28 May 1998
End of an era as Banbury market
is forced to close
By FWi staff
BANBURY market – which was the biggest livestock sales centre in Britain during the mid-1980s – will close next week.
Farmers have been buying and selling livestock at Banbury market every Wednesday and Thursday for the past 70 years.
The Midland Marts Group – which leases the Banbury town site – said it was left with no choice after two years of disastrous beef prices sparked by the BSE crisis.
Jim Watson, chairman, said it was the hardest decision he has ever had to make.
Midland Marts is still trying to secure planning permission to move the market closer to the M40. He said it could take two years to get a decision after the Secretary of State for the Environment was called in to give an opinion.
Nearby Northamptonshire Auctions hopes to pick up Banburys business. It confirmed this week that it has been in touch with key members of Midland Marts auction staff. It has already re-scheduled its prime stock sale days for the week beginning 8 June.