Saturday, May 15, 2010

700 years old and still going strong

That's Stockton market. On Wednesday the present Bishop of Durham made a flying visit to take part in celebrations of the signing of the market charter 700 years ago this month by his predecessor, Bishop Bek. As Bishop Tom pointed out, the bishops in medieval times had far more temporal power than now, but it was seen as an extension of their duty of care to the flock - making sure that the towns and villages were prosperous and (in modern jargon) sustainable.
The market traders had decorated stalls, visiting traders were demonstrating the crafts which would have been commonplace then - silver smiths, felters, musicians, carvers, chandlers and more. A group of residents from one the residential homes enjoyed the market and the speeches in the lovely sunshine.
On Wednesday and again today the Stockton soapbox was going in full swing. People of all ages and a huge variety of background and experience were speaking for a minute on their take on Stockton. Today I had a turn to speak about Fairtrade in the borough. Our newest MP, James Wharton, spoke about his belief in the future of the borough. A young immigrant talked of the wonderful welcome he'd had in the town, much to the delight of his little boy cheering "Daddy". 3 youngsters talked of their youth club and the great activities they've done there. A representative of the Credit Union spoke of the work they do. And all that was in the space of 5 minutes.
When the videos are uploaded to Youtube I'll publicise the link and readers can see what was said, but meantime - enjoy the photos.

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