Vintage hotspot gives Norwich market a boost

It offers sharp retro style at a price to beat the recession blues – and the world of vintage has also helped bring part of a Norwich institution back into booming business.

An influx of new traders to the back row of Norwich market by the city's new memorial gardens has brought hope and vibrancy to what was not so long ago a forgotten spot.

Kate Nixon, owner of the Ruby's Teas stall, said the area had been hit when the marketplace was revamped in 2006, with traders moving to stalls nearer to the front rows.

'This place was desolate 18 months ago, and we had no footfall at all, whereas now it's really bustling and we're getting compared to Camden rather than an industrial estate,' the 26-year-old said.

Over the past two months four stores, all retailing in vintage lines and more, have moved into the back row. Up until recently there had been as many as seven vacant sites there. Alongside the opening of Norwich's long awaited memorial gardens, Mrs Nixon was quick to point to a trader whose contacts and friends in the industry had followed his lead to the market.

Mark Wright moved in his Taxi Vintage Clothing stall 18 months ago after spotting the potential of the site.

He said: 'I had a peep through the hoardings around the memorial and figured once it's down we could get some benefit from it. We've got all these vintage shops in a row and there's nowhere like it in East Anglia right now.'

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Among the new additions, which include Mitzy Aubyn's Ruby Tuesday Vintage and John Sparrow's Vintage A-Go-Go, is Gini Dorling-Winterbourne's 3 Generations, which offers everything from clothes to badges. Having moved in less than three weeks ago, she is impressed.

'I used to work here as a 14-year-old with my sister on a an egg and mushroom stall,' the 45-year-old said.

She added: 'now it's a brilliant atmosphere, and there's great support from the other traders.'

Has business picked up in your area? Contact reporter John Owens on 01603 772439 or