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Sacks of spuds and rock 'n' roll

Through rain, snow, sleet, gales and sunshine, the Cliftonville Farmers’ Market has won friends and tempted tastebuds with a glorious array of produce in the last 10 years.

From just six stallholders in September 2001, June and Keith Chadband’s fledgling project has expanded to an award-winning celebration of good quality home-grown food.

Two of the original stallholders – the award-winning Core Fruit Products and veg producer "Dickie" Ovenden – remain regulars at the Oval Lawns at Eastern Esplanade in Cliftonville.

June said: "We have four men who put up the gazebos and tables for the producers, from 7am on the last Sunday of the month, no matter what the weather. Sometimes we have as many as 22 gazebos.

"It would have been easy in the early days to have just packed up, but I have always liked a challenge and here we are, 10 years on.

"The market is self-funded and any small profit goes into the Cliftonville Residents’ Association account to buy new equipment when needed.

"When we won our first ‘Best in Kent Award’ in 2006 I was absolutely thrilled, and to win in 2007, 2008 and be finalists in the top three in 2009, 2010, has also been great. In 2008 we also won a Pride in Thanet award for the market.

"Four of our producers are also multi award-winners. So you see, we are truly an award-winning market."

To celebrate the tenth anniversary on Sunday, September 25, there will be entertainment all day. The fun starts with Offcumduns morris clog dancers from 10.30am, followed by duo Back2Back singing on the bandstand from 11.30 - 1.30pm. To finish the season of Sunday concerts, This Little Girl stage their rock’n’roll show from 2.30pm - 4.30pm.

June added: "We are just hoping that, for a change, the weather will be kind to us. We would like to thank all our producers who have stayed with us and all our loyal customers who have attended, no matter what the weather, throughout the last ten years."

The anniversary market on September 25 starts at 10am. For further details, email k.chadband@btinternet.com

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