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Darwen Market full for first time in six years
DARWEN’S six-day market has no vacant units for the first time in more than six years.
Despite the nationwide downturn in consumer spending, the town’s market is thriving with a number of new stalls opening in recent weeks.
Among those new stalls are a sarsaparilla and home brew seller, clothing alteration stall and, in the three-day market a train collectables seller.
Markets manager Gwen Sangster was delighted with the situation.
She said: “At the minute we are completely full. There are no vacant units.
“We are bucking the national trend in the six-day market.
“It has been a long while since we were last full.
“I have been here for six years and it has never been completely full in all that time.
“The markets are very busy at the moment.
“The six-day market is looking really good and it is a great feeling.”
James Quayle, 46, owns Darwen Home Brew and has set up in the annex with his wife, Katy, 32.
Mr Quayle previously had his own construction firm, but has since got into home brewing.
His stall sells home brew kits for beers, wines and spirits, as well as sarsaparilla and other health tonics.
The firm also sells hardware equipment for people to set up bars in their homes.
He said: “Trade has been good so far. It is going really well.
“Everyone likes the sarsaparillas and the health tonics, which all come from Fitpatrick’s in Rawtenstall, which is the oldest temperance bar in the country.
“We took over from Bob Fulton who had stalls in Blackburn and Darwen.
“Without Bob we would never have been able to get going.”
Jackie Menzies has opened clothing alterations and repairs shop Stitch in the standalone unit at the top of the stairs on the School Street side of the market.
The 42-year-old said: “Last week was our first week and we have been very busy.
“I did alterations at home for friends and family and I thought I would give it a go.
“It is good to be part of such a thriving market, I have had a lot of good comments.”
Darwen councillor Karimeh Foster said: “It is great to see these new shops opening for the people of Darwen.
“The market is a great place for people of the town to go and do their shopping.”
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