Last spring two crafting friends decided that they would do something about the requests from residents for more to do around Glace Bay.
They thought they would be able to make use of a “beautiful big hall” that had been mostly “going to waste” while hoping to create a ripple effect that would bring more traffic to local businesses, says Fran Murphy of Reserve Mines.
Murphy is one of two women who run the new Glace Bay Flea Market. It's a bi-weekly flea market located at Knox Hall on Commercial Street in Glace Bay.
“We are struggling and I'm not sure why,” says Cindy Holloway, the other market organizer, and good friend of Murphy’s. “The people are just not coming, yet they have asked for it.”
Both Murphy and Holloway acknowledge that when they started the flea market in March, they had more than 400 people coming through the door. They suspended the market during the summer months because they didn’t think that they could compete with the larger flea market at the Coxheath County arena. They revived the Glace Bay market in September when the ice surface returned to the arena.
“Now we’re lucky if we get 50 people,” she says. “Our vendors are struggling with making ends meet but are trying their hardest.”
The flea market hosts 40 vendors who sell second hand items but there are also crafts made by local venders, like Murphy and Holloway. There is also freshly made Indian cuisine prepared by a local Indian chef.
“The hall has such potential,” says Murphy. They thought that if they could make use of the hall, they might be able to raise some money for much-needed renovations.
“We took this on as a way to help out Knox Hall,” says Holloway. “The building is quite old but still running. It could definitely use some upgrades and it has never been wheelchair accessible.”
The duo took on the project to answer a community call but now they find themselves reaching out to the community for help.
When they decided on the flea market they did so in part because it is a reasonably priced activity for people to take part in. Glace Bay also didn’t have a flea market. Affordable and new was their goal.
Murphy and Holloway are willing to re-think the flea market concept in the future, but they want to continue to work toward a revamped Knox Hall while offering Glace Bay affordable and novel activities close to home.
The last Glace Bay Flea Market of 2023 will be held December 10 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Knox Hall. Admission is $2 and children under 12 are free.
232 Commercial street in Glace Bay above the bowling alley