Farmers coming to East End to revamp declining street market
PUBLISHED: 17:48 15 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:32 05 October 2010
ROMAN Road, one of East London's famous street markets, is getting a much-needed injection of life with the arrival of a new farmers' market and an arts and craft fair. The privately-run Essex Farmers Market will display produce monthly, while the arts and craft fair will run every Saturday
ROMAN Road, one of East London's famous street markets, is getting a much-needed injection of life with the arrival of a new farmers' market and an arts and craft fair.
The privately-run Essex Farmers Market is to display produce monthly, while the arts and craft fair will run every Saturday.
Both additions to one of the narrow market in Bow are being launched on September 6 in what Tower Hamlets council bosses are describing as "a spectacular blaze of buskers, street entertainers, balloon artists and giveaways."
The Town Hall believes the new stalls will help revitalise Roman Road which has been declining for several years, particularly since the closure of the Safeway supermarket in 2005.
New foods on sale will include organic and rare breed meats, specialist breads, fresh fish, natural juices as well as arts and crafts from up-and-coming artists.
But while existing market traders welcomed the move, they are concerned about potential friction with the new arrivals.
The arts and crafts fair is placing its pitches outside the council offices in Ewart Place, the farmers' market will be among ordinary traders.
Roman Road Market Traders' Association's Kevin Burns said: "Anything that brings more people to the market has got to be a good thing.
"But I can see some friction happening with this.
"Farmers' market people as I understand it tend to pitch up really early, which will block existing traders' vans getting in.
"I don't think residents in Cardigan Road will be too happy about that either.
"They should put the farmers next to the Idea Store entrance, which would be much better for everyone."
He also reckons the farmers' market will have another problem.
"I don't think it will last," he added. "They'll only stay a few months and that'll be it.
"I just don't think they're going to get the right kind of customer for what they're selling."
Anyone interested in becoming a stallholder at the new arts and craft market is being asked to call Chris Golds at the Town Hall on 020-7364 1703.