Christine Jones, 91, honoured as National Country Markets Movement celebrate its 100th Anniversary


Market Mum cut cu Market Conley Market Mum stands national AGM Market Mum cut wide Natl AGM


The WI have an update to the story on Christine Jones, 91 from Coleshill, who has been honoured at the National Country Markets AGM as the longest standing marketeer at the meeting and possibly in England and Wales. The pictures above show Christine cutting the National celebration cake with fellow-veteran marketeers Mike Rogers, 89 and Molly Ranger, 92, amid an array of county cakes baked by members of the different County Markets. The third picture shows Christine standing as the only market producer at the AGM to have served 50 years, many of them as Coleshill’s Market Manager and Treasurer. The fourth picture is of diet and exercise guru Rosemary Conley giving a lively speech on how to lose those bingo wings and her appearance in a microscopic pink skating dress in Dancing on Ice.


Coleshill Country Market has a double cause for celebration

Coleshill Country Market has a double cause for celebration. It has just received a Communities Grant of £1000 from Warwickshire County Council in recognition of its role in bringing the local community together and providing a friendly welcoming atmosphere as well as high-quality home-made produce.  The money is being spent on a brand-new gazebo, smart new aprons, signage, table runners bearing the market logo and further publicity to let more people know about it and to appeal for new producers to meet growing demand.

Market 3 apron line

Market producers showing their new aprons 1

Market apron line

Market producers showing their new aprons 2

This month, it also celebrates its 50th birthday with a grand anniversary party featuring  home-baked cake and a glass of fizz or a cuppa, during the Market on Friday, April 26th at 10.30am in the Parish Room, 132, High Street, Coleshill –  everyone welcome.
“We’re very proud that we’re still going after 50 years thanks to our loyal producers and customers,” said Market Manager Janet Reilly, a gardening expert who together with Martin Cross supplies many of the plants and flowers for the Market each week. “We’re now one of the longest-running attractions in Coleshill. The market is very friendly and a great meeting place. Lots of people come in to have a chat and meet their friends while they browse and make their purchases. We recently started offering a ‘special of the day’ which has proved extremely popular – free samples of different home-baked treats. One week it might be mouth-watering chocolate roulade, another week coconut tartlets or cheese scones still warm from the oven, a speciality of one of our accomplished cooks Sue Lappin.

We have some lovely stuff – from jams, eggs, honey, cakes, cookies and savouries to plants, hand-made jewellery, greetings cards, crafts, knitting and woodwork. We’re also taking orders for seasonal treats like Easter cookies, chocolate nests, cheesecakes and mouth-watering Simnel Cake with its gooey marzipan filling and 11 marzipan eggs around the top. These represent the 11 ‘good’ Apostles – Judas doesn’t get one! We are also selling unique hand-made cards and gifts.

Market Mum Neris

Christine Jones serving loyal customer Nerissa Boardman

We love welcoming new producers and of course customers from all over the area, so we hope the celebrations will help spread the word and encourage more people to come along to browse, buy or find out more about us and, if they  enjoy cooking, gardening or crafts, to consider becoming one of our producers or helpers themselves. It’s friendly, fun and we’ll help newcomers choose what to produce and how to package it. Everyone is paid for what they sell at the end of each month after we have taken a small fee to cover the cost of running the Market. We take orders for all our produce including children’s clothes and crafts.”

Janet and fellow-producer Sue Lappin have helped boost sales and attract still more customers recently, by delivetring produce to customers in the shops and offices in the High Street where the scent of freshly baked lemon drizzle cakes, quiches and sausage rolls has proved irresistible.

Market Mum marmalade

Christine Jones with her new season’s marmalade

Coleshill Market’s only remaining founder member, Christine Jones, 91, is renowned for her marmalades and cakes and still produces trays of baked goods and preserves every week. She enjoys serving at the Market each Friday and has hardly missed a week in 50 years.

“We started in April 1969 as Coleshill WI Market,” she recalled. “At our first market we had 20 different producers and in those pre-decimal days took £29-12 shillings, a lot of money then. We’ve kept mementoes and press cuttings showing many of the Market highlights over that time, including the day we opened all those years ago – and we’ll have this on display during our celebrations, so older Coleshillians will probably recognise some familiar faces from 50 years ago.”

Christine is also taking part in the centenary of the national Country Market Movement at Staffordshire Showground on April 30th, when she and one of the country’s youngest producers will be cutting a celebration cake together for the cameras, representing the wide range of ages attracted by  marketing.

Anyone interested in visiting Coleshill Country Market, ordering produce or becoming a producer should pop in any Friday morning, or ring Christine on 01675-462012, Deanna on 01675-463239 or Sally on 07860-346878.

Annual Town Meeting

The Annual Town Meeting is not a meeting of the Council but a meeting for all parishioners of Coleshill.  It is merely hosted by the Town Council.  This gives residents the opportunity, by law, to discuss all town affairs and pass resolutions about them.

Coleshill WI March meeting

At our March meeting our speaker Steve Allen took us on an entertaining “Musical Trip through the 1800s”. He described the major industries and different methods of transport that developed during that era, from weaving, mining and slate quarrying to canals and steam engines and illustrated his talk with atmospheric photographs. Members enjoyed an impromptu sing-song of numbers like ‘Fairlie’s Little Wonder’, ‘Dirty Old Town’, ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’ and sea shanties such as ‘What shall we do with the drunken sailor.’, accompanied by Steve on his guitar. After refreshments, we played a hilarious game trying to translate phrases in Brummie and Black Country dialect into ‘proper’ English. Examples included:

‘Wim tekkin the whammel up tha cut’ (I’m taking the dog for a walk by the canal.)

‘He cud ate two taerters mower than a tunky pig.’ (He could eat two potatoes more than a greedy pig.)

‘We cor goo up tha bonk’ (We can’t go up the bank/ hill.)

Brenda Whyler won the competition for something your mother used to say with  ‘Put wood in t’hole – you weren’t born in a barn!’ (Translated as ‘Shut the door to stop the draught’.)

Second was Margot Hawkins with her mother’s sage advice ‘Make sure you have clean knickers on when you go out in case you’re run over by a bus’. Our President Elaine Partridge was third with her mum’s quirky injunction: ‘Don’t come running to me, if you fall over and break your leg!’.

Our former President Christine Jones, the only remaining founder member of  Coleshill Country Market reminded us about the 50th anniversary party for the Market which was founded by our WI in April 1969. Everyone is invited to tea, coffee and cake during the celebrations at 10.30am on Friday 26th April at the Market in the Parish Room, 132, High Street, Coleshill..

The competition for our next meeting on Tuesday April 9th is for a home-made Easter bunny and our speaker from Coleshill Civic Society will be telling ‘The Story of a Restoration’.

Our meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month in the Town Hall at 7.30pm. Visitors welcome as always.

CLAW Newsflash

The family of David Rees, watercolour artist of Coleshill, have set up a collection of his works in the Hudson Room of the Town Hall.  These items are on display Thursday to Sunday.

The Library has local writers and photographers featured today but will have CLAW items for Friday and Saturday as well.

For the Mister Keith & his Orchestra Parlour Show at 7 p.m. on Sunday 17th, the tickets are still at the pre-night price of £8.  Mister Keith is not doing tea tasting in the interval: it is Gin Tasting now!  This is as well as a licenced bar from 7 p.m.