Anorak News | Strange Fruit In Hexham: The Quietest Market In England

Strange Fruit In Hexham: The Quietest Market In England

by | 19th, August 2008

TO Hexham where the town’s traders are being ordered to tone it down.

Says the Mirror: “For 800 years, traders on the cobbled streets of Hexham have cried out about their wares to pull in passing trade.”

Why 800 years, we are not told. Hexham Abbey dates from 674AD, and in there may have been a lull in trade when William Wallace burnt the town in 1297.

The hustle and bustle of the market place and the colourful characters who work the stalls were a major tourist attraction in the Northumberland town.

Colourful characters like those who took part in the Hexham Riot in 1761, when 51 protesters were killed in the market place.

Officials from Tyneside district council have ruled stall owners at the daily market can call out about their meat, fruit and veg only on Tuesdays and Saturdays if they “shout quietly“.

Since only a fool wold buy meat on a Sunday or a Monday, Friday is for fish, Thursday is “McDoanld’s Day”, and Wednesday is a good time to detox, what the matter?

Says the Mirror:

The move has been greeted with disbelief. At Saturday’s market, the first since the ban, the atmosphere was strangely muted. Martin Foster, 29, who works on the fruit and veg stall, said of the gag: “It’s ridiculous. Hexham’s supposed to be a market town…”


Jackie McKale, 49, who was looking after an organic meat stall, said: “It’s strange not to have the noise and shouting. It gives the place atmosphere.”

Time is ripe for rebellion, and to rekindle the spirit of quaint Hexham past:

On the 17th August of 1761, a seventy four year old man called Patterson was arrested for his alleged ivolvement in the Hexham `riot’. He was sentenced to be hung, cut down alive, to be disemboweled, have his entrails burnt (in front of his eyes !) and then to be beheaded and quartered. In the event it was decided that the old man’s sentence be reduced to a straight forward hanging.

Straight forward it was not, Patterson’s rope snapped before he died and in the tradition of a martyr, he was able to utter his last words `innocent blood is hard to spill’. It was later discovered that Patterson had not been in Hexham on the day of the riot!.

To the council officers – with passion…

Posted: 19th, August 2008 | In: Money, Tabloids Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink