Fringe Box



Market Trader Calls Time After Storm Lashes His North Street Stall

Published on: 20 Feb, 2014
Updated on: 20 Feb, 2014

A trader at Guildford’s North Street market has reluctantly decided to call time after last Friday night’s storm destroyed his stall.

Market trader Richard Kendal pictured in front of his trusty lorry at his Guildford home.

Market trader Richard Kendal pictured in front of his trusty lorry at his Guildford home.

Richard Kendall has sold fruit and veg from his stall at the market on Fridays and Saturdays for the past 40 years. The high winds last week literally blew down his stall, along with wreaking havoc of stalls belonging to other regular traders.

Mr Kendall is well known to his many regular customers who buy their fruit and veg at his stall. He said this week that he thanks all of them for their custom over the years, plus his staff as well.

The drama unfolded last Friday night (February 14) after he had closed his stall for the day, leaving all his produce on site ready for Saturday’s trading. He said: “I got a phone call from my daughter Emma at about 11pm saying the wind was causing havoc. She and her husband Finlay also have stalls at the market.

“The Guildford Street Angels, who are out and about in the town late at night on weekends, helped no end as the storm was at it height. But by the next morning my stall was ruined.”

Mr Kendall spent the following morning (Saturday) clearing up the mess, while continuing to sell his produce. But he has recently been thinking of retiring, and the destruction caused has made up his mind to retire for good.

He added: “I started work on the stalls part-time when I was about 10 years old, eventually having my own stall.”

Over the past 40 years he has sold his produce alongside many well known stallholders. Recalling those days he has fond memories of traders such as the Hone family and the Etheringtons.

He also remembers the legendary trader ‘Choppy’ Ayling – who some older residents may well recall, along with the now late Lou Lewis, who was a familiar face working on the stalls for many years.

This week he has been breaking up the remains of his stall that will be burnt. He said: “All I have lost in the last week is my time. There are other people elsewhere who have been affected by the floods who have lost a lot more.”

However, market trading in the Kendall family continues. His daughter and son-in-law have their stall each week at North Street, trading under the name of Unique Fruit, with some of Mr Kendall’s grandchildren working on their stall. They will take over his pitch at the upper end of North Street in the meantime.

Never without his trademark flat cap, Richard Kendall on his stall at Guildford's North Street market in 1988.

Never without his trademark flat cap, Richard Kendall on his stall at Guildford’s North Street market in 1988.

Mr Kendall remembers how lucky he was back in what’s known as the ‘Great Storm’ of October 1987. He said: “That came on the Thursday night, so we hadn’t actually set up our stall, but it was havoc on the Friday, but we managed to get our produce and opened for business.”

Over the years he has seen a good deal of changes at the still very popular North Street market. Now he can hopefully enjoy his retirement.

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