Market veteran to shut stall after three decades

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VETERAN Mexborough trader Gordon Smith is saying farewell to customers and fellow stallholders after more than 50 years on the market.

Instantly recognisable in his Union Jack top hat, Gordon has been a constant figure at his toy stall in the indoor market for decades.

But he is set to leave in January as he is unable to meet new rent increases being introduced by Doncaster Council – but he says he takes with him great memories.

Gordon said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my timeworking in Mexborough. It’s a great town and the people make it what it is.

“The joy comes from seeing families so happy when you provide them with the toy they have been looking for.”

His association with the market goes back to the 1950s when he used to help out at his auntie and uncle’s stall while still a schoolboy.

He eventually took over the business and moved into the stall where he is today when the indoor market opened in 1975.

Throughout the years he has organised many market events and seen crazes come and go, from Star Wars toys to yo-yos.

Gordon’s retirement has been brought on by a rent rise, which will see some traders paying up to five times more than they currently pay.

Councillor Peter Davies, Doncaster Mayor, says the increase is necessary to meet government cuts.

Gordon said: “When this stock runs out, which may be in two or three weeks’ time, I will be finishing.”

However, he plans to remain involved with campaigns to support remaining traders.