Trader bidding farewell to Norwich Market after 30 years

For three decades Murray Walker has been trading on Norwich Market but at the end of this month he will be bidding farewell to the place where his career began.

He will be shutting his stalls for the last time to concentrate on his alternative clothing shop in Norwich Lanes and his online business which grew out of the success of his market stalls.

Mr Walker, 49, runs The Rock Collection, and started selling costume jewellery on the market in 1982 when he was 19, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Jimmy Cossey, his mother Beryl Walker, and his uncle Freddy Cossey, who all worked on the market.

Over the last 30 years Mr Walker has moved into selling a whole range of music and alternative clothing, and at one point traded from five stalls on the back of the market.

Following the refurbishment of Norwich Market, Mr Walker's five stalls on the back row no longer existed and he moved to two stalls at the front, from which he has been trading ever since.

But he said he has decided to leave Norwich Market because of the rising costs of running the stalls, and he also wants to develop further his Norwich Lanes shop, which opened in 2008, and his online business.

He said The Rock Collection shop, in Lower Goat Lane, has enabled him to expand the amount of alternative clothing and accessories he is able to sell and it also incorporates his other shop, Black Lace, which specialises in gothic wear and used to be based in Dove Street.

Most Read

He believes The Rock Collection – which sells a wide range of alternative clothing including streetwear, skatewear, burlesque and gothic – could be East Anglia's largest alternative clothing shop.

'I have had great times on Norwich Market. I have watched it grow and seen my own business grow to what it is today,' said Mr Walker, whose brother Simon also runs a toy stall on the market.

'I thoroughly enjoyed my 30 years on there.

'The biggest thing I will miss is all the people I have got to know through being on the market – the public and the traders. I have built up some great friendships over the years.

'I would like to say thank you to all the customers I have had over the years and I hope they will continue to shop with me in the Norwich Lanes.'

Mr Walker, who runs The Rock Collection with his wife Mo, the shop's manager, Lol Brown, and a number of other staff, said he was excited about the business's future in Norwich Lanes.

He said: 'Norwich Lanes is always promoting itself and everyone goes out of their way to make sure people know the independent shops are there. We are all working together to promote all the independent shops and there are quite a few independents expanding.

'People need to support the independents because that is what makes the city vibrant. Every city has got the big national names but it is the independent shops that keep the city unique.'

The Rock Collection has an online shop at www.rockcollection.co.uk

Are you opening up a new business? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

For information on the Evening News Love Local campaign which encourages people to support local businesses visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter