Monthly Archives: October 2012

Monster Market full of Tricks and Treats!

Get carving your pumpkins for a prize at the MONSTER MARKET – Nov 3rd!

Market Rasen’s next Portas Pilot driven market – on Saturday November 3rd – is going to be a “monster”, with organisers MR BIG (the Market Rasen Business Improvement Group) promising plenty of tricks and treats for families in half term.

Just after Halloween and right before Bonfire Night it feels the perfect time for fancy dress, so everyone is invited to turn up in a spooky costumes on the day – kids, adults, traders, shop keepers – and there will be spot prizes for the best dressed about town.

And it would not be autumn without some seasonal pumpkins, so there’s another competition running for the best creepy and creative carvings! Children and adults are invited to pop their carved pumpkins for display under the auction shed (in the market square) before 10.30am on the day, with judging taking place from midday for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes. Entry forms available in the high street, from the MR BIG blog and from the auction shed at the market. Click here to print your entry form Monster Market Pumpkin Entry Form

Also lurking under the auction shed will be MR BIG’s special ‘Monster Librarians’ who will be reading scary stories for children, as well as helping them create some cracking, firework art. These Monster Librarians – from Market Rasen Library and the Mobile Library Service – will also be hosting a second hand book stall to raise funds for new library books.

Mel, Karen and Katherine – the ‘Monster Librarians’ ready to spook you with their stories

Weaving in among the crowds will be two tricksters in the form of MR BIG’s street magician and balloon maker, and as for treats there will be plenty of those, with over 50 stalls shared between the market place and festival halls selling scrumptious Lincolnshire food, including those must-have toffee apples, and fabulous crafts.

Spooky monster craft, many at pocket money prices, in the Festival Hall

The Monster Market is also the first event in the town where 22 local businesses will be offering discounts and offers through the innovative new Tik Tap smartphone app, that aims to bridge the gap between online, mobile and high street shopping.

Tik Tap is a local loyalty programme designed and built by the same people behind the highly successful Orange Wednesdays cinema campaign, and Market Rasen is one of a select few towns in the UK to awarded the opportunity to introduce this scheme. Market Rasen businesses signed up and promoting their offers on TikTap already are:

Blue River Jewellery,Greens of Lincolnshire (the new MR BIG veg shop), Lancasters, Mama Js at Market Rasen Racecourse, Market Rasen Racecourse, Peter Rhodes, Quintessential Beauty, Rasen Hardware, Rasen Mobility Rhodes Fitted Kitchens Ltd, Smudged, Spring Beauty, Spring Fashion, Style Studio, Sunnyside Up, Tattershalls at Market Rasen Racecourse, The Big Corner Shop (another MR BIG shop in town), Touches Beauty Salon, VT Lancaster & Son, Wild One Tours Limited, and Wold View House B&B.

Get Tik Tap on your smarkphone (the app is free) to access some amazing offers in the town on market day

Market visitors are invited to download the TikTap app for free from iTunes or Google Android stores. It then stores details of all live offers in the area on their iPhone or Android – users ‘Tik’ the ones that appeal. Then when they pop into the shop, they simply “Tap” their mobile phones over an electronic ‘pod’ to redeem the offer.

“With five free car parks in the town, we’d really love to see lots of out of towners join the locals for this one,” commented volunteer markets director Jackie Smith, “with a date between Halloween and Bonfire night, we think it’s the ideal time to treat your little monsters to a some very British Autumn traditions.”

10 Amazing Pumpkin Inspirations for our Monster Market Competition

Market Rasen’s next BIG market on November 3rd is going to be full of MONSTER FUN, with a prize winning pumpkin carving competition just one of the BIG attractions. To get you inspired, MR BIG has gathered some amazing pumpkin photos right here! But first things first, here’s your entry form for the competition:

Monster Market Details & Pumpkin Carving Entry Form

Monster Market Details & Pumpkin Carving Entry Form

Print yours here with this PDF Monster Market Pumpkin Entry Form








What else can you see at the MONSTER MARKET on November 3rd?

Spooky Stories from our “monster librarians” under the auction shed. Put on your fancy dress for a chance to win a prizes. Marvel at our Street Magician. Have an autumn treat with our Toffee Apples. With Fabulous Balloon Art, Apple Bobbing, Party Games and Firework Art – it’s a MONSTROUS load of fun. Plus book sale under the auction shed to raise funds for new library books too!

With five free car parks, and bus and rail links into the town, come and join us and have a SPOOKY SATURDAY!

Please note, we’ve tried our hardest to link back to the original sources for these images. If we’ve not given credit where it is due, please let us know with a comment and we will update the blog. 

Get involved with our Portas Pilot…

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Market Rasen High Street supports Shopping Extravaganza for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research

Pop along to Market Rasen Racecourse tomorrow to enjoy an evening of shopping (Wednesday 17th October 6.30 – 9.00pm) with a glass of fizz and delicious nibbles for just £10 entry – bring your friends and pop back on Thursday for free entry too!

A great night out for a good cause! Come into Market Rasen for an evening and day’s shopping, then pop along to the high street for special offers galore!

MR BIG was delighted when Grimsby & District Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research asked if they could use their I LOVE MKT RSN shopper bags for the goody bags to hand out to evening guests for their famous annual fundraiser – made extra special this year as it is their 50th anniversary.

So, we put the call out to our high street traders as we thought it was a great way to get our high street businesses in front of 300+ of the county’s most affluent shoppers.

The idea is to encourage all the ladies who pick up a goody bag to use it after the event to take advantage of special offers up and down the high street in the run up to Christmas.

MR BIG has printed some lovely bookmarks to pop inside the bags, for recipients to jot down ideas for their Christmas Shopping List, and to acknowledge the support of all the high street businesses detailed on the back, without whom it wouldn’t have been possible.


BIG thanks to the Market Rasen businesses with BIG hearts to get behind this fabulous charity fundraising event. A BIG shout out to Lulu – the event sponsor for their generous contribution to bookmarks and shoppers!

So it’s with truly warm thanks to V T Lancaster & Son Ltd, Market Rasen Pet Centre, Blue River Jewellery, Forget Me Not Florist, Rasen Hardware, Advocate Arms, Footprints of Market Rasen, Lincolnshire Coop, Red Lion, Spring Ladieswear & Beauty Room, Sunnyside Up Farm Shop & Cafe, Peter Rhodes Electrical, Rhodes Fitted Kitchens,  Lovelle Estate Agency, Jossals Bistro & Coffee Shop, Nicholsons, Wold View House, Lincolnshire Tree Services and main event sponsors and online retailer Lulu who have done a huge amount to make this event possible.

This year’s event features more than 50 stalls, including Blossom & Bee silk flowers, Daniella Draper Jewellery, La Cocina cookwear, Uncle Henry’s Farm Shop, The Painted Tree gifts and furniture, and Follie home accessories.

So why not pop along to the Brocklesby Suite,  from 6.30pm to 9pm on the Wednesday evening, and from 10am to 3pm on the Thursday, when delicious homemade teas, cakes and lunches provided by the committee in Mamma J’s restaurant.

Entry on Thursday, October 18th is £5 and families are welcome. All tickets are available on the door.

For more on the Grimsby and District Branch of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, call Paula on 07786 022110 or Sue on 07775 664447.



New Veg Shop feeds our Portas Pilot!

It’s only a month since MR BIG announced they were going to reinstate the fruit and veg shop at the heart of the Market Rasen high street, but things have already moved on a pace, with many developments to report.

The new shop website where you can register as a volunteer or veg box customer

The new shop now has a name, Greens of Lincolnshire, and an opening planned for early November. It will be a community project and a “not for profit” business, so any money the shop makes will be directly reinvested in the town’s on-going regeneration. On this basis, MR BIG is now looking to invite people in and around Rasen to support the venture in any way they can – as either customers or volunteers – to help regenerate Market Rasen and get their fresh and local “five a day”.

Central to the new shop’s services is a veg box scheme, a boon for anyone that finds it difficult to walk the high street in the daytime. For £10, £15 or £20 customers can enjoy free delivery to their door of a box full of local and fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs, within an eight mile radius of the town centre, to start with. And this service is not limited to home delivery, with Greens offering to deliver boxes to work addresses too. This ‘corporate service’ even includes boxes of fresh fruit purchased by a company for their staff to enjoy and stay healthy.

MR BIG is also looking for volunteers to spend a couple of hours a week in the shop, working alongside others and contributing to the community. The role of volunteers in the shop’s set up is pivotal, as this means MR BIG can re-invest money into the community that would have been spent on salaries.

“It was a sad day when the Rasen Farm Shop closed its doors for the last time,” explained MR BIG’s volunteer finance director, Richard Hallsworth, “sad for the people involved with it but also for the community. Market Rasen is a market town and should promote the very best Lincolnshire food producers. Our markets showcase all things food on a monthly basis so it seems right that the high street should have a permanent retail business doing the same.

Left to right outside the shop: Sara Scott (MR BIG), Jayne Cartwright (The Charity Retail Consultancy), Richard Hallsworth (MR BIG) & Pamela Clarkson (the new Greens of Lincolnshire Manager) . MR BIG was delighted to have Jayne visit Market Rasen for an afternoon to share her considerable knowledge and many inspiring ideas for the new shop. Jayne was awarded the much coveted top prize of Woman of the Year 2010 at the Everywoman in Retail awards, and has worked with Mary Portas on the BBC program  ‘Mary Queen of Charity Shops’. She is also the founder of The Charity Retail Consultancy.

“The MR BIG team spent time looking into the business of farm shop retailing, checked our numbers and business plan and researched the ‘how to’.

“Whilst we wanted to restore a farm shop to the high street we also wanted to create a meeting place where people could visit, enjoy and learn more about all those fantastic Lincolnshire foods and the producers behind them. We also wanted to create a cash surplus that could help build out the sustainable part of the overall MR BIG business plan. We are acutely aware that the Portas money will only last for 18 months, maybe two years, and therefore we need to develop a plan that will generate funds and enable the good work to continue.”

Other good news from the creation of Greens of Lincolnshire comes in the form of the newly appointed manager for the shop, Pamela Clarkson. Pamela is a well-known face in the town who worked for Market Rasen’s Oxfam branch for 30 years, 24 as a volunteer and six as a manger until the shop closed in August this year.

Pamela commented on her appointment: “I’ve lived in Market Rasen all my life, I love the town, so I am really looking forward to this fabulous new venture that’s central to making Rasen thrive. To be back in the high street and helping the community means I am back doing the things I love too. I’m also excited about putting a new shop in the high street full of fresh Lincolnshire produce, and making it something really special, something with the ‘wow factor’!

“I’ve already done lots of research to find local food suppliers, and I am getting to know the MR BIG volunteer directors through our many meetings about the shop. I’m confident I can take Greens to where it can be, and have already had several conversations with my Oxfam customers who are so pleased to see me back in the high street.”

Pamela Clarkson,

“Pamela will work with our volunteer directors to ensure the shop becomes best practice on the high street and a beacon of excellence,” added Richard. “And it’s worth stating again that none of the 12 MR BIG directors can be paid for their work or from the profits of Greens of Lincolnshire, or any other Portas activities. The MR BIG community interest company we have created to manage the Portas Pilot project clearly states that directors cannot be paid for their involvement, to ensure they are true volunteers.”

MR BIG is fortunate enough to have a brand consultant among those volunteer directors, Sara Scott, and she is bringing all her professional skills to the project, for free, to make the Greens of Lincolnshire look like a shop Mary Portas would be proud of.

Sara explained how MR BIG’s progress in the Market Rasen high street is also being watched carefully by central government: “When we met Mary and government ministers at the recent Portas Pilot gathering in London, she said every town team should own a shop, but most didn’t know how to build one. The Department for Communities and Local Government were so impressed with our ideas that they are going to produce a case study about our retail plans.”

To register for the new box scheme or to be a shop volunteer, visit the Greens of Lincolnshire website at

Food Glorious Food: Photos, Thank Yous & Comments

It would not be a MR BIG market without a huge list of volunteers and supporters to thank… so deep breath…

Saturday’s market saw 60 stalls in the Market Place and Festival Hall, and LOTS of people

First up we say a BIG well done to the MR BIG volunteers on the day who were on site at 6.30am to set up our market stalls, and stayed around well into the evening to take down. Jackie Smith (MR BIG markets director) with husband Tony & son Nick of Beltec. Chris Cocking of the Lincolnshire Coop (MR BIG sustainable shopping director) & his son Tom. Jayne Sankey, town councillor and owner of The Chase. Leon & Luke (MR BIG town tidy up directors) of Green Dolphin. John Matthews (MR BIG events director and town councillor) and Mark of Beechwood Guest House. John Shaw. David Riley (MR BIG non-trader liaison and health & safety director) of J A D Associates. Richard Hallsworth (MR BIG finance director) Nicholsons Chartered Accountants. Sara Scott & mum Suzy (MR BIG chair and marketing director) of Brandthing. Sarah Lamballe & daughter Maisie (MR BIG director of community), Lincolnshire Tree Services and Sarah Lamballe Copywriting. Faye and Juliette for helping with administration and Peter from the town council who helped across both Market Place and Festival Hall.

Food writer and blogger Dominic Franks of Belleau Kitchen was a hit demonstrating all day with Taste of Lincolnshire’s ‘Kitchen Theatre’. Here he’s chatting to MR BIG’s Sarah Lamballe

Thanks for the hugely successful demo goes to Dominic Franks of The demo was made possible by Tastes of Lincolnshire, who provided the ‘kitchen theatre’ and contributed to menu cards and aprons (printed locally by Smudged). Lydia Rusling of Tastes was there on the day along with Helen Scott. We’d also like to thank Simon who helped Dominic, and Matthew, the chef from the Advocate Arms who assisted in the cookery demo. The lovely red, white and blue bunting down the walkway to lead visitors to Festival Hall was supplied by Lincolnshire Coop.

The mini mobile butcher from Sunnyside Up entertained the crowds

On his own blog, Dominic also thanks those that contributed to the demo ingredients: “Vicarage Eggs for supplying me with their lovely free-range eggs, Lancaster and Son ButchersRectory Reserve and Red Hill Farm for the very succulent Lincolnshire Sausages… I’d also like to thank J North Farm for their wonderfully fresh vegetables… The local Lincolnshire Co-Op also supplied me with bucket-loads of herbs and spices.” We’d also like to add thanks to Tesco who provided the larder staples.

Dominic dishing out chocolate roulade to the crowd

BIG thanks too to Abigail Rowlands, our amazing violinist busker.

The very talented Abigail Rowlands with her folk music selection

MR BIG volunteers and mini marshals in the day included: Pamela Clarkson – who will manage our fruit & veg shop, Gill Tuxworth, Stella Tupin, Carol Skye, Richard Hallsworth, Sara Scott, Sarah Lamballe and daughter Maisie Kendall.

A special thank you for our family of mini helpers from Sat, sisters and brother: Tatum 8, Neave 13 & Dexter 20 months.

Special thanks to our family of helpers Phil Jeeves with son Dexter and daughters, Neave and Tatum, who did a wonderful job with Mark from Beechwood Guest House handing out menu cards and Good Taste magazines to our lovely visitors.

Hot fresh noodles from Ayam Mee

We’d also like to thank Angela Montague of Push Creativity (MR BIG director for social media and PR) for all the social media and publicity work leading up to the event. Angela also live blogged the day with, taking 30 photos and posting them instantly to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Sunnyside Up’s traditional butcher’s stall attracted lots of attention

BIG thanks to Lincolnshire Tree Services for posters to promote Festival Hall craft market, which were scattered through the market place and along the walkway beside St Thomas. Also St Thomas’ who opened the church room for tea and coffee and signposted visitors down to Festival Hall from their bric-a-brac stalls, gave visitors access to the church and even allowed some to bell ring!

Jenny’s Jams looked jewel like in the autumn sunshine

We’d also like to thank all the fantastic foodie stall holders in the Market Place and the crafty lot in Festival Hall for helping us ‘put the market back into Market Rasen’, and our high street traders for supporting the event with offers exclusive to market day.

Our regular fruit and veg trader’s display! The Norths always set the right tone with seasonal product for a traditional English market

The local press also did a fantastic job of supporting us, with excellent coverage from The Market Rasen Mail, BBC Radio Lincolnshire, Market Rasen People, Lincolnshire Today and The Lincolnshire Echo – that we’ve seen at least!

The English Rose stall was as pretty as a picture, and is that Kim the Herbalist and Crepe Lucette back there?

Big thanks also goes to The Swan and Rhodes for giving over extra parking to us and to John at the Aston Arms for buckets of hot washing up water and buying Sara, Sarah and Jackie a much needed drink!

Lovely artisan bread from Starbuck’s Bakery

And of course a huge thank you to the public for turning up en masse to show what a bustling little market town Market Rasen can be.

Pretty stalls, brilliant sunshine and lots of footfall – we like!

Huge thanks too to our market team, Jackie Smith and Kerry Hallsworth, who have orchestrated all our BIG markets handling all the operations and logistics as volunteers, and that’s an operation that now involves 60 traders coming to town!

Fair Trade Point of Contact, one of 20 craft stalls in the Festival Hall

Final thanks goes to the sunshine, that shone beautifully all day, and the rain, that stayed away!

Sampling Dominic’s ‘no knead’ bread

If we’ve missed anyone out, or you want to add your own thanks, please leave a comment below. And do keep sharing great pics on Facebook and Twitter of your own culinary triumphs from our menu cards. Remember you can buy the ingredients locally any time!

What the people said

Here’s a the feedback comments we received over the weekend:

On our Facebook page (at

Faldingworth Live
Excellent market. Well done.
Unlike · · Saturday at 14:16

Sarah Bakin Brill we had a lovely day and met some very nice people .Thank you. We are very proud to be from Market Rasen Handmade Memory Books & Home Gifts .Looking forward to the next one x
Saturday at 18:11 · Edited · Like · 2

Ann Keil Excellent! Bought some lovely Fudge and was impressed with the Cookies in a jar stall.Please let there be more market days like this. :)
Saturday at 18:18 · Like · 1

Laura Saveal It was wonderful! We made a family day of it. We all thought there was a great variety of stalls and all reasonably priced. And my 3 year old son loved ringing the church bells! Well done to all involved.
Saturday at 18:20 via mobile · Like · 2

Shaun Washington i had a great time from sausages to jam great food looking forward to the next time ♥
Saturday at 18:27 · Like · 1

Tammi Franklin A really good selection of stalls hope there are more markets like this one farmers markets would be nice
Saturday at 18:31 via mobile · Like · 1

Jules Tester Bloody excellent, stalls fantastic, really different produce, products and gifts! excellent stalls in Festival Hall too, it was really great to see the town buzzing with smells of food, flowers, everything for every age! Lets hope this will urge those who are in the know to bring back the buzz of the market in Market Rasen, Ive only been here two months from Kent, it was fantastic, cant wait for more markets and events in the town. :)
Saturday at 18:39 · Like · 2

Sweetpea Fabric Art we had a great day today in the festival hall and it was nice to sell our items in a friendly atmosphere and meet the crafty cornucopia even though I could not remember names and the market place smelt wonderful.
Saturday at 18:42 · Like · 3

Jules Tester Im so lovin my headband bought from sweetpea fabric art today!
Saturday at 18:45 · Like · 1

Amy Boyles Fantastic market! Me and my 2 daughters loved it!
Saturday at 12:26 via mobile · Like

Donna Weber well done,really good market,got some delicious currys,nom nom:)
Saturday at 14:38 via mobile · Like

Karen Gilbert We thought it was brilliant, best one yet! X Saturday at 19:25 via mobile · Like · 1

Rita Montague Big congratulations to all responsible for the wonderful food & craft market . From the fantastic cookery demonstrations , the music from the talented violinist , the refreshments in the church rooms , the great offers from the high st. Shops and glorious weather , what a day
Saturday at 20:11 via mobile · Like · 1

Lincolnshire Wolds Macmillan Fundraisers We really enjoyed walking round seeing all the lovely stalls and meeting some lovely people, I even got to have the peanut Brittle and it was lovely also a large Pork pie which was had for tea. Enjoyed the food demos by Dominic Franks. Thank you to all those that gave donations to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Saturday at 20:17 · Like · 1

Amber ‘Goulsbra’ Shepherd It was great,i love to see the town so busy,well done all.i made a purchase of an ‘i love rasen’ brolly :)
Saturday at 20:54 · Like · 1

Natalie Chapman Absolutely Fantastic, Thank you so much to MR. BIG for having whatever it is you have in you all to actually do something for our town. Im thankful and grateful it is the right hands as yet again today you have proved succes can be achieved in Market Rasen and it is not a dying town, it is thriving with the right drive.
The Market today was brilliant with so much choice and such a great atmosphere! The only down side was i spent too much money. What can i say ;-)
Saturday at 21:28 · Like · 2

Cathy Gissing Loved it, a few generations of my family came too. My daughter had a go on the church bells and we ate our way round and bought goodies. Hope we have a great Christmas market this year. 23 hours ago · Like

Karen Gani Just a shame that people made traffic such a problem by parking irresponsibly nose to tail along caistor road. Awkward finding compromise of getting people into town without using up parking spaces for them to use when they get here.
23 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1

Natalie Chapman I remember once Duckworths did a park and ride for the Gardeners Fair pr something like. Perhaps this or something like this would be a good idea in the future as they are proving popular?
15 hours ago · Like · 1

Lynne Canfield good turnout,lovely sunny day, plenty of variety.
3 hours ago · Like · 1

Belles – Bags, Baubles, Bracelets and Beautiful Gifts – Hello! Thank you very much for inviting me again to the wonderful food extravaganza on Saturday! :)  I had a fantastic day and met some lovely people again! Looking forward to seeing you in November XX Unlike · · 2 hours ago

Handing out the fruit cake!

From our Twitter, at

Market Rasen People ‏@RasenPeople
@marketrasen_big Thanks, excellent work, the markets are getting better and better!

Scrubbys Crisps ‏@scrubbyscrisps
@MarketRasen_BIG it was brilliant very busy, visitors there to buy not just browse, very worthwhile, fab promotion & organisation #allgood )

Laura ‏@MinceTroll
@MarketRasen_BIG it was fab!

Lydia Rusling ‏@LydiaSRusling
@MarketRasen_BIG Thank you for a great Foodie Market today; very busy marketplace and town. Privileged for @tastesoflincs to be part of it.

JENNY’S JAMS ‏@Jennysjams
Thanks to @MarketRasen_BIG for another well organised market..

reo ‏@rasehaze
@MarketRasen_BIG what a great market, best yet!


Our friends Lincolnshire Wolds Macmillan Fundraisers were out and about

Want more?

Our full Facebook album of photos taken by Angela Montague is here: Food Glorious Food Facebook Album.

The 60 Instagram photos taken under the #GastroRasen hashtag are here: #GastroRasen on Instagram

Hop over to Belleau Kitchen to see what Dominic said about the day here.

Another blog post on the event from Stella & Alf is here.

Get involved with our Portas Pilot…

Get the full story with our NEW FAQ – it will tell you all about what we’re doing:Frequently Asked Questions

SUBSCRIBE to our blog posts on email to always get the latest news first. Click here to Subscribe to Market Rasen BIG by Email.

REGISTER your interest in what we are doing as a local business, market trader, individual volunteer or community group. Follow these links to

Register as a Market Rasen Business

Register as a Market Trader

Register as a local organisation or community group

Register as an individual