The stalls are laid out and traders are waiting in eager anticipation of their first sales – the opening day of Sheffield’s Moor Market has arrived.
After less than 18 months of construction work, the shiny new building offers everything from fresh food to clothing, bags and pet supplies. The Star spoke to stallholders during busy preparations for the official launch, as well as visiting Castle Market during its final hours of trading.
Michelle Schofield, who runs The Nut Bar with her husband Philip, said she was ‘quite excited’ at the prospect of the opening day, while neatly arranging her stock on The Moor.
“I think we should have had a bit more time to get everything in, but we’re getting there,” she said.
“We’re wondering whether the customers from Castle Market will come – we hope they do.” Philip, aged 55, said: “The number of people who’ve come up to me asking ‘are you moving?’ suggests that people will come. There’s no reason for them to ask if they’re not intending to.”
Joanne Grimbley, who works for Granelli’s sweets and ice cream stall – a fixture on Sheffield’s markets for more than 130 years – said traders had ‘waited 17 years’ for today.
“I think people will come, it’s a nicer, cleaner building than the old one,” said Joanne, 43.
“It’s a better environment for customers to be in. A lot of people have said it’s too far to come, but most of the buses are stopping down here.”
Over at Castle Market, retired steelworker Murray Winnell, from Hathersage, had popped in to Castle Market for a hot drink for one last time, and said he felt the closure was ‘a shame’.
“They should have done this market up. The prices are going to go up and The Moor is the wrong end of town,” said Murray, 66.
Linda Harrison, from Handsworth, said she had fond memories of the old market.
“I’m sorry to see it go, I’ve often come in here and shed a tear thinking of coming here with my mum,” the 67-year-old said.
“It will take some getting used to. I think Castle Market was getting a bit worn out, though.”
But florist Margaret Howard said she was happy to move to The Moor and was handing over the running of her stall, Cascade Floral Design, to her daughter Alison Whitham, 48.
“I feel emotional because it’s the end of an era,” said Margaret, 72.
“There will be a really big gap here. But everybody should give us an opportunity to show what we can do on The Moor.
“We deserve a decent go at it. Some people have put their life savings into it.”
The Moor Market is open from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Saturday.