St Albans market trader celebrates 50 years on same pitch

Julian Lanosberg has been trading at St Albans market for 50 years

Julian Lanosberg has been trading at St Albans market for 50 years - Credit: Archant

A market trader has credited his ‘loyal’ customer base for his long-lived career as he celebrates 50 years at the market.

Julian Lanosberg runs the well-known watch stall opposite Boots on St Peter’s Streetand will mark his 50th year trading there after first setting up shop in the first week of January, 1966.

The 77 year old wakes up at 3am and leaves his home in Leigh on Sea by 4.40am to serve his loyal customers, not returning home until 6.30 in the evening.

The watch repairman has helped countless people over his long stint at the market. “He gives such a great service,” said one customer as the Herts Advertiser approached Julian for an interview.

Julian said that getting into the business would be difficult now, and that people starting out in his trade would find it hard to make ‘a living’ out of a stall.

He credited his customers for the stall’s longevity. Julian added: “If you think about the number of people over the years who have stuck by me, I have a very loyal customer base. There wasn’t too many in the watch business at the time [when I started], and they probably liked the way I dealt with them. I always give people a good after service and looked after them, that’s how it’s been over the years, they’ve stuck by me.”

One well-known St Albans name, Philomena Lee, is a regular user of the stall. Julian said: “I’ve known her for years as a customer, but of course I didn’t know who she was at the time, she was just a lovely Irish lady who came up for years and years.

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“She came up one Wednesday and she had a bag in her hand and she said ‘I’m on the red carpet tonight’. I said ‘What do you mean?’ and she said ‘Oh they’re making a film about my life!’ and of course I went to go and see it,”

Once trading at a market every day of the week, St Albans is now the only one that Julian still trades at, He added: “It’s your living, you’re trying to get your living and it’s a good market, it’s always been a good town with nice people, nice traders.”

He has become a very well-known face to both traders and to market goers. Market manager Darren Lynch, said: “He’s been there since before England won the World Cup and that is an awful long time ago. I find Julian one of the most warm, kind and wonderful human beings you are ever likely to meet.

“I have been doing this job for two years and he’s one of my favourites. He’s part of the history of St Albans and

must have fixed thousands and thousands of watches. He’s the man who keeps our city ticking over.”

After 50 years does the 77 year old have any plans to shut shop? “I feel alright, I still work and I still enjoy it so I’ll carry on,” Julian said.