A family business which has traded at the market in Downham for more than 70 years has been recognised after retiring from the town.
Siblings Stephen and Pamela Ward, of Ward’s Nurseries, were presented with an engraved commemorative bowl to thank them for their long-term support of the town’s chartered market.
Ward’s Nurseries was started by Edward Ward in the early 1940s at the family home – it became established in Ringstead with its first greenhouse constructed in 1951.
Since then, the horticultural business has grown and has been seen on many local markets, including Downham.
Chairman of the market sub-committee John Doyle said: “The town will very much miss the family’s friendly trading approach on our Friday market.”
Stephen and Pamela were gifted the commemorative bowl on Friday last week, which was their final day on the pitch on Market Place.
A spokesman for Downham Town Council said: “After 45 years of being involved on the market at Downham, siblings Stephen and Pamela Ward are taking well-deserved retirement from the Market Place though continuing with the nursery at Ringstead.”
Ward’s Nurseries will continue their business at Foundry Lane in Ringstead, with a wide range of plants, fruit trees and bushes, shrubs, perennials and trees available.
Downham mayor Frank Daymond said: “Whilst we are disappointed that due to retirement, a happy, long-standing tradition has come to an end, we are delighted to recognise the Ward family’s commitment to our market and send our best wishes for a well-earned long, happy and healthy retirement.”
The spokesman for Downham Town Council said: “We are delighted to announce that a horticultural presence will still be in attendance on the Friday market, with the established Saturday market trader English Country Gardens also assuming the Friday pitch.”