Chris Wilson is as much a feature of Boston Market Place as the Five Lamps – in fact, more of a feature. The Five Lamps came, went and came back again. Chris has been a constant there for the past 20 years, 50 weeks a year, whatever the weather.
Chris, Boston born and bred, is ever ready with a quick quip and a ready smile. “I love Boston, the market, the people, my job,” he said.
He has sampled other markets – Wisbech, Milton Keynes, St Neots, St Ives – but has always maintained his place on Boston Market on both Wednesday and Saturday market days. On Tuesday and Fridays he can be found on Lincoln Market.
Life on Boston Market for Chris began when he was still at school. Aged just 13 he had a Saturday job on Terry’s Games stall, selling video games.
His entrepreneurial streak saw him set up a print business at the former Regal Centre when he left school aged 16. As soon as he passed his driving test he had his own stall on the market and his pound shop type merchandise saw him ahead of the game at that time.
His seasonal range sees a swing towards children’s toys for the summer holidays and at Christmas. These range from pocket money items to festive presents favoured by nans and grandads which will not break the bank.
His stall, one of the longest on the market at the head of the square where it leads to Strait Bargate, can be seen and heard on Saturdays as electronic toys whizz, beep and bump on working display. He stays abreast of latest demands, meeting the current crazes, such as slime and spinners.
Chris was again ahead of the game around six-and-a-half years ago when he diversified into vaping products, now a main seller for him
He explained how this began: “A customer asked if I could supply what was then one of these new-fangled electronic cigarettes. He wanted to have some fun ‘smoking’ it in the Nelson, when they may have thought he was ignoring the smoking ban. I got ten and they all sold on the Saturday. The next week I got 50 and they all went.”
He has continued to move with the times and now stocks a huge range of UK quality vaping products and big zero-nicotine bottles made in the USA. There is a huge choice of flavours and strengths, plus other state-of-the-art devices to help those who want to wean themselves off conventional cigarettes while satisfying their cravings in a less health-damaging way.
Chris is helped full time on the stall by his son Ryan, and his mum Sandra likes to keep her hand in.
Chris with his vape selection
Chris with his toys for the summer – Yo Yo Avengers and Slime.