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Man strives to preserve history of Sudbury Cattle Market

PUBLISHED: 16:37 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:38 09 August 2018

Michael Crawford is trying to preserve the history of the cattle market Picture: SUPPLIED BY MICHAEL CRAWFORD

Michael Crawford is trying to preserve the history of the cattle market Picture: SUPPLIED BY MICHAEL CRAWFORD

Archant

A west Suffolk man who previously ran a historic cattle market has had a photographic montage made after he struggled to find any record of the site.

Sudbury's Cattle Market closed in 1986 Picture: SUPPLIED BY MICHAEL CRAWFORDSudbury's Cattle Market closed in 1986 Picture: SUPPLIED BY MICHAEL CRAWFORD

Michael Crawford, from Great Cornard, worked for Olivers Auctioneers – previously Boardman & Oliver – from 1961 and part of his role on the agricultural side was running Sudbury Cattle Market at Birketts Lane.

After the cattle market closed in 1986, Mr Crawford said he realised that he possessed very few pictures, and began to ask around but nothing much materialised.

Mr Crawford then tried to find an artist willing to paint an old scene of the cattle market, but was unsuccessful.

It was then that he approached Market Hill Photography in Sudbury – which produced the montage of the historic old market.

Michael Crawford is trying to preserve the history of the cattle market Picture: SUPPLIED BY MICHAEL CRAWFORDMichael Crawford is trying to preserve the history of the cattle market Picture: SUPPLIED BY MICHAEL CRAWFORD

He said: “Following its closure in 1986, I began to realise that there was little in the way of pictorial records of the cattle market, and I had very few photos – one doesn’t take many photos of one’s place of work.

“I asked around and advertised, but nothing much was forthcoming.

“I then tried to find someone who could make a painting from what I have, but I couldn’t afford the only artist I could find prepared to do it.

“I then went to the Fuji photo shop on Market Hill, and he produced a montage for me, including the front page of the final Christmas Fatstock Show and sale schedule and the silver plates with the names of the championship winners, as well as a series of photos.”

Sudbury's Cattle Market closed in 1986 Picture: SUPPLIED BY MICHAEL CRAWFORDSudbury's Cattle Market closed in 1986 Picture: SUPPLIED BY MICHAEL CRAWFORD

Mr Crawford said he believes the montage is the only existing picture record of the cattle market.

But he has passed on other records regarding the market to preserve its history.

“There are not many people left with actual knowledge of the market,” he said. “It’s probably the only existing pictorial record left.

“I did place on loan with the Suffolk Records Office a book I had showing every week of the market since about 1919 with the list of numbers of the different categories of livestock.

“I also obtained from them a digital copy, which I gave to the Sudbury Ephemerial Society.

“I also have an old video of old Sudbury, which includes some shots of the cattle market.”

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