Trading Histories

Ron’s Story

Castle Hill Market, fishy smells, friendly people.

Ron was born in Darnall in 1940. He remembers being brought to the markets by his mother.

The Castle Market that Ron refers to would then have been the Castle Hill market which opened in 1930 (this is the meat and fish section of the Castle Market).

‘The memories I have as a child of Castle Market probably started in the mid-late 40s and continue through to the early 50s. Being brought here by my mother, walking round both Norfolk and the Castle and the Fish Market and the Rag and Tag. Shopping here, probably my Mum buying fish specifically and also meat. One thing that sticks in my mind is that it was probably the first place that we ever ate out, that is, not eating in house, buying a sandwich and actually sitting in a café, which I think there were quite a few in the Castle and Norfolk market. Rag and Tag – one thing I remember is being weighed on a, on some sort of contraption where somebody sat you in a seat, a small boy, and had individual weights so there was a counterbalance and eventually came up with the weight of the small boy or a small girl.’

Ron remembers the smells and sounds of the market, particularly fish!

‘I think the first smell that comes to mind is the fish market. Walking around the fish market with fresh fish and lots of different fish sellers – not just a few but many. And probably the sounds were of people or stall holders, shouting out their wares, what bargains they have for that particular day, flower sellers, meat markets and I guess walking past meat markets, yes, you’ve got the smell of raw meat, of course.’

And Ron’s favourite memory:

‘I think probably favourite memories…always a lot of people there. People being friendly I guess, no pushing and shoving but if there was any there was always a sorry or an excuse me. And probably sitting down and eating a sandwich and having a mug of tea, something that I had never done before outside the house, it was something that was a new experience for me and so yeah that’s something that sticks in my mind.’