End of an era as monthly market closes
THE monthly Alstonville market is no more.
Market manager Jenny Johnson last week announced on Facebook that the monthly market has been cancelled immediately.
The next market was due to be held on Saturday.
Ms Johnson cited a "massive" increase in rent on the shed at the Alstonville showground, imposed by the Alstonville Agricultural Society, as the reason she decided to pull the pin.
"I was left with no choice," she said.
But society president, Sam Stephens, said there was no rental increase.
He said a reduced rent had been set for a trial period, and that trial period had now ended, so it was time for the market manger to pay the market rental amount for the shed, which had been set by the society several years ago.
In the end, it was Ms Johnson who made the decision to end the market.
"It's disappointing. The market was starting to get really good, and getting more stalls," she said.
"It was starting to build up. I gave it my best shot.
"A lot of locals are upset about it."
Ms Johnson has 30 years' experience as a market stallholder and also manages the Evans Head market.
Ms Johnson said she was attracting 40-45 stallholders.
However, the Alstonville market has had several managers, over the past 14 years. Even Ms Johnson admitted previous markets had struggled.