Ethel: I'm after a treat for my Willie. Hussain: I hope he likes onions. We have a lot of onions. Ethel: Ooh no, I couldn't possibly forcefeed my Willie like that. Hussain: Sorry, we only sell a limited range of fruit and vegetables, especially onions. Ethel: I remember when Lou's Pete ran this stall. He had cauliflowers, melons and pineapples. Hussain: We do have a few small boxes of other fruit and veg down here on these palletts. Ethel: I can't bend over that far. Pete had a lovely barrow, everything at chest height. Hussain: We also have some bananas hanging up on this washing line. They're part of our accessible fruit range. Ethel: Hmm, are there really no other stalls in this market? Hussain: Sorry, we're the only one left now. The bric a brac man vanished, the cheap tea towel bloke disappeared and the fake wristwatch geezer scarpered. Ethel: Your mate doesn't say much, does he? Big Ron:
There are some great street markets in the East End. Petticoat Lane is world famous, Columbia Road should be world famous, and even Roman Road has its advocates. Unfortunately Bromley-by-Bow market isn't great at all. You'll find it in Stroudley Walk, once a thriving Victorian high street but now just a bleak parade of retail spaces battened down behind thick metal shutters. Post-war planners earmarked this area for economic regeneration, and a huge paved expanse was set aside with space for at least 100 market stalls. But today just one single stall remains, the ill-stocked fruit and veg stall you can see in my photograph. Here a couple of Bangladeshi gentlemen eke out a living selling limited produce to those who can't quite walk as far as the nearby Tesco superstore. Alas, it can't be long before a local market tradition vanishes for good.
What's on this weekend? Spring Into Summer Saturday 30 & Sunday 31 May
40 free guided London walks. Purley Festival Friday 29 - Sunday 5 June
Bunting week, below Croydon. E17 Art Trail Sat 30th May - Sun 14th June
250 arty Walthamstow things.