Stevenage market trader calls time after 36 years

PUBLISHED: 08:45 21 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:52 21 August 2018

Retiring Bob Crown hands the keys to the watch and clock stall at Stevenage Indoor Market over to Ali Farhadi, who will run it alongside his shoe repair stall. Picture: Courtesy of Lynn Crown

Retiring Bob Crown hands the keys to the watch and clock stall at Stevenage Indoor Market over to Ali Farhadi, who will run it alongside his shoe repair stall. Picture: Courtesy of Lynn Crown

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A man who has kept people running on time for 36 years has now retired from his watch and clock market stall.

Bob Crown has retired after 36 years as a Stevenage market trader. Picture: Courtesy of Lynn Crown.Bob Crown has retired after 36 years as a Stevenage market trader. Picture: Courtesy of Lynn Crown.

Bob Crown took over the stall at Stevenage Indoor Market when his father retired in 1982.

He said: “My dad started the stall back in the mid to late sixties and built the business up.

“I helped him out occasionally during busy periods and my mum also helped run the stall.”

Time has never stood still for Bob and he has never been one for clock-watching at work. “It’s been good,” he said. “It was never a struggle to be motivated to go into work and I never woke up dreading it.

“I met lots of interesting people, and it’s the people I will miss the most.”

Bob actually met his wife, Lynn, while working in the market in 1987. She was helping out on a flower stall and love quickly blossomed.

Bob’s final day on the stall was on Saturday. Now he has called time on his working life, he and Lynn are planning to retire to Oakham in Rutland, a place they visited and fell in love with.

Bob said: “We stumbled upon Rutland and liked the atmosphere. I’m looking forward to relaxing and leaving behind the early starts.”

The watch and clock stall at Stevenage Indoor Market will remain open, after Bob handed over the keys to Ali Farhadi – who also runs the shoe repair stall.

Ali’s wife, Susan, said: “It’s so sad to see Bob leave the market. He was not only a fellow trader, but a good friend too.

“Ali will be managing the stall along with Dan, who worked with Bob.

“We wish Bob and Lynn all the best for the future and hope to continue on the fantastic legacy they have built.”

Bob has received dozens of messages from customers wishing him well.

One said: “Wow, thank you for everything Bob. Your stall was a Stevenage treasure and the market will not be the same without you, but of course I wish you a wonderful retirement.”

Another said: “I have been using the market stall for years. Bob’s such a nice man and it has been a pleasure to shop there. He will be very much missed.”

Stevenage Indoor Market is open from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Wednesday to Saturday.

For more information, including a list of market stalls, visit stevenagetowncentre.com/indoor-market

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