Stratford-Upon-Avon Sunday Waterside Market, England
My weekend trip to Stratford-upon-Avon could not have ended better. As I walked to the Stratford-upon-Avon Waterside Sunday Waterside market the first thing I noticed was the rather colourful canopies of the stalls. The market which is well known takes place on Sundays and bank holidays and can be found alongside the River Avon with the Royal Shakespeare Company close by. As I approached the first in a long line of stalls, I noticed four or five live birds of prey. I had never seen any in such close quarters and judging by the crowd that gazed into the stall I probably was not the only one. The birds were there to raise awareness for a charity and could be stroked for a donation.
The rest of the market was full of stalls selling items such as ceramics, handcrafted gifts, clothing, jewellery and of course food. The birds of prey must have so impressed me that I sought more information about them from a stall owner who was selling scarves and bags imprinted with owls. She told me “the whole owl thing” was in fashion and and that local folklore suggested that they being good luck.
My favourite stall holder had to be the immaculately dressed gentleman in the straw hat demonstrating how to slice and chop various vegetables using all sorts of equipment, perhaps closely followed by the ceramic carver.
There was ironically enough, in this most English of enclaves, a Caribbean steel band bringing the happy-go lucky of Caribbean charm to the market.
As far as markets go this was one of my favourites. There is just something soothing about seeing fresh local produce, artisans and crafts made by local people. The pride that each stall holder had in their eyes as they demonstrated or talked to customers and tourists about their wares was one to behold.