WHEN a farmer’s market was in danger of folding, a group of residents decided to come to the rescue.

The Wivenhoe Farmer’s Market, which has been held at the Congregational Hall in the High Street since 2006, used to be organised with help from en-form, Colchester’s environmental charity.

It was originally set up by Transition Town Wivenhoe and en-form helped with administration.

However, in the summer, en-form said it was unfortunately unable to continue co-ordinating the monthly event.

At this point, it was feared the market would close altogether.

However, a group of residents decided to step up and try to revive the market, turning it into a whole new experience.

Katy Freeman, Emma Evans, Liz Dawson and Ruth Melville are now leading the project, renamed as simply Wivenhoe Market.

Liz said: “We didn’t want to let it die and we wanted to relaunch it.

“We changed it to Wivenhoe Market rather than a farmer’s market as we have expanded what is in offer, it’s not just food or farm produce.

“En-form are still supportive of the event, they are just not directly involved.”

Markets are going through a renaissance with Borough Market in London now one of go to places for tourists seeking to browse stalls selling niche goods as well as fresh goods.

The first public meeting to get the revived market up and running in Wivenhoe was held in May.

It was a chance for residents to discuss ideas on what could be done to save it.

Liz, who is a jewellery maker, added: “At the moment there are four of us and we share jobs between us.

“We book traders, design the website and social media, and organise publicity.

“We want to try to get some more people involved as it is a lot of work.”

The group of women hope the new market will create a more social atmosphere.

Liz said: “I went to the market a few times before the changeover and there wasn’t that many traders there.

“It was mostly about the food and there was only a couple of stalls.”

One of the new elements of the market is the range of craft items on sale, which did not feature at the previous market.

Emphasis is also being put on eco-friendly items.

Visitors can reduce plastic waste by using the refill scheme for household cleaning products and dried foods, and get their knives and garden tools professionally sharpened.

There will also live music and a bunting design competition for children.

Liz added: “I think markets are very popular, just for slightly different reasons.

“In the early days they were popular because it was the only form of shopping around, but now it’s more about the social aspect.

“People comment on what a nice and friendly vibe it has and they like to soak up the atmosphere.

“I really enjoy the social aspect, I have only been in Wivenhoe for about a year but it’s lovely bumping into everyone you have ever met.”

The new market is being launched tomorrow and will run from 9.30am until 2pm at the Congregational Hall in Wivenhoe High Street.

After this it will be held on the third Saturday of each month.

For more information or to inquire about having a stall visit www.wivenhoemarket.co.uk or email wivenhoemarket@gmail.com.