Online Archive  
Issue 9 - December 1972
Street Markets

Prices still rising - bloody greedy capitalist pigs / bloody greedy union militants etc etc. Well, stop moaning and do something useful for yourself - like if you've got time on your hands go and spend your hard-pressed cash at the places where things are cheapest and best: for instance, where do you get your fruit and veg? Or meat, if carnivorous? At your local store with high overheads and no competition? Or overpackaged from some shiny supermarket crawling with shifty-eyed shop detectives?

Well, why not drop into Newcastle instead and go to the covered market between Grainger St and Clayton St, or the Bigg Market, or the barrow boys?

Walk around, compare prices and quality if you have the time - then make your decision - a real free market. And if you go later in the day, just before the covered market closes, you can get stuff incredibly cheap. Take a good sized strong bag with you, and load up for the week.

Clothes? You don't really have to buy any of the ephemerally trendy stuff that's too expensive and falls apart in two weeks. (Okay, so you look pretty sharp in it, but you aren't being too sharp.) Why not instead go down to the Paddy Market on the Quayside on any Saturday morning where they sell a good enough variety of secondhand clothing - warm woolly stuff that is also cheap to buy. Other things than clothes can be bought there and also at the Sunday market on the Quayside when they sell new but cheap blankets and suchlike; and even if you don't buy you can listen and watch as the sellers try to attract custom.

If you and your friends live out of Newcastle and fares are expensive why not get together and send one or two people in to town every week to shop for you all - you could take it in turns - or just help out friends who work and thus get really ripped off by shops as they haven't got the time to get where the bargains are. You have a car? Well, you can really load up - get enough people together to fill the car with goodies enough to last you all a week. You never know, local shopkeepers might be forced to cut their prices back a bit!

If you live further away, e.g. Durham - I'm sure there are equivalent places there. You could write to Ma Grumble if you know any; let us all know where to go.

If you really want to do something radical about all this may I suggest trying to form a 'co-operative wholesale society' to coin a phrase. One similarly-titled institution has in recent years become somewhat cantankerous with bureaucracy and is in urgent need of replacement.

Anyway, good shopping friends!

Mike Faith