Page 18 - MarketTimesApril2016
P. 18

Daniel has recently taken over as manager for Bray Associates, one of the largest private market operators.
He explains that the company was brought in by Spelthorne Borough Council five years ago when the previous private operator left suddenly.
“Initially the council wanted our help and advice. After we had been running the market on an informal basis for around 18 months we got the contract to run it officially,” he said.
Daniel says the council is very supportive of the market and views it as a key element of the town’s success.
For years Staines has had to put up with
ridicule because of the Ali G connection. The character lived in his grandmother’s garage in Cherry Blossom Close in the heart of
“da Staines ghetto” and the hit film Ali G Indahouse featured a series of bizarre goings- on in the town.
By 2012 the joke had gone far enough and the council officially renamed the town Staines-upon-Thames. Councillors said the idea was to draw attention to the town’s picturesque riverside location in the hope of attracting more business, as well as moving away from the association with Ali G.
And the market is very much part of the renamed Staines-upon-Thames, with 40 to 45
stalls offering a diverse mix of quality food and pretty much everything else you could think of.
It’s not without its problems. Fruit trader Andrew said that trade was excellent when they first moved on to the High Street but the market wasn’t immune to what he describes as “the High Street malaise”.
Saturdays are very busy. With so many locals commuting to London during the week, the town comes alive at weekends and the market is at the heart of things.
Wednesday is a long established market day, but Fridays were introduced five years ago and there are fewer traders doing less business.
  Bag man Alastair Barnes (right) with assistant Dan Stancill, has been standing Staines market for 15 years
  Andrew Tate is a fourth generation fruit and veg man running the impressive fruit and veg stall on Staines High Street
Loch Singh, affectionately known as Cheap Cheap, because that’s what he shouts, sells cigarette products, purses, jewellery and hair accessories

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