Pat first worked on the market on the stall which was his father’s before him when he was 15. Pat is now 76 but management at the Community Interest Company that now run’s Brighton’s “Open Market” have ruled that he can trade no more following its “3 strikes and you’re out” policy.
Pat had been sent three letters warning him against parking in a nearby loading bay, the last one telling him his licence to trade had been terminated. Pat’s stall, which trades as Charlie Mears Fruit and Veg – his father’s name continued to be used – will be no more after the Easter break. Market management are debating whether to permit him to trade over the holiday to dispose of his stock.
But from Monday the stall where Pat has traded six days a week for 60 years will be no more.
Pat told the local newspaper The Argus: “My stall is my life.
“My customers are my friends – they keep me from getting bored and we have a good time together.
“I feel choked. I treat everyone well and I have been very good to the market. I will not have an income anymore.”
Ash Kent, site manager of the Open Market, said: “Any decision to terminate a trader’s licence is made in line with the market’s formal warning procedure following persistent breaches of a core market regulation.
“In this particular case the regulations exist to safeguard our traders and the residents of flats situated above the site.
“Our procedure requires three formal warnings to be issued to ensure traders have ample opportunity to rectify any issues of concern.
“The decision to terminate a trader’s licence is never taken lightly, and is only taken when all other avenues have been exhausted, however these regulations are essential to the safety and security of the market and its neighbours.”
Pat said he had been parking in Francis Street’s loading bays because it is easier for him physically to get to work.
“I knew I was taking a liberty. I didn’t see the first letter they sent me but there’s nothing I can do now.”Tags: Pat Mears Charlie Mears Fruit and Veg Ash Kent Open Market Brighton