I READ with interest Moorgarth is bringing back its version of a traditional market place.

I say good, as Bolton Council destroyed ours.

Eleven years ago, Bolton’s traditional market hall was thriving — almost as good as Bury’s, which has always thrived.

At that time, I was a Bolton councillor on the planning committee and fought tooth and nail to keep our traditional market hall and the dedicated marketers and characters.

Unfortunately, the rest of the planning committee then thought differently.

I was 100 per cent focused on maintaining the market and its traditional surrounds and character.

At that time, the town hall meeting was full to capacity with market people who had traded for many years.

Sadly, most lost their livelihoods and the traditional market surrounds, and for what, another boring mall-type building costing a fortune, which stuck out like a sore thumb in a Victorian surround, I might say was loved by all.

Little did they know, malls are all over our country and the world, most are identical with nothing out of the ordinary and endless amounts of tat.

Boring really. We were different — we had a thriving market and lovely surrounds.

Look at us now, no Victorian fountains, just blocks of stone. Now and again, water runs down them.

Our benches now are marble, generally too hard and cold to sit on. Our traditional cast-iron decorative posts and chain-work replaced by mostly stainless steel.

Actually, nothing in keeping with our lovely town hall and surrounds.

Our parking for people to shop is virtually a fortune or non-existent, we need sunglasses for the amount of yellow lines, and I really believe councillors don’t want people in Bolton.

So let’s sum it up.

We have been left a ghost town with little parking, more and more shops being boarded up because of high rates.

Charity shops are making millions, but the directors are taking most of that in salaries yet they are still allowed next to nothing in rates. Why?

Other shops pay their rates, the ones that are still in existence that is.

But there may be a glimmer of hope yet.

If we go back to an old-style market, which would in my mind have to be traditional and not overpriced our tradition could bring us back to former glory.

Bill Collison

Bolton Road