Back in 1994 I became aware that Salisbury Livestock Market was to move from its city centre location to an -out-of-town site to make way for a major new supermarket development. To put you in the picture (forgive the pun) the market had been on its town centre site for some considerable time, and was on the route between housing estates and the market square where large markets are still held twice a week. This meant that mothers and children walked through the market regularly, and it was a real part of the community. Children could see animals, city dwellers could mix with country folk and so on.
I wanted to record the existing life of the market before it disappeared, and obtained the permission of Southern County Auctioneers to do so. They co-operated by making the buyers and sellers aware that I was there with permission, as I was afraid of animosity in this fairly tight-knit circle. This fear was borne out when I met a press photographer whilst shooting: he was there photographing in relationship to the B.S.E. crisis that was happening in the beef industry at the time, and was getting very little co-operation.
The project took about a year and culminated in an exhibition at the Salisbury and South Wilts Museum in the cathedral close at Salisbury, my first ever exhibition. I tried to get the supermarket chain (Waitrose) to sponsor me but they were not interested, however a donation of film from a major manufacturer helped.
I have taken just one roll out of all the films I shot to illustrate this post. It was taken close to Christmas and shows a true slice of working life. I am still working with the market at their new location, and with their co-operation, and I am pleased to say that one of my images from the project has been published by National Geographic. I hope you enjoy the 9 images here (dated 1995).