A STALWART of Buxton’s market for over 30 years has decided to hang up her apron for good after being repeatedly targeted by vandals.
Mary Plant has been a familiar figure on the Market Place on Tuesdays and Saturdays with her mobile catering business Dog House Snacks, serving hot food and refreshments to everyone from hungry locals, workers and schoolchildren to tourists visiting from as far afield as Sweden and the Netherlands!
But after seeing her food van targeted seven times by vandals in the past four years - the latest two incidents occurring within the space of the past three weeks - Mary has taken the difficult decision to retire. And she does so with a heavy heart.
“It just got to a point where I couldn’t take any more,” explained the 72-year-old, who operated the business with her husband Eric.
During the latest vandalism last week, raiders armed with bolt cutters broke their way in through the van’s shutters while it was parked on Dale Road, making off with biscuits and various confectionary items.
“We’ve worked longer on the market than we ever intended, wanting to help keep it going as long as possible as Buxton is a market town and deserves to have a successful market,” explained Mary, who recalls the market back in its heyday when it boasted 140 stalls, flanking both sides of the Market Place and also taking in South Street car park.
“I’ve loved every minute of it, have met some really people and will take away some wonderful memories. In fact, I don’t call them customers, I call them friends.
“The school children are a credit to the schools and their parents. They would come down to see us on a Tuesday for my famous Mary Burgers.”
She added: “And to all my customers, I would just like to thank them very much for their loyal custom, and wish them a Merry Christmas.”