End of an era as Oval Craft Market closes after 30 years

2015-07-08 09:29
Some of the original stallholders celebrating the Oval Craft Market’s 27th Anniversay. (From left) Hugh and Lucy Zank, Eileen Arbuckle, Mike and Wendy McGregor and Gori and Goolam Kadir.

Some of the original stallholders celebrating the Oval Craft Market’s 27th Anniversay. (From left) Hugh and Lucy Zank, Eileen Arbuckle, Mike and Wendy McGregor and Gori and Goolam Kadir. (File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

AFTER 30 years of providing craft and entertainment, the much loved Maritzburg Oval Craft Market has finally closed its stalls.

With the first market being held in 1985, the market’s organiser for over 20 years, Monica Ashe, said although the facility had closed, the journey had been a “truly happy and exciting” one.

“I was involved in the market since day one and began running it after five or six years. It has been such a fantastic journey and I have only missed one market in all of the 30 years that it ran,” she said.

Ashe said there were many happy success stories of people who first began selling crafts at the Oval Craft Market. However, when the market began experiencing financial strain, she made the “difficult decision” to close it down.

“Unfortunately, in recent years, the ever increasing municipal site fees and advertising costs have caused this family entertainment to be curtailed, rather than have the cost impact on the stallholders who were already facing financial difficulties.

“Sadly, the facilities provided, including toilet blocks, have deteriorated in spite of the increased fees, and this has placed a further strain on the management of the market.

“It took me a year to finally decide to close the market down, but for the 30 years it ran, it really was such a fantastic journey. I have met so many amazing people along the way and I can honestly say I gave it my all,” said Ashe.

Groundcover owner Amanda McCarthy said her now successful leatherwork business in Curry’s Post first got its footing at the Oval Craft Market.

“It was such a great market. We lived off it and it gave us our footing to where we are today. Without it, we really would have struggled.

“We used to head out to the market with our baby and two toddlers once a month to sell our wares. It was a really great crowd and I only have fond memories of the market.”

McCarthy said the crowd was always very interactive with the stallholders and her customers from the Oval Craft Market were the inspiration behind many of the styles in the store today.

“It is very sad to hear that the market is closing. It was a real starting point for us and everyone sold really well there.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  craft

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.