First market traders in years in Bawtry, Doncaster - and hopes for full market in future

It may be decades since Bawtry had a proper market – but the town has taken a step back towards bringing the tradition back.

By David Kessen
Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 6:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 10:18 am

Today, the town which traditionally always had a market, re-introduced a fruit and veg stall on the Market Hill car park.

And both residents and Bawtry’s mayor have both expressed a hope that it will be the first step towards bringing back a bigger market in the longer term.

The new stall, set up in a shed and a gazebo, is run by a well-known Doncaster markets family, with Helen Cairns manning the stall today, with Les Cairns and Dane Hall. They will be there five days a week. Helen, from Wheatley Hills, has traded on Doncaster Market since she was 17, and Les has done so for 54 years.

Helen Cairns, Les Cairns and Dane Hall at their new market stall in Bawtry

Helen said day one had seen steady trade, despite rain.

Mayor of Bawtry Alan Claypole said it had taken over a year for the town council to arrange for a market stall to return on the site, with help from organisations including Bawtry Retail Association.

He said: “We’ve made no secret of that fact that we’d like to bring the market back to Bawtry.

“You have to start on a small scale, and it’s four years since there was last a stall here.

Sarah White, of Bawtry Retail Association, Mayor of Bawtry Alan Claypole, and Market stall holder Helen Cairns at the new market stall in Bawtry

“We are discussing ways to bring visitors back to Bawtry. We would need a location for a full market though and at the moment we don’t have that.

“We are listening to what residents think, and in five years time I’d like to see a market that would help get visitors here. I don’t see it as being three or four times a week, but maybe on Sundays. We’d like to have a market of some description.”

Richard McHale, chairman of Bawtry Residents Group, said residents had been wanting a market for some time and felt the return of a fruit and veg stall on the site was a good first step.

“We’d like to have a Market Hill market in the longer term,” he said.

Richard McHale, of Bawtry Residents Group, with market trader Helen Cairns, at the new market stall in Bawtry

“When I was a child, there was a market on the site that is now The Courtyard shopping centre on High Street, before that was built. Personally, I’d love to see the Bawtry Car Auctions site turned into a Sunday market. We’d love to see a proper Sunday market coming back to Bawtry.”

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