Christmas at Middlesbrough’s Dundas Indoor Market provides an opportunity for Teesside shoppers to renew old acquaintances – one of them for the last time.
It is also the chance to get out of the wet and cold and enjoy a month of festive events and activities under one roof.
After 55 years as a butcher Danny McCluskey is finally hanging up his apron. But before he heads off to a much-deserved retirement, Danny is determined that his last working Christmas is a cracker.
“It’s an incredibly busy time for us, but it’s well worth it,” said Danny, whose business – Danny’s Family Butchers – has been trading at the market for 15 years.
“This time of year is all about enjoying the company of family and friends over a great meal and we provide the best-quality meat to ensure this special time is everything you hope it will be.”
David Harris, the manager of the Dundas Indoor Market, said: “Danny will be a big miss, both to those who work with him and his loyal customers. He’s a much-loved personality and in my opinion he also creates the best Christmas hampers, so don’t miss out. It’s your last chance to buy one.”
While it is Danny’s last Christmas trading at Dundas, engraver Michelle Jones hopes she has many more to come. She is already well-known around the Dundas Centre. For more than 20 years she had shops in the market and has also run a stall in the mall. During the rest of the year she works at Teesside’s outdoor markets but prefers being indoors. “It’s hard standing in the cold and engraving,” she said. “If I can establish myself here I would love to stay.”
Michelle sells and engraves pens, bracelets, lockets, lighters and memorials. “Christmas is a time for enjoying yourself and also for remembering loved ones,” she said.
Also returning to Dundas is Traidcraft, which is based in the former Boyes shop and will be selling festive fair-trade goods.
Organiser Jenny Medhurst said: “Fair trade changes lives because people are paid a proper price for their skill and hard work and can afford to provide for their families and protect the environment. The shop is full of beautiful, unusual and useful gifts celebrating the skills of people around the world from Peru to Vietnam.”
From 24 November until Christmas the indoor market will open on Sundays. Dundas’ Monthly Market is also being extended across the whole weekend. There are two coming up: Friday 29 November to Sunday 1 December and Friday 20 December to Sunday 22 December. The popular Handmade and Vintage Market will also be returning on 14 and 15 December.
Regular visitors to the Dundas Centre will already have noticed that is taking part in Middlesbrough’s “Walking with The Snowman” trail. Until the New Year, alongside 11 other town centre locations, it is home to a giant snowman sculpture celebrating Raymond Briggs’ magical classic story The Snowman™.
Large crowds are expected on 1 December for the fabulous Magical Middlesbrough Parade – and everybody is welcome in Dundas afterwards to warm up and take part in one of two festive competitions run by the indoor market. Great prizes are available for the best Christmas card you can design. Go to http://www.dundasshoppingcentre.co.uk/ for details of both competitions.
And Friday 6 December becomes Elf Day at Dundas and around the country, as traders and shoppers dress up as Santa’s helpers to raise money and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Society.
Indoor market manager David Harris said: “I hope people will be able support Elf Day. It promises to be a lot of fun and is obviously a great cause.
“We’re looking forward to a busy few weeks and there really is going to be something for everybody here at Dundas.”