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The Timmer Market

This was originally held in the Castlegate till circa 1913 annually but with the arrival of electric  Trams and Route circuits the Street Market was moved to a slum cleared wasteland between the top of Justice Street and the Park Street end of East North Street.  It has now returned to the Castlegate.

Ladies in Crochet Shawls and Floral Bonnets, men in flat caps,  and kids in paper hats with looks of denial on their faces as they gazed at toys and toffee apples that they could ill afford from the vendors stallies.

In days gone by, the Market specialised in goods crafted from Wood (Timber or Timmer locally)but the range of goods on offer has increased considerably over the years.  It now attracts a considerable number of stallholders, ranging from charities – which are given free admission to the annual event – and craftspeople to businesses and other small traders.  However, woodworkers still display their goods at the market, a tradition which dates back to the 13th-century.  Somehow brightly painted wooden toys still have their appeal today.

I was 8 years old in 1949 and out came the traditional weapon of the day- Pluffers or Pea Shooters,  Tin and Glass tube which were loaded not only with dried peas but Rowan berries regardless of risk - the missiles were blown at high velocity at peoples necks and heads.  Nasty guys would use split peas or barley as ammunition which came out in a burst of wet soup like smush - that wid mak ye spew.  Fer Gawd sakes Min!

This picture is taken from the heights of the Tenements in Justice Street (Note the outhouses in the foreground) and to the left of the Bill Boarded House was a short lane leading to the Model Home for 'Down and Outs'.  A Shop within this hoarded building had a fine collection of Toby Jugs in the window and it sold VP (Vine Products) Red Ruby Wine - a cheap un-aged product that would serve to give the Feekie Drinkers a buzz.  The Feek drinkers would doss in old abandoned properties and drink anything from Surgical Spirit, Methylated Spirit, Wood Alcohol to strained Brasso and they also ingeniously bubbled old coal gas into a pint of milk with a tube to induce a hallucinatory state from the absorbed gases when they drank it.  Nothing new eh compared to those junkies of today. The old properties in East North Street were under demolition orders hence the gaps and a Black Man used to live there and sit outside the top left shop window most days for us to stand and stare at his skin pigment much to his own amusement.  The market fare was meant to be a Toy Fair with everything made out of wood hence the Timmer or Timber title but anything that sold from tin clicker frogs to toffee was on display.  This market was on a September date every year.

This site was also used for a regular Street Market every Friday with roving crockery salesmen who would attract and entertain the crowds with their Showman's Patter "Not £10, not £5, Not £1" and sell a whole 2nds dinner set for 19 Shillings 11 Pence 3 farthings - a farthing short of a quid. The pitches were marked out with paint and the area served as a car park when not in use as a Market.  It was approached from the entrances at the top of Justice Street or mid East North Street and the Model Home can be seen in the background above.


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Last modified: 01/09/2013