1 thought on “The Weighing Man, Stockton Market c1962

  1. Apart from Mr Jack Roberts, I can remember the man who sold just one strand of guitar string, which he stretched between 2 upright nails hammered into each end of a plank of wood about 3′ feet long x 4″ inches wide (it looked like a piece of old floor board) on it he could play the most wonderful music, music which had a hum and a twang to it, which sounded like Stockton ‘Hawaiian music’ , I remember he had a Tate & Lyle syrup can in which he he’d placed some coins inside it, which he used to slide along this string-wire making a zither type music sounds, all for a 1/-. The snag was when you got it home and copied what he’d done nothing happened, he knew how to play it – you didn’t. The same disaster occurred if you bought a glass cutter from the lady who stood near the Shambles main doors selling glass cutters. She had pieces of glass that she cut as if it was cheese and finished her glass cutting demonstration by cutting a piece of glass held in her hand has if it was a carrot – slice,slice-slice-slice-slice, I bought two glass cutters from her and never discovered how they worked, or had any success cutting glass with them?

    You also had the man who sold bottles of liquid carpet cleaner, he scrubbed shoe polish onto a lump of carpet and then cleaned it off using his very own Magic Bubbles carpet cleaner, another stall holder sold day old chickens for 6p each, they were kept inside 3 glass cases that looked like fish tanks with infra-red lamps inside to keep them warm, he must have done well because he stood the market for years selling Rhode Island Red chicks from Easingwold near York. Probably the best newcomers stall circa 1953?, was the two brothers from Leeds toy stall, who auctioned toys, their stall was placed near the Market Cross, I can remember them describing a toy they were selling by explaining “These toys are so new they’ve never seen a gaslight, fanlight,” and, his partner/brother chipped in with, “Or Israelite” which got quite a laugh”. Overall my favourite stall was the Farmers Friend, who stood at the top of the High Street, near the War Memorial, he had tools, saws, wire netting, barbed wire, nails and staples galore. There was another guy who had cut a white-turnip up into little squares and was selling it as a cure for rheumatism, according to him “you rubbed it on your arms, fingers and knees and it cured rheumatism”, he was soon rumbled and told not to come again (to the market) by the Market Superintendent.


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