Bury St Edmunds: Tributes to market trader
TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular character on a Suffolk market who died while packing up his stall.
Tommy Bond, 70, had worked on Bury St Edmunds market for the past 36 years, selling snacks, hot potatoes and running other street stalls.
Mr Bond had recently run a hot chestnut stand outside the Stead and Simpson shoe store on Bury’s Cornhill.
Beryl Bond, 71, Tommy’s wife, said the much-loved character’s death had happened very suddenly as the couple packed up their stall at about 4pm on Saturday, December 18, when he suddenly collapsed.
Despite efforts by paramedics to resuscitate him, Mr Bond could not be revived and died later at the West Suffolk Hospital in the town.
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“He died the way he would have wanted to,” Mrs Bond said. “Working with his friends where he was happy.”
Mr Bond was a familiar face to many, having spent his life in Bury and run pop gun stalls, coconut shies and side shows at fairs throughout the region.
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Mr Bond had originally run Tom’s Snack Bar on the market, which was recently taken over by his eldest son, Thomas, 42.
“The market meant everything to him. It was his life,” Mrs Bond said. “He liked everybody. He would talk to everybody.”
Born in a caravan in The Ram, off Eastgate Street in Bury, Mr Bond lived on the site for 36 years before he and his wife moved to Bradfield St George nine years ago.
Tony Wilson, 37, a fellow trader and family friend, said Mr Bond was a much-loved character on the market.
“Everyone knew him and got on with him,” he said. “It is a very sad loss for the market and for Bury. We have lost a character that everyone knew.”
Shoppers and stall holders at Bury market were stunned to hear news of the popular trader’s death.
John Webber, chairman of the Bury Market Traders’ Association, said: “They don’t make them like Tommy any more. He would help anyone if he could. He had a great warmth of character. People are completely shocked. He was a part of the market.”
A father of Thomas, 42, Adam, 36, and Heidi Harris, 38, Mr Bond was also a proud grandfather of eight grandchildren.
About 500 people are expected to fill St Edmundsbury Cathedral for Mr Bond’s funeral on January 6.
Family flowers only are requested, but donations are invited to Diabetes UK or the British Heart Foundation would be appreciated.