Goodbye to town legend

SP91720 Funeral of Roy Davidson (Pound a bag man).
SP91720 Funeral of Roy Davidson (Pound a bag man).

A LEGENDARY market stall holder, who was instrumental in protecting the character of Chesterfield’s markets, has died, aged 80.

Roy Davidson, known affectionately to many as ‘Pound a Bag Man’ after his trademark call, was the founder and proprietor of Cheese Factor, in Chesterfield’s Market Hall, a company he built up over 50 years.

His son, Simon Davidson – who has since taken over the shop – described his father as “a real character” who was as popular with his own generation as he was with the town’s youngsters.

“When he would call ‘pound a bag’ children and young people would copy him as they walked past.

“It is just something people around town say. I think it is good natured, and my dad took it that way as well.”

He added that Roy was a “fantastic father” and a keen businessman, who started as a poultry farmer from his home on Hady Lane.

Roy started selling chickens at the markets and built up his stall to include bread and cheese.

“He had a stall at Chesterfield Market, then he built up to two, three, four and five stalls,” said Simon.

“Then the council asked him if he wanted to take up a shop in Low Pavements for a year while they redeveloped the market. He ended up staying there for 15 years.”

After the Market Hall’s redevelopment in 1980, Roy Davidson’s Cheese Factor moved in, where it has remained ever since.

For the past ten years, Roy has been best known as the man who stood outside the shop, where he would stay for just a few hours, but would never miss a day.

“I could never understand it myself, but he had put so much into the business” said Simon, who admits his father was never the same after his wife, Sylvia, died in 2007.

Other stall holders have paid their respects to the late proprietor, who passed away on Thursday, August 18, after suffering heart failure.

And on Facebook, more than 7,000 people have signed up to a group, called ‘R.I.P Chesterfield’s ‘pound a bag man’ Legend’.

Speaking of the public’s support, Simon said: “I looked at the Facebook site and I just couldn’t believe it. I am so overwhelmed by it all. I’m sure my dad will be looking down on us and be moved.”

Roy Davidson’s funeral took place on Thursday, August 26, at Chesterfield Crematorium.

He is survived by his sister, Etta, his sons, Simon and Karl, his five granddaughters and a grandson.

Donations to Ashgate Hospice, instead of flowers.