New trader brings story of survival to market

Ray Hill’s story of survival is as uplifting as the plots of the films he sells in his new shop.

Ray Hill at the Dundas Indoor Market

Ray Hill at the Dundas Indoor Market

Five years ago he found out he had cancer in his liver and bowel. Ray had two major operations – one removed two-thirds of his liver – and he underwent six months of chemotherapy.

His illness also meant Ray had to give up his job as a self-employed removal and delivery driver, which he had been doing for the previous two decades, and he could not work for two years.

But now the grandad from Billingham has been told he does not require a check-up for another 12 months and he is looking forward to a new start, selling DVDs, records and CDs at the Dundas Indoor Market in Middlesbrough.

“The treatment wasn’t too bad really,” said Ray. “The main thing is I’m fine now.” He has a collection of thousands of films and records and began selling them at The Shambles Market Hall in Stockton.

He has now moved to Middlesbrough and is confident that music fans’ rediscovered love of vinyl will bear fruit.

“The records have been the most popular. People have come back to them. I don’t know whether it’s the sound or the pictures on the cover or whether they prefer something physical rather than a download,” said Ray, who likes all music and particularly Middlesbrough’s Chris Rea.

Collectors can choose from an extensive range of classic albums and singles from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Ray’s records are a who’s who of pop and rock: from Elvis to ABBA, Bob Dylan to Queen.

His Blue Rays and DVDs suit every taste and there is a particularly wide choice for young viewers.

“What’s on display is just a fraction of what I’ve got,” said Ray.  “If people can’t find what they’re looking for, there’s a good chance I’ll have it at home.”

Ray is one of a number of new traders at Dundas Indoor Market.  He joins the S & J Sugar Cave sweet shop, PM Toys and Collectables, Simply Babywear and Inspired Photography Services.

Market manager David Harris said both the new and well-established traders provide shoppers with great gift ideas for Christmas.

“They offer something different from the High Street and an opportunity to buy a really personal present,” he said. “Coming here you are also supporting your local independent traders who we all want to do well.”