Page 20 - MarketTimesApril2020
P. 20

 The Lancashire market transformed by a force of
 AN ARMY of women warriors has transformed the fortunes of a down-at-heel Lancashire market. And not since Boudicca has there been such a fearless, dynamic, all-conquering leader holding the reins.
Jane Boys is an unlikely champion of Rawtenstall Market. She retired from the NHS after a career of more than 30 years as a psychiatric nurse and health visitor, including spells in the south of England, Northern Ireland and Manchester.
A proud northern woman, she opened a vintage furniture shop after she restored an old desk her father-in-law gave her and caught the restoration bug.
“One day a guy who stood markets asked me to join him in running a 30-stall one-day market in Rawtenstall,” she said. “He had the stalls and my job was to find the traders, which I did, mainly through social media.”
When they arrived at the market place on the day arranged the stalls man didn’t turn up.
“I was in tears,” said Jane. But after gathering herself she refunded the money to the stallholders and asked them all to turn up the following month for a new market venture called The Clog Market.
The monthly artisan market took off. “I bought the stalls and then turned it into a social enterprise. It didn’t make a lot of money so I decided I might as well give it away,” Jane said.
As the monthly clog market thrived, the same could not be said for Rawtenstall’s regular Thursday and Saturday indoor and outdoor markets which were dying on their feet.
The market’s longest serving trader, Annette Upton, who began selling household textiles in 1992 on the outdoor market before moving indoors and launching a blinds business, said it was a busy market when she first started but it had deteriorated badly over the years.
“There has been zero to little investment over many years,” she said. “We lost the market super-
Jane Boys (left) is the force behind the regeneration of the market. She is pictured with handywoman Jacs Barker-Rourke, a retired police officer who joined her in the mission to transform the market
intendent around 2004 and the council seemed to view us as a thorn in their side.”
She said the traders were very good but the market had grown more dismal and uninviting each year and a number of traders retired earlier than they might have done
because standing the market was a waste of time, Annette added.
Then Jane decided to do something about it. “I could see that the town’s regular market was on its knees and I wanted to bring the success and vibrancy of the clog market to the traditional

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