Page 5 - Market Times February 2014
P. 5

  The Eleanor Cross
the High Street
the High Street
Famous for its Eleanor Cross, one of three surviving medieval crosses built to commemorate the resting place of Queen Eleanor’s coffin on its final journey, Waltham Cross also boasts a busy Wednesday and Friday market.
And while many high street markets are dwindling in the face of competition from out of town and internet shopping, market trading in Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire is holding up.
There’s no single reason for its resilience. It’s a relatively new market started in the 1980s when the Borough Council of Broxbourne decided to try to emulate the success of its charter market in Hoddesdon, which was boosting the high street by bringing in shoppers from far and wide on market days.
Ironically, there has been a reversal of fortunes. Hoddesdon
used to be the market with a long waiting list that every trader wanted to get on. Now Waltham Cross is the busier market, with around 80 per cent occupancy.
One reason, says Lionel Smith, who has been selling women’s fashion on Waltham Cross market for the past 15 years, is Fishpools, the anchor department and furniture store at the head of the High Street.
Established in 1899, Fishpools is said to be the best independent furniture store in the south east.
“It’s the mainstay of Waltham Cross,” said Lionel. “People come here to visit the store from London and the south east and discover the market. I don’t know what we would do if it ever closed.”
With 40 stalls on the pedestrianised high street, which is dominated by the Eleanor Cross, the market also benefits from plenty of parking and great transport links.
There is a large, relatively cheap
multi-storey car park forming part of the Pavilions shopping centre, which opens on to the High Street, and the bus and train station are nearby, as is the motorway network.
The market manager Lisa Carroll and market inspector David Birley pay tribute to the traders who are
a loyal and hard working bunch
of people.
 5
David Birley, market inspector, and Lisa Carroll, market manager, are pictured on the market they run
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