‘Sadness’ as last trader leaves Wakefield’s Market Hall

FAREWELL: Wakefield's Market Hall closes this week.
FAREWELL: Wakefield's Market Hall closes this week.
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The last remaining trader at Wakefield’s Market Hall has moved out.

Lynn Fawcett, 62, has run Caffe Olivia at the hall for a decade and her family has traded in Wakefield for more than 50 years.

She worked alongside her grandfather, George Johnson, as a child and with her parents, Betty and Ben Camfield.

And her daughter Olivia, 17, worked at the Market Hall on weekends and holidays from college.

Mrs Fawcett said: “I’m looking forward to a long retirement, but I’ll miss the customers, the banter, the talks we had with them. I’d like to thank all of them.

“I’m going to retire and go on holiday. I’ve been waiting for this to close down so I can book a two-week break.

“The customers are sad, they’re sad to see the cafe go. Every single person, they don’t know where they’re going to find another cafe like it.

“I’m sad to see how the markets have gone. We’ve been here three generations. I’ve lived and worked here all my life. Every day I spend in Wakefield.

“I’ve seen the ups and downs, but definitely more ups.”

Before opening the cafe, Mrs Fawcett ran a burger van in the outdoor market.

Tom Stannard, Wakefield Council’s corporate director for regeneration and economic growth, said: “This isn’t a situation unique to Wakefield. People’s shopping habits have changed and markets nationally are continuing to decrease in shoppers, especially indoor markets which are being more heavily affected.

“This week marks the end of a long process to close the market hall, since the council announced its intention to redevelop the site in 2014.

“We have been providing dedicated support to the traders affected, helping the majority of them to move on from the market hall. The one remaining trader retires this Thursday.”

Planning permission has been granted to convert the building into a cinema complex with restaurants and cafes.