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Crystal Palace market celebrates a very blowy birthday


EXTREMELY strong winds caused havoc among stallholders at Crystal Palace food market on Saturday.

But despite forcing three traders to pack up and go home, the bad weather failed to mar the market's first birthday celebrations.

The remainder of the regular 16 stallholders at the market in Haynes Lane, Upper Norwood carried on in the teeth of the gale and they were joined by members of the Crystal Palace Transition Team to mark the day.

The Transition Team, which looks to promote the district centre's unique quality, played an important part in helping the market's seven women founders get the idea of the ground.

As part of the celebrations, the team presented the founders with Wonderwoman mugs, in recognition of their achievements.

There was also a celebration carrot birthday cake produced by the market's first stallholders, bakers Brett and Bailey.

Throughout the day, shoppers were also treated to musical entertainment from members of the Ma Polaines band.

The market was launched with ten stalls but has grown steadily over its first year, establishing itself as the place to go for organic produce.

It now boasts a range of stalls selling locally produced fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, grains and bread.

The Transition Town also runs its own Patchwork Farm stall which allows residents to sell off any glut of their own fruit and vegetables.

Karen Jones, one of the market's founders, said: "The weather on Saturday was very, very windy and at times it was almost impossible for some of the stallholders to keep going. It was still a very good day and the celebrations went off very well."

Ms Jones said with a year under their belts, she was confident the market would now continue to grow.

In the last week, she said, the market had been noted by Time Out magazine as one of the top nine markets in London for its organic produce, and its sustainability has been recognised by The Guardian newspaper.

Ms Jones said: "We have achieved in our first year what we set out to do, which was to create a community market.

"We didn't advertise much because we wanted it to be used by people from the area."

She said the market's increasing reputation and the recent publicity meant it was now attracting many more people from a much wider area.

Ms Jones believed the news that sales of organic food had risen nationally for the first time in four or five years would also increase the interest in the high quality produce available at the market.

She said: "We have certainly hit on something here and we are expanding."

Crystal Palace market celebrates a  very blowy birthday

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