Star date: 28th November 2011

A Salford Star Exclusive


Salford's bustling Thursday flea market and Sunday car boot market are to close as part of the redevelopment of Salford Shopping City by owners, Salford Estates. It appears to be an open secret amongst stall holders that the markets will close after Christmas, although the Precinct management won't be drawn on a date.

The closure of the markets has led to an online petition and anger amongst both traders and the public.

Full story here…

Salford Market Closure Salford Market Closure Salford Market Closure
Salford Market Closure Salford Market Closure Salford Market Closure
Salford Market Closure Salford Market Closure Salford Market Closure
click image to enlarge

It's Thursday afternoon and the second hand flea market at Salford Precinct is bustling with people raking through stalls, looking for a bargain. There are plenty to be had. For a few quid you can pick up old cassette players, designer clothes, top toys…there's even a bloke selling tyres and another with a huge 1841 Bible up for grabs…

Anyone searching for Salford's soul would do well to start here. Both traders and punters have been coming here for years, some since it began over two decades ago. The market has got a character of its own, one of the last places where old Salford doesn't fear to tread as the sterilised, regenerationalised, glass fronted future attempts to wipe it out.

MediaCityUK has almost become a curse on Salford, as everything within a couple of miles radius gets bulldozed and (sometimes) re-built, with Ordsall and Langworthy already `treated'. And Pendleton, with its PFI project and the Precinct at its core, next in line.

In the summer the (in)famous Flat Iron pub on the market corner was closed and flattened with indecent haste (see here). And two weeks ago planning permission was granted for the modernisation of Salford Precinct (see here) which will see the site of the current outdoor market replaced with a car park and a retail unit.

Traders who run stalls on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and those who trade in the current indoor market, will be re-housed in a glossy new purpose built Market Hall. But there's nowhere in the plans for the Thursday and Sunday car boot and flea markets to go. It's now an open secret amongst traders that the markets will close, possibly as soon as the second week in January.

"I've heard that the bulldozers are moving in during January, and I spoke to the market manager and said `Realistically there isn't going to be any room for us' and he said, `Realistically, no'; but officially we've been told nothing" says Deborah Hall who has been selling second hand and vintage clothing here for over twenty years.

"A lot of the customers don't know about the closure either" she adds "I think it's disgraceful. You ask anyone in Salford and they will tell you, the market is the heart of Salford. And they're ripping the heart out of it to make it bland and the same as everywhere else. It's not the new market that people are bothered about, it's this. This is something different. Here, it's not all the same shops like in every town now but they don't care about that."

Deborah, and other traders point to the economic recession and how Salford people need cheap goods, almost to survive.

"That's what they want around here, they don't want yuppified shops, they can't afford it, and if they do want it they go into Manchester or the Trafford Centre" says Anne who has also worked on the market since it opened, and now sells toys, CDs, books and anything else that the stall will hold.

"On a Thursday and Sunday it's absolutely heaving with people here" she adds "What are they going to do? No bargains for the Salford people any more."

While the traders say that they can find other markets, the loss of Salford's second hand markets is something that touches them deeply.

"Salford just won't have a market" says Anne Brander, who runs a second hand clothing stall and has also worked this market since the day it opened.

"A lot of people don't drive or they come here on the bus, where are they going to go?" she adds "There isn't another market anywhere in the vicinity they can go to. Once we go, it's gone. There'll be nothing. They're going to kill the whole place. It's crazy. Absolutely crazy."

Meanwhile, people milling around the flea market are totally horrified that their market is about to disappear. For many, not only is it an economic lifeline, it's also a social lifeline.

"I love a market and I think it's a disgrace that it's closing" says Barbara Walker, who is browsing the stalls "I've been coming shopping here for years – for a bargain. And you find things on here that you don't see anywhere else, or are cheaper. A lot of poor people in Salford want a bargain. They've already ripped the heart out of Salford and I think they should keep the market.

"I'm a pensioner, I've lost my husband and I'm on my own now" she adds "This gets me out of the house for a couple of hours, and I meet my friend here every week, have a coffee and a natter, and put the world to rights. It gets me out of the house."

Her sentiments are echoed by Elsee, who points out that everything she's wearing has come off this market…

"Jeans? £1…Jacket? £4…At one time people wouldn't shop in a flea market but now you've got to do it you get some good bargains" she explains, adding "I'd have nowhere to go on a Thursday and nowhere to go on a Sunday. This is my day out – this is my outing – I look forward to it. And you meet friends you don't see the rest of the week…"

One of those friends is Joyce, who again has been coming here for years and just doesn't see the logic in shutting the market.
"I think they're closing it the two days it does the best and it's wrong" she says "You come here on the ordinary market days and there's no stalls but look at it today – packed."

Indeed, in contrast to most others days on the Precinct, the car parks are full and the place is alive. Traders fear that not only will the closure affect themselves and their customers, the economic fall-out will also hit the centre's main shops.

"The shops will suffer because customers come for us and while they're here they go and do other shopping on the Precinct" explains Anne Brander "Nobody's going to come on the Sunday if there's no market so they will suffer and on Thursday too. Why kill a whole Precinct trade?"

With a giant Tesco looming across the road, the Precinct is already under threat. Now traders on the second hand markets are convinced the closure will drive even more customers away.

"Everyone in the food hall says it's only busy on a Thursday" says Deborah Hall "What are they going to put on this site, another car park? Well there'll be nobody here to go on it. This keeps a lot of people going and the shops feed off us. I don't know whose decision it was but if you ask the people of Salford they would love to keep the flea market."

The Salford Star asked Precinct owners, Salford Estates, about the closure and the reasons for it – but a spokesperson wouldn't even confirm the closure…

"No decisions have as yet been taken regarding the Thursday and Sunday casual market and we are reviewing a number options with the Market Traders Federation and the City Council and hope to make a decision in the coming weeks" the statement read "A key component of our proposals is a fantastic new covered market fit for the 21st century. This was designed with the help of the existing market traders and the Market Traders Federation and when open will be a great environment in which the market will thrive…"

But the plans show no room for a big outdoor second hand market. The Star asked Salford Council for a comment but none was forthcoming, a press spokesperson saying that it's not the Council's decision (despite Councillor Peter Connor having sat in on all the meetings).

We were also pointed to John Winder, Chair of the Salford branch of the official Market Traders Federation, who couldn't really add to anything that had already been stated.

"All I can say to the traders is that no decision has been taken on the casual market" he said "We are reviewing a number of options that will be best for us with Salford Estates and Salford City Council, that will be in our interest to maintain a thriving market Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday."

Reading between the lines, it seems obvious that the flea market and car boot market don't fit into the plans for a market "fit for the 21st century". A market that doesn't include room for Salford pensioners escaping loneliness. A market that doesn't include poor people hunting down essential bargains. A market that doesn't include the `anyone can set up a stall' ethos, and traders who have been keeping the heart of Salford beating for over twenty years...

…Traders and top characters like Biffo, who has the £1 Christmas goods stall and a big sign up reading `Not Worth Nicking – When Everything Is Only £1…'

"I've been working here on and off, man and boy for years" he says "I know Salford is a city but it's always been a market town. I don't know what I'm going to do - I'd be better off joining Yoko Ono in the jungle. She is going into I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, you know, and she's a cert to win… Anyone who can live so many years off a dead Beatle deserves to win. And if you want a view from the Council, I'll give it you…`DILLIGAF!'– they'll know what it means…"

Biffo insists on getting his photo taken behind his illuminated `Bah Humbug' sign. Christmas is coming but there isn't much festive cheer around here.

There is an online petition against the closure of the markets on Salford City Council's website – click here to sign it.

andrea wheeldon wrote
at 18:38:05 on 21 January 2012
i,ve lived in salford all my life and can always remember going to the market most weekends with my mother for bargains to salford market.when it goe,s where do the people like us who can just aford to keep our head above water at this hard time when money is so scarce go for our bargains...if it,s not broken don,t fix it.........
Dead City Inmate wrote
at 14:26:18 on 14 December 2011
Poor deluded fools . Expecting the likes of Tesco , Asdsa , Morrisons and their like to regenerate areas is sheer madness . These avaricious , greedy , self-serving , soulless retail sheds are the very reason other businesses suffer and fail . Just look at Eccles or Swinton and how they are now dead towns , never to regain any of their former glory . Doubtless the 'Master Plan ' at the greedy , grubby , inept Clown Hall is going to plan , slavishly brown - nosing their retail chums whilst squeaking ' jobs for Salford ' . The council goons should consider the mass jobs exodus from this deadcity of SKILLED jobs over the past thirty years , which they did nothing to deter , when they damn well should have done .
Tom wrote
at 07:29:57 on 14 December 2011
Bravo Kate! I totally agree with your opinion, it has had it's day and Salford needs to continue changing people's perception of the area with new development and investment but first and foremost POSITIVETY. I find it very contradicting that those people who call it a "dead town" and a "slum city" are the ones who want no change, development or investment? So what are you complaining about really? Investment is needed desperately on the precinct just in the time I have lived here Woolworths, Dixons, Burger King, TJ Hughes and Texas Chicken have all closed to name a few. Hardly thriving is it. Hopefully the new Tesco will bring with it some much needed additional footfall and draw other retailers attention to the area and potential vacant sites at shopping city. In all honesty the only stall I find remotely interesting at the sheds is the fruit n veg which is great but the majority of the rest is tat and junk as well as illegal pirate DVD etc. Not looking good for for attracting potential employers to this "dead town". As for the sheds themselves they are a massive health hazard, I'm surprised they haven't taken someone's life, time they went.
Daryl Revoc wrote
at 18:07:06 on 12 December 2011
Quote ' How could a project like Media City be run by people who have no idea what they are doing '. That philosophy has not deterred Salford Clowncil . The Salford Star would do a far better job of running this Deadcity .
Kate wrote
at 15:53:58 on 12 December 2011
300 jobs created by the 13 new shops to open? On average that would be 23 members of staff per store which for stores on the precinct sounds about right. As for Media City, a lot of Salford people ARE working there, I should know, I am one of them. A lot of young people in Salford (the type who have worked their backsides off to get somewhere) are starting over the next few years on apprenticeship schemes. Applications have been open for years. Its quite obvious that a lot of people who aren't from Salford will also be working there, because how could a project such as Media City be ran by people who have no idea what they're doing? (cue comments about how those in charge don't know what they're doing, and how Salford Star could do a better job etc)
Chug-a Bug wrote
at 20:50:40 on 09 December 2011
Government statistics not manipulated by corrupt government agencies ? I must have run out of sanity pills . Statistics are manipulated by corrupt governments ,corrupt local councils , corrupt government agencies and whenever it suits the corrupt con - men running this corrupt hellhole country . It is a policy known as ' Feeding shite to the Sheeple ' , and very successful it is too .Very similar to the 'Mushroom Policy ' practised in abundance by the Swinton Madhouse . SPIN , SPIN ,SPIN . Lies, deceit , treachery . Now , where are my Optimism pills ...? That's better. Now , off for some retail therapy at Salford BARGAINS market .
Fadge wrote
at 02:59:01 on 09 December 2011
Kate . These out of town , purpose -built mega - sheds for the shopaholic masses do not represent value for money . They are dismal , soulless , cattle-market entrapment areas based on crass American consumerism models . You are wrong . The market thrives on Thursday and Sunday , because people in this poverty-stricken hellhole city know there are bargains to be had . Therefore , it is apparant that local people want a local market , and especially flea markets . Let Tesco bog off to a mega-shed entrapment area . Finally , 300 jobs created ? How ? When ? This is the usual shite spouted by the clueless clowncil propaganda machine . Just like the ' jobs for Salford ' created by all the Mediacity bullshit .
Kate wrote
at 02:58:16 on 09 December 2011
Not saying that statistics can't be spun, but those specific ones can't. Its consolidated raw data.
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 15:49:31 on 08 December 2011
Government statistics can't be spun? I'll retire to Bedlam.
F. Kemhall wrote
at 15:49:08 on 08 December 2011
Kate . Just how do these figures show that the unemployed do not want a job ?????? Statistical nonsense . Statistics are manipulated by corrupt government agencies to indicate WHATEVER LIES THEY ARE NEEDED FOR . In this instance to stigmatise the unemployed , the majority of whom are unemployed BECAUSE THERE ARE NO JOBS IN THIS DEADCITY . How the populace are so easily deceived by the lies , deceit and treachery of corrupt governments appalls me . Do not be so gullible and believe the lies of corrupt , self-serving governments . As for hope . All hope died in this deadcity in the 1970's .....
Kate wrote
at 11:29:50 on 08 December 2011
F. Kemhall; Salford employment statistics can be found here- http://www.nomisweb.co.uk/reports/lmp/la/2038432046/report.aspx and the figures show that of the 27% of the unemployed in Salford, only 6.5% want a job. They're government statistics that haven't been manipulated by a spin doctor. You cannot argue with them. So no, I'm not on drugs and no, its not a minority of the unemployed. Perhaps look into these things before making such ridiculous comments! And just to add the regeneration of the precinct is supposed to be bringing 300 jobs, whilst retaining and modernising the regular market! Fadge; I'm not saying people should be expected to travel to the other centres and you're right to say people can't/don't want to. But thats partially why the changes are happening. The place is in decline and people ARE going elsewhere because there isn't much choice. My point is that Salford precinct in its current form CANNOT compete with the other centres and will continue to decline especially in the face of a new Tesco. You're right to say it was popular in the 70s and 80s but times change and we cannot dwell on the past. What worked then doesn't work now. As I said in my previous comment the owners are refusing to admit defeat with the new Tesco and they're being proactive about the future of the place. If no changes were being made at all, I can guarantee the same people complaining about the changes would be asking why nothing is being done and why is the precinct being left in the 1970s? We obviously can't comment on something until its happened but considering the council aren't in charge of it and a commercial company are, it might not go the same way as Swinton/Eccles. A commercial company isn't going to spend millions on it for it to fail. If they truly wanted it to fail they'd just leave it as it is. A bit of optimism wouldn't go amiss.
Fadge wrote
at 15:49:42 on 07 December 2011
Kate . What about all the folk who do not want to travel , or cannot travel , to the Arndale , Trafford centre , Fort , Lowry ? Salford market , Eccles market, Pendlebury market were all thriving in the seventies and eighties .These markets offered value for money . These out-of-town shopping centres do not . Eccles , Pendlebury , Swinton were thriving towns till the inept goons at Salford council systematically destroyed them all due to their abyssmal lack of any business acumen, common sense , and working to a hidden agenda . You say the regular markets will still be there , in a different form . Do you mean transformation and regeneration like Swinton and Eccles markets ? The destruction and rot just continues , under the inept guidance of the Swinetown Cretins . I can already hear the tumbleweed blowing through this dead city .
F. Kemhall wrote
at 15:48:31 on 07 December 2011
Kate . Are you on drugs ? Many people in SALFORD HAVE NO INTENTION OF GETTING A JOB ? WHERE ARE THE JOBS ? You think folk would rather rot on the dole ??? A minority , possibly ., but no more . The jobs exodus from this hellhole city has been going on for thirty years , ably aasisted by a cretinous council of inept goons .
Kate wrote
at 21:50:31 on 06 December 2011
The problems are a bit more deeprooted than the 'clowncil' making Salford jobless, its a statistical fact that many people in Salford do not have any intentions of even getting a job (Home Office stats available if you Google them). Its also basic sociology because of the demographics of Salford, mainly caused by the ethos of the previous government. I don't see how anyone can say Salford isn't improving especially with projects like Salford Quays, although some people on this website would prefer it to stay as a baron wasteland or become a housing estate for the underclasses; and whilst this website often says otherwise the Quays redevelopment has brought great opportunities for those who live in Salford (I'm proof of that) which otherwise wouldn't be there. Changes and improvements are much needed. Salford doesn't have a working class image anymore like Manchester, its just underclass through and through, comparable to places like Croydon and if you take a step back and look at the wider picture, it does have some truth in it. Just going back onto the original topic of Salford precinct and the markets, this impending improvement is also a positive and I fail to grasp why anyone can argue otherwise. Yes, it means the loss of the markets but you need to remember that in a 5 mile radius of the precinct you have the Arndale, Trafford Centre, Lowry and Manchester Fort. Can Salford Precinct in its current form, with the flea market, really compete with that, or will it be mentioned in the same sentence as Eccles Precinct and Swinton Precinct? Both of the two precincts have been murdered by a Morrisons and their closure is inevitable, Salford may soon follow the same fate with the big Tesco but the difference is, it's being given a fighting chance with a revamp. It may or may not work but at least they aren't just rolling over and admitting defeat. The regular markets will still be there, just in a different form.
Fadge wrote
at 06:46:33 on 04 December 2011
Improving Salford , Kate ? So what has this pathetic clowncil been playing at for the past thirty years , apart from turning Salford into a jobless , hopeless , futureless slum city ? Keep paying your council tax extortion , so the inept cretins at the Swinton Madhouse can continue with their ' improvements ' . Salford clowncil make me puke .
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 22:13:26 on 02 December 2011
"Improving Salford" what alternate reality are you living in? The place has been in decline for decades & everything the crazy gang does only seems to make things worse. I'll be down at the market next week to count the Ferraris & Porsches on the car park.
Kate wrote
at 14:52:20 on 02 December 2011
The markets are disgusting and I'm glad they are going. It stinks, there isn't anything worth buying and is in dire need of an overhaul. This website seems to have a huge chip on its shoulder when it comes to improving Salford, no wonder the reputation of Salford is so bad if people don't think its time to move on from something so scruffy and clearly stuck in the 1970s! The article contradicts itself too, if people are too poor to shop anywhere but the market, then how are the car parks full on a Thursday? They wouldn't be able to afford to drive, so those driving must be going somewhere else! Argos and Tesco spring to mind. Finally, with just 27 signatures on the petition it doesn't seem many people agree with you either!
Ernie Millan wrote
at 17:14:43 on 29 November 2011
DILLIGAF says it all . Of course the grubby clouncil are not interested - there is nothing in it for them . They do not care about the Trader's being thrown out of work . All quiet on the clouncil front , and not a squeak from the inept clowns about lost jobs . Pathetic , and so typical .
Jean Dodd wrote
at 15:29:10 on 28 November 2011
I live in Walkden now but I was born in Salford and still visit the market every Thursday and Sunday, I've even sold on them, it will be a real shame if/when it goes, the council never listen to the peoples comments though do they, is all they care about is how much they can make !
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