Market ‘hanging on’

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on October 4, 2019

ALBANY’S monthly Scots Uniting Church craft market will cease to exist if a charity organisation cannot be found to supply food at the event.

Event liaison Edith Verran said the market was “hanging on” but the likelihood of pulling the pin on it altogether was sadly coming closer to being a reality.

She reached out to the Weekender in an attempt to catch the eye of a charitable organisation that would fit the bill of food service.

“At the start, the church ladies provided the food at a very reasonable price,” Ms Verran explained.

“And lots of people would come; they’d come to socialise, it was lovely.

“But the ladies got too old, so they stopped, and the Leukaemia Foundation group stepped in and did soup and sandwiches.”

Ms Verran said this group could not muster enough helpers to get back into it after the church’s kitchen was closed for six months for renovations.

Since the reopening, visitor numbers have dwindled without the lure of food and Ms Verran is heartbroken at the thought of having to put an end to the market.

“We’re all old, we can’t do it,” she said of the current church members.

“We’re happy for any charity groups to come and use the kitchen for free, but it has to be [raising money] for a charitable organisation – and it can just be simple food.

“Otherwise, the market will close if there’s no food.”

Ms Verran reflected on the significance of the market to the Albany community.

“I think it’s very important,” she said.

“People would always come back and meet their friends, and it’s great for pensioners because they don’t have much money and there’s always well-priced meals … and there’s always very friendly people at the market.”

Prospective charity groups must be available two days every month to provide food at the market and can choose their own operating hours between 9am and 3pm.

The commercial-grade kitchen has plentiful crockery, cutlery and storage, a dishwasher, stove, oven and fridges, and Ms Verran said the Church was happy to purchase slow cookers for use.

The craft market has existed for 35 years, 27 of them whilst located at the Scots Uniting Church on York Street.

Interested groups are urged to contact Ms Verran on 9841 2729.