In late February it was reported that the Monday market was to be cancelled on the day the Tour de France comes to Epping, and that the stallholders were unhappy about this decision. We will be in the national and international spotlight on that day, and I could see the importance of demonstrating to both the media and the thousands of visitors viewing the Tour that Epping is a vibrant market town with determination to overcome any local difficulties.
To that end I decided to show support for the stallholders and contacted the town clerk, urging the council to give serious consideration to alternative sites for the market. I have no doubt that other similar representations were made and, to the credit of the town clerk and the town council, they accepted the challenge.
I now see that, despite the effort to accommodate them, stallholders are not prepared to trade on 7 July and give lame excuses that include the Cottis Lane car park being "too far" from the High Road, and "people won't know we're there". One could be forgiven for thinking that the real aim of the stallholders from the start was to have a day off and get some compensation.
I congratulate the town clerk for his efforts and wish all the High Road shops a very successful trading weekend when the Tour comes to town. Those shops support Epping every day, and deserve to reap the rewards.
John Buckmaster, St Johns Road, Epping