Leisure => Retail => Topic started by: Rochester-bred on March 13, 2011, 18:51:30

Title: Rochester market memories
Post by: Rochester-bred on March 13, 2011, 18:51:30
Does anyone know when the Rochester market that used to be along Corporation street was first held there and when it closed or does anyone have any pictures and memories they would like to share.I lived not far from the market as a child and remember in the centre was a big corrigated shed which I was told sold cattle, this had stopped by the time my mum used to take us round and inside there where ordinary stalls,There was a lady who told fortunes there ,a man who took pictures of people with a little monkey on their heads,they had the butcher stall and many great stuff sold there it was a place we always went to on a friday which only rain stopped, the market was always packed and once they closed it the new one that replaced it elsewhere in Rochester , never seemed to take off anyway as popular as the old one. I also remember when there was a fire back in the 70s in the old market, I think it started in a foam selling stall, I do remember some people selling off burnt or singed garments on the cheap which went down well in those hard times. Does anyone have any other memories of the old market.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: peterchall on March 13, 2011, 22:26:42
I can remember the cattle market being there before the war on Tuesdays.

Book "History of Rochester" by F.F.Smith has a whole chapter on Rochester Markets. A quick glance shows that authority to hold a cattle market on the fourth Tuesday of every month was obtained in 1787, but it doesn't say where, and I doubt if it was where the Corporation Street one was. The book was published in 1928 in the style of writing of the time and is rather heavy reading, but I'll have a look to see if I can find anything else.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: merc on March 13, 2011, 23:53:51
Apparantly Prime Minister, Edward Heath, made a brief visit to Rochester Market when he visited the Medway Towns in February 1974. Just before the election that resulted in a hung parliament and shortly afterwards he resigned as Prime Minister.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: peterchall on March 14, 2011, 10:51:43
I found this in another paragraph of the book: “In 1787 a market was established for the buying and selling of cattle on the fourth Tuesday in every month, at the place now used as a cattle market. (My underlining). Since the book was published in 1928 it probably does refer to the location in Corporation Street. I can’t find out when it started to be used as a general market, or when its use as that or a cattle market stopped. What is the site used for now?

There is the following information in the book:

A fair held on St Dunstan’s Day for three days, the first being for the sale of cattle.

A fair held on St Andrew’s Day for three days.

29 May 1675: Authority for a market every Friday under the Guildhall “for the sale of poultry, butter, pigs, and garden stuffs”. In 1689 this was moved to “the place under the new building….intended be used as a Court Hall”.

A Corn Market every Tuesday.

30 June 1698: “A market place with stalls is to be erected at some convenient place for a ‘flesh market’ and butchers are to put their stalls there and not in the High Street”.

1 May 1731: It was “ordered that no persons shall use the Butchers’ Market for the drying of clothes and other things”. (I wonder what prompted that)

6 November 1756: Richard Bristow hired the markets from the City for £12/year to run the markets and collect rents from the stallholders.

There is a "record of a market having once existed in the space between the King’s Head Hotel and the land called Epaule Lane”.

There appears to have been 2 market days because:
1.   In 1620 the Attorney-General brought a Court Action questioning the legality of the St Dunstan’s Day and At Andrew’s Day Fairs, and of holding 2 market days/week. The City won.
2.   “No foreign butchers or bakers shall come on market days, viz: Wednesday and Friday, they shall not stay longer than 12 o’clock, and they shall not sell door-to-door but keep to the market”. (There seems to be some contradictions in that)

Not many actual locations are mentioned; has anyone any ideas as to where they may be?
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: Lyn L on March 14, 2011, 13:30:15
Have a guess peterchall....... it's a Car Park. I used to love going there and remember all that has been spoken about. It was always busy and there wasn't much you couldn't buy . I do remember the cattle pens but don't know when they went and hubby remembers the slaughter house just along from the market, he used to sit on the wall and watch. He said that was still there in the 60s but it's the 50s he remembers the cattle.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: peterchall on March 14, 2011, 13:51:49
It wasn't only cattle that was sold there, it was sheep and pigs as well. I remember how the pigs squealed when they pierced their ears for tagging (but was it for that - I thought tagging was something modern?)
There was still a Saturday Flea Market there in the 1990s - I imagine that has now closed.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: Rochester-bred on March 15, 2011, 20:36:09
The flea market did close I think too sometime in the 90s as I used to go there too it had so many stalls and the only markets close by are nowhere near as big.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: sheppey_bottles on March 15, 2011, 21:22:37
We used to love walking around the flea market early on a Saturday morning and purchased some lovely items over the years. I stiil use a Chapmans split cane carp rod that I bought there. What has happened to these flea markets over the years..mid kent college had one as did Chatham dockyard..I really miss them.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: chippy1 on March 16, 2011, 18:53:14
I have very fond memories of the friday market at Rochester,living just along from there in the early 70s,my parents were the landlord and landlady of the Rochester Castle pub in corporation street(sadly demolished in 1974).
Fridays were our busiest day because of trade from the market ,i do believe we had a special clause in our license,which allowed us to open at 5 oclock in the morning to accomodate the market traders.
Me and other lads my age used to help the traders unload in the morning,before we went to school,for a bit of pin money(would nt be allowed now). I remember the fire well,i came home from school to find the public bar full of fire damaged goods, clothing,electrical goods,records ,loads of stuff that the bin men had salvaged and brought over in favour of  a couple of pints.Happy Days.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: grandarog on March 16, 2011, 21:45:13
Us lads from the old Rochester Technical School 1n the 1950,s used to frequent the market during dinner break. Remember buying big bags of Jelly Baby trimmings for a few pence. Occassionally had some actual jelly babies in among all the bits.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: kenty on March 17, 2011, 03:52:56
I used to like going to Rochester market - how did we ever let it slip away....
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: MOK on March 17, 2011, 07:59:26
Parsnips, 3 1/2 New Pence.... happy days :)
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: Rochester-bred on March 17, 2011, 08:44:48

numanfan ,Fantastic pictures, I still think it was a big mistake to close the market.Maybe the council should put more thought into the people who live in Rochester rather than just those who visit, im sure we could work with both to welcome and enjoy our history aswell as continue to live and enjoy what was once a city that had all we needed on our doorstep.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: Lyn L on March 17, 2011, 09:23:36
That's just how I remember the market, it was so busy. Great pics numanfan, thanks.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: Bryn Clinch on March 17, 2011, 10:31:50
Does anyone remember a chap called Strong who sold crockery at the market? He became quite famous and I remember him being featured on TV. He could display a whole dinner service on one arm. I think he appeared at most markets, definitely Maidstone and Gravesend, I never saw him drop a single item.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: peterchall on March 17, 2011, 10:53:29
Yes, great pictures. It looks like the cattle pens were permanent, so the site must have been in two parts, one for the cattle market and one for the general market. My book (my post of 14/3/2011) mentions general markets on Wednesdays and Fridays, but I only remember them on Fridays. Does anybody actually remember the Wednesday ones?
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: ann on March 17, 2011, 10:57:19
Yes Bryn, I remember Strong. I used to see him at Gravesend outside market on a Saturday.  Always had quite a crowd round him.

Talking of Rochester Market. Does anyone remember the corrugated iron building that also had stalls inside.  Why did it close?
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: Mike S on March 17, 2011, 11:24:10
The Cattle pen area was also used for the general market on Fridays, with boards across to make a table top area similar to the free standing market stalls. When I lived in Rochester in the late 1950's, used to rush home from school on Fridays - used to earn the princely sum of one shilling helping one of the traders load his van.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: Signals99 on February 22, 2013, 03:52:56
Hi,
Once again I'm somewhat late with my blog. Rochester market was used for livestock dealing well into the early fifties. We lads used to play hooky from school and earn 2/6 a day helping the stock men. I will never forget the squeals of the pigs as the metal tags were stapled to their ears. We used to jump between the pens to grab a pig for marking; my pal Eddy Price slipped on the rail one day. He spent two weeks in St Barts and came out minus a portion of his anatomy. I think he was moved to the alto section in the school choir.






     
price
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: mad4amanda on March 18, 2013, 22:25:35
My mum has a picture of me somewhere with that monkey on my head from Rochester Market, I also remember the crockery man with a dinnerset on each arm.

Must find that picture.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: smiler on March 19, 2013, 10:46:23
I too remember the crockery man great to stand and listen to him, gift of the gab and very funny with it. Really good stall stacked high must have taken a while to set up, not like a lot today that unload there stock from a few old bread trays, more like boot fairs than markets.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: Signals99 on March 24, 2013, 23:44:00
Yes indeed Smiler, must have taken ages to set some of the stalls out! Perhaps you remember the toy stall ,it was the first one you came to just inside the main entrance, next to the garage, you could spend hours looking and not see it all, or so it seemed to us boys. He sold a lot of new toys, some not even in the shops. He also sold some real tat, fell apart when you looked at it.
Do you recall the hot dog van, right at the back up against the railway fence,1/6 for a tea and bacon roll, just the thing on a cold winter morning, you could smell it from Corporation Street.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: Troyboy on October 04, 2014, 15:35:49
Was there an Abattoir on the corner of Blue Boar Lane, where the Rochester Social Club now stands, that some of the livestock were taken to from the Cattle Market? Have memories of some of the cows breaking free during the cattle drive and heading toward the High Street.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: peterchall on October 04, 2014, 15:54:44
Yes, there was.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: AlanH on October 05, 2014, 07:54:27
I've still got a blue metal toolbox I bought at the market back in the 70s. Must have done a million miles in the back of utes travelling rough outback roads in Oz and planes by now.
AlanH.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: doug on October 05, 2014, 16:12:16
The guy selling  crockery at Ramsgate market would have half a dinner service balanced on his arm. But seem to remember  he was called Angel and probably had a background in the wrestling world. You did not want your stall next to his, when he was working the crowd, nobody could see your stall.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: conan on October 05, 2014, 19:26:15
My gran used to live in Gillingham and I can remember walking to the market across the lines and past the memorial, she always bought me something from the toy stall.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: smiffy on February 06, 2018, 21:00:31
View of the busy cattle market, sometime before 1904.
Title: Re: Rochester market memories
Post by: Roseann on February 09, 2018, 22:18:30
I remember the big old cattle shed in the market .