A TOWN is mourning the closure of an ancient street market after the date of final trade day was announced.

Flint market's vegetable salesmen, florists, sweet vendors and butcher stalls will say their last goodbyes to customers on Friday, September 7.

Residents said they feel the whole ethos of the town will change when Church Street is no longer home to weekly traders.

The once-bustling 13th century marketplace was recommended for closure in March in a bid to save Flintshire council £20,000.

But Flint's loyal shoppers believe "a town loses something when it loses it's market" and recall with nostalgia the bustling days of trade.

90-year-old Harold Clutton said: "I remember when the market was in its heyday, a bit busier. Lots more people in the 70s. It brings me right back if I think of the market. It makes me sad to see it go.

"When the market isn't here, we'll all have to go to Mold, and nobody wants that do they? I'd rather it stay close to me in Flint, myself. I think the market leaving will affect a lot of people, they look forward to coming to the market on a Friday. We all live for that. We'll all be waiting for the buses and people will be standing there. I live in the flats near to Church Street and it's ideal for me to walk down every week."

Glenys Snead, who has lived in Flint for 43 years, was "very sad" to hear the market is closing in less than two weeks. She looked around the empty Church Street with dismay and said: "I remember it in it's glory days. We moved up here in 1972. I used to visit the market a lot, most weeks. When the children were off school especially they used to like seeing what toys were about and sweets. It was a bit of a morning out. It's going to spoil things - again. I don't know what they're doing. There are certain things you can't get in the shops, and at a good price too."

Aubury Williams, of Flint, is also sorry to see the market go. He said: "There's no market here anymore and it's a sad thing for the town. The history has gone, it must have started around the Magna Carter period when they gave the charter for markets in town centres out. It's historic, and it's a shame to loose it in that kind of sense. In the 60s it was really good. I remember it in the 60s - I'm old enough. But that was around the Town Hall in market square. It was better."

Fiona Jones is transported back to her childhood when she thinks of Flint market in the 70s. She said: "I remember the first time my mother brought me to Flint market when I was a little girl. I absolutely loved it. I was always pleased to come down to Flint. It is a really good memory to have but sad to loose."

It's a different side of the story for Jonathan Rainer, who has held a stall for his florist Prestige Plants at Flint market for five years. He believes the road closure is the main reason Flintshire council have axed the market which people are "up in arms about."

"When it closes, it'll have a negative effect," said Jonathan. "The general public are fuming that it's happening, everyone is saying how terrible it is. They didn't want to close the market, but relocate it to the Town Hall. Everyone wanted to keep the market. The majority of my customers are elderly so they want to keep the market, because markets are a traditional thing."

But the young business owner said the closure of Flint's once-thriving gem is a sign of the times. He said: "All my 'friends' are 60-year-olds, as there are no new young traders in markets - I'm the youngest one.

"People are either retiring or dying and there's no one to replace them. That's the truth. They've had a career of 30 years on the market but I can never have that. I've been doing it for five years and I can already see. I don't know what I'm going to do. Markets as a general rule are deteriorating."