Hetty Stockley, who retired as Chairman of Truro WI Market in
1998 was present at the very first meeting in 1958 to discuss its
The first market was held on a car park in Calenick Street owned by Mr Ivey Mollard, who charged 5/= per week. The Mayor of Truro opened the market on Wednesday 3rd June at 10am. By September they were looking for an indoor site. Miss Penrose found a room to rent behind the Registrar's at 91 Pydar Street for a rent of 2/=. At the October 20th meeting Jim Stockley of Playing Place "volunteered "as Treasurer and remained in this post until 1998 when the post was taken by Charlie Pridham of Roseland House Chacewater.
91 Pydar Street proved not to be ideal and on 30th December 1959 the market moved to 68 Lemon Street, to a room let by the Truro Divisional Conservative and Unionist Association. The market stayed there for 24 years until 1984.
In 1970 the rent was increased from 15/= to 30/= per week. Losses of £20 per year were considered normal. The report for 1970 indicates a decrease of £100 in sales. Jim Stockley reported that January 1971 sales were £20 down compared with 1969, but the same as 1970.
They were anticipating the change to decimal currency- Market reserves were £110 ready to cover the inevitable mistakes happening because of the changeover. Turnover for 1970 was £2837.
The Annual Conference in 1971 at Porchester Hall revealed that the Markets total national turnover in 1970 was £644,000, an increase of £32,000.
For Truro Market the record market of the year in 1971 was £101 at the Christmas Market.
At the AGM in 1974 of Truro and District Branch of Cornwall WI Markets the proposed cookery demonstration by Miss Delbridge of SWEB was cancelled because of the Fuel Emergency and a talk on Home Freezing was given instead.
From time to time there were discussions of the price of jam, its quality and quantity.
The Market stayed at the Conservative Room 68 Lemon Street till 4th January 1984, when it moved to St. Pirans Hall, St. Austell Street, Truro.
Steps up to the hall and the difficulty of parking for the producers and customers forced the Market to seek new premises and April 22nd 1986 saw its first opening at The British Legion Hall in St. Mary's Street, Truro. This new venue required the market day to change to Tuesdays, the day it has kept ever since.
The market traded very successfully there until the premises became unavailable in 1990 and then moved to the Function Room in the Conservative Club at the bottom of Lemon Street.
Sales declined due to the difficult access up steep stairs to the Market. December 1993 saw the Market move to the Annexe at the City Hall and opening times were extended to 2pm.
However when the Hall was closed for rebuilding in 1996 the market moved to premises on the opposite side of Lemon Quay previously used by Hicks Motors as a workshop. After eighteen uncomfortable months valiantly supported by hard-core regular customers we returned to the comfort of the refurbished Hall and a greatly increased turnover.
Truro WI Market has been trading at the Hall for Cornwall for two years. During that time trading has doubled and several new producers have joined with new products.
40 years on to the day Truro's producers old and new (including some founder members) held a get together at Roseland house, where several items from the past like jam labels and the account books for 1959 plus pictures spanning the period, were displayed. A reporter from the "West Britain" was present to record the occassion (and cake cutting!)
The future holds a series of new challenges as the market
tries to meet customer demands of the twenty first centuary and
at the same time retain its cooperative nature which is the bed
rock of the organisation.