Verdict on the socially-distanced market?

At least one reader was much exercised by the new-look socially-distanced Farmers Market held on Sunday. 

Wansteadium reader Brian Humphreys wrote: “I am disgusted this was allowed to return so early. Hardly anyone I saw was safe distancing. It should not be allowed to return until the New Year.”

He said he had written to John Cryer MP to protest and would ignore the market if it was held again next month.

Others commented that it was safer than going to Tesco or the Co-op. For Wansteadium’s money, it felt like people were attempting to keep their distance from each other – not religiously, perhaps, but it certainly wasn’t life back to normal. 

One can’t help thinking that the wide pavement Wanstead High Street is blessed with could help play a part in life and businesses getting back on their feet. 

Perhaps when non-essential shops re-open, Redbridge could signal that they could use the areas immediately outside their shops to trade more safely in the open air. This would be a nice gesture, especially since several shops received threats and fines last year for making minor incursions on to the pavement.

13 Comments on "Verdict on the socially-distanced market?"


  1. I didn’t buy much, because many of the stalls didn’t have their produce sufficiently protected from aerosol transmission.

    Nice to stroll up the middle of Wellington Road by the Cuckfield.


    1. It’s no longer called a ‘Farmers Market’
      It’s now called a ‘Community Market’


  2. Does Mr Humphrey’s work? If he does is he furloughed? Or, is he retired? I went to the market to support the traders who so desperately need to earn some money. Unless this country tries to get back to normal many future generations will lead a dreadful life bereft of money or job opportunities. If you don’t like it Mr Humphreys just stay away. Don’t try and ruin people’s lives more than they have been ruined already by writing to John Cryer. Shame on you.


    1. Do you know Kim, that would be my sentiment – I didn’t go to the market because both myself and my husband have to make sure we keep safe – My sister reports to me on a daily basis of people being silly, so the market would not change peoples habits, it just changes their route!!! better outside in the air than batting people off in the supermarkets because they get too close -Stay home Mr Humphreys.


    2. Brian Humphreys replies:
      Regarding the Farmers market. I stick by what I commented on. I have noted Kim Smith’s comments which are extremely rude and an apology would be acceptable. For her information I work full time for a law firm and have been working full time every day through the lockdown as a key worker paying special attention to all the rules and using PPE at all times. Loosening the restrictions is far too premature which the medical scientists have been telling us all along. When I attended the market last month there were far too many people walking around coughing, sneezing etc hardly anyone bothering to use face masks. I rest my case.


  3. Calling it a farmer market is disingenuous in my opinion – more like a general market. I don’t see much evidence of artisan high quality produce. Last time I went there, noticed a vaping stall – what has that got to do with farmers?

    As general market go, it is average and just makes walking that side of street slower and causes more traffic congestion


    1. Yes calling it a farmers market is very disingenuous but so is the Local makers market also held in Wanstead. I am local florist who works from home at seasonal times. I tried to get a stall at Christmas but was told they already had a florist and that I could not have a stall. The florist was from Hackney that isn’t local. Stow Brothers In Wanstead support the local makers market and I did go in to ask if they were aware the traders were not local but they weren’t really bothered. I love the markets and whenever possible support our local shops and traders but feel deceived by these names they are passing under.


      1. It’s no longer called a ‘Farmers Market’
        It’s now called a ‘Community Market’


  4. What does it matter if Mr Humphrey is working or not or retired? His opinion is as valid as yours Kim and mine and anyone elses! Shame on you Kim for being so rude. He is concerned for his health and well being perhaps also of his family and I also happen to agree with his concerns. Whilst many are, but as many are not safe distancing, wearing face masks and generally not respecting the fact that Covid-19 is still very much around, I also will not be going any where where so many people will be gathering.

    But if the Market should go ahead, why not hold it on Christchurch Green where there is far more space for much needed safer distancing. If this occurs, please all be mindful of those around you and wear masks – and please, be kind to each other!


  5. The easing of lockdown is, in my opinion, way too premature. Many medical and scientific professionals are in agreement, it seems. Damaged economy or loss of life? Difficult to call? I think not!


  6. If you don’t like it, don’t go. Others do, and should be allowed to, both for their general well being and the business of the Stall holders.
    The road closures were a step in the right direction too.


  7. I am in absolute support of protecting our local businesses and wish them up and trading as soon as possible, however there is a certain amount of arrogance with the people of wanstead in not respecting social distancing. I love wanstead and our lovely community but we are not untouchable so please let’s be sensible, the pandemic is still around let’s not rush this and suffer the consequences. I was in shock on sunday watching people standing around chatting side by side and Christchurch park was like festival day!!
    If not for yourselves at least think about others..

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