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Market Assistants Charlotte Mathieson & Annette Clynes.
Hitchin is a market town based in Hertfordshire and is home
to an award wining market. It won the Best Private Market
at the NABMA Market of Year Awards in 2008 and 2012. The
A505, A600 and A602 roads intersect in Hitchin, which is about
three miles from the A1 (M) motorway and about ten miles from
the M1 motorway.
The Market is currently open on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
with a wide range of stalls from fruit and vegetables to carpets, clothes
and household implements.
Aweekly market at Hitchin seems to have been held on a Tuesday from
time immemorial. With the passage of time the stalls, which had been
set up for trading in the broad and lengthy main street, running from
Silver Street to Tilehouse Street, began to take on a more permanent
In the early days, it wasn't long before stallholders had stopped
removing their stalls after the market was over, some even began to
An Award Winning Market
in Hertfordshire Hitchin Market is well supported by the locals.
both live and work at their stalls. Others converted
the ground floors of their existing houses into
primitive shops. Not only were the market streets
built over, but also the spaces between the earlier
houses were also filled in to give a continuous line
of stalls or shops facing towards the street.
At the end of the 14th
century, very little remained
of Hitchin's original single main street: in 1470
there is evidence of continuous tenure of at least
two stall in the town, which even then had been
leased for 40 years.
By the 16th
century Hitchin was becoming famous
as a grain market, particularly for corn, which had
been sold there, even then, for over 300 years.
Malting and brewing, the two main by-
of a grain market, were also increasingly local.
Queen Elizabeth I acknowledged the importance
of Hitchin grain when, after listening to a Spanish
Nobleman expounding the qualities of his country's vineyards, she
replied, "My Hitchin grapes surpass them or those of any country".
Also in the 16th
century Hitchin's corn, barely, wheat, malt and
livestock were purchased by wholesalers for reselling in the London
markets for profit. In the 19th
century strong commercial interests
and a developing straw plait market compelled the consideration of
Saturday as a second market day.
Around 1876 there was a movement to get the livestock, which for
centuries had been held in Bancroft, moved to a more suitable site off
the town's main street. In 1857 proposals were made to transfer the
cattle market to an area between West Lane and Old Park Row (late
Road). This was met with great resistance from locals and traders.
Between the wars the General Market continued on Tuesdays and
Saturdays in the square in front of the Corn Exchange. Traffic slowly
passed the lines of stalls, which crowded the many bargain hunters.
In the winter months when it grew dark, the stallholders lit their
acetylene burners and trading continued in the flickering light.
The 1960s and 70s were really a re-
Jo Mckenzie of `Jo's Clothing'. George Turner of `Down Memory Lane'.
Hitchin Market trades
as a general market
on a Tuesday, Friday
With an additional
antique/bric a brac
stalls on Fridays.
town of Stevenage gave new life to Hitchin's general market, as the
many Londoners who came to live there found in the St. Mary's
Square market something of the flavour of Petticoat Lane and
the London street markets. The people flocked to Hitchin by the
hundred on Tuesdays and Saturdays, often causing the huge square
In 1973 a new shopping precinct and permanent market stalls were
opened, filling up what was once the town's Great Yard. Thus began
a new era in the story of Hitchin Market, a story that had begun
thousands of years earlier.
Hitchin Markets Ltd took over the running of the market from
the council in August 2008 and since then has continued to invest
heavily in improvements, advertising and promotions. They saw a
significant growth in footfall and stalls during their first year. Hitchin
Market trades as a general market on a Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.
With an additional antique/bric a brac stalls on Fridays. This has
everything on offer such as vintage clothing and accessories, house
clearances, antique furniture and china and records, books etc. Dave Perrin of `Bead Bitz'.
"It's a very nice friendly market,
with a wide variety of stalls. I enjoy
coming and meeting the different
customers and traders."
Tony Whitmore of `TM & J Whitmore'. Rhonda Challis of `Acana Tarot'.
Mark Osborne of `The Shoe Man'.
Mark originally started at the market
as a car booter before moving into a
Doug Geairns of `Dougs Die-
The General Market opens for business at 8.30am each day and closes
as follows; Tuesday 4.00pm / Friday 4.00 pm / Saturday 4.30pm
/ Sunday 1.00pm.
It currently has vacancies on the following commodities:
Mens & Womens Wear·
Other lines considered·
There is also a Sunday Market and Car Boots that takes place every
weekend between 8.30am 1.00pm.
On the last Saturday of every month the business also hosts Riverside
Craft and Farmer's Market, which runs alongside the General Market.
The Craft and Farmers Market is situated on the riverside and along
the side of St Marys Church. There is a wide variety of stalls, which
include; handmade items, plants, fresh farmers reared meat and
poultry, homemade fudge, goodies and much, much more.
Customers enjoy seeing the additional bric a brac and antique
Lisa Robinson of `Robinsons Local Fruit & Veg'.
"The market is good, it keeps getting busier.
All the customers and traders are nice, which
creates a good atmosphere".
All the products Lisa supplies are sourced
and produced by local farmers. Hitchin Market will be marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with a
week of fun, attractions, shows and entertainment for all the family.
The celebrations will take place over three General Market days on
Tuesday Bank Holiday 5th
, Friday 8th
and Saturday 9th
Plans for the three days of fun include a Riverside Jubilee Party
with deckchairs, sandpits, Punch and Judy shows, the ever poplar
face painting and guest appearances from favourite children's TV
characters. Live music will echo around the market provided by a
Steel Band and other artists. The Pageant will include a market first;
a Fashion Show by a regular boutique trader with live music provided
by a local upcoming band. Spaces are available for casual traders to
join and help celebrate thus unique event.
For more information about any of the markets or events happening
at Hitchin Market please contact the Market Office on 01462 456202,
email email@example.com or visit www.hitchinmarkets.co.uk.
Director of Hitchin Markets Ltd, John Haykin, told MTN, "For the
last four and a half years we have been a community project, which
means we are not a profit making business, therefore any profit that
we do make goes directly back into the town or market.
"We have been able to maintain our prices and not had any rent
Dawn Smith of `Top Nosh'. Herbhajan Singh of `Gulwan Communications'. Kris Tappin of `Mashup Makeup'.
Rose Berwick of `Rose's Haberdashery'.
"It is an excellent vibrant market with a
great management team".
Hakan Sensoy of `To The Roof'.
Plenty on offer at Hitchin Market.
Joe Brown of `Joe's Fish Merchants'.
increases for licensed traders who come and stand on the market and
this in turn has helped bring in new traders.
"We are very positive about where the market is going and for the
future of it."Market of the Year
Awards 2010 and 2012 -
Best Private Market
Household Linen · Mens & Womens Wear · Kiddies Wear
Shoes · Other lines considered
Telephone Tony Howes on: 01462 456202
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org