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Dave Jackson, Chapel Market trader for 45 years, on the street’s changing face

PUBLISHED: 14:34 01 May 2017 | UPDATED: 14:34 01 May 2017

Dave Jackson, second right, with (L-R): Tony Jones, John Hardie, David Twydell and Gary Curtis. Picture: Polly Hancock

Dave Jackson, second right, with (L-R): Tony Jones, John Hardie, David Twydell and Gary Curtis. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Chapel Market has seen businesses come and go – but Dave Jackson, fruit and veg stall owner for 45 years, has remained a constant.

Wedged between shiny shopping complex Angel Central and a Sainsbury’s superstore is his stall, which has been in the family for years.

“It goes back at least two generations, possibly more,” he tells the Gazette.

Dave’s association with Chapel Market runs deep – he was born in a house no more than 20 metres from his stall and has given almost all of his working life to the market.

“It’s a great job,” he says. “It’s nice to be able to talk to so many people in your work and I’ve got a good relationship with the other stall owners.”

Dave also sells his produve. which comes from both wholesalers and his own allotment, to restaurants in the area.

The market has changed substantially during Dave’s life. There used to be wall to wall fruit and veg stands all the way along the street.

Nowadays bike repair huts, fish mongers, clothes stalls and take-away food trucks fill many of the plots where grocers used to be.

But for Dave this isn’t a problem.

“Change is inevitable and I still like it here,” he says. “You’ve got to adapt to survive and I think this market has a bright future.

“We’ve even got a bit of a farmer’s market on a Sunday which brings in a different crowd of people, which is good.”

“The atmosphere is as good as ever and the market is still valuable to the community.”

Businesses like his have enduring appeal, he says, because he can always offer something different from a supermarket: “It’s all about the personal touch.”

Sure enough, the Gazette’s conversation with Dave is punctuated by his friendly exchanges with customers and passers-by. His business seems like an oasis in a world of highly strung self service machines.

But Dave says hard graft has been the key to success and he is out whatever the weather six days a week, virtually every week of the year.

“It’s hard work,” he admits, “but I don’t mind that.”

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