Page 6 - MarketTimesAugust2016
P. 6

  The cathedral city of St Albans in Hertfordshire, just 20 miles north of London, has more than its fair share of attractions.
It retains remnants of its Roman past, as well as medieval buildings and a profusion of old coaching inns from the days when the city made its name as the first coaching stop on the route from London to the north..
But the jewel in the crown, according to residents, is the twice-weekly charter market dating from 1553 which brings to city centre to life every Wednesday and Saturday.
Its location has been key to its success over the centuries. St Albans is close to London and handy for the A1 and the M1, which makes it a good place for a day out.
And the market’s location is perfect too. The stalls, with their blue and yellow canopies — the historic colours of St Albans — stretch down the tree-lined St Peter’s Street and into
Market Place, with its attractive shops, ancient buildings and the historic clock tower.
The paved area of St Peter’s Street is wide enough to allow double-sided stalls, so there is plenty of space for people to browse and enjoy the market ambience.
And the market itself offers pretty much something for everyone. There are all the market staples from fashion to food, and plenty of attractive niche products, crafts and gifts which sell well in a city which attracts tourists and day trippers, and where house prices are amongst the highest outside London.
As you might expect for such a busy, successful market, St Albans has plenty of traders who have been on there for decades.
No one can beat Julian Landsberg, who has been the watch man on the market for more than 50 years.
Julian has driven from his home in Leigh-
on-Sea in Essex to stand this market for half a century — and he has no plans to call it a day any time soon.
“This is a lovely town with lovely people,” said Julian. He remembers all the old market characters. There was a couple called Bill and Rose who sold shoes next to Julian and offered a side line in faith healing.
“I have had some lovely customers including a regular for 40 years called Philomena who told me one day that they were making a film about her life starring Judi Dench,” he said.
Others, like John Evans, who sells materials, have clocked up as many as 39 years on the market.
Another business, Eat Whole Foods, will be celebrating 40 years on the market next January. Now owned by Patrick Jeavons, a former customer, the business was started by Pam and Nick Antink, who all shared a belief in the health values of whole food.
John Evans does well at St Albans market where he has sold materials for the past 39 years
 After 50 years on St Albans market, watch man Julian Landsberg has proved his commitment to this thriving market. He is pictured with his wife Monica.

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