Market ban sparks fury of town’s Lord

Elaine Silverwood at the market and (below) John Sergeant.
Elaine Silverwood at the market and (below) John Sergeant.
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A ROW has broken out after a town lord was banned from holding a market.

Kirkham’s Lord of the Manor John Sergeant claims he had royal permission for his planned people’s market – but stallholders were turned away from the Market Square after Lancashire County Council branded it a highway disruption.

John Sergeant

John Sergeant

The decision to cancel has left Mr Sergeant furious and sparked a row with the town’s business group, who also hold a monthly market.

Mr Sergeant, whose family bought the title for £300 in 1933, said: “We want to hold the people’s market charging a penny a stall on the last Saturday and Sunday of the month.

“I was there in August and traders started arriving and we were moved off by the police, all the traders who came had to be turned away.

“I own the Market Square under a Royal Charter and the crazy thing is Kirkham and Wesham Business Group have been having a Lancashire Market on the first Saturday of every month for a few years.

“Why when I own the land am I not allowed a market and yet someone who doesn’t is allowed?”

Mr Sergeant claims he owns the site but others argue he only has claim to the stones on the square under the Royal Charter – but Lancashire County Council said regardless of ownership the decision to close the market was taken on highways grounds.

Andy Ashcroft, the county council’s highways manager for Fylde, said: “We have clear processes to handle road closures, so events can take place safely and without causing undue disruption.

“If these are not followed, we have to take enforcement action to ensure access and parking are maintained for road users.”

The original sealed charter for the Manor of Kirkham, which Mr Sergeant inherited in 1990, gives him the right to hold a weekly Thursday market, which he does.

And Elaine Silverwood, chairman of Kirkham and Wesham Business Group, said: “In a hierarchy Kirkham Town Council is higher than the Lord of the Manor and they have licensed the business group the right to hold out monthly market.”

Is is not known if Mr Sergeant’s market will take place this month.

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