Colin says farewell to Fakenham market after 61 years

Colin Earl with his wife and daughters on the final day of their family fish stall on Fakenham market.

Colin Earl with his wife and daughters on the final day of their family fish stall on Fakenham market.

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He was the fourth generation of his family to sell fish on Fakenham market – but, after 61 years on the same Thursday spot, Colin Earl has decided to call time.

“It’s a sad day but really this is a job I can do without now,” he said.

“I thought I might carry on for another year but the memory of that east wind blowing in from Norwich Street in the winter really made the decision for me.”

Mr Earl, 82, has been supported along the way by his wife Valerie, 79, and together they have served thousands of customers since 1954.

Looking back on his earlier market days in Fakenham, Mr Earl recalled selling lots of smoked herring from his stall.

“It’s all changed now and we sell much more wet fish these days,” he said. “Years ago I also used to go door-to-door around the villages, ringing the bell for people to come out.”

In retirement he expects to take things easy, though has no plans to get rid of his herd of beef cows out at the family home in Foulsham.

Mr and Mrs Earl were presented with an engraved glass plate made by Langham Glass, with Fakenham town mayor Adrian Vertigan doing the honours.

Mr Vertigan described the couple’s dedication to the market, which is run by the town council, as “amazing.”