Bury St Edmunds: Town’s farewell to market trader

MOURNERS filled St Edmundsbury Cathedral to celebrate the life of a popular character on a Suffolk market who died suddenly while packing up his stall.

Hundreds of friends and relatives came to say their final farewell to well-known market trader Tommy Bond, 70.

Memories of the much-loved grandfather were relived at the moving service by his three children: Thomas, 42, Adam, 36, and Heidi Harris, 38, and Mr Bond’s eight grandchildren.

Simon Harding, a friend of Mr Bond, said: “He was a real gentleman. One of the last true showmen.”

Mr Bond had worked on Bury market for 36 years selling hot snacks, potatoes and running other street stalls.

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He had also run pop gun stalls, coconut shies and side shows at fairs throughout the region during his life.

But Mr Bond was probably best known to shoppers in Bury for the hot chestnut stall he ran outside Stead and Simpson shoe store in Bury’s Cornhill.

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It was while packing up the stall with his wife, Beryl, around 4pm on Saturday, December 18, that Mr Bond collapsed.

Despite efforts to revive him, Mr Bond died later at Bury’s West Suffolk Hospital.

Tributes and prayers were said at Thursday’s service, which was led by Rev Matthew Vernon.

Born in a caravan in The Ram, off Eastgate Street, in Bury, in 1940, Mr Bond lived on the site with his family for 36 years before moving to Bradfield St George nine years ago.

Having spent his life in Bury, Mr Bond was known and respected by many people in the town.

Tony Wilson, 37, a fellow market trader and family friend, speaking after Mr Bond’s death last month, said: “Everyone knew him and got on with him. It is a very sad loss for the market and for Bury. We have lost a character that everyone knew.”

Mr Bond was buried at St Edmundsbury borough cemetery, followed by a reception at The Apex, in The Arc.

A collection was held for Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation.

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