Turning back the clock for market

BANBURY went back in time on Friday as the the town held its first Victorian Market.

Cherwell district and Banbury town councils teamed up with retailers and market operator Sketts to hold the event in a bid to boost town centre trade.

Market Place and Parsons Street were filled with stalls offering everything from mulled wine and mince pies to Christmas wreaths.

And shopkeepers dressed in period attire attracted shoppers by taking their trade outside, serving customers on the street. Other attractions keeping visitors entertained included a merry-go-round for the little ones, a ‘police man’ riding a penny farthing through the town centre, stilt walkers and a live statue of a chimney sweeper.

Banbury town crier Anthony Church was also present, talking to shoppers. Marie Williams, Jenny Dancer and Avril Cooper of Age UK in Parsons Street went all out with their outfits to attract customers to the store and promote the event. They said they had good reactions to their costumes, which were lent to them by Wacky Wardrobes.

Mrs Williams, assistant store manager, said: “We’re doing it to promote Old Town shopping. Banbury is really hungry for things like this. This is only the first year and we’re hoping for many more.”