New traders wanted help South Shields Market grow

A call has gone out to new traders to come and join one of the region's oldest open air markets.
Flower stall trader Andrea PettsFlower stall trader Andrea Petts
Flower stall trader Andrea Petts

Existing stall holders, Groundwork STAN, South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes, have joined forces in a bid to revive South Shields Market - which first opened to the public in 1770.

They are calling on more traders to come and join them in the Market Square - and encouraging shoppers to come and see what is on offer.

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Florist Andrea Petts, 50, of Jarrow was brought up with South Shields Market.

Her parents were traders with a handbag stall.

She said: “I used to go with my parents when I was a baby until I was about ten. I liked the atmosphere and I used to get the other traders and the inspector Mr Smith who was in the Old Town Hall cups of tea.

“It was so busy then and there was a waiting list for stalls.”

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She added: “Financially the sales are getting better on the stall but it does depend on the weather. I’ve got a couple of regulars who come for their flowers.

“I would love to see the market at its best again. We need more traders to come and fill the stalls so there’s more choice and more people visit.”

South Shields Market stalwart Alan Bell has been trading for 40 years with his wife Louisa who makes the soft furnishings they sell on the stall.

He said: “I would love to see new traders come along and give it a go, see what they think.”

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Andrew Watts, chief executive of Groundwork STAN, said: “Shields Market is one of the oldest markets in the North East and many residents have nostalgic memories of visiting with their families, or of working as traders.

“The planned developments and programme will offer a sustainable platform for growth and improvement, allowing us to ensure we have an exciting and attractive offer that will encourage more visitors into South Shields town centre.”