I was extremely disappointed that Hertsmere Borough Council has decided to drop the Radlett Farmers’ Market after the trial period. But not surprised. It was obvious from the first market that it was not being marketed properly and I – like several other people locally – discussed it with the organisers and the Council.
The main problem was that Hughmark, the company organising the market, are not local (they are based in Reading) so quite reasonably asked Hertsmere if they could put up banners and signs to advertise it. Hertsmere said they would need to apply for planning permission which would take eight weeks so, unsurprisingly, Hughmark didn’t bother and probably decided immediately the trail was going to fail. Before the final market I and others (including the Parish Council) offered to help put up banners but they didn’t take up our offer.
It’s time Hertsmere got real on this. There are innumerable banners placed all over the place in Watling Street by all sorts of people, including local drama, art and music societies and various businesses. They are normally put up a week or so before an event and then taken down again afterwards. And Hertsmere does nothing about them as their officials rarely venture into Radlett because, as I have found on a number of occasions, many of them do not even know Radlett is in Hertsmere. Which begs the question for another time – why are we part of Hertsmere anyway?
I note that the preferred bidder for running Aldenham Country Park has suggested running a Farmers’ Market there so maybe we will revert to a monthly market there in future. Or perhaps we might still get a Radlett Farmers’ Market, maybe in the service road in front of the shops this time to make it more visible?