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Back to work! Traders welcome return of Dudley Market after lockdown

By Jamie Brassington | Dudley | Business | Published:

Traders welcomed the reopening of a Black Country market today as part of the Government's easing of lockdown measures.

Dudley Market reopened today with new social distancing measures in place

Under new guidelines, outdoor markets were allowed to reopen with safety measures in place, which includes Dudley Market, in Castle Street, Dudley.

Some Dudley traders said they were operating a little cautiously due to the ongoing threat of coronavirus.

However others were just happy to be speaking face to face with people again and see life return back to some normality

Among those was Robert Potts who operates a stall called Dudley, Games which sells a variety of video games alongside consoles.

He said: "It is terrific news to be able to come back. I have kept okay to be honest amid the lockdown.

Dudley Games stall-holder Robert Potts

"But I am more of a bricks and mortar man [rather than operating online]. There's more people here shopping today than I expected - which is quite encouraging."

Organisers of the open-air market, which is run by Tudor Markets, have brought in measures to keep shoppers and traders safe.

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A hand wash station

This includes a hand-washing station and posters encouraging shoppers to maintain social-distancing and a two metre distance.

Ahmed Zahoor, who runs a men's clothes stall, said: "I'm a little cautious because of the coronavirus."

Ahmed Zahoor

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Some traders were wearing face masks like Shirley Barrett who runs Wendy Farmer's women's clothes shop.

She said: "It is nice to see people walking again and just having a chat with them."

But not all were as enthusiastic. Graham Southall, who runs a fruit and vegetable stall, said they have been open throughout the pandemic due to the type of business they ran.

Trader Dave Flavell, left, and Graham Southall, right

Asked about the crowd numbers yesterday, he said: "If anything, there has been less crowds than I expected."

Among the crowd was Beverley Ledgister, 58, of Lower Gornal who was browsing the stall aisles.

Beverley Ledgister

She said: "I think it is better news about the market reopening but I think they could do with increasing the number of stalls."

Pete Singh, 49, from Oldbury, runs a market stall in Worcester. However he said that isn't open yet and he was enquiring about opening up in Dudley.

Pete Singh

He welcomed reopening of Dudley Market. He said: "The word market wasn't even mentioned until last week."

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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