Page 9 - MarketTimesOctober2013
P. 9

  Market Times • October 2013
Dennis Russell, a man with the warmest of hearts
   DENNIS RUSSELL, Secretary of the National Market Traders Federation’s Fairs branch, who was a great character with the warmest of hearts, has died, aged 79.
For many years Dennis stood Sutton Market, near Croydon in Surrey, with his partner, Nina Brem- Wilson, selling basketware on their stall nicknamed ‘The Wicker Den’, where he was fondly known as ‘Dr Den’ for his handiness with the first-aid kit.
He worked his last market at Hastings on July 21, just a few weeks before succumbing to pancreatic cancer.
Outside market trading, he had had a full and fascinating working life.
His jobs included plumbers’ mate, laundry delivery man, a porter at Borough Market and various driving jobs to the continent, as well as driving a lorry and trailer in the first convoy to Moscow for the British Trade Fair in 1961.
An incredibly fit man who went to the gym even after cancer was diagnosed, he served as a drill instructor during a spell in the Army in his younger days.
A full corporal, he trained men to be fit for action. They included the celebrated British heavyweight boxer Sir Henry Cooper, Henry’s twin brother George, and Joseph (Joe) Erskine, the Welsh heavyweight boxer.
He was reunited with Sir Henry at the NMTF’s annual conference in 2008 where the sportsman was guest speaker.
Dennis was a people person — he loved people and people loved him. He was awarded the NMTF’s John/Carter Harry Cross Cup in 2005 for his contribution to market trading and his support for his fellow traders.
Sir Henry Cooper and Dennis Russell at the NMTF 2008 Conference
 A PLAN is being developed to save Perth’s iconic, Grade II listed City Hall from the bulldozers and transform it into the finest food market in Scotland.
The team behind the idea believe it could herald a new food market movement in Scotland, which does not have the rich market heritage of England and Wales.
Vivian Linacre, a retired surveyor who lives in Perth, is spearheading the initiative. Vivian was horrified when he learned of Perth and Kinross Council’s plan to demolish the Edwardian building to make way for a civic square.
He told Market Times: “The city hall dates from 1911 and was built in what was the golden age of Scottish masonry. It is the most important building of its kind.”
The city hall became redundant nine years ago when a state-of-the-art conference hall was completed with funding as a millennium project.
“It is unbelievable that the council wants to impose a civic square in a
medieval city, particularly when similar ‘civic squares’ have been unsuccessful in Edinburgh and Dundee,” he said.
Vivian and a number of like-minded citizens formed the Perth City Market Trust to fight the council’s plans and develop an alternative proposal to transform the city hall into a food market.
“It is a perfect synergy,” he said. “It is an outstanding building which deserves to be saved. Perth has been in decline for 30 years. Wonderful Scottish food is produced all around the Perth area and a premier food market would help to revive the city centre and bring people to the city from miles around,” he said.
The council’s plans to demolish the city hall have been rejected following strong opposition from Scottish Heritage.
Leading Scottish heritage architects Simpson and Brown have developed plans showing how the building could be adapted to house a market.
They include plans to extend
windows down to floor-level to create entrances on three sides.
All proposals for the future of the city hall have to be submitted by the end of October. Vivian Linacre said there were a number of alternative funding sources for the project, which has the backing of the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) and the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF).
Graham Wilson, chief executive of NABMA, said: “NABMA gives its full support to the Perth City Market Trust’s project to convert a
civic building to a high class food market. The combination of an iconic building and a great food offer will add significantly to the status of Perth and create an attraction that will bring people into the city from many parts of Scotland.”
Julien Lewis, Immediate Past President of the NMTF, said the federation fully supported the initiative and looked forward to the day when the city hall joined other successful food market halls operating all over the UK and further afield in Europe.
Dennis leaves his partner, Nina, a
daughter Tracy, and Nina’s daughter
Mandy. Dennis and Nina at an international market in Antwerp
 Plan will transform iconic building into Scotland’s premier food market
Picture courtesy of Simpson & Brown, architects

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