Fond memories of working on stall

First published in Letters

I UNDERSTAND that the cenotaph was relocated because the market stallholders, at the time, were stacking apple boxes, orange boxes and tomato trays around its lower reaches.

Yards away Lady Guildhall looked down and took note as a very young and naïve teenager was enjoying working on Norman and Les Cummins’ Fruit and Veg stall. I shall say no more but...

Every Saturday, after my paper round, I would ride to town and leave my bike in the alley next to The Globe. Within minutes I would memorise the prices (pounds, shillings and pence remember) of all the fresh produce on show. My mental arithmetic improved so much it has stood me in good stead for life.

Wintertime and Cummins’ small red generator chugged its power to the strung up assorted coloured lights that enhanced the buzzy aura pervading the good feel that truly existed amongst the icy sprouts and delicate fruits.

Customers were three and four deep.

You could touch the atmosphere of the whole frenetic scene, especially at Christmas time, when we would shout out the price offers available to all and sundry.

The enveloping afternoon darkness intensified the shimmering reflections courtesy of Woolies shop windows opposite.

The deeply coloured images glistened and danced upon the damp high street. Bonhomie and goodwill to all was everywhere you cared to look. It was so fulfilling in its completeness of belonging.

Dipping my toe into the sea of commerce was rewarding and exciting on several levels and the experience remains with me even now. The whopping 25 shillings I received was a bonus!

But why, oh why, didn’t the cenotaph have an ornamental fence around it?

John Porter, Millway Road, Andover

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