IT is good to know that Leeds Market is to get some recogniton; the campaigners have worked so hard to try to get the council and shoppers to realise the gem it really is a treasure for Leeds.
The traders at the moment are doing their best to keep it alive, they are struggling and when stalls close it affects them as well as the public.
It is so depressing when you enter it, especially when you remember the hustle and bustle of years gone by, when the rents were lower but all the stalls were occupied and everyone knew everyone else. Take a look at the building, the architecture is magnificent. Even the fire in the 1970s didn’t destroy the spirit. It was soon up and running again, it wasn’t a case of use it or lose it, we all used it to the full.
I am 76 years old now but I well remember coming to Leeds, we lived in Pontefract and always visited the pet arcade at the bottom of the building, it was magical to us children.
My father, born in 1908, always related stories to us about when he was a young man and shopped at the market, telling us about characters like Woodbine Lizzie and many others and when, on Christmas Eve, he would shop for his mother on his way home from work around 9.30pm. Most of the stalls would have reduced stock, he would get bags of fruit, meat, nuts, sweets etc to take home for her.
I remember Scarrs, a large stall selling household items, there wasn’t a time when they didn’t have the item I required. Also Woody’s had every type of DIY requirement available.
Fresh fruit, veg, fish, meat, nuts – just the basics – with many more stalls covering such a wide variety of goods.
Leeds Market was famous, let us hope it is given the backing it needs to regain its pride in the great city of Leeds. We should also remember the outside market, where the stall holders stand out in all weathers to supply our needs.
M BEDDOW, Horsforth