A CELEBRATION of a soon-to-be demolished Bradford indoor market has been produced.

Oastler Shopping Centre is marked in a new audio play called Shutters Down.

It is one of the projects from Bradford Producing Hub, which is supporting independent Bradford producer and arts facilitator, Chemaine Cooke, to present Oastler Market Speaks.


The celebration of the Oastler Shopping Centre – the former John Street Market – is running until April, ahead of the stallholders trading there until early next year. 

Shutters Down, which is 18 minutes long, features traders’ interviews and actors playing a number of characters who visit the iconic market.

The audio play has been written by poet Kirsty Taylor, also known as Kirstybratfud on social media.

Shutters Down was originally revealed to the public at Oastler Shopping Centre earlier this month, where audiences listened to it through wireless headphones as they toured the market.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Inside Oastler Market which is celebrated in a new audio playInside Oastler Market which is celebrated in a new audio play (Image: Newsquest)

Shutters Down opens with views about the importance of the Bradford market, from one of its stallholders. She says: “It’s a personal service, something you don’t get in a supermarket. Markets are dying off. It’s part of their life, going into the market every day.”

In Kirsty’s poem on Oastler Shopping Centre that she performs, she says: “This is end of an era, 2023 and we’re gone market.

“A moment in Bradford’s history, we need to mark it. This market is still our market.

“This is real life, show up, make a living, market.”

It also features the market from the perspective of a fictitious security guard named Taz, played by an actor, and the customers he meets during his shift.

Another contributor says: “A lot of people come in here every day. If they don’t talk to us, they don’t talk to anybody.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Kirsty Taylor has written Shutters Down about Oastler MarketKirsty Taylor has written Shutters Down about Oastler Market (Image: Newsquest)

Oastler Shopping Centre will be demolished and replaced by the new Darley Street Market which is being built.

The project also features a memory wall where people can share their personal nostalgia of Bradford markets over the years.

Oastler Market Speaks events have been held during January, February and this month so far.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradfordians have been sharing their memories of the city marketBradfordians have been sharing their memories of the city market (Image: Newsquest)

Meanwhile, Bradford theatre company, Bent Architect, will be premiering their play inspired by Oastler Market’s Fountains Coffee House, which shuts this Friday.

The much-loved cafe initially opened its doors in 1968.

The special event will be held at the café between April 26 and 29.

Go to bdproducinghub.co.uk/oastler-market-speaks/ to listen to the audio play. A warning that the audio play contains some strong language.