THE humble town hall of Kendenup has gone from unused and vacated to a bustling marketplace and Taste Great Southern event point in less than a year, and to say the townspeople are proud of the feat would be an understatement.
Kendenup Town Hall Markets committee member Alice Stephenson explained the market was born from a ‘Save the Hall’ meeting held in April last year.
A selection of the Kendenup community came together and agreed their town hall needed to be used more than once a year for a school function.
Ms Stephenson feared the hall would be neglected and unattractive for future funding if it continued to be so rarely used.
“It’s a really important part of town because there’s not much here – if you’re not involved with sport or bridge or the church, there’s nothing,” she said.
“So, we thought, if we didn’t save it, we’d lose it.”
A dozen stallholders got together and held the very first Kendenup Town Hall Markets in June last year.
It has since doubled in size and seen the likes of Fremantle’s Bread in Common owner and head chef Scott Brannigan wander through the stalls.
“We weren’t expecting a chef!” Ms Stephenson laughed, reflecting on when she alerted Taste Great Southern of their April market this year.
“But it went down really well.”
Plantagenet Shire President Chris Pavlovich commended the Kendenup community on joining forces to breathe life into the town hall once more.
“The markets have certainly created a good sense of community and an optimism for Kendenup’s future,” he said.
“People attending the markets are supporting the local shop and the markets have created an opportunity for local small businesses to market their goods.
“This initiative to bring people to mix and socialise is a positive attribute lost in many urban areas.”
Mr Pavlovich believed that with events such as the markets and a large number of affordable properties in the area, the Kendenup population “should rise expediently over the next decade”.
The next Kendenup Town Hall Markets will be held on June 8 from 9am to 1pm.