INDEPENDENT traders came back to Trowbridge on Saturday as the town's popular Weavers Market made a welcome return.

More than 1,000 visitors poured into the old Town Hall in Market Street and Emanuel's Yard in Church Street to browse the stalls of more than 20 traders.

Organiser Stewart Palmen, the newly-elected Trowbridge town council and leader of its ruling Liberal Democrat Group, declared himself very happy with the public response.

"I'm very pleased that it is up and running and we've had a good following of people passing through.

"It's very sad that the weather was not good enough for us to be outside but we hope to be back out there in June."

There was a good smattering of local and regional traders at the one-day market, with some having commuted in from Bristol and Somerset for the event.

Jewellery designer Katy Wilkinson, 37, from Skylark Road in Melksham, was visiting the market for the first time.

"It's great. There are lots of good traders here," said Katy, who trained at Birmingham School of Jewellery.

By 2.30pm, the Town Hall had seen more than 500 visitors passing through.

Another local trader taking part was Miranda Clark, 46, who runs Miranda's Coffee Shop at Bridge House in Stallard Street.

"I just needed to get back out there. This is my first market but it has been really good for promoting the business.

"Since lockdown, we have been restricted on people visiting so this has been the perfect location to see people."

Some of the out-of-county traders included Wendy Wood, from nearby Frome, who was selling her glass designs for tea lights and window sill decoration.

The former primary school headteacher said: "I haven't been out since March last year; this is my first live event in 14 months.

"It has been fantastic. I'm very glad to be out again. There is nothing like interacting with real customers rather than selling online."

Antony Bridgwood, 42, from Bristol, was selling his hand-painted records and items made from old wooden pallets.

"It's the first time I've been to this market but it's beneficial. It would have been nice to have been outside for the passing trade but looking at the weather it's probably better to be inside instead.

"I've sold eight or nine items and am in profit for the day. It's been good."