IT IS a long way to the bazaars and bartering of China, but Sheffield’s first night market proved the city can do bustling trade just as well.
Steel drum music played in Barker’s Pool in the city centre as crowds of people stopped by to try, taste and buy local produce yesterday.
Crafts, coffee, vintage goods and jewellery were some of the wares on offer at the 37 stalls – several run by charities.
Dad Robert Samuels, wife Shirley and daughter Rhumbiezai, aged seven, were selling home-made soup and cake to crowds.
Robert, of Frecheville, said: “I was made redundant as a DIY store assistant manager in December and just wanted to set up my own business - this is the start of it.
“The night market is ideal for me, because it celebrates local produce.”
Music came from DJ Mark Risden, 29, of Pitsmoor, who was playing tracks for Burngreave Community Radio as well as the steel drummers for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
Artist Andrew Farmer, from Worksop, was showcasing his work and giving mini lessons on his potters wheel.
The 26-year-old said: “I’ve brought some of my snooker pictures which featured in Masters Snooker 2012 magazine and home-made pottery.
“The night market lets a lot of people show what they can do.”
The night market was the first of its kind in Sheffield after one planned for February was postponed due to bitterly cold weather.
It is hoped that, by coinciding with shops that are open later on Wednesdays, much-needed extra footfall will be brought to the city during tough economic times.
Sheffield-born co-organiser James Peterson, of JC Market Events, picked up on the concept while living in China, where night markets are a way of life.
He said: “The aim is to get Sheffield people buying Sheffield products. It is time to showcase what we can do and put us on the map.
“I was in China for four years and they have night markets, so I know the format. It’s just bringing it to Sheffield and by all accounts it’s looking good.
“We are holding it once a month right through the year, we are looking for another year from the council and they say if its a success we can have it twice a month. Judging by today its looking good.”
The market is expected to be held on the second Wednesday of each month, although there may be variations when popular events are at the neighbouring City Hall.