Sadness as popular country market to close after 40 years

beccles country market

Beccles Country Market will close after at least 40 years. - Credit: Archant

Beccles Country Market is set to close after several decades due to the effects of Covid and new labelling on food ingredients.

It has been a staple of the town for at least 40 years now.

Originally starting in the Beccles Public Hall in 1978, the market is known for offering visitors and locals alike fresh food and ingredients from the Quaker Hall in Beccles.

beccles country market

Beccles Country Market has been running for 40 years. - Credit: Archant

The country market will be hosting its very last market on December 17, closing permanently due to the effects of Covid.

Many elderly residents have decided to stop visiting due to Covid, meaning the market have not been able to generate enough profit.

The chair of the country market, Sylvia Greenacre, 77, has worked at the market for 25 years and said it will be greatly missed in the town.

She said: "We're very upset that we will be closing.

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"We've been closed from time to time before but never have we had to close entirely.

"Elderly residents are worried about catching Covid, particularly if they haven't had their booster jab.

"A lot of them used to come from Reydon near Southwold but now many wish to shop local and avoid travel when they can."

beccles country market

The market has become a place for friends to meet and socialise on a weekly basis. - Credit: Archant

She added labelling rules on food and ingredients following the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died on a British Airways flight after an allergic reaction, has impacted small food markets like ones in Beccles, who can not keep up with labelling all their ingredients.

Mrs Greenacre reflected with sadness that regular visitors each week have decreased as time has passed but that it will be greatly missed by those who do attend.

"I know many regulars will be upset to hear this news," Mrs Greenacre said.

"But we live in such uncertain times now and all of us are getting rather old too.

"We aren't sure whether anything will replace the country market yet, it is too early to tell.

"It's a difficult and sad decision but one which had to be taken."

The final country market will be happening at the Quaker Hall in Beccles on December 17.

The country market will be open from 9.30 until 11.30am.