KEEN shoppers flocked to Caldicot on Saturday and Sunday as the town's monthly market got back under way - for the first time this year.

Thirty traders filled the stalls with a steady flow throughout the weekend allowing for easy social distancing.

Organiser Aaron Reeks thanked everyone for their efforts in getting the market, which is organised by Caldicot Town Team, back up and running after nine months away.

“It’s been too long,” he said. “It’s brought a sense of normality back for us all and on the whole people came out and supported the traders.

“We understand people are concerned about the pandemic, but social distancing is in place and it’s crucial we support our town.”

As well as the market, plans are also in the pipeline for a pop-up shop in the centre of town for November and December, with two venues in mind.

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“It’s something we feel we need to be doing to give some traders a boost in the build up to Christmas,” Mr Reeks added.

“It’s a little slower than we would like at the moment because we’re light on volunteers, but discussions are progressing to enhance the offering of the town centre in the short term.”


On the outlook for traders coming out of lockdown, he said: “I’m hopeful after this weekend, although it’s a shame there are still a lot of empty units and we have to rely on pop-up shops.

“It’s becoming far too expensive to start up new businesses in towns like this – although that’s the same for the whole of Wales.”

Trader Irene Quelch said it has been a hard slog over the last few months, and she was delighted to be back.

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"It has been really pleasant and it's no nice to see people buzzing around in the street again," she said.

"I actually did better than expected."

Ms Quelch was selling Christmas crafts, and it seems many were getting their gifts in early.

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"Some were worried about a second lockdown and wanted to get it while they could," she added. "Fingers crossed there isn't another one (lockdown). My face painting business hasn't got back up and running yet, and I'm relying on the crafts at the moment.

"It's crucial we help customers get their confidence back, and the team at Caldicot Town did a great job with the social distancing."