MP AND Government Chief Whip Sir George Young wielded the knife to mark a new chapter in the life of a local success story that started way back in 1946.

The Friday market was one of the first Women’s Institute markets and then became WI Country Market but has now been rebranded as Andover Market for All Seasons.

The change gives the stalls more flexibility about what they can sell and how, but the popular cake stall has retained the same ten main bakers who have made this enterprise such an enduring aspect of Friday mornings in the High Street.

Market chairwoman Emma Way said: “For instance we can now sell a tray of eggs, when before they all had to be packaged.”

When the first market was held it took place on one stall in George Yard and they had taken £4 by the end of the morning.

Sir George, who expressed a preference for chocolate cake, said: “Emma explained that the organisation is now a co-operative, but they share the profits with this year’s good cause, which is the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

“I was most impressed by the quality of the goods on offer, and invested in a quiche, some lettuce, and some freshly laid eggs.

“I was kindly presented with a chocolate cake, and I wish all those who take part in this project well.”

Sir George said that Andover High Street was built to accommodate a weekly market, and it was great to have this market continuing.