A Market Stall where the staff are always willing to help has been named Market Trader of the Year at the Durham City Retail Awards.

Walker’s Fabrics, at units 69 to 70 in Durham Market Hall, has supplied fabrics, haberdashery and quilting supplies in Durham for more than 20 years.  It was one of five finalist market stalls in the Awards, all of which were visited and judged by an independent mystery shopper.  Rita Walker, who runs Walker’s Fabrics commented: “This is wonderful, absolutely lovely.  I love having my stall in the Market, as do my team, many of whom have been with me about 10 years.  This award is for ‘my girls’, without them I really couldn’t operate.”

“This kind of shop, supplying fabrics and haberdashery, is quite rare now.  Our regular customers come back time and again, but we also often get tourists telling us they wished they had something similar in their home town.”

Rita runs Walker’s Fabrics alongside The Quilter’s Cupboard, a patchwork and quilting workshop in Low Willington, where she organises classes and ‘self-help’ groups six days a week.  She added: “We’re currently enjoying a resurgence in the popularity of creative hobbies, and seeing people of all ages getting into sewing.  In our workshops, we see some fantastic work being produced.  It’s great to watch people who’ve come to us as beginners become more and more accomplished – and they obviously enjoy it immensely too.”

Colin Wilkes, Managing Director of Durham Markets, added: “Rita and her team at Walker’s Fabrics thoroughly deserve this award.  They’re knowledgeable about sewing and quilting and they’re happy to advise customers, answering any queries they may have.  Undoubtedly, this combination of excellent service and in depth knowledge has made Walker’s Fabrics this year’s Market Trader of the Year.  Rita and her team should be very proud.”

The win was announced at the Durham City Retail Awards, which were held at Ramside Hall Hotel & Golf Club on Wednesday, 25th November.