In many countries in the world open markets are a focal point for the
community. Historically, many towns and villages developed as a result
of early gatherings for trade and bartering which later grew into more
defined marketplaces. Markets tend to be located centrally in a main square
or market square. Most towns and cities today have retained their
market places in some form.
Brighton open market is located on a site at the edge of the town centre shopping area. It is open for five and a half days per week ( Tues-Sat 7.30am to 5pm and on a Monday morning). There are over 30 stalls selling a variety of goods including fruit and vegetables, flowers, cards, fresh fish, meat, haberdashery and pet supplies. There is also a cafe. Although the market is well used by the community, traders are having to compete with supermarkets and other recent shopping developments. At present there are further proposed large scale supermarket developments nearby to the West of London Road. The site itself looks run down and access for traders, deliveries and car parking is difficult. When the site was opened it was within easy walking distance of a large community.
Local newspapers have recently reported on the issues. In a response to a recent survey which included responses from 1500 people, 98% said they needed an open market and 88% said they wanted a more expanded market. Just under half of these people used the market more than twice a week. 30% of users were over 50 years of age and 12% were under 30 years old.
There were many ideas proposed which would make the open market more attractive to shoppers. These included better access, better toilets, facilities for disabled people, more signposts and inclusion in promotional material about the town, pedestrianisation, buskers and Punch and Judy shows.
Brighton attracts thousands of tourists, holidaymakers and day trippers
every year. It is a shame that a marketplace, which in many other countries
and cities would be a main focus for visitors and tourists savouring ‘the
unique atmosphere of the place’, is neglected and left to struggle in competition
with large scale developments, which present a standardised display of
goods and only benefit the car owning section of the community.
|Compare Brighton open market with these pictures from another market place in the world. These two pictures, of Helsinki market, were taken in 1986. I wonder if this market place sells the same products today!|
|A market stall at Kota Belud, Borneo.||The Tamu or 'market' at Limbang, Borneo.|