Yorkshire markets like the one in Barnsley show that there is still life left in these community assets - Yorkshire Post Letters

Dave Ellis, Magdalen Lane, Hedon.

In this period of prolonged cost of living crisis, it is encouraging to see that forward thinking towns like Barnsley took the decision to focus on the market area as part of the town centre development six years ago (The Yorkshire Post, February 7).

Traders whose families have been trading on Barnsley market for several generations are reaping rewards for their hard work. This is shown by increasing numbers of customers, many of which have stayed loyal and told their extended families and friends to come to this excellent market.

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I have fond memories of going to the old market in the early 1980s and buying fruit and vegetables and sweets from Sailor Sids, and having a meat pie and mushy peas with a topping of mint sauce in a deep round bowl which was piping hot and a strong tea in a mug.

Barnsley Market celebrates its 775th Anniversary. PIC: Simon HulmeBarnsley Market celebrates its 775th Anniversary. PIC: Simon Hulme
Barnsley Market celebrates its 775th Anniversary. PIC: Simon Hulme

It was and still is popular as the staff struggled to wash the bowls and clean the tables for the next customers.

Just about everything can be bought on a good established market, found in towns like Barnsley, and cities like Doncaster and Bradford and towns like Elland in West Yorkshire, which are at different stages of being transformed into modern markets, but hopefully the market managers will still retain that market atmosphere, whether it is inside or outside.

Some traditional markets in Yorkshire still have their 'characters' who trade and love to barter with customers and at the end of the deal the customer is happy, as they have got a better price than advertised and the trader knows that they are highly likely to come back and tell their friends.

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Sadly not all local councils have the same vision or strategy to develop their market towns' weekly markets.

One example is East Riding of Yorkshire Council which only promotes the three markets that it directly manages in Pocklington, Bridlington and Beverley, whereas in Driffield and Cottingham they are either run by the town councils or traders directly.

Only those managed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council are advertised in the council funded 'Your East Yorkshire' magazine.

Markets in my opinion are a community asset and need to be supported.

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They are often situated on the town's market square, high street or side street, so that the normal daily activities can still function.

I am a believer that all local authorities in Yorkshire should support every market in the Borough that they provide local services for as they will bring tourism into the towns and can fill gaps where specialist traders have closed retail shops, due to increasing rents.

I am inspired by the comments of Nick Higgs who trades on Barnsley market and sells confectionery goods at much lower prices and profit margins. He says that he can actually provide better value than the supermarkets who are pushing for, either higher profits for the owners who are mainly equity fund managers based in foreign countries, who have shareholders who want a dividend or are fighting to get more of lucrative share of the food business by the big four supermarkets or the two German discounters.

These discounters are listening to customers' needs and gradually getting a bigger share as they open more supermarkets in towns.

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