Spalding market traders retire

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She’s called the ‘knicker lady’ and she’s a well-known face on Spalding market.

But last Tuesday was the final time that Jackie Randall had to brave the elements as she sold underwear, nightwear, socks, hats and gloves to the people of the town.

Jackie finally retired after 24 years of running market stalls, the first one in Bourne, followed by Long Sutton (22 years), as well as Crowland, Holbeach and Spalding, where she has built up a loyal following over 15 years, around the time husband Paul started to help.

The stall was begun to fit around Jackie’s family commitments, and at her busiest she was doing five markets a week.

Jackie says there has never been one big seller, but she has specialised in the kind of clothing most people need.

She adds: “It’s fairly even really. These type of things change slightly with colours, but it doesn’t change as fashion would, which makes it easier.”

The market trader says she has shocked herself at how many years she has been selling on market stalls, and adds: “You just don’t know when you take on a job outside or self-employment whether or not it will work, and fortunately for us it has.

“I don’t like cold weather, but it’s something you have to learn to cope with if you are going to do this job.”

Rain or shine, Jackie has turned up, conscious that she risks losing her customers if she’s not there when she is expected, though extreme weather has occasionally kept her at home at Deeping St James.

Her answer to keeping warm is plenty of layers (luckily she has thermals on the stall), good footwear – and a sense of humour.

• Jackie and Paul Randall have experienced lifting market stalls and tops flying off in high winds during their time on Spalding market.

However, Jackie says: “We will miss our customers and our work colleagues. We really appreciate their support over the years, we really do. Without them we couldn’t have done this.”

She says retired life will be strange for a while, but the pair plan to sit back and have a rest and think about what they plan to do apart from their big hobbies of gardening and reading.