Published: 25 November 2009

Lichfield Country Market Stall

On Friday 4 December Lichfield Country Market (formally known as Lichfield WI Market) will be giving away samples of Birthday cake to their customers to celebrate 45 years of trading on the Lichfield Friday Market.

Their first day of trading as Lichfield WI Market was Friday 4 December 1964 on the car park of the Goat's Head, now Barclays Bank, in Lichfield after a resolution was passed, at a meeting on 3 July 1964, to start a Lichfield Market. Committee members even agreed to lend one pound each to get the market started!

Records, though on occasions rather sketchy, have been kept since that day. In 1975 a new ruling meant that the original WI markets had to affiliate to a county market society and after much 'terse' discussion Lichfield and District WI Market Limited became the Staffordshire WI Markets Society Limited Lichfield Branch.

In the 1980's there were a higher number of members and this resulted in regular social events such as trips on the canal, barbecues, evening parties and an annual coach trip visiting other WI Markets across the country.

The present day brings new challenges for Lichfield Country Market members in the form of food hygiene training, registration of kitchens, labelling regulations, and best before dates.

Joyce Deakin, who has been a member since 1983, still regularly helps to 'man' the stall on market days. With as many as three hundred customers being served in five hours, the Lichfield Country Market, with its fierce streak of independence making it the success it is today, has gone a long way from being considered the 'cake stall at the church fete'.