Market Stall to Close after 35 Years in Family

by Catherine Smyth Media

IT WILL be the end of an era at Rawtenstall Market when the haberdashery stall closes in July after being run by the same family for 35 years.

Joan Whiteley originally ran Joan’s Haberdashery for 20 years and 15-years-ago her daughter Hazel Bates took over the stall and it became Hazel’s Habby.

Hazel, 48, from Rawtenstall, said: “It is with a heavy heart that I have taken the decision to sell the business or it will close in July. We are now having a closing down sale.

“My health has not been very good and people don’t realise how much work the stall involves outside of Thursdays and Saturdays when the market is open.

“I previously worked for a textile company and then became a home worker for the company when I had my children Daniel, who is 24, and Bradley, who is 18. I wanted to be able to bring them up.

“There are 300,000 buttons on the stall, thousands of different zips and I have built up an extensive ribbon collection since I took over 15 years ago.

“It has been such a difficult decision to make, but it is a necessary one for my own health and my family.

“I would like to thank all of the customers for their business and all the traders and my mum for their support.”

Hazel said she loved banter with the customers and would miss them. That feeling was reciprocated, as news of the closing down sale became known around the market.

She said her proudest moment was winning the Scarecrow Trail competition with her creation Miss Abbey Dashery.

The stall has always been known as the place that sells everything and has sent orders to London and overseas. One customer has relatives in Spain and takes stock from Rawtenstall when she is visiting.

Joan went on to run J and R Biscuits with her husband Raymond for several years until ill health forced his retirement in 2012. Since they sold it in 2013, Joan has supported Hazel on her stall.

Joan, 77, said: “I will return to the market, but I will just be a shopper and so I will be practising what I have been preaching for all these years.

“We both wish the market and the traders all the best for the future.”

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