Trading Histories

Nicholas’ Story

A busy but welcoming place, Jarvis Cocker.

Nicholas was born in 1969. He lives in Leeds and works on the Happy Feet stall – a cobblers and key cutters. He started working on Saturdays when he was 14 and has now worked on the stall for around 30 years. He remembers the Castle Market being much busier when he started:

‘It was certainly a lot busier than it is now. It was sort of my first experience of work at all, it was really, really, really packed, fantastic sort of sense of community amongst the traders and the staff – like its own little eco-system, it was completely separate to anything I’d ever experienced before.’

Castle Market in 1977. Courtesy of Sheffield Newspapers

Castle Market in 1977. Courtesy of Sheffield Newspapers

The business was originally his father’s:

‘It was my father’s business and now it’s been passed on to me. So he was a cobbler and his father before him was a cobbler…my grandfather was a cobbler in Cyprus’

Nicholas believes the market is a very welcoming place:

‘I’ve always found a sort of a home here actually ‘cos I mean there’s people who are probably a bit less fortunate and people that aren’t, you know, how can you say it sort of, there’s a politically correct way of saying it, people probably lacking a bit, but they’ve always been well looked after here, we’ve always taken them under our wing, looked after them, they’ve eaten for free, you know, you can see them going home with lots of shopping for free from the traders, people are really, really well looked after. And that’s something I experienced 30 years ago, observed it, you know, everybody was welcome.’

He remembers Jarvis Cocker working in the market:

‘I remember when Jarvis Cocker used to work here…He used to work in the fish market, you know so he started his working career here in this market…Looking exactly the same as he does now! He hasn’t changed at all. He was very shy at the time I remember sort of having a few words with him.’