IT is a tradition - a staple of our social history.

While shopping habits may have changed over the years most of us still love visiting the local market.

To those brought up in towns and cities boasting shiny new shopping centres and high streets flanked by stylish shops with their sleek and polished facades, markets may appear fusty and old fashioned.

Tempting today's young and trendy fashion-conscious shoppers away from the stores selling the brands they want to buy isn't an easy task, particularly in a competitive industry such as retail.

Step inside a market and you'll find real life played out amidst the hustle and bustle associated with this traditional way of shopping.

Markets may not offer the seductive sparkle as the shopping centre experience but for many that is part of the charm.

This is a place where you feel the excitement of the thrill of the chase, of bagging a real bargain, something true Yorkshire folk love to do and my Mum was among them.

It was through my Mum and her love of markets that I bit the bug. There's something special about seeking out wares for a snip of the price on colourful canopied stalls.

And the service..... where else can you indulge in light-hearted banter with traders who have all the patter and chatter as you hand over your cash.

Let's not forget that markets also spawned the likes of high street icon Marks and Spencer, whose business began on a market stall in Kirkgate Market Leeds in 1884, and Bradford's very own Morrisons, which developed when William Morrison began selling eggs and butter on a Bradford market stall in 1899.

For those who appreciate their presence, they provide a shopping experience you can never forget.

The smells, the atmosphere, the busyness of the place and the evident hard graft of the stall holders, many of them - such as the aforementioned William Morrison - passing their business down the generations.

There's familiarity too. More often than not market traders will know their customers by name, or at least have that recognition when they engage in the patter typical of this traditional shopping experience.

And entertainment.... there's plenty of it largely from the booming voices of traders competing with each other as they announce the bargains of the day - and the queuing customers clamouring to snare a cut price piece of meat or fish to serve in a family feast.

Oh and the homemade pies and confectionary..... I can remember taking the bus to Leeds market just to buy slabs of Russian slice for my Mum. She loved it but we were hard pressed to find it elsewhere.

My early memories of market shopping was as a child accompanying Mum. Clothing, food and fabric for her dress-making were the staples of our weekend visits and it's an experience I will never forget.

Whenever I visit the market I'm transported back to the time when Mum could while away the hours browsing. We'd traipse around the stalls for some time but what I do remember is we hardly ever left empty-handed and, while I didn't appreciate it as much then at such a young age, I can see now that shopping on the market wasn't just about bagging a bargain, it was supporting local traders, something which is just as important now as it was then.

Some markets have stood the test of time while others have floundered with fewer stalls, but perhaps if more of us ventured to the market those that are struggling would be able to thrive again. It certainly is food for thought.

Here we take a look back at Bradford's historic Oastler market, used as a location in the recently launched film Funny Cow - about a female club comedian trying to make it on the Seventies comedy club circuit and starring actress Maxine Peake - through these wonderful photographs sourced from the T&A archive by our nostalgia writer and researcher, Odele Ayres.

Interestingly, an event showcasing the history of Oastler Market runs from noon until 4pm on Saturday April 28.

'We are Here' is described as 'a creative celebration' of Oastler market involving organisations including Wur Bradford and Kala Sangam arts centre.

The aim is to collect the market's history as Bradford Council's current regeneration plans could see the market closed within a few years with food stalls and businesses moved to a new market in the former Marks & Spencer building in Darley Street, and non-food stalls moved to Kirkgate Market.

Oastler Market would be demolished to make way for a development of family homes.