Page 32 - Market Times June 2021
P. 32

32 MARKET TIMES • JUNE 2021 Traders and shoppers saddened
at closure of Nelson Market
 IT’s the end of an era for both traders and locals as Nelson Market was due to finally shut up shop on May 31 after more than 50 years at the heart of the Lancashire town.
A former mill town, Nelson took its name from the local pub, the Admiral Nelson, to differentiate itself from nearby Marsden across the Pennines in West Yorkshire.
The Admiral’s Market was once a heaving indoor market on the basement floor of the sparkling new Arndale Centre which opened its doors to the public in 1967.
Rosemary Holden, who has been selling haberdashery from the same stall in the market for 53 years, remembers the good old days when the town was much busier and the market was full.
“It was incredibly busy and every stall was taken,” said Rosemary, whose family used to have a stall in the old market.
Over recent years the market had gone downhill. It was a familiar story of a struggling town, changing shopping habits and a lack of investment in the market, traders say.
As each trader gave up the ghost, footfall dropped further and further.
Nevertheless, the announcement by Pendle Council that the market would not reopen after the last lockdown came as a bolt from the blue.
“We had been through so much during the pandemic and we then had no time to make other plans, or in my case, sell off my stock,” Rosemary said.
Kevin Wareing, who has been selling vinyl records and CDs in the market since 1999, couldn’t believe his eyes when he opened the letter that was waiting for him on his doormat on his return from buying a lot of additional stock in anticipation of the market’s reopening on April 12.
“I don’t mind admitting that I burst into tears,” Kevin said. “We were all looking forward to getting back behind our stalls. Although the market has dwindled it is still a very friendly place to be and I actually do quite well here because the collectors know where I am.”
Rosemary decided to take action and approached local radio and newspapers to publicise the traders’ case. As a result of her efforts the council relented, agreeing to reopen in April and allow traders to trade for free until the market finally
  Ray Furda, who sells household products, is pleased to have found a pitch on Burnley Market

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