This Little Piggy

Abergele is know as a market town because there used to be a livestock market here every Monday in the 1960s and 70s.

The town filled up with land rovers, tractors and trailers and farmers wearing flat tweed caps and holding shepherd’s crocks.

The market tradition is one that stretched back in time and there are old postcards that show that livestock trading used to take place on the main Market Street itself.

As you look today at Abergele Tesco, it’s hard to imagine that site was once full of corrugated iron sheds and animal pens, with the sounds and smells of prime Welsh livestock.

The sound of piglets squealing still sends a shiver down my spine. I’m back there now. I feel my hand being held tightly by my dad’s hand as he takes me there to see the pig sale.

“Gees, gees, gees!” he’d shoo some piglets out of our way. The smell’s overpowering. The auctioneer is pacing along planks placed between the pens, selling animals to the highest bidders.

The next time you buy a pack of shrink-wrapped pork at Tesco’s Abergele, remember that on this site, pigs once did squeal.

Abergele Livestock Market. Painted in 1969 by Harry Gee.

Abergele Livestock Market. Painted in 1969 by Harry Gee.

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