A Fun and Friendly Market in the North West

Earlestown is a town in the Borough of St Helens and is situated adjacent to Newton-le-Willows in Merseyside some six miles to the north of Warrington. The town was originally built around the wagon works of the Liverpool to Manchester Railway and was named after Sir Hardman Earle, who at the time was director of the Liverpool to Manchester Railway Company.

Earlestown owes its rise to the construction of the railway, under the supervision of George Stephenson and was an important centre of operations during its construction. Its favourable situation led to it being chosen as the Wagon Building and Repair Works of the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company, which developed into an extremely large and important factory of British Railways and to the foundation of the Engineering and Locomotive Works of the Vulcan Foundry, in the early 1830’s, by Stephenson’s partner, Edward Tayleur.

Records show that Earlestown had a small market in the 19th Century and a Market had been found in nearby Newton-in-Markerfield. A Royal Charter to hold a Market there every Saturday was granted to the then Lord of the Manor, Robert Banastre in 1258 by King Henry III. In the 1890s, as Earlestown grew, the Market was transferred from its original site in the ancient centre of Newton-in-Markerfield (which is now called Newton-le-Willows) the short distance to Earlestown, which then became the main town centre. Around the end of the 19th Century, the main Market day was changed from Saturday to Friday.
Earlestown Market 2

Mainly due to the success of the Friday Market, an extra day was introduced on a Saturday a few years ago. Modern-day Earlestown Market now stands from 9.00am to 5.00pm on both Fridays and Saturdays in Market Street in the centre of the town. Friday is the traditional Retail Market and Saturday is a Flea Market and Car Boot sale.

Earlestown market adEarlestown Retail Market consists of 158 stalls occupied by around 100 regular traders. It has roads on all four sides and the area devoted to the Market covers 8,000 square yards. In the centre of the Market stands the Market Cross, which was re-assembled there in 1870 when the Market was originally opened, thus forming a link with the past. The stalls and pitches are on hard standing and the Market benefits from having its own public toilets.

Casual traders can usually be accommodated and can either turn up on the day or telephone Market Manager, Kevin Gavin beforehand on 01744 677156 or email him on: kevingavin@sthelens.gov.uk.

All new traders must produce photographic identification, be able to produce a recent utilities bill and know their National Insurance number, as well as having Public Liability insurance.

Traders that are currently being sought are; crockery, kitchenware, babywear and accessories, fishing tackle, sports equipment and fabrics.

Rents start from just £11.10 for a 13½ft x 10 ft pitch and the rent for a 10 ft stall with metal roof starts from just £23.00 per day. Traders can park their vehicles behind their stalls and the public have access to ample nearby FREE car parking, virtually throughout the town. All of the traders are very friendly and offer customers a first class service. They have a vast amount of knowledge about the products on offer, therefore are always on hand where help is needed. This helps to create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere around the market. The market is always looking at ways they can incorporate the local community and raise money for local charities.

Earlestown Market 1Throughout the year the market management organise a number of family fun days to take place at the market. In the past these have gone down really well with the traders and all who visit. The local radio station gets involved and the market organise lots of fun activities including; face painting, fun fair rides, a town crier and much more. This year there are already plans to hold family fun days in the Easter Holidays, the bank holidays at the start and end of May, one towards the end of July and one over the August Bank Holiday weekend. If you wish to find out any more information about the family fun days you can contact the market office.

St Helens Council Estates Manager, Steve Littler, told MTN,
“This popular Market is a hidden gem that currently focuses upon tradition and our local heritage. Our goal is to share this fabulous facility with a much wider audience and to attract traders to enhance this vibrant shopping experience.” 

Kevin Gavin, St Helens Council Market Manager, added,
“We are very proud of our market here, the traders are great and we are well supported by the local community. The family fun days always go down really well and we look forward to putting on many more this year.”

As well as Earlestown Market, St Helens also runs St Marys Indoor Market. This market trades Monday to Saturday and is open from 09.00am – 17.00pm.

The price for a stall is £1.00 per square foot and they also offer rent incentives for commodities that are unique to the market. St Mary’s purpose built indoor market is situated in the heart of St Helens town centre, offering a wide range of goods. The market has a light and airy feeling, reminiscent of a traditional market hall, but with all the modern-day comforts of today’s shopping world. St Mary’s also have a weekly market running which has 27 positions at a cost of £10.00 per stall.

Anyone wanting to find out any more information or have any questions about St Mary’s Market can contact the Markets Team on 01744 677155 or email themarketsteam@sthelens.gov.uk

Telephone 01744 677155 – 01744 677156