Traders have been turning a deaf ear to a blast from the past as their 92-year-old market is brought back to its former glory.
Stallholders have been wearing ear protectors to block out the constant din as steam cleaners remove almost a century of grime and rust from the Georgian canopy next door.
Restoration of Preston’s Fish Market canopy started last month. It will continue for four months and even the city council admits: “It’s been noisy.”
One regular shopper, Eddie Nash, went further. “I’d say ear-splitting,” he complained after his weekly trip to the larger covered market. “I’d hate to be working next to that. The poor stallholders are having to put ear muffs on to try and make it bearable.”
The council is spending millions on a regeneration of the city’s markets quarter and this is only the first phase. After the Fish Market - the smaller of the two ornate cast iron canopies - is restored, work will switch to the larger one across the road.
One stallholder said: “It’s been pretty noisy, but it looks like they could have finished the steam cleaning now, so we might be in for a quieter time - until the next one.”
A council spokesman explained: “The works at the Fish Market are progressing really well. There’s no doubt it’s been a noisy job in stripping back parts of the structure to its base metal.
“As much of this work as possible is being done off site. The good news is that this part of the job is now finished and it’s just painting and fixing work from here on in.
“We would like to thank market traders and customers for bearing with us during the works. We really appreciate their co-operation, patience and understanding.”
Like them, we are really looking forward to a fully restored Fish Market which should be ready within the next couple of months.”