Chiswick Flower Market, which was held for the first time in September, will not be going ahead in October. The organisers (of whom The Chiswick Calendar editor Bridget Osborne is one) have released this statement:
‘It is with great regret that the organisers of the Chiswick Flower Market have decided to cancel the October market, which was due to take place next Sunday 4th October.
‘The decision was taken in the light of the worsening national Covid-19 situation and in consultation with London Borough of Hounslow’s Director of Public Health, local businesses, our traders, local residents and our marshals. Whilst open-air markets can be held legally, we felt that it would not be appropriate to go ahead at this time.
‘We have been carefully weighing the pros and cons of following up the hugely successful inaugural market and sadly came to this decision today. (Friday 25 September)
‘We would like to thank all our traders and marshals who have patiently supported us in the ongoing discussions and who will be as disappointed as we are by this decision. The September market brought great benefit, both economically and socially to the area.
Hope to return first Sunday in November
‘We hope to return in November with a bigger and better market, with strengthened safety measures including ticketed slots, and a well-regulated queuing system, as well as a dedicated early morning shopping session for more vulnerable flower lovers.
‘We are determined that despite this set-back, our work will continue to bring the community together, to revitalise our High Road and to help new and established independent businesses.
‘We are exploring methods by which the traders could still sell their plants, bulbs and flowers. Please note that on our website www.chiswickflowermarket.com most of the traders have online shops and you can support them by purchasing your flowers and other horticultural goodies direct from them
‘We are very disappointed to have to take this step, but given the current surge in infections throughout the country, it seems to us to be the right step. We hope to see you in November and wish everyone a safe experience through the next months’.
“Right decision” says council Leader Steve Curran
In response to the statement received from the Chiswick Flower Market organisers, Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council said:
“Chiswick Flower Market is a fantastic addition to the borough, and the first one last month was a great success.
“It’s a real shame the October one has had to be cancelled. I and hundreds of other people were looking forward to its return.
“However, given the new national guidelines which came into force this week, cancelling it was the right decision. People’s safety must come first.
“I’d like to thank the market organisers for being so responsible and the Council looks forward to supporting them to hopefully make the November market go ahead in a Covid secure way.”
Support from Chiswick residents
The organisers of the market have had lots of supportive comments from both traders and local residents, including this from Tim English:
“It’s a shame, the first was wonderful, but I think it’s the right decision. I look forward to coming to the next, whenever that might be”
and this from Emma Renton:
“Hopefully there will be many more markets in the future”.
Cllr Ron Mushiso, who is deputy leader of the Conservative councillors in Chiswick added:
“Chiswick Flower Market was a resounding success when it launched in early September. I was delighted to have played a small role as one of the Marshalls on the day and was looking forward to continuing my role on Sunday 4th October. But the decision by the organisers is the right one given the current circumstances. I know a lot of people will be disappointed but public safety has to take priority”.