Village market is saved from axe

Andrew Willan who has saved Ribchester May Market.
Andrew Willan who has saved Ribchester May Market.
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A village’s annual market has been saved, after a resident learnt of its impending closure more than 30,000ft in the air.

Andrew Willan, 28, was surfing the internet during a flight home from Australia when he came across the story about Ribchester’s annual May Market facing closure, from The Longridge News’ website.

Andrew, who not only lives in Ribchester and runs his own business in the village and has run stalls on the May Market, which is held annually on spring bank holiday Monday, felt saddened to hear the news.

When he arrived home, having spent five weeks in the Melbourne area visiting family and friends, one of the first things Andrew did was to buy a copy of the Longridge News to read about the impending closure.

Not wanting to see it close, he said: “I thought I would take it up, it would he a shame to see it fold after all these years.”

So he contacted Audrew Talbot, who is unable to chair the market committee any more due to family circumstances, and who had made a desperate, eleventh hour plea for someone to come forward and save it.

He said: “I thought I would give Audrey a ring and see what it entailed.”

They met up, and now the market, which is open for organisations, charities, businesses and individuals from either within or outside the village to run stalls for their own causes, will go ahead as planned on spring bank holiday, Monday, May 30 and bookings for stalls are being taken.

As has been the case for the last three years, the market will be staged on the car park at Bee Mill, from where Andrew runs his internet business “Spotty Green Frog,” selling wooden children’s toys.

Previously held outside The White Bull, Andrew hopes to have around 40 to 50 stalls maximum.

He is also busy advertising the market and is organising a leaflet drop.

“It should be a big one this year and it is open to anybody to sell anything,” said Andrew, adding that it is £10 per stall and if you wish to book one, then please contact him on 01243 820678.

Also, if anyone wishes to help out, as some of the other market committee members wish to stand down, then please let Andrew know.