From fresh foods to flowers; ethical gifts and vintage timepieces, today’s open market, under the land mark Clock Tower, certainly hosts variety and now with its recent 2.5 million investment program, the first major public realm investment for 20 years, it’s hoping to bring in some new small traders, too. The electric bollards are a game changer for street food vendors and for when the fair can come back to town and once the event space is complete and we can of course safely and slowly return to the ‘new normal’ there will undoubtedly be more buzz and activity as Epsom gradually begins to reopen.
Businesses have been hit hard but being a market trader takes real determination. Talking of which, Perry’s Meat – a mobile butcher – travels down all the way from Birmingham to Epsom every week to set up! Dedication, right?
Whether it’s the brother-run flower stand, Louise’s fashion stall that’s 30 years strong, the fruit and veg stall run by Gordon Robbins for the last 3 decades or The Egg Man, a husband and wife team who sell eggs from local farms now branching out into home-made Surrey preserves and jams. Ask any of the traders what brings them back, rain or shine and they’ll unanimously agree – a community of loyal customers.
Step back in time
Did you know that Epsom market wasn’t always where it is now? Up until 1995 the market was mainly indoors. Access was gained two ways, the first via Waterloo Road, what’s now a private car park opposite Nando’s. The other is now the automatic doors to Wilkinson’s which opened in 1999. Spacious but not modern, in the 80s Epsom indoor market was likened to an Aladdin’s Cave – some say it also had its own distinct scent, too! Various stalls were set up; fashion ones packed with Lycra leggings and crop tops in every colour imaginable. There was a carpet shop, butchers and fishmongers. All your Atari or Commodore 64 requirements were met in what can only be described as a dark cavern in the corner; a 50p stall meant you could always spend your pocket money and then there was the infamous Dave’s discount store. Epsom’s very own answer to ‘Del Boy’.
- Epsom Outdoor Market is opened every Thursday and Saturday, 8am to 5pm
- Every first Sunday of the month, visit from 9:30 to 1:30pm for The Farmer’s Market for fresh, local produce.
- Surrey Vegan Market on the 4th Sunday of every month offers global street food and drinks plus ethical products, clothing and gifts.