Market was a real souq-cess
THE Moroccan market in Cathedral Square has proved to be such a success that council bosses want it to return in 2012.
Peterborough City Council chiefs have said they are exploring ideas to improve the market should it return, with one idea being to expand it into St John’s Square.
The 10 stalls which made up this year’s North African Berber Market moved out of Cathedral Square on Wednesday so preparations could get underway for Peterborough’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The traders proved to be such a popular attraction since arriving on December 7 that they were granted an extra week of trading past their planned last day of December 22.
The market sold a range of produce including babouche slippers, teapots, ceramics, jewellery boxes, tagines and lamps.
Vendors and council chiefs have expressed the hope that the market will return bigger and better next year.
Justin Beaumont, the council markets and commercial trading manager, said: “We want them to return. We have had a tremendous repsonse from a lot of people about how different and how good the market has been.
“I am meeting a member of the Moroccan embassy in the new year to discuss having the traders come back and what we can do to improve it.
“There would be every possibility that Cathedral Square would still be used, but we also want to look into expanding to St John’s Square.”
The market visits towns and cities all over the UK but Peterborough is one of the traders’ favourite places.
Abdel Majid Aitaal (45), who runs a weaving stall at the market, said: “We would love to be back in the new year. We would like it to be even bigger and more beautiful.
“We went on a tour of 14 cities, like Manchester, Liverpool and Leicester, and were in Peterborough for five days in November.
“We came back because it was popular when we came here. When the council were keen to get us back for Christmas we were happy to come back.”
Kadiri Ahmed (46), from Essaouira, Morocco, sold leather lamps from the market. He said: “It has been busy because of the Christmas shoppers, but for us it is not all about the sales.
“We want to give a good impression about Morocco. Everybody has been fantastic and we have really enjoyed being in Peterborough.”
magnificent moroccans: The stalls at the Moroccan market in in Cathedral Square proved to be a popular attraction for Christmas shoppers.
(METP-28-12-11AS004) Picture: ALAN STORER.
berber fever: Trader Lahcem Bighourbane in one of the the stalls in the North African Berber Market, which was in Cathedral Square over the Christmas period.