Page 22 - MarketTimesJune2016
P. 22

Some call it “Greatie”. Others call it second-hand clothes. didn’t have bags to put anything in. You just
Joy Bowes, who is 76, used to sell these garments on the stall next to Cilla Black’s mum’s stall.
“She was called Cilla White — but you never saw her daughter, Cilla Black, on the market,” Joy said.
“She used to sell second-hand clothes, like me. That was what Greatie was famous for.”
Joy and her contemporaries remember the “Johnnies” — the sailors from all over the world whose ships docked in Liverpool.
The first thing they did every Saturday was head for Greatie and buy up as many second- hand goods as they could wear and carry.
Bessie Grimes, whose sister, mother and grandmother all sold clothes going back to 1926, said: “You can imagine what it was like in those days. You didn’t have a stall. You
“Kazzie”. And for many locals it will
always be “Paddy’s Market”. But everyone in the great seaport city of Liverpool knows and loves Great Homer Street Market.
It has been a Saturday institution for the past 180 years and since it moved to its latest location in October 2014 footfall has doubled — Greatie is back on track.
Named after Great Homer Street, which used to be the dividing line between the Irish Catholic immigrants and the Protestants, the market was once a heaving line of barrows, prams and shops running along the street.
You could get anything and everything on Greatie. There were barrows of fruit, veg, flowers, fish, in fact every type of food and provision you could possibly want.
But what most people remember are the
had a pram or a handcart and the Johnnies would come along and buy all the clothes you had — any size — too big or too small, it didn’t matter.
“There are old photographs of them walking along wearing lots of clothes and with hats piled on top of their heads,” she added.
Bessie remembers the traders’ rallying cry. “It was: ‘Tuppence each on the floor — rally them out’,” she said.
The atmosphere was unbelievable and the banter and friendliness were incredible, according to Joy and Bessie, who both moved on to selling new ladies’ fashion and who both still stand Greatie — Joy indoors and Bessie outside.
Other clothes sellers have moved on to bigger and better things. John Hargreaves is a
 Pictured at Greatie are (left to right): Coun Malcolm Kennedy, Liverpool City Council cabinet member for regeneration, who has supported the redevelopment of Great Homer Street market; Rodney Smith, who runs the market’s catering van; and ladies fashion traders Bessie Grimes and Joy Boyes
Brother and sister John Doherty and Bernie McHugh meet every Saturday at Greatie and have done for years

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