Invitation to share your memories

John Tippler remembers the day when a pig caused panic in the Sheepmarket.

“I was a little boy with my mother outside the old post office, when I caught sight of this enormous pig rearing up and come crashing down the passage-way between the pens straight towards us. Everyone scattered in panic and ran. And two very brave market-men, I thought, stood in its way in the passage and said, "Stop!‟ And it did. And, snuffling and grunting, was got back into its pen.


We kids called the market-men "bullock-whoppers‟,recalls John Honnor, “because of the little stick they carried to control the cattle”.


Where Heron Foods now is in the Sheepmarket used to be open space, for chickens, geese, rabbits and guinea pigs. People would bid for a single chicken. It was a popular place to take little kids – though parents didn’t tell them the rabbits were being bought for the pot,” John adds..


The street livestock market moved to special buildings in 1938 (now Sainsbury's carpark), years later becoming a regular playing place for young Marian Boxall and her friends. “We’d go there after school and chase about. One market day, when the men were sluicing down the straw and dirt, I dodged another girl and slipped and nearly fell down an open man- hole. They weren’t so concerned about health and safety in those days"

The MARK-IT Trail

A celebration of Spalding’s market in its livestock heyday.

Mosaics, sculptures, murals.

In the town centre, where the animals were traditionally sold.

Also the annual hiring fair.

An Invitation

to share your memories and stories about the stockmarket days whether in the streets as here or later in the newly built Cattle Market.


There are three on the left as starters.They could be your own memories or stories you heard from your grandparents or older relatives.


We’d like to build up a picture, a sort of Tuesday mosaic, of what it was like in those days – to bring cattle or a flock of sheep into the town centre or to try to cross New Road or have a sneeze mistaken for a bid. It was all once a weekly part of the Spalding experience, and as part of the MARK-IT trail project we’d like to capture it before it vanishes forever.


The memories are still there. We hope you’d like to share them.


How to share ;-


Paper (typed, hand-written or printed) Disk or memory stick or E-mail.

Postal address for first two above: 

The Secretary, Spalding & District Civic Society, 78a Edinburgh Drive, Spalding, PE11 2RT.

E-mail: Use our Contact Us page


For audio, please phone The Secretary first to arrange convenient method: 01775 725293.

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