A popular trader nicknamed ‘Mr Market’ will bid a tearful farewell to his life on Halifax Borough Market this weekend.
64-year-old Colin Gledhill has worked on the iconic market for half a century and together with his wife June will bring the shutters down on Roy’s Balloon Shop for the final time when the pair retire on Saturday
Having started out working for his father, from whom the party shop gets his name, on a ham and cheese stall in 1968, Colin has become one of the best-loved and brightest personalities in the town centre. He is well known for his Union jack suit, in which he met Prince Charles last month, something he regards as one of many career highlights.
The Triangle resident was emotional in saying that he would miss the buzz of the market, to which he said he owes a lifetime of happiness.
“It’s been my family, it’s been my life,” he said, “I owe an awful lot to this place and I like to think it will miss me, too.
“Putting down the lock on there for the last time? Well, I get tearful just thinking about it. It’ll be hard. Very emotional.”
His wife June has worked on the market for even longer than him - 52 years, and from taking over from his father, trading on the market has always been something of a family affair for the Gledhills.
His eyes met hers for the first time across the market floor in 1978, and the stall, which was a cheese and coffee shop before its reincarnation as a party stall, has been worked in by his mother, his sisterYvonne and his adoring children Jack and Katie.
Fellow long-standing trader Rod Scott, who served as Colin’s best man and has also worked on the market for 50 years, said that the place won’t be the same without him.
“This place is losing another character,” he said, “Colin and I started at the same time and we’ve grown up together. Saturday will be a very sad day.”
So why does Colin feel now is the time to retire?
“I’m 64 now and both June and I decided it was time for us to do some of the things we want to do while we can. I’ve bought the house next door, which I’m going to do up.
“Most importantly I’ve got a lovely granddaughter, Beau, who I adore. I’m looking forward to being able to pick her up from school every day.”