Page 44 - MarketTimesFebruary2020
P. 44

born and brought up in Boston and says the market remains a key element of the town’s heritage and identity.
“The health of the market is very im- portant to the council and we are doing everything we can to keep it doing well,” she said.
Around 50 traders fill the impressive central Market Place every Wednesday and Saturday, with every type of line you could want in a workaday town with character and history.
There are three or four mobile hot food businesses, plenty of staple food stalls including fruit and veg, eggs and ham, a standout bakery and confectionery stall, several plant and flower stalls and a bit of everything else in between.
A council team erect the traditional stalls the night before and take them down after market day.
Chloe said market manager Kristina Willoughby had been a driving force in improving the market since taking over the reins five years ago.
A review of the market flagged up a number of issues. As a result a new market logo has been created, a market video has been made, and early last year incentives were introduced to try to attract new traders and to help existing ones.
Under the scheme, new traders who
stand the market for four consecutive weeks get the next four weeks free. And existing traders who trade on the market consistently without exceeding their holiday or weather allowance get to trade free in March.
Generally the traders are content with their lot. Trading is nowhere near as good as it once was. Internet shopping and the march of the big supermarkets and bargain retailers have taken their toll, but many traders describe Boston as the best market in the area, and they also say that the East Europeans who have relocated to the town are big market shoppers and help to keep the traders going.
Carla Beavers is probably the longest- serving trader. She has been selling underwear, nighties and aprons on the market for the past 40 years ever since she agreed to help her mother-in-law who used to run the stall.
“This stall was started after the war when they were wooden stalls with gas lights. What a rave it was in the early days,” she said.
“It’s so much harder to make a living on the market these days. But I love the traders and the people. I have served grandmothers whose grown up grand- children are now customers,” Carla added.
Kevin Hill, who runs the family burger
FEATURE • BOSTON van, Hill Catering, said his family’s link
with Boston market goes back 20 years, and before that his mother, Audrey, who was a member of the NMTF’s National Executive Committee, used to sell plants and flowers on other markets.
“Our big selling point is that we make all our sausages and burgers including our own rump steak burgers,” he said.
Kevin feels the market has declined a little in recent years, and he cites as a catalyst the £2 million refurbishment of the market place which was carried out in 2011 with funding from the council, the county council and with European regional development funding.
“We had to relocate to a spot on Wide Bargate. All the catering businesses were together and it affected our business. It’s better now that they are in different locations within the market,” Kevin said.
But others say they feel the market is doing well in comparison to others in the region.
John Williamson, who has been selling fruit and veg on the market for 20 years, said: “The whole of retail has changed dramatically so you can’t expect things to be as they were. But as far as I am concerned this is one of the best markets in the area and my customers are very friendly and loyal.”
Carla Beavers is still selling underwear, nighties and aprons on Boston market 40 years after she first helped out on the family stall. She loves the market but says it’s harder to make a good living these days
Chloe Rutt is events assistant for Boston Borough Council and helps to run the market
    Alan Clarke has been selling mystic gifts on Boston market for a year since he and his wife relocated from the south where they were market traders

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