|COUNTRY MARKET SUCCESS|
As the sun shone, the population of the village more than doubled for the morning. Over 360 shoppers eagerly bought out almost the entire stock of fresh farm and garden produce, home smoked cheese, salmon, chicken and duck, home baked quiches, pies, scotch eggs and tarts, farm chicken, duck and quail eggs – the list goes on and on. Several of the producers were so overwhelmed by demand that they run out of stock within two hours. Some locally based vendors were able to keep up with demand by shipping in fresh supplies. All will be re-assessing their stock levels for the next time.
Tired out from shopping many people then retired to the refreshments room and indulged in a cream tea sold for the benefit of the village 0 – 5 play group. They were also able to make further purchases, or order goods from the Local Enterprise Stall that, as the name suggests, promoted non-food goods produced in the local community. The stall sold a substantial amount of recipe books,music cd's made by primary school pupils, leather goods and more resulting in a tidy bit of extra income for their producers and local groups.
Comments in the ‘visitors book’ like “excellent – more, more, more”, “simply fabulous” and “really great produce” supported the positive verbal feedback received by the volunteer Event Support Team that managed the venue.
The Country Market was promoted by Auchencairn Initiative, a registered charity, who with Auchencairn Community Council are working together to regenerate the local area through promoting and supporting its retail enterprises, producers and tourist accommodations providers.
Volunteers of the Event Support Team managed the venue and took care of all matters customer and vendor related, including planning, signage, car parking and clearing up afterwards. They were Carol Ashton, Bev Norcross, Madeline Maxwell, Davie Gordon, Alistair MacKichan, John Hutchison, Steve Smith and Brian Maxwell.
An Auchencairn Initiative spokesman said “It was a marvellous event. The village came to life with the attendance of many local residents and visitors from as far afield as Annan and Moniaive. We are very grateful for the excellent support we have had throughout the area, by businesses and public buildings giving us free space for our advertising. It was a wonderful social occasion, as well as a high quality shopping experience. The success of the day means that we will now go on and have a Country Market on the third Saturday of every month for as long as the demand exists. We also hope, as equipment allows, to develop and improve the experience with an even better selection of producers and perhaps some ‘special events’. Our community extends its thanks to those who could attend”.
Its purpose is to help promoted and regenerate our area while providing a useful local shopping facility and a social gathering place. It is anticipated that financial benefits will be used to improve facilities for the area.
The Auchencairn Country Market on 15th December saw the first outing of the high visibility clothing purchased for the use of the Event Support Team in order to meet the needs of the Event Risk Assessment, in terms of making them readily identifiable to the public and vendors during general activity, but in particular in the event of an emergency situation. Those engaged on outside duties in the Car Park or while building/dismantling the event site now have some weather protection and are afforded some protection of collision from the hi-viz jackets.