Producers celebrate Kelso Farmers Market decade

New Scotland Coast to Coast route riders including route creators John Grimshaw (centre in yellow top) and David Gray (centre, saltire top)
New Scotland Coast to Coast route riders including route creators John Grimshaw (centre in yellow top) and David Gray (centre, saltire top)
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It faltered 10 years ago and has come back to be regarded as one of the best in Scotland.

Kelso Farmers Market celebrated its 10th birthday with eats and presentations to charities at the town’s Springwood Park on Sunday.

The woman credited with saving the event, which takes place in Kelso Square on the fourth Saturday of every month, Brenda Leddy of Stichill Jerseys, Stichill, said: “I was very proud, I have done what I wanted to do, I was just so proud we were able to do it.

“When I started this market, an extraordinary general meeting of the Borders Farmers Market voted to pull the plug on the existing market.

“I came out of there almost in tears and I thought ‘damn all of you, I will show you, I will not let it go’.”

And she didn’t, personally paying for the licence for several months and attracting the help of friends and other supporters to grow the market from its original three stalls to now an average 26 each month.

Over 120 guests attended the birthday party with food from the market’s producers put together by David White, the chef at The Lodge, Carfraemill. Border Union Agricultural Society secretary Ron Wilson spoke on the history of the market and Brenda, now the market’s president, presented cheques amounting to about £6,500 to 19 organisations or individuals. The charity cash comes from renting stalls to producers.

Current chairman, Robin Tuke of Hardiesmill Beef, Gordon, says Kelso’s success is down to quality goods and people liking the mix of products and displays such as by local chefs, dance groups and good causes.

He said the highlights of the last decade are: “Rising out of the ashes to be known as one of the top farmers’ markets in the country and being named by the Daily Telegraph as one of the primary reasons for Kelso being the most desirable place in Scotland to live for foodies.”