Steve Walley, Conservative Town Councillor for the Stonefield & Christchurch Ward, put forward a motion at the September General Purposes Committee Meeting for Stone Town Council to explore the possibility of holding a floating market on Stone canalside.
Steve told us: "Whilst attending the Norbury Canal Festival, I was introduced to the coordinator of the Roving Canal Traders Association. One of the key aims of the RCTA is to hold waterside events that provide opportunities for roving canal traders. The RCTA were holding such an event at the Norbury festival which featured a number of barges operating a floating market, selling a selection of products, many of which were locally produced. The coordinator of the event was interested in exploring the possibility of holding such an event at Stone canal side. Holding these events requires coordination with other regional RCTA events in addition to the logistics of getting all the barges to the town on a given date. The RCTA require the blessing of town/parish councils before they will enter into any formal discussions or carry out site visits to assess the practicalities of holding an event, so i took this idea to the Stone Town Council General Purposes Committee Meeting. Holding a floating market at Stone canal side would be a great way to make more of the towns canal heritage, encourage more local residents to get onto the canal and attract new visitors to the town. I was really pleased that the motion was passed and the town clerk will now be working with the RCTA to try and develop the idea"