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Wind warning closes market


Newark market was cancelled on Friday after gale force winds were forecast.
Many businesses also lost trade after a power cut.

Newark and Sherwood District Council decided the night before to cancel the market after a severe weather warning for the East Midlands.

The council’s markets and carparks manager, Mr Craig Black, said although stalls were bolted to the ground, gusts of up to 50mph were predicted, which would be strong enough to send trestle tables flying through the air.

Mr Black said although the weather was calmer on Friday morning, the market remained cancelled because if winds increased it would be difficult to remove stalls quickly in an emergency, because it took three hours to take them down.

Three stallholders — two florists and a greengrocer — were allowed to trade because they had perishable goods.

Mr Black said their rents were reduced from the usual £45 to £10 because there was no cover, and they had to trade by their vans so they could move away quickly, should winds suddenly increase.

Mr Black said: “I have seen high winds lift six of the old-style heavier stalls at one time, and deposit them on top of another stall.”

Mrs Liz Hoggard (41) of Radley Road, Halam, runs a business growing vegetables that are sold at Newark Market.

She said they picked all their produce in preparation for the market, so sold items such as cabbages and cauliflower from the back of their trailer.

“We normally sell it like this from the farm gate. A lot of people have been disappointed because they have come into town to find their regular stalls are not here,” she said.

The weather improved for Saturday when the marketwent ahead as normal.

A power cut at 12.10pm on Friday left 800 homes and businesses in the town centre without power.

A spokesman for Central Networks blamed an underground cable fault, the cause of which was not yet known.

Power was restored to 320 properties by 1.20pm, with the rest being restored by 1.50pm.

While some businesses struggled on, or used generators, others closed.

High street chains on Stodman Street, including Monsoon, Marks and Spencer, Boots, Dorothy Perkins and the Wishes Cancer Research UK shop, all closed, re-opening after power was restored.

The owner of Hair 2, on Middlegate, Mrs Joe Summerhill, said one customer had to leave with wet hair because they could not use the dryers.

Mrs Summerhill said they hired a generator and got it to the salon just before the power was restored.

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