Catchey’s fruit and veg stall leaves Ipswich market during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 19:00 01 April 2020

Catchey's fruit and veg stall is staying away from the market during the lockdown.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Catchey's fruit and veg stall is staying away from the market during the lockdown. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN


The largest stall on Ipswich market has been forced to close for the next few weeks because of the coronavirus crisis.

Catchey’s fruit and veg stall is a mainstay of the market and has continued to operate with strict social distancing for the first two weeks of the shutdown ordered by the government.

But stallholder Mick Catchpole said it had become increasingly difficult to get his stock, much of which normally comes from London wholesale markets, and he had reluctantly taken the decision to call a halt to business while the country remains in lockdown.

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He said: “I’m really sorry about this but really there was nothing else we could do. There were still a few customers and a few of us stallholders, but we just could not get the stock.”

On Tuesday he donated the last of his stock to the Ipswich food bank at the Gainsborough Sports Centre. He added: “I just hope this doesn’t last too long and we can get back to work as soon as possible.”

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His was one of only three food stalls left on the market last weekend. It is unclear whether there will be any stalls on the Princes Street market this week.

Meanwhile design and technology teachers at the Royal Hospital School at Holbrook have joined the national effort to support the NHS staff by making protective face shields.

Beverly Maloney and her husband are 3D printing elements of the shield from their home while Ollie Millington is laser cutting a different design using polypropylene sheets and PVC. They intend to make over 200 in the next couple of weeks and the first batch will be ready for distribution this Friday.

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The shields will be distributed within the Ipswich area to GPs’ surgeries, local pharmacies, care homes and community health care workers.

Mrs Maloney said: “We know that the NHS simply does not have access to the levels of PPE they need so some people are delighted to have additional protection. Some NHS and keyworker staff have been sharing or reusing equipment so any help is appreciated, and our shields will be used in conjunction with paper masks.

“We shall carry on making them for as long as they are required. We have reiterated that these masks are not a replacement, nor medically tested but is something more than nothing in the interim.”

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