Tea party market celebration in Haverhill set to bring generations together

Haverhill market in 1958

Haverhill market in 1958 - Credit: Archant

Children and their grandparents will be able to enjoy free tea, cake and 1950s music as part of community celebrations on Haverhill Market, this Saturday.

Students from Castle Manor Academy have been working with community arts teacher Louise Gridley and St Edmundsbury Borough Council, to organise a number of events as part of the national “Love Your Local Market” fortnight.

Students will lead a community hat parade at 11am from the Arts Centre through to the market for a tea party involving young people from the school and their grandparents. There will also be a hat making workshop for senior citizens to enjoy.

The Haverhill History Society will have an exhibition about the origins of the market while senior residents will be invited to share their own stories of its history.

On top of all this, young people will be taking up the opportunity to develop their own entrepreneurial and leadership skills by running their own market stall for free. There will also be a competition for which one of them can come up with the most inventive market calls.

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Miss Gridley said: “We want to highlight the social value of markets and showcase community spirit by bringing young people and their grandparents together for a day of celebration and creativity. We are also really interested in hearing some of the local social history – people’s memories not just of how the market was, but some of their personal stories about how they perhaps worked there or used the market as a meeting place with their friends or their loved one.”

The community event is being supported by Haverhill Town Council and locality budget funding from St Edmundsbury Borough councillors John Burns, Paula Fox and Margaret Marks. Free tea and cake will be served between 11am and 3pm with drinks served in reusable “Love Your Local Market” mugs, while singer Sarah Probert will entertain with a range of 1950s music.

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Robert Everitt, Cabinet Member for Families and Communities at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “Our aim is to have markets that are not only a place of trade and business but also as a place for our communities to come out and enjoy experiences which is why we have organised events such as the recent World Village Market, the forthcoming Beer Festival and of course this fantastic day of celebrations – and my huge thanks to the students, the school and Louise for all of the work that has gone into this already.

“Separate to this we are also offering would-be traders the chance to trade for free – contact our market officer at Sharon.fairweather@westsuffolk.gov.uk for more information.”

John Burns who represents the borough council on the Haverhill Market Users Forum, added: “The market has played an important part in Haverhill’s social and economic history and there are efforts taking place to try to grow the market which I feel can only be good for the town and its businesses. I am looking forward to this event, not only to seeing the parade and the History Society Museum, but also to chatting with some of the older residents and hearing some of their stories of the market.”

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