While it’s been a hard year for everyone, some market traders have at least managed to keep a presence at both Stockbridge and Leith Markets. This has helped them to stay afloat. 

The markets made the difficult decision to have only essential food stalls when they reopened in July last year after the first lockdown. This meant that all craft stalls were suspended to comply with the restrictions, but were allowed back in August when restrictions were once again eased.

Alexis Southam Jewellery at Stockbridge Market. Photo: Martin P. McAdam www.martinmcadam.com

Beth Berry who runs the markets said: “Some traders had an online presence, but it’s just not the same as meeting your customer and offering advice on their purchase. 

We followed advice and took non-essential stalls out again at the start of this year but following the latest government advice, the market has decided to slowly reintroduce craft stalls from the first weekend in May. We will of course still be observing supervised entry and exit, one way system, hand sanitising and social distancing.

“To begin with there will only be one or two craft stalls at each market. In May in Stockbridge we welcome back jewellery stalls Alexis Southam, Templetree Silver and All Fired Up. 

“There will also be craft stalls including local artists Als Couzins and Liam Dobson, and popular children’s clothing and art stall –  Cahoots, our own special Indian artefact stall Gecko Gallery, and Green Earth Beads which specialises in hand made goods, including bags and jewellery, JoJo candles and leather specialist, Workshop After Six.

“Due to all the Covid restrictions we really have to limit the number of stalls and it’s been very hard to decide who gets a place. All of our traders are desperate to return to the market, start their businesses up again and talk to their customers. 

“As things hopefully slowly return to ‘normal’ we will bring back more traders but the last thing we want after all this time is to start to trade irresponsibly, and we will be keeping a very careful eye on the situation. You can see who is at the market by looking at the website where each Monday afternoon we update the list of who will be present the following weekend.

“In Leith we welcome back Amaranthine  and Estia , both doing fabulous soaps and lotions, also Blue Kitty Jewellery and Green Earth Beads. Long awaited by the dog friendly community we welcome back Collared By Mark with his tweed creations for humans and dogs, and also Rosstic Woodcraft.”

For the moment the weekly market in the Grassmarket remains closed, but Beth says she will be watching what happens there with outside hospitality and general footfall. As soon as they deem it safe they will open again.

Beth said: “Please support small local independents, we are here for you all year round, and we help our city to be alive and individual. We really appreciate the support and thriving local businesses is good for everyone.”

Stockbridge Market. Photo: Martin P. McAdam www.martinmcadam.com