Encore! That was the upbeat message from Newton Abbot market traders who enjoyed the buzz and footfall generated by the town's second continental market.
After a somewhat difficult relationship with the visiting traders last year, there is now anticipation in the air as plans are being made for another three day event this autumn. Chairman of the market traders' association, Ron Southcombe, said business had been good and the home and away traders had complemented each other. 'Saturday was really busy and the atmosphere throughout the weekend was good,' he said. 'We certainly competed well on price as I think a lot of customers discovered, particularly on items such as bread, flowers and leather goods.' Mr Southcombe said the Sunday trading exercise would be assessed before plans to repeat it during the next continental market could be confirmed. He praised the efforts of Paul Westlake, of Market Music, who organised live music in Market Walk, an event that featured a battle of the bands. 'A young band called Craze, from Torquay, took the honours,' said Mr Westlake. 'They and the other performers were great, as was our DJ, Steve Oram, who not only compered the event but played sounds from the 60s to the present throughout the day.' So impressed was Mr Westlake that he gave his two favourite bands a £50 voucher each to spend on his stall. Town centre manager, Barbara-Ann Curran, described the market as 'extremely successful' and said shops in the town had benefited. She also revealed that the visiting traders had been given a choice of venue for the weekend and some had chosen Derby over Newton Abbot, a decision they now regretted as business here in Devon had been much better. Newton Abbot traders secretary Lee Branson said of the forthcoming autumn market: 'I can't wait, bring it on.'