Urmston Market: Jammed with Lovely Things

On crisp autumn Saturday mornings, I potter down to Urmston Market where my son chooses seven sweets from Candy Stripes sweet stall (his reward for a week of unremitting broccoli and lentil bakes) and I may buy flowers or fruit or suchlike.  This week I happened upon a new jam stall: Jampers, which sells all manner of imaginative jams including coffee jam, mulled wine jelly and even vodka and cola jam (ideal for those who want to bring a touch of Wetherspoons to their morning toast).  I came away with a jar of glitter pink champagne jam as well as some banana jam.

Both were excellent – the banana jam was lovely and firm and tasted of a sunny, far-off paradise while the glitter pink champagne was slightly runny and super sweet and tasted like fairytale castles and sparkly rainbows.  Suffice to say, neither of these little jars of joy lasted very long.  You can buy jam hampers (including Chrismas jampers and Duvet Day jampers) from the stall on the market on Saturdays or from Jampers’ website.

Strawberries from Barnes' fruit stall on the market.

Strawberries from Barnes’ fruit stall on the market.

After this feast I straight away set about turning another Urmston Market purchase – three punnets of strawberries and a lemon from Barnes’ fruit stall – into a batch of home-made jam.

Making jam with strawberries from Urmston Market.

Making jam with strawberries from Urmston Market.

I have been collecting jam-making equipment and paraphernalia for months now (some of it from VenningsUrmston‘s hidden kitchenware gem on Flixton Road) and hadn’t found the time to do anything with it, but there’s something about a visit to the market that inspires me to try something out of the ordinary.  It wasn’t a great moment when I realised I’d forgotten to halve the strawberries but I got past that with the help of my trusty Kenwood and was soon funneling ruby red rivers of jam into shiny new jars.  I love a story with a happy ending!

A happy ending for some strawberries from Barnes' fruit stall on Urmston Market.

A happy ending for some strawberries from Barnes’ fruit stall on Urmston Market.

Urmston Market is open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; its Christmas Market event is running on 14th December. The market needs your support: use it and enjoy it!

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Belle Amour Home at Urmston Market

Belle Amour Home sells homewares on Urmston Market.

Belle Amour Home sells homewares and gifts on Urmston Market.

Belle Amour Home has set up home on Urmston Market.  Caroline Foley and her husband Rob will be selling their range of shabby chic homewares and gifts on Fridays and Saturdays with plans to extend trading to Tuesdays in the new year.  I also noticed from Belle Amour Home’s Facebook page that they will do shopping parties and they also take orders via Facebook. 

Caroline is really keen to see the market regenerate and become a vibrant community shopping hub once more, a sentiment with which few would disagree.  Working a market stall in November/ December is pretty tough: it’s very, very cold when you are standing in the same place all day.  The cold gets in your bones and turns your nose as red as Rudolph’s.  I think we owe it to our market traders to support them with our custom at this time of year more than any other.

Caroline Foley runs Belle Amour Home with her husband, Rob.

Caroline Foley runs Belle Amour Home with her husband, Rob.

Caroline’s stall is full of lovely little trinkets and useful and/ or decorative items.  Christmas is coming up and we’re all know someone who’d like a nice candle or a pretty photo frame, so please do get down to Urmston Market and let Caroline and Rob – and the other market traders – know their efforts are appreciated.  The only way Urmston’s market is going to thrive is if Urmston’s shoppers take regular trips around it.  So what are you waiting for?