A Saturday street market in the heart of Edgbaston’s Calthorpe estate proves more than popular for traders, shoppers and families – it’s also popular with dogs. Pampered pooches were out in force as the expanded market returned to Greenfield Crescent at the start of a new trading year.
The dog that seemed to be having the most fun – and getting the most attention from the little four-legged friends – was Ash, a ten-month-old gray Sheepadoodle. Nurse Jamie Rogers and surgeon partner Maggie said of Ash’s delightfully playful and curious nature: “We think he’s grown completely now and just filled out – but every weekend, we are looking for a different place to take it and this market is really lovely.”
Quickly establishing itself as one of the biggest draws in the recently marked Edgbaston Village area between Calthorpe Road and Harborne Road, the market saw traders arrive to set up shop at 8am. They had traveled from Worcester and Malvern in the south to Cannock and North Shropshire. As you can see in our photo essay below, you can shop everything from felt hats to colorful throw pillows and ceramic pots, as well as photographs and artistic impressions of design features all over town.
The Edgbaston Village Market originally started as a pilot project with 24 stalls. Nine months later, it can now accommodate 60 traders, including the new addition of produce from the farmers’ market. For foodies, and in case anyone misses Greggs downtown, there were also vegan sausage rolls, as well as craft gins, cakes, puddings, fresh fruits and vegetables, chili sauces and Caribbean, pies, cheeses, coffees and drinking chocolate – plant-based of course.
Photographer and city tour guide Kevin Thomas told our Birmingham Live Stream on Facebook Live “There are a lot of artisanal artisans here doing really interesting things and it’s a real breath of fresh air compared to all the big stores.
“It’s good to get out and explore the city too. Once the tram stop opens (at 54 Hagley Road next to Morrisons) it will be easy to get around the city.”
Kevin has a great interest in the works of the late sculptor William James Bloye ARBSA, who was both student and principal of the art school in a city where his works can still be seen in many fields.
“He has done a lot of work for the M&B including the Green Man in Harborne. Birmingham is full of things to discover and a lot of the work is underrated and we should be prouder of what we have here,” said said Kevin.
At Rourke’s Pies, owner Gary Rourke was delighted to have sold 500 locally made pies in Kings Heath, while Phil from Jethro’s Sauces was delighted to have made the trip from Cannock.
Gary said: “I used to work across Hagley Road in IT but was made redundant at the start of Covid just weeks after baby number two was born. I have so decided to do what I love and make pies with flavors ranging from Jackfruit Chilli Vegan to Chicken Hotpot and Thai Green Vegetable.We now employ four people and sell them from the All Saints Community Center on Vicarage Road.
Roger Price of Malvern’s Mill Bank Coffee Co sold coffees from Sumatra, Uganda and India as well as Colombia etc. and you could smell the beans and see their color samples in various glass jars. Like many merchants who accept payments electronically, his business also has its own website, logo, QR codes and branded apparel – just more ways for small freelancers at temporary stalls to find new ways to compete with the big guys.
Kristian Hegenbarth has a German surname, but had only traveled from Rubery to sell his wares, which included a painting of former Liverpool and Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho in an Aston Villa shirt – he had sacrificed his subscription for the Villa v Spurs game to attend the market and is understandably hoping manager Steven Gerrard will make the signing permanent if the board is not sold this season.
Lee Sylvester, a former senior designer at sportswear maker Umbro, added a splash of Caribbean yellow to his stand selling Tan Rosie sauces named after her grandmother – she is also a published author with her mother, Monica Cudjoe.
Kevin France from North Shropshire was selling copper-fired enamel artwork after giving up a career making dental crowns to replace tooth enamel in favor of working in a home studio; Deborah Allen had traveled from Tenbury Wells to show off her wares as an artisan felting everything from hats to tea and coffee cosies; Lorraine Powell displayed her handcrafted Blueberry Button textile gifts in Bransford, near Worcester, while Bewdley-based Wildjac Homegrown Distillery offered a range of drinks including Natural Dry Gin and Fresh Citrus Vodka.
Other traders included The Ludlow Pickle Company; Patrick O’Donohue Ceramics of Cradley Heath and Maz Leyden who designs colorful cushions and stationery in the Malvern Hills for markets like this while winning work from Facebook, Twitter and Ikea through his additional Fancy Features business .
Phil ‘Jethro’ Foster works with his wife Annette to create their unique Jethro sauces, dips, dressings and marinades in Cannock and there were plenty of other traders in the market too.
What they say
Nicki Gibberson, Calthorpe Estates Marketing Manager, said: “We have been delighted with the popularity and success of the Craft Market since its launch in the summer of 2021 along the new Greenfield Crescent.
“Working with Boffy’s award-winning markets, we’ve seen the market go from strength to strength. To keep it fresh and interesting, we’ve ensured there’s a good balance of high-quality artisan food, drink, arts and crafts, and a variety of stalls and live music, and the number of visitors and positive feedback we have received speaks for itself. .
“As the first market of the year approaches, we are incredibly excited and really look forward to seeing everyone enjoying the best of independent Birmingham over the next few months.”
The craft market will return in the spring, usually every second Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on:
- April 9
- May 14
- June 11
- Sep 10
- October 8
- 12 Nov
- 10 dec.
There will be a special market from Friday July 29 to Sunday July 31 (noon to 6 p.m.) featuring the craft market, street performers and more in connection with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games which will run from July 28 to August 8.
Edgbaston Village is also home to a growing number of quality independent cafes, bars and restaurants including The Simpsons, Chapter, The High Field, Laghi’s Deli, Loki Wine and a range of home-interest stores including Neptune, OKA, BoConcept , KIN and Lux Gallery.
There are also dog-friendly pubs, walks and public gardens in the village of Edgbaston, located outside the Clean Air Zone.
Just a mile from Birmingham city center via Broad Street, the 300-year-old, 1,600-acre Calthorpe Estate includes commercial, medical, leisure, residential and educational communities as well as one of the largest urban conservation areas in the UK.
If you want to spend a whole day in the area, other attractions include Winterbourne House and Garden, Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Martineau Gardens (a registered charity community garden). If the weather turns, there are also the giant Odeon Luxe Broadway Plaza and Cineworld multiplexes on either side of Five Ways Island – the latter is inside the Clean Air Zone which charges drivers £8 a day from non-compliant cars.
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