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When Dudley Market opened until midnight

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: June 24, 2014

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I WONDER how many people like me had so many memories recalled after seeing the artist's drawing of the Dudley Market Place and how it will look after all the up to date work is finished.

It bought back so many happy visits to the said market over the years. My first memories I recall as a child was when my father always took me into town on Christmas Eve every year.

This was to do his Christmas shopping, which every year was 6 oranges, 1lb apples, 1lb nuts, small bottle whisky (to be taken with him and my mom's tea on Christmas morning) and a new flat cap which was fetched by mom.

The stalls would have lanterns on the rafters of the stalls and huge oil cans full of hot coke to keep the stall holders warm.

They would shout their wares and banter to each other.

Saturday morning was a meeting place for people who gossiped and caught up on the latest news. My dad always said Dudley was just a big village.

The above list was the total Christmas shopping.

He was a "Hingley" man and very careful with his money. These memories go back 70 years for me. I have a newspaper cutting from when my parents celebrated their golden wedding. The photo was taken in 1967 and their recollection of Dudley was 1917....

Beer was 2½d a pint; plenty of entertainment in Dudley; going to the theatre in the 1d stalls.

They said Dudley was just like Blackpool and the market was open until 11pm or 12 midnight. When the buses ran through Dudley the town always seemed to be busy and full of people. Go up to Dudley now and it's like a ghost town.

You can put trees, new red bricks, and new stalls but you will never forget the old Dudley Market Place, the atmosphere, the old market stalls, the stall holders.

They're gone and I'm sorry to say the dearly loved old market place. They tell me that's progress. But every time my memory is nudged, I get the recall of banter, sights, fruit, lights and most all, people gathering for a natter.

Mrs Mary Wood,

11 Fairfield Road, Dudley.

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