Burnley 'born and bred' rollercoaster devotee ends career on a high as one of longest serving market officers in the UK

Burnley born David Bullock is arguably the longest serving markets’ officer in the UK to date.

By Sue Plunkett
Friday, 1st April 2022, 3:45 pm

The market’s manager has retired after 22 years of service at Preston Markets. And he’ll head into retirement to spend more time with his family and devote more time to his passion for rollercoasters!

The 62 year old first became manager of Preston Markets in 2000, where he has remained a familiar face every since.

Prior to that, David, who describes himself as being 'Burnley born and bred', started off his market career at Burnley Market on February 26th 1979, before becoming the market manager for Accrington Market in January 1995.

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Photo Neil Cross; David Bullock, longstanding manager of Preston Markets is retiring

David said: “It was a bit strange walking into work on my final morning and knowing that’s the last time I'll do that as market manager, and all the traders have been coming up to me, so it's quite an emotional day. I’m looking forward to retiring, but it’s also going to be sad.

"Sometimes you feel like a dad to some of the younger traders, you meet them for the first time, and over the years, their business develops and you help them along but now it's my time to pull out and retire. Some of these traders I've known since day one and saying goodbye to them will be really really hard work.”

David says he is looking forward to spending more time with his grandson and pursuing his hobbies of gardening, DIY and rollercoasters of the non metaphorical variety, being a member of the RCCGB (Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain).

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Photo Neil Cross; David Bullock, longstanding manager of Preston Markets is retiring

Looking back at his career, David said: “I've enjoyed every market I’ve worked at, every single one was different because there's never two markets the same, and obviously, in the last few years, we've seen major changes at Preston market, so it’s been a bit of a roller coaster trip through the markets over the years.

“At Preston, a high was obviously when we moved, but beyond that there’s been so many. We've had various events on the market, we’ve celebrated Chinese New Year, where we’ve had a dragon going around, we’ve had an Australian day where we were cooking kangaroo burgers and kangaroo sausage. So there's 1001 things we've done over the years, but certainly the major one was when we opened the brand new market.

"Of course the last day of the old market was emotional, closing the doors for the last time with some of the traders not moving with us, but the rest of the trade moving was a fantastic, exciting time.”

David added: “ I've loved the people I've worked with, and I've enjoyed myself. Like anything, there's ups and downs as you go along, but I'm proud and honoured to have been market manager for over 22 years.”

Neil Fairhurst, Deputy Chief Executive at Preston City Council, said: “Congratulations to David on his hard-earned retirement. David has been a hardworking and dependable markets manager at Preston Markets for over 20 years. He is always happy to lend a hand and will be sorely missed by colleagues and customers alike”

Head of Traders Association, Sam Livesey from Livesey’s Butchers, added: “It really does feel like an end of an era.”