John Oxley, a familiar face to shoppers in Durham Market Hall for 16 years, will be making music his hobby rather than his business when he retires at the end of June 2017.
John’s market stall, Market Music, has supplied aspiring and accomplished musicians with guitars, amps, sheet music and many other related accessories since 2001. However, retirement will give John the opportunity to return to his first musical love, playing the guitar. He commented: “Music was my hobby, and it became my business. But I’m looking forward to having much more time to simply play the guitar again. This is an opportunity to play some open mic nights, something I know I will enjoy. Whilst I will miss the characters of the Market Hall, both my fellow traders and the shoppers, I hope I can tempt some of them to come see me play.”
Prior to opening ‘Market Music’ in Durham Market Hall, John had operated a livestock haulage business. He moved into retail shortly after the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001 because of the increase in industry regulations. He has recently hit the local headlines when he auctioned 19 guitars from his private collection, a collection he has been amassing for more than 30 years.
Colin Wilkes, Managing Director of Durham Markets, added: “We’re very sad to see John leave us. He’s been one of the ‘Market’ family for many years, and his knowledge and passion for music has been appreciated by many. He’s started many a young guitarist off with their first guitar, and helped more experienced musicians get the most out of their passion. Durham will miss having this retail asset in the city centre.”
John and his wife Jeanne, who is also retired, live in Crook.