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Exhibition to celebrate history of Queen’s Market opens

Queen's Market in 1984 Queen's Market in 1984

Sunday, June 22, 2014
8:00 AM

The history of Queen’s Market is being explored in a new pop-up exhibition.

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A stall in Queen's Market from 2011A stall in Queen's Market from 2011

Eastside Community Heritage have worked with Friends of Queen’s Market to record its history, which is now being displayed at the site for a month.

Judith Garfield, from Eastside Community Heritage, said: “We’ve been working on it for about a year now.

“We’ve recorded memories of about 20 people, and now we’ve been given a double pitch in the market to host it.”

Running on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays until July 11, the museum showcases the traders, shoppers and campaigners that have punctuated the market’s 110 year history.

Traders sell goods in 1967Traders sell goods in 1967

It features stories from people who have grown up around the market, recalling experiences from years gone by.

Photographs and memorabilia have also gone on display, including material generated during the campaign to save the market from demolition.

“It’s important we don’t forget the history of the market,” explained Judith. “If we don’t record it, it’s lost forever.”

The exhibition, funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, features memories such as those from shopper Ron Webb, who has used the market for years.

He said: “I can remember going to the old market.

“It must have been in the 1950s, when they used to have gas lamps over the stalls, when it was an open market.

“In those days most of the market people who did fruit and veg and the Jewish people mainly did clothing.

“They used to open late, especially at Christmas time.

“We used to go there in Christmas Eve- it used to be quite exciting, especially with the old gas lamps burning away.”

The market’s longevity has seen generations pass through as both stallholders and shoppers.

One trader, identified only as Neil, told the exhibition’s curators how he had a long-standing connection to one customer.

“My Grandfather used to serve her mum.

“I now serve that lady’s sons and they come up with their sons, so I serve generation after generation.”

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