Market trader is told to button it

PUBLISHED: 11:53 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 21:31 31 May 2010

Market Trader told he can't call out.
Saffron Walden.
July 15, 2008.
Photograph by Michael Boyton.
Pic shows: Aran in front of his stall.
Names (L-R): Aran Barker (greengrocer).

Market Trader told he can't call out. Saffron Walden. July 15, 2008. Photograph by Michael Boyton. Pic shows: Aran in front of his stall. Names (L-R): Aran Barker (greengrocer).

A CHEEKY market trader could be banned from using his loud and distinctive sales patter because it is deemed too cockney for Saffron Walden. Visitors to Saffron Walden s market, held every Tuesday and Saturday in the Market Square, may have noticed that

A CHEEKY market trader could be banned from using his loud and distinctive sales patter because it is deemed too "cockney" for Saffron Walden.

Visitors to Saffron Walden's market, held every Tuesday and Saturday in the Market Square, may have noticed that fruit and vegetable seller Aaron Barker has not been his usual self.

"The atmosphere is not the same now that Aaron doesn't use his voice to invite us to purchase fruit and veg," said Jill Porter from Gold Street in Saffron Walden.

"He used to make me laugh and laughter is said to be the best medicine!"

Two weeks ago Cllr Sandra Eden of Saffron Walden Town Council brought the matter of Aaron's voice to the attention of fruit and vegetable stall owner Richard Lightly.

"We've had complaints that he stands their and shouts his head off," said Cllr Eden. "Tuesday is a working day and his voice echoes around the Market Square. It's very hard to do you business when someone is shouting 'Get your bananas in their pyjamas'.

"It's unfortunate, but Aaron in overstepping the mark - we want him to tone it down!"

A market trader for more than 50 years, Mr Lightly said he was shocked to be shown a letter from Cllr Eden regarding Aaron's behaviour, but agreed to stop him shouting out.

"The letter said that Aaron's cockney rhyming slang wasn't approved of because it didn't suit Saffron Walden," said the stall holder.

Londoner Mr Lightly and his wife Carol have been coming to Saffron Walden Market for almost 10 years and they have never encountered any hostility towards the sales banter before.

"Aaron is great with the customers and everyone seems to enjoy his jokes. We're hoping to take him on full-time," said Mr Lightly.

Despite being described as a cockney, 16-year-old Aaron is in fact from Saffron Walden and has recently completed his GCSEs at Saffron Walden County High School.

"I started working on the stall almost two years ago and I just loved it," said Aaron. "I think it's absurd that I have been asked to stop the market calls - it's another market tradition that's going down the pan."

Mrs Porter, who regularly visits the market, said: "What Aaron was doing - and doing so well - has been going on for centuries. It still happens at Ipswich, Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds.

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