Thursday, 19 July 2007

Market forces

Fakenham Market, Norfolk - July 2007

Fakenham is an old market town in Norfolk well known for the size and quality of its market. Like many towns, Fakenham has had a market for hundreds of years, but unlike many market towns around the UK , Fakenham's has remained strong. Many old towns dating back to the medieval period and before, have allowed their markets to decline through neglect or mismanagement.

This image sums up what a market is about. People go to have a chat, meet friends, browse and buy groceries. The market acts like a social network for the local community but it also attracts customers to the town shops. Markets entice people into town and once there, the shops benefit from the increase in customers through the door.

I love markets. A market is a great place for a photographer to take pictures without being noticed too much. Most people are too busy concentrating on the stalls and the bargains to notice you. Those that do don't seem to mind that much.

A few years ago, a market like Fakenham's was common in most market towns. These days, a market on this scale and quality are becoming rare and the commercial future for some British market towns is bleak to say the least.

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