It seems that everyone and their dog goes to Tynemouth Market and to prove it, canine loving bosses have held a competition to find the market’s cutest four legged friend.

Tynemouth Market is held every Saturday and Sunday at the seaside town’s busy Metro station. For more than 30 years, the market has attracted sellers dealing in everything from antiques to cup cakes and books to arts and crafts. There is also a flourishing book market and once a month; local farmers sell their fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese to an ever-increasing clientele looking for good value and quality food.

Dog owner Lyn Binks who manages the market spends a lot of her time walking around talking to stall holders and looking at ways to improve the stallholder and customer experience.

“Recently, I’ve become increasingly aware of just how many people come to Tynemouth Market with their dogs. They come in all shapes and sizes and most of them are very well behaved too,” she said.

Lyn decided to run a competition to find the market’s cutest dog to encourage more dog owners to get fitter and bring their pets.

“Dogs are great for exercise, it can take around two hours to wander around the market and then there’s the time and energy it takes to actually walk here too.

“We’ve a few stalls selling accessories for pets and one or two that supply dog food and treats so in that respect it’s bringing extra potential customers in for them but overall the place is just so much happier with a lot of well behaved dogs. It’s often quite funny seeing some of the owners who are in a hurry being unable to move for other market visitors stopping them and asking about their lovely dogs.”

More than 20 market customers submitted photos of their dogs at the market but the ones that caught the attention of Lyn were a Cockerpoo called Izzy owned by Adele Taylor of Sunderland and a Golden Doodle named Luna owned by Nicola Smart from Cramlington.

“What struck me about these dogs were their friendly faces and their quiet temperaments. They really do make people smile and their owners should be very proud of them.”

Each pampered pooch received a gift voucher to spend at the pet stalls on the market and their owners also received a gift voucher too.

Both owners were delighted that their dogs had won a prize. Nicola from Cramlington said.

“Luna is such a friendly dog and everyone wants to stop and chat with us. We love Tynemouth Market; it has to be one of the best indoor places to take your dog in all weathers. The stall owners are all very friendly too.”

Vicky from Sunderland agreed:

“ We’ve been coming here for the last six weeks with the puppy. It helps to get dogs used to crowds and the facilities here are great. The market is very dog friendly and everyone is happy to see our canine friends.”

From dogs to Santa Paws as Father Christmas is visiting the market for a weekend of festive fun for all the family. The event on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November 2016 will see stall holders decorate their pitch in the hope of winning the best dressed stall. BBC Newcastle presenter Sue Sweeney and ex Lindisfarne frontman Billy Mitchell will be judging the competition.

Other activities will include a post-box for children to write to Santa and they can even meet him too. For the older market visitor, mulled wine and nibbles will be in abundance as well as hundreds of unique gift ideas for Christmas!