Penarth’s Turner House Art Gallery – the art gallery bequeathed to the people of Penarth – is to be the venue for a new once-a-month Food Market according to publicity material issued on social media.
Posters aimed at attracting stall-holders to the new monthly “50-Mile” Saturday-morning market have been distributed on social media.
The name “50 mile market” implies that none of the stall holders will travel more than 50 miles to market their produce at the regular event – but local Green campaigners say they do not regard a 50 mile each-way van-drive as being in line with green policies.
The Turner House Gallery is legally the property of the people of Penarth but was handed over in trust to the National Museum of Wales by Penarth Urban District Council in the 1921 and is now leased to the photographic “charity” Ffotogallery – which uses it for photographic exhibitions .
The organisers of the 50-Mile Market say their goal is to “supply our customers with the freshest produce possible.” . They say most of the vendors at the event are actually also the producers of the food on sale . They say customers will be able to “have a conversation and meet the person behind the food you are feeding your family.”
The vague legal regulations on indoor farmers’ markets mean that it may not be necessary for the organisers of the market to obtain planning permission from the Vale of Glamorgan Council to set up the market – even though the use of a Grade II listed building like Turner House – situated in the Penarth Conservation Area – as a farmers’ market might well be held to represent a major “change of use“.
The first farmers’ market at Turner House is due to take place on September 3rd 2016. Penarth Civic Society has been told that the Ffotogallery’s lease on Turner House is to be extended by the National Museum of Wales for a further eighteen months.
The gallery was closed for four months from the end of November to the end of March this year – and after re-opening for an exhibition by a Lithuanian photographer (see http://tinyurl.com/hp3fkf4 ) is now closed again.
The farmers’ market plans however might not be permissible under the terms of the will of the founder of Turner House – the flour magnate James Pyke Thompson who created the gallery, encouraged it to be open to the people of Penarth – and who, on his death, charged his two brothers with ensuring the gallery was left to the people of Penarth.
In a will dated Julv 1, 1896, Mr Pyke Thompson, (who lived in the mansion Redlands near the gallery in Penarth) left Turner House itself and the land upon which it was built and some adjoining land, and the Turner House collection, to his brothers Charles and Herbert Metford Thompson absolutely as joint tenant who he said “are acquainted with the testator’s wishes as to the disposition of the Turner House Collection and of residuary estate, which it may, perhaps, be assumed will be intended ultimately for public-uses or charitable purposes.”