Bridlington Market is enjoying a new lease of life

Market chairman John Thompson
Market chairman John Thompson

Running a market stall is not for everybody. Getting up at 7am to set up your stall and then having to dismantle it at the end of the day, after standing in the cold and rain.


But Bridlington’s market is thriving, with the number of stalls on the rise, and as high as 35 on some days.

Julie Botterill on the Buzy Lizzies flower stall.

Julie Botterill on the Buzy Lizzies flower stall.

Chairman John Thompson who runs the Flying Coffee Bean stall said: “The market is growing. There has been a buzz for the last three years where we have been slowly building it up.

“It’s the last full street market on the Yorkshire coast. From Bridlington you have to go up to Redcar, or down into Lincolnshire. And we run two days a week all year round, and three times a week between Easter and October.

“We are bucking the trend. Markets have gone through a bit of a bad time.”

Bridlington’s almost went to the wall a few years ago.

Sue Kelly has started a new stall selling retro sweets.

Sue Kelly has started a new stall selling retro sweets.

John said: “We have had to work very hard. Four years ago we were possibly knocking on the door of bankruptcy. But East Riding of Yorkshire Council has worked closely with us and we are proud that they have supported us.

“At one time we were down to about half of one side of King Steet with about eight stalls. But now we take up the whole of King Street and we have been full most days through the summer season.

“Around half the traders are local people but the other 50% come from Doncaster, Sheffield, Hull and Lincolnshire – we have even had one guy who comes on a regular basis from Edinburgh.”

John insists the stall-holders have a great relationship with the people who own the shops in King Street.

Heather Groocock on her card stall.

Heather Groocock on her card stall.

He said: “We get on very, very well with the shopkeepers. When the market is not there, the street can look a bit ‘tumbleweed’, so we can help to bring revenue in for them by creating a really vibrant street two days a week.”

The traders have used social media as a key tool to promote Bridlington Market.

Their Facebook page, which has more than 1,600 followers, regularly posts pictures of the many stalls.

John said: “We have used social media to really push the market along and we have got a lot of followers.”

Bridlington market

Bridlington market

The next event they are promoting is a Christmas market on December 15.

“The Christmas market is designed to give traders a bit of a boost,” John added.

“We appreciate a lot of people go out of town for their Christmas shopping but we hope that just before the big day, they will come and do some local shopping, and pick up a few last-minute items.”

Cheryl Parker and Katie Harrison at Kitchings Fruit and Veg.

Cheryl Parker and Katie Harrison at Kitchings Fruit and Veg.