Popular Swansea market stall to close after decades of service

  • ITV Wales' Dean Thomas reports.

A woman who dedicated her life to running a popular cockles and shellfish stall in Swansea has announced her retirement.

Carol Watts, 62, is the fifth-generation owner of the Swansea market stall and has recently closed up shop.

Carol Watts Gower Cockles, Laverbread and Shellfish has been trading Welsh delicacies in the city centre for decades, but owner Carol has decided to hang up her apron.

Speaking to ITV Wales, she said: "My emotions are very, very high. I think I've cried for a good many days, but it was something I had to do.

"It was a quick decision. I've retired to spend more time with my mum and my family. I have served well and I just think it was my time to go."


The market trader decided to put family first and spend precious time with her mother, who has been unwell.

She continued: "It's bittersweet because my decision to go was made in a matter of a week and I didn't have a chance to say goodbye and thank my customers.

"I didn't tell any customers I was going, my emotions were too high and I just couldn't do it. But I'd like to thank the people of Swansea and beyond as I've got customers everywhere. I've had people texting me from Australia and America saying they're going to miss visiting the stall when they come back. It's been a long time."

Cockles have been a part of Carol's family legacy for over 120 years, her great grandparents would pick them in Pen-clawdd.

SWANSEA MARKET Credit: John Myers

Forming an important part of the family business since she was just four years old, Carol reminisced about regularly visiting the stall and standing on a stool while her parents and grandparents served customers.

After a brief period away, Carol returned to the business, re-opening it as her very own 'Carol Watts Gower Cockles, Laverbread and Shellfish'.

Carol said: "I just loved working under one roof and seeing different people coming in. I still had one gent coming to me who is 90 years of age and I used to serve his mother years ago.

"I've seen children growing up who are now the same age as me and I remember them coming in when my grandpa was in the market."

In a final message for her customers, she said: "For all you lovely people, my customers and friends, thank you for making me the person that I am today."

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