Page 25 - MarketTimesAugust2019
P. 25

FEATURE • HITCHIN
goods, loves the market where his great-
grandfather used to deliver fruit and veg a century ago.
“The trouble is there are so many events on the market square but they just weaken the market. Every plan the council has seems to condense which makes you think they don’t put much importance on it,” he added.
Many traders still do well on Hitchin market. Terry Golburn has built up a solid market business specialising in Afro-Caribbean food and fruit and veg. “I find this market very good. It’s up to individual traders to up their game,” he said.
Ben Reynolds-Frost, who has run a wool and haberdashery business on the market for the past nine years, says he does well here too.
And when he is not serving on his stall he
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 travels all over the world as a judge at dog shows including Crufts.
Some traders, like plant and flower man Tony Whitmoor, are wary of change. “After 29 years we are very busy on this market, especially in spring and early summer,” he said. “I have seen other markets have a lot of investment and end up with less footfall.”
And there is no doubt that Ron, his market team and the volunteer directors are doing their very best to enhance the existing market.
“We have recently invested in LED lighting and introduced a colour zoning system so that shoppers can find the stalls they want more easily,” he said.
They introduced a new vintage market on the first Saturday of the month in June and they are in negotiations to host a monthly vegan market
on the second and third Saturday of each month.
The last Saturday of the month is the craft and farmers market which brings a further 30 stalls to Hitchin.
Other initiatives include working closely with North Herts College, which has led to students setting up stall on the market as part of business courses, and there is a special start-up package for new traders of 12 weeks’ or rent for the price of six.
Lines that the market would like to attract include a butcher, a baker, children’s clothes, toys, gents’ clothing, workwear and traditional jewellery.
They will be joining a market that does surprisingly well in spite of its Cinderella status.
  Tony Whitmore is one of several traders selling plants and flowers Terry Golburn has been selling Afro-Caribbean food including fruit on the market and veg on the market for 15 years
Ben Reynolds-Frost has a colourful haberdashery and wool stall on Hitchin market. When he is not trading he works as a judge at dog shows all over the world including Crufts
  FACTS & FIGURES
 l Market Days: Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday is a car boot with some regular traders.
l Market Rent: £11 to £17 for regular traders on Tuesdays and Fridays. Saturday prices range from £15 to £24. Casuals pay from £16 to £25 on Tuesdays and Fridays and from £24 to £39 on Saturdays.
l Hitchin’s claim to fame: Hitchin in North Hertfordshire has been a centre for wool, corn and hats at different times in its history. Thanks to its proximity to Luton, several motorways and good links with London, it has become a commuter town, with plenty of local employers too.
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