MARKET stalwarts Fred and Edith Evans are finally finishing trading at Rawtenstall Market after 43 years.
The couple, both 83 and from Edgeside, said they will miss their time and miss the market community, but they will not be strangers as they will be returning to shop at the various market stalls.
Edith said: “There comes a time when you have got to say stop and I think we have got to it. We will be closing the stall in June, but we will miss it.”
The couple have been together for 63 years and said that they will really miss the amount of time they spend together making the jewellery. They will also miss meeting the different people who shop at the stall.
Fred said: “It is a completely different market to what it was when we first started.”
In fact Edith was not able to get a stall at first because they were all taken so she set up a paste table in the lobby of the indoor market and took along £10 worth of silver jewellery to see if it would sell.
Fred said: “I was working at David Whitehead’s and would drop Edith off at 6am – go on to do a 12 hour shift – then return at 6pm to collect her. Often she would be the first there and the last to leave.
After a year they got their outside stall – Rossendale Stone and Silvercraft jewellery and accessories – where they have been ever since.
Fred said: “The worst weather was in the early 80s when there was so much snow I had to dig the stall out.
“I feel that the market doesn’t get the amount of support it used to from the authorities and it now only gets half of the footfall it did in the 1980s.
“It used to be that you could only have one of the same kind of stall on both the inside and outside markets, but that has all changed.”
The idea for their stall came about when a social worker visiting one of their foster children suggested that Fred sell some of his handmade jewellery on the market.
They both said one of the main things they are going to miss is the trade fairs and exhibitions, especially the one in Harrogate, because they attended regularly and so have got to know many of the exhibitors as friends.
They would like to thank all of their customers for their support over the years.