Returning Halifax Borough Market to its former glory during restoration

An artists impression of plans for Halifax Borough Market. Image: IBI Group - Architects
An artists impression of plans for Halifax Borough Market. Image: IBI Group - Architects

Re the council’s vision for the Borough Market, no doubt inspired by young flashy architects in trendy suits, I agree with Sally Sutcliffe (Courier letters, July 20).

The building should remain as it is. Failure to do so will result in yet another boring, trendy, upmarket shopping mall.

Markets are delicate plants and don’t thrive if they’re disturbed and mucked about.

I am old enough to remember the disastrous redevelopment of Bradford’s Rawson Market some years ago which ‘relocated’ the thriving meat and fish market half a mile further out of town pending development, which killed it stone dead.

What was left of the old Rawson Market now trades as three stalls in John Street Market and the Rawson Market is now a Wilkos!

The council should take the lead from its 1970s forebears, who had a better understanding (they saw what happened to Bradford!) of the difference between restoration and redevelopment.

The first (and highly successful) restoration of the Halifax Piece Hall was down to them.

They also turned the Borough Market into a gem, not with grandiose architectural drawings and visions, but with the simple application of an amazing substance oft forgotten about these days. Paint.

The old fifties market was a drab, spidery place, painted in wartime green. The seventies turned it into a beautiful vision of yellow, vermilion and gold, (the faded version of which we see today). And all this was achieved without uprooting a single stall holder.

It can be done, indeed it’s just been done with the fine restoration of Todmorden Market.

It’s time councillors rolled up their sleeves, got out the paint brushes and restored the Borough Market to its Victorian glory.

They should send all the consultants down to London where trendy is not yet a euphemism for clueless, where there’s no austerity budget cuts and they can afford to employ them.


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