Chorley Market's clothing king John Brennan says its the people of the town who "make it so special"

As part of our Chorley 150 series, we speak to John Brennan who has been keeping the ladies of Chorley well-dressed for more than 50 years.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 12:30 pm
"It's the people of Chorley that make it so special" says John Brennan
"It's the people of Chorley that make it so special" says John Brennan

Bringing up half a century on Chorley Market, John Brennan is typical of the characters who make Chorley great.

John says: "I started on the market on 7 February 1970, back then it was £1 to rent a stall for the day and day traders had to queue up from about 6.30am.

"I've absolutely loved it all that time."

Chorley's clothing king John Brennan could give lessons on how to succeed in retail

From those early days selling women's clothes as a day trader John was able to take on an empty stall and so the empire began.

Today he's got 10 stalls and a shop selling all types of clothing for men, women and children.

His wife Linda has worked the stalls with him for 43 years and their sons Jonathan and James both work on the market with him.

John says: "I'm 71 next but I don't want to pack it in.

John and Linda Brennan

"It's the people of Chorley that make it so special.

"I live at Bromley Cross in Bolton but if I had to move from there I'd come to Chorley in a shot."

John's time selling clothes has seen the rise and fall of High Street fashion retailers, the advent of supermarkets selling clothes and, of course, the invention of the internet and online shopping.

Many smaller independent shops have suffered in that time, but Chorley's clothing king could give lessons on how to succeed in retail.

The Chorley Guardian is featuring 150 stories about Chorley: Inspirational people, places that we love, or special moments in the life of the borough.

He says: "If you can make it a pleasure for people to deal with you that's the secret.

"You've got to sell yourself.

"If someone buys an item from me and then has to bring it back it's either an exchange or a refund.

"If you do that with a smile on your face and you're pleasant that person will come back."

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It certainly seems to be the case; they've been coming back to John's stall since 1970.

He's seen teenage girls grow into mature women and he's always got clothes to suit.

"Some of the women who come to buy off me now I was selling mini-skirts to in the 70s," he laughs.

Chorley 150 countdown:

This story is part of our Chorley 150 series to mark the 150th anniversary of the Chorley Guardian.

If you'd like to nominate someone, a business, charity or landmark, for the Chorley 150 series then email