But who is Mr White?

Cinema buffs might rush to answer that question with “Larry Dimmick” or even “Harvey Keitel” referring to the character in Reservoir Dogs who along with his fellow criminals adopts a colour as his alias (an idea borrowed from the 1974 version of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three).  Or they might think of Jesper Christensen‘s character in Daniel Craig‘s first two Bond outings, where there are hints of the same thought process in the naming of members of the Quantum organisation (Dominic Greene).  Of course if Zombies are your thing then it’s more likely you’ll consider 2002’s Resident Evil which also featured Doctors Brown, Blue and Green, as well as Mr Red, Mr Grey and Ms Black.

Of course in Sunderland the answer could only refer to Jacky White.  Run by Sunderland City Council for most of my life, the indoor market is known to all and sundry as Jacky White’s Market.  It doesn’t have the cachet of Newcastle’s Grainger Market, being sited in part of the concrete box development that this Sunderland’s Town Centre, but it still attracts a steady stream of customers.

With 80 or so units there are fishmongers, fruiterers, sweet shops and more but today it was Paul’s counter where I stopped to get a portrait.  A man with a light bulb for every occasion he seems to have defiantly garnered the world’s remaining stores of 100W bulbs, and does a pretty good line in Hoover bags too it appears.

With the demolition of the roof top car park there were fears from some that the market would also be reduced to rubble, but the council have maintained it.  Like many indoor markets it feels like a throwback in time, but for Paul and the other tenants it still has a future.

And as to Mr White, well apparently the name goes back to a spelling error on the first sign painted for the original owner of the market, James Whyte who founded it over 80 years ago.  I wonder how many years it has left.

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