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Susan’s got the belt-and-braces in Bury St Edmunds

INDEPENDENT: Susan Barrington on her stall in the heart of the Bury St Edmunds market place
INDEPENDENT: Susan Barrington on her stall in the heart of the Bury St Edmunds market place

Bury St Edmunds market trader Susan Barrington has the belt-and-braces for just about any fashion need or want.

She sells predominantly unisex leather belts and men’s braces, but gentle-grip socks, leather wallets, inner soles and chamois leathers are among the other items on her stall.

A big selling point for her belts is the fact that they are made in England, but they are also available in larger sizes and start from just £6.

Her braces, which start at £10, come in a variety of eye-catching colours and designs and, as such, appeal to all sorts of people, young and old.

Susan, whose father used to run a flower stall, explained that her Union Jack braces are popular with football fans ahead of England matches, while the ones with musical notes appeal to drummers and the like.

Work tools, tractors and skulls are among the other designs featured.

Of her clientele, Susan said: “We have fishermen, farmers, we always have workmen, bikers, it can be absolutely anybody - it’s quite a cross section of people.”

She also gets a lot of custom from passengers of visiting coaches.

“I even have some customers that are yearly repeat customers, from a coach trip in April, May, June or July the previous year and might only come to Bury once a year on that coach trip,” she said.

Susan, who sometimes pitches up at car and bike shows in the area, has had her stall on Bury market for around 10 years.

It has doubled in size in recent years and can be found twice weekly opposite jewellers Preston and Duckworth in the Buttermarket.

But she has not always been a market trader.

Susan, who grew up in Chingford, said: “I trained and qualified as a dental nurse, I did that for four years, but I still prefer doing markets.”

Working outside, meeting people and being independent is what she enjoys most of all.

“It’s a different kind of work when you’re doing it for yourself,” she said.

Susan, of Clacton-on-Sea, thinks Bury’s market is a ‘terrific pull to the town centre’ and she is not too concerned by the rise of internet shopping.

“I think people actually like to see what they’re buying and they like the personal touch as well, that really makes a difference,” she said.


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