Last week Sid Lewis celebrated sixty years of trading at Salisbury Charter Market. Sid established his business in 1954 selling towels and bedding, and still sells the same today. For two decades he made the journey from London to Salisbury, leaving at 2am to make sure he got to the popular market in time. In the early 1970s he moved to Bournemouth and gradually took on running markets as well as being a market trader.
Sid is a familiar character to lots of shoppers and used to attract large crowds as he bartered down his own prices. “It was a bit like a backwards auction” he said, “Starting at the shop prices, then bringing the price down so people got more and more for their money.” That is where his infamous slogan, ‘what a fair man’ came from. Now the auctioning has gone but Sid still comes to Salisbury every Tuesday and Saturday whatever the weather.
To celebrate his 60 years on Salisbury Charter Market the Mayor of the City of Salisbury Councillor Mrs Jo Broom and the City Clerk Reg Williams presented Sid with a certificate. When Sid, now in his 80’s, started on the Charter Market his first pitch fee was 10 shillings and sixpence. In celebration of his 60 years, this was his fee again on the 9 September. Alan Lake, one of the Charter Market’s staff kindly paid the fee for him, so Sid enjoyed a free days trading.
The Charter Market runs every Tuesday and Saturday in Salisbury alongside other markets throughout the year that include: Farmers’ and Artisan, Teenage, Vintage and International markets.