Third visit for French market

By Patrick LowmanA CONTROVERSIAL French market that caused an outbreak of racial tension on two previous visits to a town is set to return for a third time.

By Patrick Lowman

A CONTROVERSIAL French market that caused an outbreak of racial tension on two previous visits to a town is set to return for a third time.

When the visiting market returns to Sudbury later in the year, it will have a more continental theme and will be held as part of a week-long event.

Civic leaders have decided to bring the market back for third time - claiming the majority of the town's residents reacted positively to the previous visits ­­- but are hoping to avoid the racial clashes that marred both previous events.


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The market, known as La France Chez Vous, first appeared for a four-day stay in April 2003. Almost immediately after its arrival the continental traders were bombarded with anti-French slogans by shoppers.

At the time some were outraged by France's the lack of support towards the invasion on Iraq and others still held a grudge over their ban on British beef.

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Despite the problems the market appeared again in Sudbury last October. It was invited back after a town council survey revealed many shoppers and traders were in favour of it returning.

Once again the racial tensions boiled over and the police had to be called in after an argument in North Street, were the market was held, between a resident and a French market stallholder.

The police investigated two complaints of racially aggravated harassment, but no-one was charged.

Sudbury Town Council has decided the market, which will now be known as a continental market, will come back again from October 24 to 27.

Town clerk Sue Brotherwood said: "We have invited the market back because the feedback we have had from the public has been very good. We hope some of the racial feelings have died down now because the majority of people do enjoy it.

"It is now being called a continental market because there is a few stalls from Belgium and Germany as well."

patrick.lowman@eadt.co.uk

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