There’s been a market on the same site in Altrincham since 1290 when Edward I gave a charter to the town to organise one. It was a great honour and not every place got one. In those days everyone shopped at a market and you had to be quick as they weren’t on everyday. I’m not sure when stand alone shops came in. Probably in the big towns like London where there was a demand for goods and services more often than the market was held. Gradually shops took over and the weekly markets became events where you could pick something up cheaply. As the country has got richer, they declined, becoming the province of the poorer people in society. A few years ago it looked like they might disappear altogether.
But, of late, they have had a renaissance. The popular ones have changed their purpose, becoming farmer’s markets or markets specialising in crafts and the like. Altrincham used to be a great place to shop. It’s in the wealthiest part of the city surrounded by places with tree lined streets lined with £million houses. Altrincham should benefit from its wealthy inhabitants but it has fallen on hard times. People jump on the tram and go into Manchester to shop. Either that or it’s into the BMW and off to the massive Trafford Centre. Compared with those places, Altrincham looks tired and old.
The local politicians have decided enough is enough and there is a lot of regeneration going on. Goose Green is good to visit and the old market area is wonderful. The old market building has been turned into a foodie paradise and is always busy with people enjoying food with friends. It’s been a huge success. And the outside market has been turned into one that specialises in high class food, antiques and crafts. I was there today and liked this stall selling things that your four legged, doggie friend might like.