TRIBUTES have been paid to a Darwen market trader who ran a stall for more than 50 years.

Hilda Wilson, who was 89, was well known to generations of shoppers in the town for her household goods stall on the three-day market.

She died at her home in Southport on Wednesday after developing pneumonia after a fall.

Since the late 1950s she had operated the stall, which sold small electrical goods, gadgets and household wares.

She will also be remembered for having spectacular Christmas displays and for selling festive trees.

Since the early 1970s the stall was jointly run by by her son Clive, who described his mum as "feisty, friendly and a people lover".

Mr Wilson, 58, said: “When mum started the market was absolutely thriving.

“As a young woman she would arrive with a suitcase full of goods like scissors and kitchen implements.

"There was such a demand for stalls that often she would be turned away.

"She later got an outdoor pitch which was nothing more than a trestle table.

“Mum built the business up from scratch. She was one of he pioneers of trading on a Saturday and always gave her views on market matters.

“There were no supermarkets or out of town retails parks then, thousands would visit the market.”

Mr Wilson said that his mother retired around 20 years ago but would still help out.

He said: “She couldn’t stay away. I got a bit of friendly stick for having my elderly mother working on the stall but I knew it was doing her good.

"She loved the atmosphere and the people of Darwen.”

Outside work she had a love of Scottish pipe music and was a keen golfer.

She leaves sons Clive and David and eight grandchildren.

The funeral will take place at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Waterloo Road, Southport, at noon on Thursday, March 3.Fellow trader Brenda Cronshaw, said: “Hilda was everything good about the markets.

“She was a fixture on the three-day market for decades and and was a lovely, warm, lady.”