Popular country market held for the last time after 43 years

beccles country market

The Beccles Country Market has been running for more than 40 years. - Credit: Mick Howes

A popular country market which has been held for more than 40 years closed its doors for the very last time.

Beccles Country Market has shut after decades due to the effects of Covid and requirements over new labelling on food ingredients.

country market

The country market has stopped because of Covid and new labelling rules. - Credit: Mick Howes

It has been a staple of the town for 43 years.

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.

The country market hosted its very last market on Friday, December 17.

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


It was a sad day for volunteers. - Credit: Mick Howes

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

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She said: "It was a good final market that we had on today.

"We got to see lots of old faces which was nice.

"But it is closed now after 40 years and that's that.

"It will take a while for all this to sink in because it has been such a huge part of the town's history.

"We will miss it each week and more importantly we will miss all our loyal customers."

Caption: Sylvia Reeve receives her shopping from Jill Starling on her regular visit to the Beccles C

Beccles Country Market in 2005 - Credit: Beccles and Bungay Journal

Labelling rules on food introduced after the death of 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died on a British Airways flight after an allergic reaction, has also impacted small food markets, which can often not keep up with labelling all their ingredients.

Mrs Greenacre said numbers of regular visitors each week had decreased as time passed but that it will be greatly missed by those who do attend.

Beccles Country Market. A customer is served from (from right) Anne Tipple, Sylvia Greenacre and Jil

Beccles Country Market in 2008 - Credit: Andy Darnell

"Two or three volunteers will now go over to Bungay Country Market," Mrs Greenacre said.

"The rest of us will just fade into the background now, but that is life.

"What I would love to say though is a big massive thank you to all of our loyal customers, both in Beccles and further afield these past 40 years.

"Without you, the Beccles Country Market would not have been as successful as it was."

Producers at Beccles country market are desperately trying to keep the market going despite a downtu

Beccles Country Market in 2013 - Credit: Nick Butcher