Two long-standing businesses from the former Riverside Market in Haverfordwest are gearing up for Christmas in their new premises.

‘Time Is’ and ‘Terminal Records’ have moved to the Riverside Courtyard, near Coffee #1 at the Old Bridge.

It follows Pembrokeshire County Council’s decision to close the Riverside Market and convert it into a new county library and gallery.

The businesses are the final traders to move from the market, having both been there since the early days.

Reg Davies runs ‘Time Is’ – which specialises in watches, clocks and engraving – with his wife Sandra and son Greg. He said although leaving the market after 33 years had been difficult, it was a ‘blessing in disguise’.

“When they told us we would be leaving it was horrendous,” he said. “But every cloud has a silver lining. We’re in a great spot looking over the river and the building itself is lovely. It’s warm, and it’s a much nicer working environment.

“We still have our established customers, and the passing trade has been great. We’re seeing new people now, because they notice us when they come over the bridge and a lot of people didn’t come into the market.”

Martin Thompson, owner of the music shop ‘Terminal Records’, was one of the first traders at the market when it opened in November 1982. He said the uncertainty over its future had been tough for the traders, and that he had sympathy for those who weren’t able to re-locate their business.

“It’s worked out all right in the end, for me,” he said. “But it’s not been easy. The market was a community hub. If you want change, it’s ok - but when it’s forced on you there is a bit of resentment.”

However, he said his business had made a promising start in its new premises, helped by the resurgence in the popularity of vinyl. The shop specialises in original vinyl records in everything from hip-hop to metal, folk, punk, reggae, jazz and blues.

Cllr Keith Lewis, Cabinet Member for Economy and Communities, said: “We know that traders have undergone a challenging period and we recognise that things have been difficult at times, but we wish them all the very best in their new premises.”

Martin and Reg also praised Tim Bullock, estates surveyor at the Council, and local county councillor Tom Tudor for their support during their move.

Cllr Tudor said: “This has been a difficult time for all the businesses that were located in the Riverside Market, but I am very pleased for Reg, Sandra and Greg from ‘Time Is’ and for Martin Thompson from ‘Terminal Records’, I am sure judging on the positive comments that the future for their businesses is looking brighter than previously and I wish them all the very best, and as the local County Councillor for the ‘Castle Ward’ I am as always readily available should they need any further help.”