I’ve only just moved to Market Rasen, and I love the town already.
The people are warm and friendly, and the countryside is beautiful. The town has a rich history of trade, co-operative ventures and collaboration, and it has stayed human-scale and manageable, to the extent that it is possible to know a large number of neighbours and fellow citizens.
But... you knew there was a but coming... what is it with all the anonymous critical, negative stuff that comes out in the viewpoint page in the paper? I think that if you have an opinion which you want to share with your fellow townspeople, you should stand up and say it with your own voice (and here I am). Too much of what is printed or published these days is anonymous... it’s easy to say hurtful and critical things when you don’t have to take any of the consequences.
If there are things wrong with the town, the market, the high street, people travelling elsewhere to shop... it isn’t going to get fixed by posting anonymous letters to the paper. Why not do something positive instead?
I shall be doing whatever I can to make a positive difference to the town, to make it a success. If the town is a success, the shops and market are a success, and vice versa. Market Rasen has such a lot to offer, and I know it can be an amazing place to live and work if only we can put all that energy into positive channels.
It isn’t true to say that the success of the market will be at the cost of the high street shops. If the town gets a reputation for a fantastic market, it will bring people to the town and people in the town will be spending money - not just in the market, but in the shops, pubs and cafes too.
Be the change! Not everyone has money to spare for frivolous items, but everyone has to eat - and the prices in the market are often lower than the prices in either the shops or the supermarkets. At the last Mr BIG market I bought a dozen eggs from Beasthorpe farm’s stall which cost me £1.80 - just about half what free range eggs would have cost me in Tesco.
That isn’t going to kill the high street (or Tesco) because I can only get that sort of bargain at the BIG market, and they’re only once a month, but bringing someone out to get some special eggs in the town may well lead to them shopping for other things as well. And then maybe they’ll shop in town when there *isn’t* a market too.
I can see that there has been a history of people going off and sulking in their tents here (the two corn exchanges and two Chapels speak of that, in such a small town) but perhaps we can change the future for the better by trying to shop locally and supporting the efforts made by Mr BIG and other groups to improve things for the town.