As a stakeholder of any Market in Wolverhampton I am sadly concerned! Why you may ask? After all Wolverhampton Market has thankfully gone through a market revamp which honestly is great news and it looks great, but it did take long enough!
This topic is weird for me to talk about, without insulting too many indirectly, but after all I am a market blogger from Wolverhampton, and I do have to talk about this and mention it, at the very least. You see what the problem I have is that it would seem now Wolverhampton market has finally been completed after how long, it would seem all the problems for Wolverhampton’s markets have been sorted, they have had great exposure in local press and by market organisations. But, sadly it seems like everybody has forgot about the bigger picture for markets of Wolverhampton which is that they still have 2 underperforming markets that aren’t talked about. From what I see when I pass through these markets is that they need a major revamp themselves, they are in need of major help so that the traders of these markets can keep trading and providing for the families. These markets I am speaking of are the street market of Wednesfield and the outdoor market of Willenhall, and don’t worry I haven’t forgot about Bilston.
I will start with Willenhall market, I wrote a blog about Willenhall nearly a year ago and in this blog I spoke about the TLC this market needs as well as the traders doing their parts, but still all this time later, nothing! Willenhall market is sadly still more or less empty in terms of traders and customers. Through seeing this market I would say it is clear as day this is the market that needs the biggest revamp of them all to bring in traders and customers. I remember when I first spoke to the traders some time ago they mentioned they don’t have toilets so where are they meant to go to relieve themselves, which is a valid point if you are at your stall 7 am til 5 pm or even 3pm this is a long time, so straight away there is something that can be done to help Willenhall market traders: GIVE THEM TOILETS!!! That’s just for starters; then maybe nice new stalls or even a little advertising, it is a market town after all. I mean come on why are you paying stall rent when you have not got a toilet not even a porta loo? Come on! Where is the stall rent going, because it sure as hell is not back into Willenhall.
This is a market I have seen a lot lately, and can I say credit to the traders of these markets, they are making the best of what they have and still turn up on market day early morning and set up stall and trade throughout the day, no matter what which is admirable. For example the other day it rained really hard, some parts of Wolverhampton flooded, to give you an example of how hard the rain was hitting and were these traders deterred? No, instead what they did do was just get their water proof stall covers and covered their stock and produce and carried on trading, bantering with the locals, soaking wet still trading because this is there life. In comparison, some of the Willenhall traders I know would have packed up already and called it a day, some not all keep in mind, but this is a mind-set all traders need to have to survive, and Wednesfield market is not the fanciest or decorated but the atmosphere is great, it is very little with fewer stalls but they do cover a lot. They have a great fruit and veg stall, key cutters stall, mobile accessories man, the man with the banter who at the moment is selling pillows but he sells a bit of everything, the clothes stall and the list could go on, but this market does not get a mention and on some days can have stalls free for use. Now this market has so much potential and with a revamp this market could be great as the traders and people of Wednesfield fully embrace and love their market.
Now this is a great market and has a fair bit of its own exposure, but this is because it is a great market, but lately when I have passed through I have noticed it is still not at full capacity as it once was, and I never have to que to walk through as I once did. I am more concerned for the outdoor market, but not a concern of it closing, but concerned that the market is under performing, they can get so much more out of this market but are not. I can’t help but think what this market could be with some more of the money they make actually put back into it, it is in a great location plenty parking spaces, next to a tram and a bus stop, next to Bilston town so people come around this area to shop anyway, it is even close to the famous Major’s chip shop. This area is easily accessible, people come here to shop, and have reasons to visit, traders have complained about rent rises and where the money is going so why can’t we make those traders happy if we can’t reduce rent? To improve the market show them what the money is being spent on, give them better electric sources, better tables, a little name to their stall just the little things to keep the people that make the market what it is: happy.
Basically what it comes down to for me is where are the revamps now to the markets that need it for their survival, why is it that now is everybody assuming everything is fixed in Wolverhampton because Wolverhampton market has had a revamp which I love, and am happy for but I don’t want it to stop there I want it to continue through the rest of Wolverhampton traditional markets and don’t want people to forget about these markets and the love which is needed to be put into them.
A message to the bigger organisations: please still look into Wolverhampton market and keep spreading the word of the revamp and how great it is, but please also look further, as with more attention on this topic people do see, read and hear and eventually the markets can get sorted.