Love Local and support Norwich Market

Independent traders on Norwich Market are urging people to shop local and help support all the stalls that keep the city's historic market a vibrant place.

The stallholders are among the latest people to support the Evening News' Love Local campaign, which aims to boost local support for local businesses.

Norwich Market is steeped in history.

The city has had a market since Saxon times and it has been on its current site on Gentleman's Walk longer than any of the buildings that surround it.

It sells almost everything you can think of from fruit and vegetables to clothes to haberdashery items – and traders have said to keep it thriving they need your support.

Seventy-year-old Barry Read. from Eaton Rise, has been selling fabrics of every colour and design on his stall Barry Read Fabrics in the middle of the market for nearly 40 years.

He said: 'People's support is vital because without people's support we can not survive.

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'I think the market is essential to the lifeblood of Norwich and there is so much to offer here.'

Mr Read said he's worked on the market for four decades because he enjoys his job so much.

'I enjoy selling the fabrics and meeting people. There are so many nice people around here. It is just very interesting.'

He said he believes his business has lasted for 40 years because people know they can rely on him.

'I have certain standards which I stick to,' he said.

'I know what I am talking about and I am very honest.

'I like to give people value for money and good quality and I like to think that is what has stood me in good stead for the last 40 years.

'In my opinion if you come to the market, the person you deal with is usually the owner and he or she knows a lot about what they are selling. They are very experienced.

'It would be great if more people would come and take a look around and see what we have to offer on the market.'

At Cary's, the colourful florists stall on one of the front corners of the market Charlene Mitchell 31, said: 'Norwich Market is unique. I do not think there are many other places that have a big market like Norwich, especially not six days a week.

A lot of people visiting Norwich seem really surprised when we tell them that we are here every day and say they wish they had a market like ours near them.'

Miss Mitchell, whose fianc� Stephen Cary's family has run the florists stall there for years, said people's support was essential to the market's long-term success.

'The market needs people's support otherwise it will be gone,' she said.

'If you come to Norwich Market you will get value for money, good service, and you will help the market too so it does everyone a favour.

'On our stall we have about 40 different types of flowers including lots of seasonal flowers and we have fresh deliveries every day.'

Another stall on the front of the market is City Fish, where Justin Burgess has been one of the fishmongers for nearly five years.

He said: 'We try and keep almost everything local.

'The crabs and lobsters are from Cromer, the mussels are from Morston and Brancaster and a lot of the fish is from Lowestoft every day.

'Our fish is as fresh as it gets and the quality is as good as it gets.'

He said some of the great things about Norwich Market was the sheer variety of stalls and the banter between the stallholders and also the customers.

'You can have a laugh with people rather than just being a number, and the market has got everything. It just offers everything from fresh fish to car accessories to things for your pets.'

Do you have a story about an unusual business in Norwich? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email