Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln Central Market’

Easter farmers market

April 16, 2022

Town centre very busy, as was the farmers market.

Passing by Lincoln Central Market, I noticed closed. Easter or finally closed? At the farmers market, caretaker told me now closed.

Ludicrous, many people at the farmers market, and yet closed at three.

I had a look around, I was there early, lunch at Elite on the Bail, then back to the market before it closed. A hot day, I did not wish to carry food around for longer than necessary.

I was very pleased, Elite on the Bail using new potatoes for their chips. The old potatoes were not good.

After lunch, vans trying to ease there way through crowded Castle Square. Pedestrians trying to wind their way through a pedestrianised square with parked vans and stalls.

The crass stupidity of the market closing early must be addressed. In the summer, the market should be open until at least four o’clock, three in the winter.

Walk down Steep Hill.

Espresso at Made Waffle. A guest coffee from Samba, a Kenyan microlot.

Town centre now packed with drunken scum. Not pleasant.

Seafood stall outside Lincoln Central Market

September 5, 2020

Third weekend seafood stall outside Lincoln Central Market. First week I find.

Bored stallholder.

I asked bored stallholder when he finally noticed a potential customer, no customers, is this your entire stock or am I late in the day? It was lunchtime. I could not believe how limited the stock. No surprise no customers.

Stallholder could not hear me or failed to comprehend. I suggested he turned down the noise that was blaring out if he could not hear.

He then turned very unpleasant, ordered me to get away from his stall.

Behind his display I noticed very tiny crabs. Far too small to be on sale. Illegal? Certainly not good for conservation. Would lead to over-fishing and reduce opportunity to breed. Something Trading Standards and who ever regulates crab fishing should investigate.

If selling undersized crabs what else questionable?

As I walked away, man shouted at me he did not want my custom, not that he was ever likely to get my custom.

Rude, extremely bizarre behaviour. How to gain customers without really trying. If nothing else needs lessons in good manners.

Once again questions raised useless jobsworth who mismanages the market. No vetting, no due diligence. Having already done his best to destroy the market by kicking out a popular fruit and vegetable stall, now trying to destroy the existing fishmonger inside Lincoln Central Market.

I visited the stall inside the market. Unlike the stall outside a quality fishmonger with a good range of seafood.

The tiny crabs on the outside stall £6-50, fishmonger £4-50 for a crab twice the size.

Spot the customer

August 7, 2020

Louth has a thriving market. Hull has Trinity Market. Lincoln a shabby, run down, badly managed Central Market.

When think it could not get any worse, beginning of last month dysfunctional Lincoln City Council responsible for the appalling state of the market kicked out on a whim the fruit and vegetable stall that accounted for at least 80% of the market footfall. The few remaining traders saw what little business there was collapse overnight.

End of last month, the outside fruit and vegetable stall relocated to the vacated pitch. If it did not generate footfall for the market when located outside the doors to the market it was highly unlikely to generate footfall for the market when it moved by a few feet. But who can comprehend the perverse mindset of worthless jobsworths? And so it has proved to be, not a jot of difference. From empty space to a bored stallholder staring into space.

It is now a case of spot the customer.

The kicked out stall, always busy, exceptionally busy on a Saturday.

Mid-week, not a single customer at the relocated stall, Saturday a solitary customer looking lost.

The local community is angry at the treatment of their regular stall and will not buy from the relocated stall. Poor quality produce, rudeness, and reports of short-changing does not help.

What dirty little backroom deal was cooked up by the local council? When did discussions start? What rent is being paid? This scandal will not go away. Local media needs to do some digging, fire off Freedom of Information requests.  A Judicial Review would be more than justified.

A deafening silence from local councillors. Maybe they are more concerned not putting at risk their nice little earner from the local coop.

The local community has three options

If do not wish to walk up Steep Hill, pick up the Walk and Ride bus from The Stonebow and alight at Lincoln Cathedral or Bailgate.

Steve and Beth established their veg box scheme during the height of coronavirus pandemic for people who were housebound. They should have received a Civic Award. Instead kicked out by council bully boys for daring to criticise mismanagement and appalling state of Lincoln Central Market.

Please sign the on-line petition objecting to the eviction.

If live in Lincoln please contact your local councillors and local Member of Parliament Karl McCartney and ask them to investigate the eviction, and at the very least go and visit the farm and talk to the former stallholders, talk to customers and check for themselves the facts not rely on officials running a vindictive vendetta for criticism of a badly run market.

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and twenty three

July 24, 2020

First day of mandatory face wearing in enclosed public space.

Miss a bus which turned up several minutes early. Took the opportunity for a walk along the River Witham.

Following bus no opening of door or turning off engine when bus waiting at bus stops. Bus hot, no air, made worse by wearing of face mask.

A hot day, feeling very unwell.

No one I speak to is happy wearing a face mask.

But if I visit indie businesses, in out within a few minutes, restrictions on numbers, doors open, risk minimal.

If we are to stay safe, social distance minimum 2m, avoid enclosed spaces, avoid crowded places, avoid supermarkets and shopping centres, avoid pubs, download and install German track and trace app and share with friends.

It puts the onus on the individual who will be blamed when the inevitable second wave breaks out.

Walking through Lincoln Central Market, dead. Well done dysfunctional Lincoln City Council, kick out a fruit and vegetable stall upon which people rely, destroy a local businesses, and destroy the other traders in the market who have seen business fall off the edge of a cliff. Contrast with Louth, where on a Wednesday a thriving market that brings folk into the town, what a market town should be like. But dysfunctional Lincoln City Council would rather bring in soulless chains and destroy local businesses.

As always, excellent haddock and chips at Elite on the Bail.

The Lion and Snake quiet but soon starts to kick of with rowdy drunks.

Noise in Castle Hill, horrendous noise from a busker.

Another example of dysfunctional Lincoln City Council. No action.

Same problem in High Street.

I looked in Imperial Teas on my way back down Steep Hill. Excellent bean-to-bar craft chocolate in stock from Original Beans and firetree. But very disappointed to find firetree has additives. Imperial Teas is the only stockist of quality chocolate in Lincoln. Forage and Fill in Lincoln Central Market are looking to stock quality chocolate, but not yet as too warm in the summer to stock chocolate.

Cappuccino at Madame Waffle. Opened a week or so ago. Not open Monday and Tuesday. I sat outside.

How to kill a market

July 12, 2020

Lessons from Lincoln City Council

Lincoln City Council has demonstrated in two easy lessons how to kill a market:

  • starve the market of investment
  • kick out the stall that drives at least 80% of the footfall

On a Saturday there would be a buzz around the fruit and vegetable stall. Not anymore. The fruit and vegetable stall now gone, all that remains a soulless empty space.

All we now wait for is collapse of a dying market.

A County Town in the middle of an agricultural county but no market worth visiting.

It is rare to see any customers at any of the stalls. How they cover their rent a mystery. And that was before the fruit and vegetable stall was kicked out on a pretext. Could count on one hand those have any customers, African wigs and hair styling, shoe repair and key cutting, butcher, fishmonger, zero waste, and the fruit and vegetable stall.

The fruit and vegetable stall kept the local community supplied with fresh produce throughout the pandemic, a veg box scheme for the house bound, all counted for nowt with the council.

One of the worst markets if not the worst in the country.

Guildford a Friday and Saturday street market if in Lincoln would be the length of Sincil Street. On the market cakes, bread, fish, three fruit and vegetable stall, flowers, French cheese.

In Winchester, specialty coffee, cheese, bread, fish, fruit and vegetables.

It is like something out of Monty Python.

Your stall is too big.

Not it’s not.

Yes it is.

It’s not.

It is.

Even for dysfunctional Lincoln City Council surely not beyond the wit of council officials to mark the stall out with chalk, then if cannot agree, go to arbitration. And in an otherwise empty market, if the stall needs more space, grant the stall more space.

What we are seeing is harassment and intimidation of a stall that dared criticise the Council for the appalling state of the market.

There appears to be a hidden Agenda. The council in cahoots with the local coop, trashed Sincil Street and the outdoor market, destroying many local businesses, Lincoln Central Market next? We only have to look to Newark, traders kicked out of the Butter Market, the market renovated, then handed to Cosy Club. Sound familiar?

Loss of the fruit and vegetable stall from Lincoln Central Market is not only the destruction of a family business that had been trading in Lincoln for 35 years, loss of jobs and impact on other traders, it is loss of fresh produce to local restaurants, it is loss of a convenient stall for the local community.

The local council does not care. They are though paranoid about criticism on social media.

Something stinks and it is not the smell of rotting cabbages.

Please sign the on-line petition objecting to the eviction.

If live in Lincoln please contact your local councillors and local Member of Parliament Karl McCartney and ask them to stop this eviction.  They could of course have paid the stall a visit before it was evicted, talk to customers and check for themselves the facts not rely on officials running a vindictive vendetta for criticism of a badly run market. Did they?

Mind-boggling pettiness eviction of market stall by bully-boys at Lincoln City Council

July 9, 2020

Covid-19 has accelerated shopping on-line by at least ten years, failing High Street chains floating on a sea of debt are falling like flies, shedding staff, and this will accelerate as furlough ends.

Enter dysfunctional Lincoln City Council in an act of mind-boggling pettiness decides to evict a fruit and vegetable market stall from Lincoln Central Market falsely claiming the stall too big.

The stall was a lifeline for many during lockdown when they carried on trading, especially for those who could not get out when they set up a veg box home delivery scheme.

Steve Sharpe has run a market stall in Lincoln for 35 years, with the help of his daughter Beth four years within Lincoln Central Market.

The stall accounts for at least 80% of the market football. If the stall goes it will hit the few remaining stalls in the market. It will also hit indie businesses in Sincil Street. It will hit those who rely on the stall for a low cost source of fresh produce, and there is nothing as fresh as grown by Steve and picked that morning. It will hit local coffee shops and restaurants that rely on the stall for their fresh produce.

All of this counts for nothing to the council bully-boys who are waging a vindictive vendetta against Steve for daring to criticise the appalling state of the market, the lack of investment.

Lincoln a county town in the middle of an agricultural county yet lacks a decent market.

Rules of the market:

  • stall within allocated space
  • rent paid monthly in advance
  • trading within specified times on Market Days
  • allotted space clean and tidy
  • eviction on a whim

The market stall always clean and tidy. If not within it allotted space, the difference must be marginal, it is not obstructing any thoroughfares, end of the stall is in line with other stalls.

Council jobsworth claims stall exceeds its allotted space, that have held extensive talks with the stallholders.

Steve and Beth dispute this.  No discussion, hand delivered letters claiming non compliance.

It is not beyond the wit of the most incompetent council jobsworth to delineate the stall boundaries with chalk lines. If there is then a dispute resolve through arbitration not eviction. And it is not as though space is at a premium in an empty dying market.

The alleged discussions, produce minutes (accuracy of which will have been checked by Steve and Beth otherwise worthless), date, time, duration, location.

Council jobsworth claim the stall is unfair to other traders in the market. Difficult to comprehend how a stall that generates at least 80% of the market footfall is placing other stalls at a disadvantage. On the other hand, eviction of the stall that generates the footfall the market will die as will lose most of its footfall.

A formal complaint has been lodged with the council leader


who to date has not had the courtesy to respond.

And just when think the council bully boys can sink no lower, are now claiming the reason for eviction is secret, cannot tell.

The market is public space, the loss of the fruit and vegetable stall is a matter of public interest.

The council in cahoots with the local coop has trashed the outdoor market, Sincil Street, Cornhill, destroyed local businesses, to attract chain stores and eateries that can find anywhere and everywhere that lose the sense of place, increase alienation, drain money out of the local economy.

The hidden agenda would appear to be to destruction of Lincoln Central Market for redevelopment.

What is the hidden agenda? Having trashed the surrounding area, destroyed local businesses, is Central Market next? A dirty back door deal with the local coop?

Look to the Butter Market in Newark where local traders were kicked out to bring in Cosy Club. Sound familiar?

Something stinks and it is not the smell of rotting cabbages.

Please sign the on-line petition objecting to the eviction.

If live in Lincoln please contact your local councillors and local Member of Parliament Karl McCartney and ask them to stop this eviction, and at the very least go and visit the stall talk to customers and check for themselves the facts not rely on officials running a vindictive vendetta for criticism of a badly run market.

Forage & Fill

July 4, 2020

Forage & Fill opened on Wednesday in Lincoln Central Market. Run by a very helpful mother and daughter team, Nikki & Katie.

Dried goods in chutes, shampoo, soap. Bring own containers.

Nut free, excellent if have a nut allergy not so good if looking for nuts not even peanut butter.

Saturday, only two days open and already a steady stream of customers and unlike me came prepared with containers.

Future products.

May have quality bean-to-bar craft chocolate, possibly Luisa’s and Bullion. But would need somewhere cool to store. Currently the only location with quality chocolate in Lincoln is Imperial Teas half way up Steep Hill.

May have coffee. There is though a problem. Coffee is fresh produce with a very limited shelf life. One week rest when roasted then three weeks optimum. Best source for coffee is direct from a roastery or from a specialty coffee shop. In Lincoln both Coffee Aroma and Madame Waffle sell coffee. Or would have to have an alert system, we have coffee in, limited stock, first come first served, fast turnover until the next batch.

Possible roasteries

  • Dark Woods but only single origins
  • The Blending Room
  • Outpost Coffee
  • Cartwheel Coffee

If coffee then coffee equipment? Mid-range hand grinder, V60, swan-neck kettle.

Forage and Fill compliment the fruit and vegetable stall, but therein lies a problem, the local council are trying to evict the fruit and vegetable stall which bodes ill for everyone in the market as they generate at least 80% of the footfall.

Forage and Fill an asset to an otherwise drab market.

Fruit and vegetable stall veg box scheme

April 11, 2020

Coronavirus pandemic driving innovation.

Fruit and vegetable stall in Lincoln Central Market offering home deliveries with possibility of veg box scheme in the future.

One of the few businesses still open in the town centre.

The last time I was in Lincoln I jokingly asked the fruit and vegetable stall in Lincoln Central Market were they opening a second stall when I saw fruit and vegetable boxes piled nearby? No, offering a delivery service.

Saturday fewer boxes ready to go out.

For deliveries visit their facebook page S Sharpe & Daughter Fruit and Veg.

An example of how small businesses are innovating to remain in business.

I suggested they continue with a veg box scheme. Currently they pack as per customer order. It may continue as a mix of the two.

If the stall chooses, they know what is in season, what offers best value, and they grow their own produce. For example if cauliflowers are cheap, they may pack two.

The possibility of further expansion. Where there was once an excellent wholefood stall, offer loose muesli, nuts, dried fruits, grains and other dried goods, customers bring in their own containers. Another possibility, freshly made fruit juices and smoothies.

Coronavirus pandemic only three food shops open in the town centre, fruit and vegetable stall within the Central Market, a butcher within the side alley, and Pepperdine’s a butcher in Sincil Street. The excellent fishmonger closed a couple of weeks ago as could no longer source fresh fish.

At a loss why anyone wasting their time in a queue like lemmings at a supermarket. Even more so why wait an hour or more when can shop locally. Support local indie shops, they have what you want, and no queue.

Lincoln City Council who own and mismanage Lincoln Central Market need to take a good hard look at Trinity Market in Hull Old Town, then take measures to improve the market. Why, for example, does the Central Market close its doors at four every afternoon? It should be open until at least five, to give people the opportunity to pop in on their way home from work. Individual traders to close earlier if they wish.

Lincoln City Council needs to do more to support local indie businesses. It cannot return to business as usual. Town centres were already dying. The local council together with the local Co-Op have done their best to trash Sincil Street, a once thriving street of local indie businesses, driving out local businesses, bringing in the same rubbish corporate chains as find anywhere and everywhere.

If we are to rebuild our town centres, it will be through all of us supporting local indie businesses.


Lincoln Central Market

January 28, 2019

Lincoln Central Market is disgusting, shabby and drab.

The couple of excellent stalls, spice stall, wholefood stall, have gone.

Well done Steve the fruit and veg stall guy for speaking out.

More traders need to speak out, they do so privately but fear to speak publicly.

The City Council jobsworth is talking nonsense.

‘The council prides itself on having a great relationship our traders’, if this is a great relationship, I hate to think what a bad relationship looks like.

I have yet to speak with a single trader who is happy with the way the Central Market is run.

If the Council unaware traders not happy, why did they order the banner be taken down at the fruit and veg stall?

No rent increase. Considering the atrocious state of Central Market, the near zero footfall, the traders should be seeing a rent decrease.

I have never seen anything in the bus station promoting the market. I have seen promoting Greggs.

But in its present dire state, there would be little point in promoting the market as it would be counterproductive and show Lincoln in a bad light.

Lincoln is a market town in the middle of an agricultural county, and yet lacks a market.

Nor does Lincoln have a farmers market in the town centre, not if class one stall, two if lucky, maybe half a dozen stalls if very very lucky, as a farmers market.

The one and only stall has relocated to beside the River Witham, but no one knows, no information in the High Street, no information at its current location of the relocation.

People looking for the farmers market in the High Street assume it has finally collapsed.

On a Friday, one stall representing the farmers market, plus a cake and bread stall and a fruit and vegetable stall.

On a Saturday the fruit and vegetable stall and Curry Jacks a curry stall.

York has a market and a street food market.

Chichester a small market town and yet has a thriving market and farmers market.

Guildford has a thriving Friday and Saturday weekly market with three excellent fruit and vegetable stalls, that if in Lincoln would stretch the length of Sincil Street, once a month a farmers market, that if in Lincoln would stretch from St Mary’s Street up through The Stonebow.

Mercado Municipal en Puerto de la Cruz en Tenerife, ground floor little shops, including an excellent little bookshop, first floor fruit and vegetable stalls, a deli cum wine stall, a deli cum little restaurant, a fishmonger. On a Saturday, many stalls selling everything, the fishmonger serving cooked seafood with champagne, the delis also serving up food.

Lincoln Central Market needs gutting, most of the traders kicked out, then revamped with the emphasis on quality independent traders.

Look to Trinity Market in Hull Old Town. Light and airy, quality food stalls, indie specialty coffee, craft beer, bench seats to sit either inside or out. Then contrast with the disgrace that is Lincoln Central Market.

One of the ironies, at a time when we should be moving to eliminate plastic, when Tesco is looking to close its fresh produce, when we should be supporting markets, local shops, zero waste stores like Hisbe, Lincoln instead of moving ahead by supporting its local markets, is doing its best to kill them.

Trashing of Sincil Street has not helped.

Sincil Street was once a busy street of thriving indie businesses. Now look at it. Most of the businesses destroyed, buildings destroyed, new build with large plate glass windows, large size units, neither matches the Victorian street scene, nor of suitable size for the small family businesses that have been kicked out, let alone afford the rent.

Moving in, rubbish chains that find in every ghastly shopping centre up and down the country.

I have yet to meet a single person who is happy with the trashing of Sincil Street.

Look to North Laine in Brighton, three long streets, each one longer than Sincil Street, side streets, similar street scene, except it is busy, full of indie businesses not a chain in sight and very rare to see empty shops, and if empty do not remain empty for long.

Instead of building on Sincil Street and highlighting it was different to the High Street, it was trashed.

How it could be.  The Central Market used for start ups, as they grow, expand into an empty shop in Sincil Street.

Lincoln lacks a wholefood store. If Gaia Wholefoods was still in Central Market, and successful, it could have relocated to Sincil Street.  Not possible as pulled out due to lack of footfall, and even were it still there and successful, no longer anywhere in Sincil Street to relocate to.

That is how shortsighted Lincoln City Council, not only killing existing local businesses, but killing off the growth potential of any future new businesses.

The difference between Hull Old Town and Brighton where they value their cultural heritage and Lincoln, is a lack of vision, useless jobsworths who are clueless on what constitutes good town centre planning, clueless on how local economies function, on the need to recycle money within a local economy, lack of support for local businesses, but only too happy to fall over backwards to facilitate greedy developers and corporate chains.

It is quirky indie businesses, markets, that make a town, give a sense of place.

The City Council in cahoots with the Co-op have done an excellent job destroying Sincil Street, Cornhill and the Central Market.

Lincoln would make an excellent case study in bad planning.

It is not only Sincil Street, Cornhill and Central Market, ugly tower blocks ruining a historic skyline, accomodation for students, temporary residents at best, homeless living on the streets.

Lincoln Co-op a disaster as a retailer, but by historic accident owns large parts of the town centre, and abuse their position to destroy local businesses.

Sincil Street, the frontage of the buildings should have been restored to Victoran frontage, no garish signs.

Central Market the foodie area cf Trinity Market Hull Old Town.

Sincil Street a mix of retail, bakeries, little restaurants, boutiques, bookshops, music shops, coffee shops cf North Laine Brighton.

I have no problem coffee shops, but these have to be high quality indie coffee shops eg Coffee Aroma, Madame Waffle, Base Camp, no chains

No corporate chains.

Corporate chains destroy towns, lead to sense of isolation, sameness, drain money out of the local economy, then go bust or a head office spreadsheet exercise leads to store closure, leading to boarded-up shops never to be filled, desolation.

This has happened to too many town centres, Aldershot the classic example, stores pulling out weekly, the few remaining waiting for lease to expire, main street shop after shop down the street boarded-up, junkies and losers lost on the streets.

it is not only the market area the Council has trashed.

Up until the late 1960s early 1970s, Brayford Pool was lined with mills and warehouses.  These could have been renovated. Ground floor indie businesses, workshops, indie coffee shops, first floor studio and office space, top floors flats and apartments. A pleasant urban park leading off the High Street, accessed down the side of Stokes on High Bridge.

Instead what do we have, a desolate wasteland, an ugly urban eyesore.

Yet another example of City Hall jobsworths completely clueless on what constitutes good town centre planning.

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