diamond geezer

 Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The real EastEnders
the market

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.

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