One of my favourite things about studying in Exeter is that there is a real sense of local pride in the city itself. From farmers markets to craft fairs; the locals of Exeter are conscious that the community needs to come together to support and nurture local produce and talent, including students and non-students. Indie Exeter (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWestQuarter/) includes a variety of over 50 independent retailers primarily based in the city’s West Quarter on and around Fore Street and does an excellent job of encouraging people to shop local.
One of the best examples of this is The Fore Street Flea market that takes place on 4 Sundays across the year, where local businesses line the street with their wares, artwork, vintage goods, food, and more. The event does a fantastic job of showcasing the range of creative talent based in in this wonderful city. September 24th marked my second visit to this event and I was delighted to see how much it had grown since I stumbled upon it at the end of last term. Organisers claim that there were over 140 stalls on the day, which is incredible! This Sunday coming (November 26th) will be bigger and better because it will be festive! Organisers are teasing ‘mulled wine, Christmas Nibbles and gifts galore’…I’m not sure what more I can say to sell it to you even more…
Since my first visit to the flea last year, I vowed to pop down to Fore Street more often to see what other treasures there are to be found in its many shops and cafés. It reminded me that I need to spend less time looking for bargains on cleaning products in Wilko’s and more time exploring the many independent businesses and creative talents Exeter has to offer. This is particularly important as the development of yet more luxury student accommodation in the town centre, including an upcoming development on Fore Street itself, threatens the spaces that encourages creativity and independent retail in what is becoming an increasingly desirable, and therefore expensive, place to live and work.
So come down on Sunday 26th November to explore what festive treats the flea has in store!
– by Constantino Christou
*Image courtesy of Facebook