Page 16 - MarketTimesFebruary2013
P. 16

The Pilgrim Fathers, who founded Boston, year helped it scoop a number of awards. A public consultation exercise by the council
Massachusetts, would have had cherished
memories of the vibrant market in their hometown of Boston, Lincolnshire.
For centuries, the market was one of the foremost in England, reflecting the importance of the town of Boston, which was one of England’s ‘staple towns’, authorised to carry out imports and exports.
Market Manager Ian Martin said: “The market dates from the 11th or 12th centuries and in days gone by the town was a thriving port, exporting grain, salt and wool and importing goods from the continent.”
By the time it was granted its charter by Henry VIII in 1545, the Haven was silting up and the big ships could no longer reach the town, calling a halt to its role as a major port.
Nevertheless, Boston Market has continued to thrive over the centuries, thanks to its central location in Market Place in the shadow of The Stump, Boston’s landmark parish church tower, and its role at the centre of a rural community.
A £2 million investment in the market last
  Ian Martin has been market manager for the past seven years
 Sue Gosling and Richard Kew are business partners running The Tasty Tucker catering van business for the past 20 years
The Five Lamps
English Heritage named it the best market scheme in the East Midlands, and it won the National Market Traders Federation’s greenest market in the Midlands accolade, thanks to a number of green measures introduced as part of the refurbishment, such as new cycle stands.
And although traders are not unanimous in their praise for the revamp, they do agree that Boston market is bucking the trend.
Ian said: “The scheme was jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Boston Borough Council which runs the market.”
For centuries the market has taken pride of place every Wednesday and Saturday in the impressive Market Place in the heart of Boston. There is a smaller outpost called the Green Market comprising around 20 stalls with a household goods auction on the other side of the main shopping street.
In recent years Market Place had become tired and worn out, according to Ian. Concrete blocks introduced in the 1970s had seen better days.
identified what local people wanted to see in the revamp and the council went with the consensus.
“The public wanted a return to a traditional look and they wanted the reinstatement of the landmark ‘five lamps’ in its original form,” Ian said.
Originally an impressive iron structure with five gas lamps, it was replaced by an electric lamp in 1926 and removed from Market Place in the 1980s.
The revamp also included repaving the square with Yorkshire stone and new street furniture.
The scheme involved shrinking the market footprint and cutting the number of stalls from around 150 to 120. And it retained the traffic route through the square, which splits the market,
Ian said: “The public said they wanted a greener, more open market square which would be conducive to a café culture with tables and chairs outside in the summer.

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