A few diners in Barnsley’s new Market Kitchen may have been old enough to remember the legendary Oldfields pie caravan, providing the staple diet of shoppers in the 1960s era when the market was a collection of green painted outdoor stalls.
Any who did remember Oldfield’s would have been hard pressed to imagine scale of the transformation over two generations of market developments.
While the likes of pie caravans may have given way to the indoor ‘greasy spoons’ which dominated the Metropolitan Centre’s largely unloved market from the 1970s, today’s accommodation brings the cafes into the 21st Century.
Today’s market traders enjoy tailor made accommodation, protected from the weather, providing what the council has described as a department store experience for shoppers.
It is enough of a lure to pull in coach parties from a wide area, in addition to local custom.
When the construction job is complete, a larger picture will also emerge with a wide range of food outlets and a first floor outdoor terrace to allow customers to eat in the fresh air, above the bustle of shoppers below.
The Market Kitchen is the third stage of the Glass Works development, which will house shops as well as the market hall, to open with an official ceremony involving Mayor Steve Green – though customers had beaten them to it an the public seating area was packed with diners by the time the ‘market bell’ was rung to complete the pageantry.
The Mayor said: “I am proud to have been at the opening of the food hall, then the main market. Today, it really feels like the market is complete.”