SHE’S probably the oldest market trader in Huddersfield– and still going strong!
Doreen Harris has just celebrated her 84th birthday, but the lively sock seller is showing no sign that she wants someone else to step into her shoes.
Doreen has been working on the stall at Huddersfield Open Market for 42 years with her son Glen.
The great-grandma rarely misses a day and her bubbly personality has won her an army of fans– both from customers and the traders who like to spoil her with gifts.
Glen says: “Everybody on the market loves her, she’s like an institution and is up there with all the long serving traders.
“Come winter or spring she’s always here, she’s tougher than the rest of us!
“She loves getting out and seeing people– she’ll push me out the way to serve customers!”
Doreen started working life as a seamstress at Burton’s tailoring factory in Leeds.
Her son became a market trader at Leeds Open Market in the early 1960s at the age of 17 and when he got busy his mum joined him to help out.
Then they sold children’s clothes and Doreen would make garments on her sewing machine to sell.
The pair later moved on to Huddersfield, working in the Market when it was at Leeds Road then moving with it to Brook Street where they now have a stall selling socks, underwear, hats and scarves.
There Doreen can be seen three days a week, getting up at 6am to be ready for a long day.
And when she’s not working she loves spending time with her grandchildren and three great-granddaughters, who all live nearby in Leeds.
But Glen says his mum loves working and there’s no sign of her stopping yet.
He said: “She loves being out and about and mixing with people, not sitting at home.
“She’s fantastic at coping all day and I’m proud of her.
“There are people here who have known her for years and they all love her– there’s big tough men who dote on her and buy her gifts!”
Doreen celebrated her birthday with her family and, of course, the other stallholders who bought her gifts.
She said: “I enjoy helping my son and getting out the house and meeting people.
“It keeps me going, my sister stopped working when she got married and now she can’t walk.
“The market has changed. It used to start at 11.30am because people did all their washing first.
“But we still get all the generations coming, I see people who came as babies but are now bringing their children!”