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Diss: a traditional market town which continues to flourish

PUBLISHED: 08:09 18 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:03 23 March 2018

Diss Market. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Diss Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

Every Friday, a normally quiet South Norfolk market town is transformed into a hive of activity as traders and shoppers descend on the town for the weekly market.

Diss Market. Jonathan Irons and Louise Berry at their stall.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYDiss Market. Jonathan Irons and Louise Berry at their stall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

There has been an established market in Diss for more than 500 years and a visit to the town on a Friday reveals that despite growing pressure from supermarkets and the Internet the town’s market continues to flourish.

Featuring everything from traditional market stalls selling fruit and veg to the more unusual such as a speciality donut stall.

Diss’s Friday Market attracts customers and traders from both Norfolk and Suffolk and offers not just a chance to pick up some fresh produce but is a key social occasion for many of the town’s residents.

Louise Berry, who works on Jonathan Irons Fruit and Veg stall which has been on the market for six years, explained why Diss’s market was a credit to the town; “I think Diss is what I would call a proper market town, it has life.

Diss Market. Jeff Betts at his stall.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYDiss Market. Jeff Betts at his stall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“The nicest part of Diss is there is a community here, people come out to see each other.”

Jeff Betts, the owner of Fab Fudge also praised the sense of community in Diss and amongst its market stall holders; “It’s a good bunch of people and I have made a few friends they’re all nice people, we have a nice laugh together.”

“The sun is always out whenever I come to Diss and it’s a nice place.”

Tony Fields, of Tony’s Discount Deli, who has been on the market for 40 years said he had seen the market change a lot over the years but that the continued success of the market was partly due to the support traders receive form the town council.

Diss Market. Tony Fields at his stall.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYDiss Market. Tony Fields at his stall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“A lot of traders have changed, yes it’s more difficult because of out of town shops.

“We have to work really hard to look after our customers, but Diss Town Council are really good to the traders, it’s very reasonable rent.

“Other markets have closed but this one keeps going and I think Diss does really well, it’s one of the better markets.”

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