Market trader bids farewell

Kyra Cullumbine's last day on the Stamford Market
Photo: Lee Hellwing
Kyra Cullumbine's last day on the Stamford Market Photo: Lee Hellwing

A familiar face on Stamford’s weekly market is stepping down after nearly 50 years of selling her wares.

Kyra Cullumbine has been selling lingerie and nightwear for so long on the Friday Market that even she can’t remember whether it’s 49 or 50 years.

But after the birth of her grandson Otto in February and her upcoming 70th birthday in June, she decided the time was right to say goodbye.

She was hoping to pack up on Good Friday without a fuss but her neighbouring stallholders had other ideas - and presented her with a huge bouquet of flowers.

Kyra, who lives in Long Clawson near Melton Mowbray, said she had been worried about stepping down because many of her customers are elderly and she didn’t want to let them down.

But her sister Angie has agreed to take on the stall, which still runs in Melton Mowbray on a Tuesday and Loughborough, as well as Stamford.

Kyra said: “I’ve been thinking about it for a little while but I was worried about my customers.

“Chatting to all my customers has been the best thing - that’s what I’ll miss the most really but they are in safe hands with my sister.”

Kyra first started the stall by chance after she returned from a job as an au-pair in France with little idea of what to do next. Someone offered her goods for sale and the stall was born.

Back then Kyra travelled all around the region holding various stalls but she says being able to get hold of items to sell has made it harder to be a market trader.

She said: “There used to be factories all around Nottingham where you could pick up good quality items but it’s mostly imported now although we do still get some top brands.

“And markets have changed as well - Stamford is still a great weekly market but a lot of them just aren’t as busy anymore. I’ve been lucky that all my customers have been supportive, for which I’m very grateful.”