Shoppers and traders have welcomed the return of their popular weekly market – three months after it was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bentilee Market is now back outside Bentilee Neighbourhood Centre from 9am to 4pm every Tuesday. Stalls were selling clothes, confectionery, household items and phone accessories.
And customers are pleased to see the estate start to return to some form of normality.
Customer and NHS worker Sarah Woodcock, aged 29, from Bentilee, said: “It’s nice to see a bit of a return to normality. We have really missed the market, it’s really close to our house so very convenient and there are all sorts of things to look for.
“With it being outdoor it feels a lot safer. The stalls are accepting cash, but everything is handled well with stall-holders wearing gloves, so it feels very safe.”
Daughter Lea-Marie, aged 12, added: “The market is only around the corner for us. It’s nice to come along and see everything on offer. There’s a bit of everything, including nick-nacks and bedding.”
Fellow shopper Joan Dicksy has always lived in Bentilee and used to work at Nik-naks, on Dawlish Drive. She is happy to see the area bustling again.
The 73-year-old said: “It’s great to have the market back and see so many people coming out to support the stalls.
“It’s really important at the moment that we support local traders and local businesses and just come together as a community to get back to normality.”
Frankie Singh travels from Wolverhampton to run his men’s fashion stall.
He said: “It’s absolutely great to be back after what has been a long break. Normally we hate having bad weather but we are very happy to be here whether it rains or not.
“Everyone feared the worst when the lockdown began and had the worst expectations of what would happen, but luckily things have been OK and we have been able to return to normality.
“There are slight issues, for example, people won’t be going on holiday so they may not need certain kinds of clothes, but generally things are fine and we have seen a mix of new and old faces.
“I bought a card reader to prepare for people wanting to pay by card because most supermarkets and shops are contactless-only now. But I haven’t had to use it. People are happy to still use cash and I make sure I am wearing gloves so there are no issues.”