Chamber goes it alone

Morpeth Chamber of Trade's Christmas event in the Market Place.
Morpeth Chamber of Trade's Christmas event in the Market Place.

CHRISTMAS shoppers picked up some extra bargains in Morpeth as a new traders’ event welcomed in the festive season.

The Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade has previously taken part in the town’s annual Mistletoe Fair, but this year the group decided to go it alone with its own festive event in the Market Place.

And on Saturday, 17 traders from around the town set out their wares in the square, as well as encouraging customers to explore more of their goods in their shops with offers of discount vouchers.

Two jugglers from King Edward VI School helped to warm up the atmosphere on the chilly winter’s day, along with a saxophonist.

Chamber Chairman John Beynon said: “This was an experiment in trying to get Morpeth traders a higher profile with shoppers by letting them display their goods and services in a market environment in the lead up to Christmas.

“As an experiment it was highly successful and the 17 traders who took part were very enthusiastic about the results.

“The basic idea was for shoppers to see what is on offer in the Market Place and then be directed to the relevant shops to view a more extensive range of goods. This worked and the chamber will be collating the results over the next few weeks.”

In addition to shopkeepers setting out their own stalls, the chamber had its own stand to sell its new More in Morpeth re-useable bags.

The stall was manned by Mr Beynon and Morpeth Mayor Phil Taylor and more than 100 bags were sold.

They are still available to buy from participating retailers for £2.50 each.

Mr Beynon said: “The new bags will now be sold from shops throughout the town and it is hoped that people will purchase them not only as a means to overcoming the plastic bag problem, but also to promote the town and its new trading website.”

Following the success of the Christmas Fair, the trade group hopes to make it an annual event.