Oxford Christmas markets set to return next year

thisisoxfordshire: Big Bang owner Max Mason, centre, with Tom Wilson and Kayleigh Williams Buy this photo Big Bang owner Max Mason, centre, with Tom Wilson and Kayleigh Williams

A battle of the baubles could break out in Oxford next year with rival Christmas Markets on the cards.

It comes after Oxford City Council threw out plans to stage this year’s market in Broad Street because businesses did not support the idea.

Organisers of that event are determined to make it happen in Broad Street in 2013, claiming it is not viable in its previous home at the Oxford Castle Quarter.

But businesses and restaurants in the Oxford Castle Quarter, where the market was held for the last three years, think differently and have vowed to put on their own.

Max Mason, who runs the newly-reopened Big Bang restaurant in the complex, is coordinating the new market, to be held in 2013. He said: “Holding the Christmas Market at Oxford Castle has worked tremendously well for the past couple of years. It is an amazing complex and the biggest part of Oxford which is pedestrianised.

“The organisers of the other Christmas Market have done a superb job and it is a shame they won’t be continuing it this year.”

Mr Mason said no one had signed up for the new Christmas Market yet but said a number of people had expressed interest and it was being supported by all the businesses in the Castle Quarter.

He said: “I love Oxford and would love to see a Christmas Market in Broad Street but businesses and pedestrians would be so interrupted by it I don’t think it will happen.”

Mr Mason said his market would be a traditional British one but in the meantime this year there will be carol singers and a chestnut roast as well as a visit by Santa Claus himself at Oxford Castle.

Sarah Mayhew, of Oxford Castle Quarter, said: “I have had so many inquiries from stallholders asking about whether there will be a Christmas Market at the castle again and we are disappointed it won’t be.”

Nicole Rahimi had been organising this year’s Christmas Market before it was turned down by the city council and she plans to try again for a market in Broad Street in 2013.

She said: “Good luck to them but the Christmas Market has just not been working at the castle. It is too out of the way and not well known enough, even in Oxford.

“The reason I wanted to leave is the poor footfall during the weekdays and it is just not feasible to hold it over the weekends.”

She said not all Broad Street businesses were aware of the consultation when her application for a Christmas Market was processed.

Most shops in the street were, from her survey, in favour of the plans.

Comments (6)

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8:17pm Sat 13 Oct 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

"Mr Mason said his market would be a traditional British one"....Well that's bound to attract loads of people from out of town then
"Mr Mason said his market would be a traditional British one"....Well that's bound to attract loads of people from out of town then Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 0

10:49pm Sat 13 Oct 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Sounds like Mr Mason will have plenty of stall holders to choose from if Ms Mayhew has had many inquiries for positions in the castle.
Sounds like Mr Mason will have plenty of stall holders to choose from if Ms Mayhew has had many inquiries for positions in the castle. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

12:11pm Sun 14 Oct 12

Geoff Roberts says...

One of the main problems with the Christmas Market at the Castle was that people didn't know where it was! I had several people ask me where it was because I was out in town advertising a similar event. I didn't know where it was and neither did the tourists asking me. So the whole issue may have been caused by lack of advertising in the right places.
One of the main problems with the Christmas Market at the Castle was that people didn't know where it was! I had several people ask me where it was because I was out in town advertising a similar event. I didn't know where it was and neither did the tourists asking me. So the whole issue may have been caused by lack of advertising in the right places. Geoff Roberts
  • Score: 3

6:55pm Sun 14 Oct 12

patjay says...

the settings for either of the Christmas market is perfect, however:
no easy loading or free car-parking nearby, last year I overheard a stallholder complaining about the difficulty of unloading and loading his van - his was heavy stock as well as the daily expense. Broad street will be a similar problem - early wake up call for the planners!
the settings for either of the Christmas market is perfect, however: no easy loading or free car-parking nearby, last year I overheard a stallholder complaining about the difficulty of unloading and loading his van - his was heavy stock as well as the daily expense. Broad street will be a similar problem - early wake up call for the planners! patjay
  • Score: 0

8:35pm Mon 15 Oct 12

tollhouse says...

As a stallholder since the Oxford Christmas Market first began I am very upset that there will not be a Christmas Market this year. The Castle was a beautiful venue but unfortunately just didn't get the footfall during the week. Mrs Rahimi put so much work into advertising the market and was very successful at the weekends .Weekdays were just dead.
Broad Street would be a perfect venue and would help bring trade to Oxford too.
Please Oxford council let it happen in Broad Street next year.Even if the castle put on a market too - the more the merrier!
As a stallholder since the Oxford Christmas Market first began I am very upset that there will not be a Christmas Market this year. The Castle was a beautiful venue but unfortunately just didn't get the footfall during the week. Mrs Rahimi put so much work into advertising the market and was very successful at the weekends .Weekdays were just dead. Broad Street would be a perfect venue and would help bring trade to Oxford too. Please Oxford council let it happen in Broad Street next year.Even if the castle put on a market too - the more the merrier! tollhouse
  • Score: 0

8:56pm Mon 15 Oct 12

paul from Kennington says...

Geoff Roberts wrote:
One of the main problems with the Christmas Market at the Castle was that people didn't know where it was! I had several people ask me where it was because I was out in town advertising a similar event. I didn't know where it was and neither did the tourists asking me. So the whole issue may have been caused by lack of advertising in the right places.
The main problem with the xmas market at the Prison complex was that it was rubbish, just look at others across England If Max is correct then the traders would have been fighting each other for a spot, but no clamour there. Broad Street or G. Green is the only viable place with enough footfall to make it pay, the Prison complex is overpriced (swan and castle excluded) pretentious, and its very own persona puts off visitors, hence the bankruptcy of half the businesses that were there at the start.
[quote][p][bold]Geoff Roberts[/bold] wrote: One of the main problems with the Christmas Market at the Castle was that people didn't know where it was! I had several people ask me where it was because I was out in town advertising a similar event. I didn't know where it was and neither did the tourists asking me. So the whole issue may have been caused by lack of advertising in the right places.[/p][/quote]The main problem with the xmas market at the Prison complex was that it was rubbish, just look at others across England If Max is correct then the traders would have been fighting each other for a spot, but no clamour there. Broad Street or G. Green is the only viable place with enough footfall to make it pay, the Prison complex is overpriced (swan and castle excluded) pretentious, and its very own persona puts off visitors, hence the bankruptcy of half the businesses that were there at the start. paul from Kennington
  • Score: -49

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