As Britain’s market traders prepare their stalls to return, here is a guide to where to find them – The Sun

BRITAIN’S market traders declare: “We’re open for business” as they prepare to set up their stalls again from tomorrow.

They were forced to close as the pandemic took hold, but from tomorrow, with the risk of transmission reduced outside, they will be returning.

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The traders point out that some of our greatest high-street names – including M&S and Morrisons – began from market stalls.

And they called on Britain to support them – and help boost the economy.

Here, speaking to The Sun on Sunday, are just some of the traders who will back in your town centres from tomorrow.

Howard Heaton, 69, of Leeds and son Joe, 35, will be travelling across the country this week from 8am to 5pm selling sheepskin items including gilets, slippers and rugs.

On Tuesday they’ll be at Hawes, Wensleydale; Wednesday at Barnard Castle and Kirkbymoorside and Friday at Stokesley and Reeth.

Howard, who has been in business since 1981 and imports from 11 countries, said: “It’s good to be back.

“So many entrepreneurs in Britain’s markets — both M&S and Morrisons started out with stalls.


“We are the last true, free marketeers and we hope Britain gets behind us.”

Erek Chong, 60, of Derek’s Tropical Fruit And Veg will be on Brixton’s Electric Avenue tomorrow from 6am to 6pm and for the rest of the week.

Derek, who has worked in the market for 35 years, said: “Britain’s market traders are back in business, please come and support us.

“We are at the heart of communities across Britain.

“We are looking forward to the market opening fully and our customers coming back.”

Greg Christofi, 56, and wife Mandy, 54, will be selling bread and confectionery at Fox Valley’s Friday market from 10am to 4pm in Stocksbridge, Sheffield.

Mandy said: “We’ve been baking for 26 years at our bakehouse in Holmfirth. We’ve been at the open air market for two years and love it and our customers.

“During lockdown we have baked goods and our daughter Lucy, 22, has delivered to the area but we want to get back selling.”

Cypriot-born Greg added: “Come and spend your dough with us on Friday, support your local traders!”

Shaun Dolan, 56, of M&S Dolan fruit and veg stall owners, will be at Leeds Kirkgate Market, George Street, from 8am on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

He said: “I am the third generation to run this market stall since the 1950s.

“My granddad and dad, both called James, worked it from the age of 14.

“Trade is down by 80 per cent. I urge folk to use us or lose us.”

Beverley Clarke, 55, will be running Cake Your Day at Denaby Market, Doncaster, every day bar Saturday from 8am to 1pm.

She said: “I make celebration cakes and sandwiches.

“Lockdown has affected business as parties have been postponed.


“People have told me they prefer shopping locally.

“It is like going back to how it used to be.

“The individual shops and stalls have kept everyone going.”

Sue Coldwell, 52, runs Blissful Bedding at Dinnington Market, Rotherham, on Fridays from 6am to 3pm, Worksop Market on Wed­nes­days and Retford on Saturdays.

Sue, who works alongside husband Ian, 54, said: “We’ve been trading 32 years at markets across Nottinghamshire.

“We went into lockdown as soon as it was introduced.

“I am looking forward to getting back to work on Friday at Dinnington.

“Most of our customers are elderly and many have rung us to see if we are OK.

“It’s not just a business, it’s a social event going to a market.”

Angus McKinlay, 48, runs Joseph Cliff Fishmongers and on Monday will be at Barnsley Market and Tuesday at Fox Valley, Sheffield, from 8.30am to 4.30pm.

He said: “The company has been trading six days a week on markets since 1889.

“I started working part-time as a kid with my dad, Angus.

“Coronavirus has made people shop local, to think about eating healthily and where their food is from.

“I can tell them exactly where I bought our stock from.”

Farmer Clive Wareing, 58, runs vegetable and salad business Wareings of Tarleton, Preston, with wife Debbie, 56, daughter Alex, 30, and son George, 27.

They trade at Hebden Bridge Market, Calderdale, every Sunday and also run Helmshore Farmers Market at Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, East Lancs.


He said: “I am looking forward to getting Helmshore open again.

“It’s on the first Sunday of every month — it will be open 7 June — and we have 30 stalls selling fresh produce from soap to salads.

“We knuckled down with a delivery scheme as we didn’t want to give up our work and let chains take over.

“I urge people to shop at their markets and hope they will be more educated about where the food on their plate comes from and eat more seasonally.”

Jon Rider, 47, of Barton, North Yorks, sells fresh pies, eggs, bacon and meat at his market stall from 8am to 3pm at Crook, Co Durham, on a Tuesday, Barnard Castle on a Wednesday and on Friday and Saturday at Consett, Durham.

He said: “I’ve done the markets for 25 years as I enjoy meeting the people.

“I leave home at 4.30am each market day to collect produce from my local suppliers.

“Markets are a way of British life.

“The markets should never have closed.

“Herding people into supermarkets is far unhealthier.”

Mark Hartley, 59, of Hull, runs a greetings cards stall at Pickering on Mondays, Driffield on Thursdays, Helmsley on Fridays and Northallerton on Saturdays, working 8.30am to 3pm.

He said: “We are reopening on June 5 at Helmsley as the Government announcement came too late for us to get all safety procedures in place for Monday.

“However, we are raring to get back to work.

“The fact we are outside is far healthier for shoppers.”

John Thorndike, 57, of Grimsby, has a fishmonger stall at Dinnington Market, Rotherham, every Friday, 7.30am to 1pm.

He said: “I love Fridays. It’s great to be outside, dealing with customers as the rest of the week I work as a fish processor at Grimsby Docks while preparing for my day at the market.

“I’ve done it for 36 years as my dad John did it before me.

“I’ll be back on Friday and already have customers placing orders.

“I’ve known some customers for 40 years and I’ve got a five-star hygiene rating from the council.”

Eamonn Fitzpatrick, 70, of Northampton, runs a fruit-and-veg stall at Northampton market six days a week, 7am to 4pm.

The grandfather-of-one said: “I’ve worked 55 years on the market and for 40 of them I’ve run my own stall.

“Everyone knows me as Fitzy and I’ve missed the banter with customers and other traders.

“Customers have missed us, some of them have been with me over half a century. They know and trust me.

“We have always been environmentally friendly — less plastic is fantastic, I say — using brown paper bags.

“Corona has reduced our trade by 50 per cent, but we will bounce back.”

Philip Easton, 40, will be at Pip’s Hot Chocolate stall at the Tobacco Factory’s Sunday market in Bristol from 8am to 3pm.


He said: “I’ve been running my stall for five years and lockdown has been like a knife in the heart – I also sell chocolate to cafés and online, and I’d estimate my revenues are down 90 per cent.

“A good market is a life-affirming place.

“I’ll be back outside the Tobacco Factory on Sunday and can’t wait — it’s full of people with crazy ideas, loads of noise, the foundation of our economy where small businesses thrive. “This is where we’ll begin to recover from Covid.”

Julie Emery, 51, runs JD Produce and will be at Bilston Market, West Midlands from 5am tomorrow.

She said: “I’m the third generation running this stall — my grandparents set it up in 1909 and I grew up here, helping bag fruit and work the tills.

“I work five days a week, 3am to 4pm, and having to shut it down was horrific, thinking this might be the end of the line.

“We got contacted by customers online and by phone after we closed, so we could do some deliveries, but nothing like normal.

“I can’t wait to see everyone. Every customer feels like a friend.”

Steve O’Connell, 54, runs his Art of Dance stall in Covent ­Garden’s Apple Market in Central London and plans to reopen on Wednesday at 10am.

He said: “I’ve been running my stall for 32 years, selling my paintings and clothing with ballerina designs on — the day before official lockdown when we were here even the pigeons didn’t turn up!

“It was like something from Dr Who.

“To see it quiet is heartbreaking.

“But I do believe in the spirit of the public and they will flood back like never before.”

Chris Hurdman, 59, runs his CR and KP Hurdman confectionary stall at Thame Market, Wallingford and will be back 8am Tuesday.

He said: “My brother Kevin and I set up our business in 1985 and I move my stall to various markets around Oxfordshire.


“We’ve had lots of Zoom meetings with the council to work out the logistics of markets reopening.

“To see normal life resuming on Tuesday, will be quite emotional.

“I’ve spent the past few weeks volunteering for Rubicon, helping make PPE and making up hospital beds at the Nightingale Hospitals, and I’m sure all my customers will have similar stories.”

Perry Thomas, 31, runs his Perry’s Meats stall at several markets around the M25 and will be at Chesham Market on Wednesday, Epsom Thursday and Saturday, Aylesbury on Friday and Wimbourne on Sunday.

He said: “Lockdown’s been rock hard for us, but the councils have been amazing helping us get back.

“Going back full-tilt this week will be great.

“Our regulars are the heart and soul of our business, and I know they’ve missed us as much as we’ve missed them.

“Markets are in British people’s hearts.”

Amir Alex Wagnew, 21, from Croydon will be selling organic hen, quail and duck eggs at Brixton Market Egg Stall from 9am to 6pm from tomorrow to Saturday.

He said: “It’s good for everyone to be back. It’s a big part of the community.”

Bob Vella, 59, of Bob’s East End Café in Tavistock Pannier Market is back on Monday at 8am.

He said: “I’ve been running my ‘caf’ for 21 years, and that market is like a second family.

“Being closed has ripped me to pieces — I’ve been helping Age Concern deliver meals to the needy and hungry which has been great, but nothing replaces the buzz of the market.

“A market is a town’s heart, where everyone goes to catch up, new ideas happen — take that away and the town is dead.”

Mark Fitzpatrick, 57, runs his Flower Factory stall at Southampton Market and he’s hoping to be back tomorrow at 5am.

He said: “I’ve worked on markets since I was eight. My family have been market traders for generations.

“The flower trade closed on Mother’s Day, so it couldn’t have been worse.

“All the councils are looking at measures so we can open safely next week.

“I’m primed to open my stall, the minute I get the nod that I can.

“Luckily I have a warehouse, so could diversify and opened a garden centre in Bournemouth.

Claire Connor, 34, runs her A Pie Party stalls in London’s Victoria Park Market and Canopy Market at King’s Cross.

She hopes to return on Monday week.

She said: “I gave up my job in the City to start my own business.

“Markets are full of life and optimism and real people.

“When lockdown happened, I realised I could start posting the pies anywhere in the country, so have created a new customer base, but that doesn’t replace my stall.

“I’m primed to go back when I get the nod from the market managers and the councils.

“I desperately miss all my customers, the chat, the laughs.”

Clive Bell, 45, of CLB Fruits has had a plot on Popes Road, Brixton Market for 30 years.

He’ll be there from Wednesday to Saturday from 7.30am to 3pm.

He said: “Markets are essential to local communities — millions depend on us. We’re looking forward to having everyone back.”


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