‘We’ve been here since Domesday’ - How Norwich Market is surviving in modern world

PUBLISHED: 15:30 29 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:04 29 July 2019

Richard Anderson is stood outside Andersons Norwich market Photo: Submit

Richard Anderson is stood outside Andersons Norwich market Photo: Submit


RS Baker & Sons Ltd butchers stall has sadly shut up shop on the city’s market after 90 years. Reporter Ben Davies spoke to some of the market’s other long-standing stalls about the challenges they face.

Kevin Hose (left) and Alexander Pond (right). Norwich Market  Photo: SubmitKevin Hose (left) and Alexander Pond (right). Norwich Market Photo: Submit

The rise of chain supermarkets and internet shopping is challenging the city's family-run market stalls - some of which have been open for nearly 100 years.

That's the verdict of stallholders we spoke to on the city's famous and award-winning market.

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Jason Wilson, 51, who works at CJ's Fruit and Veg, said: "People's shopping habits have changed because of supermarkets. All our produce is locally sourced by little growers.

Ponds Flowers Norwich market Photo: Submit 

Ponds Flowers Norwich market Photo: Submit

"But even these little growers are dwindling away. It's getting harder, but we will keep selling."

CJ's Fruit and Veg, which has been in Norwich since the 1930s, is just one of many stalls feeling the pinch.

Anderson's Clothing, which has been selling since the 1950s, has also had to adapt to new circumstances.

Richard Anderson,59, has had the business passed down through generations since the 1940s.

The picture of the Fruit Stall is CJ's Fruit and Veg Norwich market Photo: SubmitThe picture of the Fruit Stall is CJ's Fruit and Veg Norwich market Photo: Submit

In recent years he has had to change stock to keep up with the chains. But he doesn't feel threatened by high street shops.

He said: "We give a more personal service, while big shops just serve. We know more about our products

"That's why we have generations of customers- people say their fathers and grandfathers took them here."

Pond's Flowers has certainly seen the changes to Market Square, having been open since the First World War.

Alexander Pond said: "We've been here since Domesday!"

Mr Pond, 54, has worked on the stall with his business partner Kevin Hose, 54, since they were children, added: "It's not been easy, it's been hard, but we have a giggle,"

Pond's Flowers prides itself on its one-to-one service, as well as its garden baskets. But working with flowers comes with challenges.

"There's a Norfolk saying; 'If you get the current bun on the florist, it goes in the dusty'.

He explained: "When the sun shines on the flowers for too long they dry out and have to be binned."

He still enjoys the market life, however, adding: "You earn a small living but you get freedom, and that's worth more than anything."

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