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It's stall changed for Roy's market memories

By Toby Neal | Features | Published:

As Wellington's market stands on the cusp of a new future – the landmark building has been bought by new owners – 78-year-old Roy Weatherall has got in touch with his childhood memories of the stalls and stallholders from yesteryear.

And Roy, who used to live in Mansell Road, has even sent us a little sketch of the indoor market as he remembers it.

"As a boy I used to go down to help the stallholders unpack and pack up," said Roy, who left Wellington many years ago and now lives at Brampton in Derbyshire.

"I would fetch tea for them for sixpence. I used to help a Mrs Walker, who had a stall near the cafe. She sold dresses, children's clothing, and wool, and was very kind to me.

"I went with her husband once to Kidderminster to fetch some more dresses.

"I also helped Mr Robinson of the cafe in the corner of the market and at the end of the day would collect any cups left by the stallholders and so on. I had an empty bucket to collect them.

"I also got to know Percy, the man who swept up after they had all gone. I also some broken cakes and so on to take home.

"I lived near Mr Perry who had a stall near the big doors on the left side of the market and went on coach trips with him.

"I must say I liked the market as it was then, because they helped each other, both inside and outside of the market. I loved going to the market and would even run there after school just to help out, although I got a clout around the earhole for not going home."

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Roy left Wellington in 1954 and that move was to be a bit of a shock.

"At Mansell Road we had a toilet downstairs, a toilet upstairs, a nice kitchen and bedrooms. When I went to Derbyshire it was an outside toilet and no bathroom. It was like going back into the Victorian era.

"I have been back to Wellington in 2000. I just can't believe how the market has changed. Although very clean, lots of stalls were empty.

"I love Wellington in some respects. It was just that the weekends were quite boring. I used to go to the Clifton cinema on a Saturday if I had got money."

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of Shropshire history. Lives in Telford and is based at the Ketley headquarters.

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