These really are peculiar times. Brownhills Market, originally operated by Spook Erection and closed when Walsall Council failed to reach agreement about lease renewal, is to reopen again in November under the auspices of local market operator, LSD promotions. This wouldn’t be too remarkable were it not for the fact that after the original closure, Walsall blew local market operators LSD Promotions out with their offer to operate the once popular event, attempting to disastrously manage it themselves. Predictably, the council made a complete arse out of the operation and trading ceased early in 2010.
Since then, there have been rumblings that the council were asking for commercial tenders to operate the market. I didn’t really treat these stories particularly seriously, as Walsall MBC says a lot of things, but means few of them. Yesterday, reports appeared stating that LSD, operators of Bescot’s highly popular Sunday Market, had got the gig. This caused a wry raising of the eyebrows for a couple of reasons.
Bescot Sunday Market hasn’t been without controversy – it has been raided for counterfeit goods in the past (and the operators, LSD promotions, have welcomed the clampdown on dodgy traders, there’s no suggestion of impropriety to make that perfectly clear) and just last week, MP Tom Watson made a statement over his concerns that machetes and other weapons were available there. Since it’s often cited that the reason for the ousting of Spook Erection was a similar counterfeit trade problem – seemily endemic to most markets and boot sales – this seems a bit surprising.
The Council themselves were busy trumpeting last night on twatter what good news this all is – and indeed, it is; I welcome anything that improves trade in the town and the loss of the market and it’s crowds has been felt somewhat keenly by town shopkeepers. I just find it amusing that the very people who made such an embarrassing, cock-eyed mess of the situation, are now hailing their rescue by people they originally rejected. Wonders never cease.
The revived market will now operate on Thursdays and Saturdays – but I’ll make some efforts to check that as the Express & Star have previously printed conflicting schedules.
If anyone should find a cheap sense of irony for sale when the bazaar reopens, please consider purchasing it and handing it over to Walsall Council’s press office. They seem to have mislaid theirs.
Brownhills Market is to return for two days a week from November under a leading Black Country management firm, it emerged today.
LSD Promotions will relaunch the Silver Street pitch on Thursdays and Saturdays…
Read more at the Express & Star site