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End of an era as Swan Market closes its doors

Producers at The Swan Market, Buckingham enjoying the World's Biggest Coffee Morning last year

Producers at The Swan Market, Buckingham enjoying the World's Biggest Coffee Morning last year

Next Saturday sees the end of an era for Buckingham, when the town’s Swan Market closes its doors.

Formerly the WI Market, the Swan Market has been selling home-made produce including cakes, jams and pickles for nearly 60 years.

It will open for the last time in the Salvation Army Hall on Moreton Road on Saturday, April 26.

Everyone is invited to enjoy a farewell cup of tea or coffee and a slice of cake between 8am and noon on the final day.

The Swan Market is run by a committee of volunteers, none of whom are getting any younger, said secretary John Riches.

Mr Riches said: “The market has been operating for, we think, about 59 years and we’ve got to the point where the officers and directors of the company want to retire.

“I’d like to retire as well. I’ll be 73 this year and I don’t want to do it for much longer. Getting up at six o’clock in the morning in the winter is hard.

“We’re all volunteers. None of us get paid for the organising. I’ve been involved with it now probably 11 or 12 years but some of them have been doing it for 28 years.”

Mr Riches said it has been hard to recruit people to make the produce, with the market now down to five producers.

“The biggest hurdle has been recruiting new people on a consistent basis,” he said.

“Two of the five producers have full-time jobs as well.

“Some of our producers were starting cooking on a Tuesday night.”

He added: “Some customers are really upset. We’re upset as well. It’s going to be a wrench for us as all.

“But we’re all at the stage in our lives where there’s other things to do.”

The Swan Market wants to thank all its past and present customers and producers for their support over the years.

 

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