Norwich fish stall holder Malcolm Snelling retires after 59 years on city market
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017
It has been his plaice of work for almost 60 years but a former fish stall holder has waved goodbye to life on Norwich market after netting himself a well earned retirement.
Malcolm Snelling was just 15 when, having just left Alderman Jex School, he started working on the city stall that had originally been started by his grandfather in 1918 after the First World War.
By the time he finished his last shift on Saturday (September 9), Mr Snelling had clocked up nearly 59 years on the stall which is now known as City Fish.
Over the years he has sold tonnes of fish including cod, haddock, plaice and even some more unusual things like shark.
Speaking before he finished on Saturday, Mr Snelling, 73, said: 'It's a bit sad but then again when you're getting older there comes a time when you have to say you're not as young as you used to be.'
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Six decades ago the stall, like the world we live in, was oceans apart from what it is like today.
The father of two and grandfather of two said the stall, like the rest of the market, was much busier back then than it is now.
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There was once a road where Gentleman's Walk is now pedestrianised and a number of bus stops near to the market which brought schools of customers teaming into the city throughout the day.
With the gas and electricity boards nearby as well as the post office, City Hall, where people paid their rents, and several factories filled with workers, Mr Snelling said the market was a bustling hub of business.
He said: 'When I first started you had to walk all the time for buses. We were very, very, very busy because back then we didn't have supermarkets.
'Years ago we used to get lots of people who worked at Laurence Scott but now you haven't got the factories.
'In those days people used to cycle and (after their night shift) used to pick up their fish and take it home to save their wives coming in the city.'
Mr Snelling said that, like 'everything else' has changed.
But one thing he hopes will change is being able to see Norwich City more regularly.
He said: 'I'm a Norwich fan and watch them when I can but I will be able to go more now won't I!'
Samm Demment, who owns City Fish, said: 'He's a character. He's been a great asset to the firm.'