Nether Edge Farmers Market and Festival
Apart from the activities of the various groups described in the "Activities" pages, the two major "set piece" events are the Farmers Market, held four times a year, Covid-19 permitting, and the Festival, held during the course of a week in mid September.
The Farmers Market was inspired by a stone plaque on the outside wall of the building that is now the Oxfgam shop. NETHER EDGE MARKET, it reads and it has been there since 1870 (?). It’s easy not to notice it but twelve years ago one of our residents, Thildy Lowe, did catch sight of it and it prompted her to ponder “why don’t we have a market here again?” Shortly after, her dream had become a reality and the first Farmers Market was held in March 2008 with 30 stalls. The hope had been that it would become truly an opportunity for farmers to bring their produce from local farms to sell direct to customers in the heart of Nether Edge. It quickly became clear that we would need to diversify for it to become bigger and better. Nevertheless, that first market made £775 to donate to Bluebell Hospice. Since then it has raised over £90,000 for a wide range of local charities. It now offers a varied selection of 80 stalls and is held four times a year. Entertainment is provided free by Morris dancers, jazz bands, drama groups, community choirs, folk musicians, swing dancers, belly dancers and much more.
Five years ago, when the Farmers Market had by then raised £50,000 for charity, we wondered how we could mark such a significant milestone. We quickly realised that there was little we could do at the forthcoming market, we were much too busy on the day and there was no space for anything special. And so, to mark our achievement, the Nether Edge Festival was born.
For more information see the separate pages.