Pete The Market Trader


His real name isn’t Louie, his real name in Malcolm but we call him Louie because he looks like Louie out of Taxi.

Anyway, he had frozen coats left and I had a couple of spare cases of pepper pig pyjamas left over from Christmas.

The fact that they say ‘present from Santa’ and ‘let’s build a snowman’ on the front is largely irrelevant.

Stick pepper on the front of a pair of winceyette pyjama’s and the kids would still want them even if it was the height of summer.

Louie’s a proper old school market trader, he started around the same time as TD and my Dad.

He’s the kind of guy who has a line for everything.

We used to work next to each other on Bovy.

I would be serving a customer and he would come up behind me and say to them something like:

“We used to be in a band together love, we were called the symbolics.

I was sym, and he was……..”

……and then he would just walk off.

Our paths seldom cross now but if any of you are ever on Bletchley market, please go up to the big guy on the kids clothes stall, the one with hair like a clown and say to him this line, the one he always used to say to my punters about me, ‘he’s a lovely man, just don’t give him any money’.

He’ll understand.

That’s this week’s report from Pete the Market Trader.

The man on the street.



‘The Kipper’

We are coming to the end of the kipper.
Traditionally in the market game we refer to the time between new year and the beginning of spring as ‘kipper season’, it is cold and wet and no one has any money because they are all still paying off Christmas so we have to survive on what we can.

In days of old that was kippers because they were cheap.  Thankfully now we have moved beyond that otherwise my house would smell like Billingsgate.

The post seasonal period might be tough for us market traders but I am sure that for some punters it must be much worse.

I have coats that before Christmas I was selling for over ten pounds that have now been reduced to the bargain price of fifty pence.

Admittedly they are not the finest ones I have sold.

On Saturday afternoon, just as I was packing the stall away, an elderly gentleman started riffling through the remainder and came across a leather jacket.

“How much is the jacket?” he enquired.

“Fifty pence mate” I replied.

On closer inspection, because let’s face it when you are spending fifty pence on a leather jacket you want to make sure that it is just right, he realised there was a small pull on the shoulder, about an eighth of an inch long.

“Oh but it’s got a pull on the shoulder.” He remarked.

I thought that this would be a good time to draw his attention to the price.

“Mate, it’s fifty pence,” I responded.

He paused as if deep in contemplation and then said.

“Yes…….I’m sorely tempted”.

He didn’t buy the coat, obviously, fifty pence was too much of a commitment.

That’s life in the kipper.

Still, it gets warmer and brighter every day and soon spring will be here.

When you work outside life is easier in the warm.

That’s this week’s report from Pete the Market Trader.

The man on the street.



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