There has been a lot written about the council’s attempts to sell off the wholesale markets site in the centre of the Birmingham (see Our Birmingham for this) and the effect this would have on the vibrant street market that is such a feature of the city centre, but for those who live out in South Birmingham, is it enough to only have markets like this in the centre of town?
I’m not going to go into how much I hate supermarkets or the effect that they have on local small businesses in this post, but I have read a lot about this and am convinced that people are being denied the opportunity to fresh ingredients at reasonable prices by the dominance of big retailers.
What I wanted to ask people here is whether you think South Birmingham would benefit from having more street markets, too. There is an excellent Farmers Markets in Kings Norton, but as far as I know there isn’t anything further out and it’s only once a month. It quite a trek to have to go all the way into the centre of town to have to buy fruit and veg from a market, so would there be a point in having regular street markets in more places outside the centre of town?
I love the buzz that they provide and the way they bring all kinds of people together. You don’t get the kinds of guarantees of uniformity of size and quality that you do in a supermarket, but that’s half the fun. The dodgier quality items are still fine in soups, stews or conserves – a perfect form is rarely needed unless you’re doing some really ridiculous presentation for a Come Dine With Me type of dinner party.
I haven’t looked into what would be needed to get such things going, so it’s not a business proposition or a practical suggestion at this stage, but as someone who loves going to street markets, I was just wondering if other people feel the lack of them, too.