Storrington Community Market marks 75 years

Storrington market came together on Friday September 28 to celebrate 75 years of supporting local produce and promoting community spirit.

The Women’s Institute first set up the fair in 1942/43 as a means of selling excess homegrown produce during world war two while bringing the community together.

Storrington Community Market

Storrington Community Market

Now the market has held a special 1940s-themed event including period costumes in order to mark the anniversary.

Pat Mansbridge has been involved with the market since shortly after she moved to Storrington 22 years ago.

She said: “It’s a real community feeling now. It really brings people together.

“If you talk to anybody they would all say the same thing.”

A village bus even brings those who have difficulty walking to the fair.

To honour the anniversary stallholders at the market dressed in vintage clothing, there was live piano playing, 1940s music and a display of archive pictures from across the market’s history.

Betty Watson, 90, was a key figure in making the fair what it is today, having run the market for a number of years.

She said: “I suppose they put me in charge because I have been here longer than anybody else.”

Betty fondly remembers how the Women’s Institute markets were rigorously organised and told how they continue to produce markets to the highest standards.

Velda James, co-chairman of the market, added: “We would like to honour all those who have been before us for their sterling work.

“Long may the community market continue. We have thoroughly enjoyed doing it.”