states that: “Whilst the Christmas market will have an obvious visual impact on this part of Bath city centre, this will be temporary and, given its location at the heart of the city’s retail area, appropriate to the festive season. “Visit Bath is committed


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to planning and operating a high-quality event in the city which continues to be a market leader of British Christmas Markets and to maintain the benchmark for which others aim to aspire to. “By locating chalets in


Milsom Street it will allow us to: • Further enhance visitor and resident experience


More protection for Christmas market


Bath’s Christmas market will this year employ “robust” defences to prevent extremists from using vehicles as weapons when the event expands to a new location. Although no specific threat


to the city has been identified, Visit Bath, which organises the market, wants to place 24 chalets and two food stalls along the city’s Milsom Street for 18 days this winter, and again in 2019, and only ambulances, police cars and fire engines will be allowed access. The move has been


prompted by major renovation works, some of which are already underway, in Abbey Churchyard, Kingston Parade and around Bath Abbey, as well as York Street and Swallow Street, which mean some stallholders will be displaced. The planning application


submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council states that: “Whilst the Christmas market will have an obvious visual impact on this part of Bath city centre, this will be temporary and, given its location at the heart of the city’s retail area, appropriate to the festive season. “Visit Bath is committed


to planning and operating a high-quality event in the city which continues to be a market leader of British Christmas Markets and to maintain the benchmark for which others aim to aspire to. “By locating chalets in


Milsom Street it will allow us to: • Further enhance visitor and resident experience


of the event by extending the footprint and easing congestion;


• Support the Bath Abbey Footprint project;


• Support the Roman Baths Archway Project;


• Make way for essential road repairs;


• Further engage with the independent businesses throughout the city.”


Increased risk


The 2018 Bath Christmas Market will run from Thursday November 22 to Sunday December 9, and confirmation of the dates coincided with the publication of the results of a survey commissioned to assess the impact of last year’s festive market on the city’s economy The survey revealed an


estimated spend of £29.4m outside of the market itself, the largest amount ever seen in the event’s 17 year history, and a 40 percent increase on 2016. The survey also showed that


an estimated 409,000 people visited the market and an estimated £10.7m was spent within the market, supporting over 200 stallholders, 87 percent of which are from Bath and the South West. Charities in Bath also


benefitted from the 2017 Christmas Market , wi th £12,000 being distributed to various local causes. With this success, however,


comes increased risk, one of the most deadly being the potential use of vehicles as weapons, a possibility made real when a truck was driven into a Christmas market in Berlin in 2016.


Part of the festive market in Bath (Photo: Bath Tourism) The Visit Bath plan states


that: “As one of the South West’s largest open public access events, Bath Christmas market will be establishing a robust vehicle access plan. “As the market footprint


develops and expands into new areas of the city, considerations will be made to all areas of vulnerability. “It is recognized that a


vehicle offers a convenient delivery mechanism for a large explosive device as well as the vehicle itself being used as a weapon.” Physical barriers will be put


in place, and a city-wide radio link will share intelligence about “anything which may pose as a potential threat or issue elsewhere in the city”. Bath and Nor th East


Somerset Council leader, Tim Warren, reiterated the message from last year when defences were installed, that there is “no known threat” to the city and the measures are purely precautionary.


Budding traders set out stalls in Stratford


Allowing time to set up


and then remove the chalets, Milsom Street will be closed to normal traffic from November 19 until December 10. The chalets wi l l be


positioned so the pavements, business doorways and window displays are clear, and there will be sufficient space for emergency vehicles to gain access. Stallholders will be required


to offer discounts at certain times to residents who have Discovery Cards, and they will be expected to decorate their chalets to a high standard. Visit Bath has said it will


work to “maintain a strong working relationship with local businesses and residents” throughout the event. When the application was


submitted Visit Bath was due to consult with various local residents and retailers associations and the council’s highways team, and there will be further consultation with other key stakeholders,


as well as a series of drop-in events. As in previous years the


market will feature a variety of entertainment, including choirs, school groups, local theatrical schools, brass bands and other performances in keeping with the festive nature of the event. Visit Bath will also be


required to apply for premises licences and to submit street trading and event applications before the council can give the market the go ahead.


Page 14


Are we all ready for the move Back to School?


ASSOCIATES BRAY


WE CAN OFFER 33 TRADING DAYS A WEEK


Contact: Office– 01895 639912 Sam – 07737 630843 Les – 07971 738239


BRAY ASSOCIATES


A number of UK Christmas markets (including Manchester, pictured above) have introduced robust defences in the wake of recent terrorist attacks


01895 639912 Email: email@bray-associates.co.uk www.bray-associates.co.uk


of the event by extending the footprint and easing congestion;


• Support the Bath Abbey Footprint project;


• Support the Roman Baths Archway Project;


• Make way for essential road repairs;


• Further engage with the independent businesses throughout the city.”


Increased risk


The 2018 Bath Christmas Market will run from Thursday November 22 to Sunday December 9, and confirmation of the dates coincided with the publication of the results of a survey commissioned to assess the impact of last year’s festive market on the city’s economy The survey revealed an


estimated spend of £29.4m outside of the market itself, the largest amount ever seen in the event’s 17 year history, and a 40 percent increase on 2016. The survey also showed that


an estimated 409,000 people visited the market and an estimated £10.7m was spent within the market, supporting over 200 stallholders, 87 percent of which are from Bath and the South West. Charities in Bath also


benefitted from the 2017 Christmas Market , wi th £12,000 being distributed to various local causes. With this success, however,


comes increased risk, one of the most deadly being the potential use of vehicles as weapons, a possibility made real when a truck was driven into a Christmas market in Berlin in 2016.


Part of the festive market in Bath (Photo: Bath Tourism) The Visit Bath plan states


that: “As one of the South West’s largest open public access events, Bath Christmas market will be establishing a robust vehicle access plan. “As the market footprint


develops and expands into new areas of the city, considerations will be made to all areas of vulnerability. “It is recognized that a


vehicle offers a convenient delivery mechanism for a large explosive device as well as the vehicle itself being used as a weapon.” Physical barriers will be put


in place, and a city-wide radio link will share intelligence about “anything which may pose as a potential threat or issue elsewhere in the city”. Bath and Nor th East


Somerset Council leader, Tim Warren, reiterated the message from last year when defences were installed, that there is “no known threat” to the city and the measures are purely precautionary.


Budding traders set out stalls in Stratford


Allowing time to set up


and then remove the chalets, Milsom Street will be closed to normal traffic from November 19 until December 10. The chalets wi l l be


positioned so the pavements, business doorways and window displays are clear, and there will be sufficient space for emergency vehicles to gain access. Stallholders will be required


to offer discounts at certain times to residents who have Discovery Cards, and they will be expected to decorate their chalets to a high standard. Visit Bath has said it will


work to “maintain a strong working relationship with local businesses and residents” throughout the event. When the application was


submitted Visit Bath was due to consult with various local residents and retailers associations and the council’s highways team, and there will be further consultation with other key stakeholders,


as well as a series of drop-in events. As in previous years the


market will feature a variety of entertainment, including choirs, school groups, local theatrical schools, brass bands and other performances in keeping with the festive nature of the event. Visit Bath will also be


required to apply for premises licences and to submit street trading and event applications before the council can give the market the go ahead.


Page 14


Are we all ready for the move Back to School?


ASSOCIATES BRAY


WE CAN OFFER 33 TRADING DAYS A WEEK


Contact: Office– 01895 639912 Sam – 07737 630843 Les – 07971 738239


BRAY ASSOCIATES


A number of UK Christmas markets (including Manchester, pictured above) have introduced robust defences in the wake of recent terrorist attacks


01895 639912 Email: email@bray-associates.co.uk www.bray-associates.co.uk


M23287


M23287


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