Page 33 - MarketTimesOctober2020
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   West Bromwich Albion Football Club and followed the last one, Johnny Giles, of Leeds United and Ireland fame, to work in Dublin.
And that’s where she met Dermot who was working in the building trade. “I moved back with her to the UK and worked as a builder including many months on Brierley Hill Market,” Dermot said.
That was where he got the bug for market trading. He began selling pots and pans, then moved into sheepskin products, travelling to the best markets all over the country.
Then, one day back in 1989, Dermot, Linda and Steve were sitting round Linda’s mother’s kitchen table discussing a plan to start a business operating markets.
“Linda’s mum suddenly came up with the name LSD — Linda, Steve and Dermot, or Pounds, Shillings and Pence,” Dermot said.
The trio pointed out that, for most people, it stood for the hallucinogenic drug.
“Linda’s mum then dismissed the idea but we thought people would remember it, and we still get young people taking photos of the letters on our vans,” he added.
Their first attempt to launch a Sunday market on a large car park at West Midlands Safari Park fell foul of Wye Forest District Council who cited market rights, but their next plan for a Sunday market in Telford was a runaway success.
“We had 240 traders there within three weeks,” Dermot said. More success followed and LSD was soon running all the markets in Telford and Shrewsbury.
Over the years the company’s reputation has grown. There was an amicable split from Steve when his sons came into the business, and now LSD runs markets in Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Market Drayton, Tamworth, Worcester and Bewdley.
So what’s the secret of LSD’s success? Dermot said: “Our philosophy is that we treat everyone as human beings and we understand that our traders are our customers — without them we wouldn’t have our markets.
“Putting People First was our slogan for years.”
And what makes a good market?
“I can sum that up in one word — atmosphere,”
Dermot said. “You can buy the same goods anywhere, but a good market has atmosphere that you don’t get in Tesco.
“Happy traders create a market with a great atmosphere,” he added.
And it’s not all about the cost of the rent, he says.
“Cheap rents often mean a cheap market,” he said. “Rents should be reasonable but the issue is that money raised by rents should be reinvested in that market.”
On the subject of rents during the pandemic, Dermot said LSD negotiated hard with councils and most of their traders got discretionary grants.
“I would say that the vast majority of our markets have had a boost from the pandemic because people want to support them and feel it is safer outside. Also, we have new traders who would normally trade at events and came to our outdoor markets with something a bit different.”
After three decades Linda and Dermot are still mad about markets and their loyal traders still love the markets they run.
Dermot McGillicuddy (left), pictured with Mike Riley, a faithful LSD trader and an NMTF Executive Board member

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