Newcastle's Grainger Market celebrates 181 years of trading this Saturday and a series of events have been lined up to mark the special occasion. From Monday 24 October to Saturday 29 October, activities and events will highlight the market's heritage and the role it plays in the city today. Among the celebrations is the chance to take a tour of the market's air raid shelter, used to protect traders and shoppers from bombs throughout the Second World War.
The Grainger Market is today owned and operated by Newcastle City Council and still forms an important commercial and social hub in the city centre.
The market is a Grade-1 listed building, employs 800 people, and attracts around 200,000 shoppers every week.
Today, 110 traders operate from the market including butchers, bakers, greengrocers, jewellers, craft stalls and award-winning street food from around the world (try Fez Food for fabulous Turkish cuisine, trust us).
The Grainger Market is in the process of a refurbishment, with its 14 entrances getting a new lease of life with fresh doors and shutters. Up next on the refurbishment itinerary is the market's glazed atrium. It is hoped that solar panels will be installed on the roof so as to generate additional income for the market – so watch this space.
On Tuesday models will strut their stuff on a catwalk wearing clothes exclusively sourced from the market's stalls. Shows start at 1pm, 1.30pm and 2pm.
While the kids are off school, why not show them how their great-grandparents spent their time in the playground? The Beamish Youth Club is taking Edwardian toys to the Grainger Market including whip and top, Jacob's ladders, cup and ball and skipping ropes.
Food promotions and air raid shelter tour
Market traders will be on hand to offer recipe suggestions on a day dedicated to Grainger-sourced world food. Also, between 6.30pm and 8pm, a city guide will be taking parties on a tour of the market's hidden air raid shelter.
Children's activities day
To mark Halloween, children can get their faces painted and handle some creepy crawlies.
Arts and craft day
Victorian costume-clad traders will be selling arts and crafts between 9am and 5pm.