Celebrations along the high streets of Britain have been few and far between in the last few years, so the official re-opening of Barnet Market after its recent make-over was just the kind of fillip local traders have been crying out for. Hopefully the revival of the market, much strengthened by the attraction of additional stallholders, will give a much-needed boost to the Spires shopping centre and help to stem the run of retail closures.
New steel frames for the market stalls, topped off with a smart set of awnings, gave the market a fresh look as friends, supporters and stallholders celebrated the first Saturday’s trading on the resurfaced site (9.11.2013). At last the Friends of Barnet Market had a positive story to tell: after six years’ disruption and uncertainty the market finally had a settled site and an opportunity to rebuild the custom lost since the demolition of what was once Barnet’s cattle market. Rarely has High Barnet been so united than in its campaign to preserve one of the town’s few remaining living links to its historic past – a market that was originally given its royal charter by King John in the 12th century. Among those who joined the celebrations to mark the re-opening were the Chipping Barnet MP, Mrs Theresa Villiers, and leading members of the Friends of Barnet Market, the Barnet Society, Barnet Residents Association and other local groups. Their presence was a chance to say a collective “thank you” to all those who had campaigned so steadfastly on the market’s behalf and who have done all they can to encourage customers to remain loyal to the small band of stallholders who never gave up of returning to their traditional site.