CELEBRATIONS took place last weekend to mark an important milestone for the region’s oldest farmer’s market.

The 20th anniversary of Hexham Farmers’ Market was marked this weekend with music, a special calendar and, of course, cake.

The market started in 1999 by a few local producers looking for new ways to connect directly with consumers and make it easier for people to buy local produce.

Two decades later, and all producers who sell at the farmers’ market come from a 50-mile radius.

Saturday’s market saw a full complement of the current producers, some of whom have been coming since the very beginning, including Hexham Country Markets (which started off as the Farmers’ Wives) and Cumberland Mustard.

The market is independently run by Hexham Farmers’ Market Ltd, a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.

Louise English of Hexham Country Markets, and director of Hexham Farmers’ Market Ltd said: Things have changed quite a lot since those very early days.

“We started at the Hexham Mart and were there for about two years before we relocated to the Market Place.

“At that time the county council would put up the stalls, but we’ve been using our own stalls and gazebos for a few years now. I’m delighted the market has continued to thrive.”

To mark the occasion, a special calendar has been released showcasing images from a wide range of the market’s producers, as well as providing all the dates for next year’s markets.

Peter Samsom, the market manager since 2009 added: “Hexham Farmers’ Market is a very special community of local producers and loyal customers who care about their food, where it comes from, how it’s produced and what goes into it.

“We have an amazing group of customers who turn up in good weather and bad.”

Hexham Farmers’ Market takes place on the second and fourth Saturday of each month from 9am.