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Halifax Borough market is the best in the land

THE Victorian Halifax Borough Market has always been a landmark of the town – and now it's been crowned the best in the country.

The Grade II-listed market is celebrating scooping the 2008 award for best market hall in England – but for its traders and stall-owners, it was all just in a day's work.

Oliver Richardson, 27, who has worked there as a butcher since he was a 12-year-old, said: "It is great to win the prize but anyone who's spent any time here already knew what a fantastic place it is.

"My family have worked here since 1958 and I grew up in the market but I still always think when I'm opening up first thing and the whole building is dark, how happy I am to be here. It's a beautiful place and I couldn't see myself anywhere else."

Another market trader, 40-year-old Michael Bry-son, said: "It is not just a job here it is a way of life. You get the chance to meet generations of people and it's those who have won the award."

Grocer Michael Apple-yard agreed: "It's great to be acknowledged. I've worked here six days a week for 32 years and I still think it's a wonderful place.

"We make a lot of money for this place and let's hope they put some back in to it now as well."

Calderdale councillors were also quick to heap praise on the market, built in the 1890s and which has more than 125 tenants, for staying so busy in an age of supermarket domination.

Barry Collins, chairman of Calderdale markets group regeneration, said: "The award wasn't that big a surprise to us, everyone knows this a fantastic place and a true centre of the community."

The borough market was given the award by judges for the National Association of British Market Authorities, for having an "extra ingredient" making them "worthy winners".

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