Cattle markets are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. My local is now a shivering tin hut next to a maximum security prison, when trade once went on in a brilliant building at the centre of Market Harborough's market. Full marks to the council who made Sainsbury's restore it before it became the centrepiece of their car park. It still says 'Settling Room' over one of the doors, which a dear friend of mine thought was where they calmed the animals down after their journeys in from the surrounding farms. This gate pier is still extant on one side of the now defunct Leicester Cattle Market; hinged from it is a cast iron gate with lettering saying 'Horses' fashioned into it. There's still the clock tower and another building, but they're now marooned in a sea of used car lots and a multiplex cinema. But isn't this wonderful. The severed heads of a boar like a medieval banquet table decoration and a particularly horny specimen of a ram.
Harry Willock: The man behind the curtain / Part one
11 hours ago