BRIDGE Street, Stratford, will once again host the town’s Christmas Market after the district council reversed its decision to locate the market on Waterside.
This means the last Christmas Market on Thursday, 21st December, will be in Bridge and open until 8pm.
A statement from the council reads: “The decision has been taken by Stratford District Council, Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council together with the market contractors, LSD Promotions following feedback from businesses, market traders and customers.
Many shoppers prefer the Bridge Street location because it enhances the Christmas experience due to the highly popular and colourful array of Christmas lights on show. This central location provides a great opportunity to visit retailers throughout the town as well as shop at the market.”
Market stall holders welcome the decision to relocate to Bridge Street but say they are frustrated that Waterside was chosen in the first place.
Will Amos, Amos Catering Traditional Hog Roast said: “I haven’t even got past the 20 per cent threshold I would have made in Bridge Street. What I’ve made so far will just cover expenses but we’ve not started earning anything yet. Moving the market back to Bridge Street is music to my ears. If it was located in Waterside again next year I don’t think you’d get more than five stalls because you’re having to drag people down whereas in Bridge Street they’re shopping, walking around, eating and enjoying themselves – a much better atmosphere.”
Karen Hannon, sales manager at Hotel du Vin, Stratford said: “We are trying to raise awareness about the hotel which open next spring. I do think Bridge Street is a better venue for the Christmas Market.”
Tracy Firman, Damsel Gardening Services from Nottingham said:
“It’s been very quiet and footfall is down on Waterside. I was chatting to some locals who told me they didn’t even know there was a Christmas Market down here and it doesn’t feel like Christmas.”
Justin Welch, Bags of Class said: “My sales are well over and I mean well over half down on what I used to do. Bridge Street was so good for us as you has shoppers, passing trade and people going to work plus a canopy of Christmas lights which made everyone feel Christmassy. Even when they moved it to Henley Street one year it was still better than Waterside.”
Derek and Jenney Barnes, Evergreen added: “Have we given Waterside a chance? People are set in their ways but I do think there’s a better atmosphere in Bridge Street. What we are lacking in Waterside is a choir and maybe some lights in the park (Bancroft Gardens) even a Christmas tree. It’s not been busy – a steady flow perhaps – but not prolific. If we moved it 20 yards up the road into Bridge Street it would create the right atmosphere.”