The old Market Hall,
The Jubilee Square market in 2012
"For us as a family, the best road out of Whixall was the one leading to Wem."|
The lady who told me that is one well known and loved by many. She and her family made the journey to Wem every Thursday. In fact, this lady made this journey over seventy six years and never tired once of coming to set up her stall on Wem Market. She gave up coming to the Market in 1992, after first coming as a babe in her mothers arms in 1916. Mrs. Edges’ parents were John and Martha Jones,and they were Market Gardeners. Mrs. Edge was the fourth generation of gardeners to be born on the eighteen acres at Hollinswood in Whixall. Those acres produced potatoes, cauliflower’s, cabbages, sprouts, peas and beans in profusion. Then in summer came all the salads. Long days and hard work ensured a reliable crop ready for harvest every week to take to the market. Not only did the Jones sell produce in Wem Market, but at Shrewsbury on Saturday and wholesale to all the pubs and shops locally.
Mrs. Edge has vivid memories of coming in to Wem Market, especially in the Twenties and Thirties when Wem was a hive of activity.
"Thursday started early, the wagon would mainly have been ready with all manner of seasonal vegetables boxed, basketed and sacked up. The horse was to get ready, then we would be off to Wem. I never failed to look forward to a day in the market. As we drove along villagers would meet us at their gates passing up baskets of flowers, mushrooms or eggs which my mother would sell for them as pin money.
We would come out at Creamore Mill, by then you could tell you were coming in
to Wem by the smells in the air. I just loved the smell of the Brewery and a
delicious smell of baked bread would meet you from the bake houses. The sound of
the nine o’clock Brewery hooter was the start of our day in Wem.
A small offshoot for Mrs. Edge was selling seeds.
“ I found that over the years I had become quite knowledgeable on knowing the
best seed varieties for vegetables. So people would come for advice and I just
ended up taking their orders. I used to send to seed merchants in Liverpool and
Sleaford in Lincolnshire. Favourites were Miracle… Peas,
Streamline….Kidney Beans, Borough Wonder …..Lettuce.
In 1992, Mrs. Edge still came into Wem, though she said that without the old market hall the atmosphere has gone for her. She still occasionally visited the market in the Talbot Centre but couldn't get far for talking to old friends.