New street market coming to Docklands is Will's passion
- Credit: Collana Verde Farm
A new Docklands street market is opening on a quayside in Wapping next month for fresh farm produce and cottage crafts with a handy watering hole close by.
Traders and artisans are setting up stalls at the London Docks by Wapping Wall every Saturday from April 17, just an arm's length from the Prospect of Whitby.
It was dreamed up by a young entrepreneur working shifts behind the bar at another pub to earn a bit of cash.
Will Cutteridge, whose dad lives in Wapping, is anxious to help the Docklands community to get back to normal as lockdown is coming to an end.
“It has long been my dream to run my own market business,” the 24-year-old told the East London Advertiser.
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“I started my working life as an apprentice in the property industry, but didn’t have much money and spent Saturdays working shifts in a pub for extra cash.
“But I met a family who run a dairy farm and was soon selling their cheeses through their network of farmers’ markets across London and developed a passion for the market industry. It seemed the obvious option in my career.”
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Will has signed up 40 traders so far to bring fresh farm produce to Docklands and London's East End. He is promoting shopping as a "social expedition" as well, a place where the community traditionally meets.
“Markets in the East End always sat at the heart of the community,” he said. “But it has been an isolated year, so I’m pleased to bring a new market to the community in Wapping."
But his Wapping Docklands Market is also bringing craft industries to the Brussels Wharf quayside, where the stalls are being set up by the big red bridge at Wapping Wall.
One of the craft traders he has signed up is Kate Wildblood, who set up a homeware business when she was living on the island of Bali.
Kate said: “We started during the pandemic as a way to help families in our neighbourhood in Bali, creating homeware, textiles and scent.
“Now since returning to London this winter, we’ve extended it to soy wax candles and fragrance oils, all hand-produced in our London studio.”
Kate also makes ceramics, dinnerware and accessories, donating a fifth of the profit she makes to charities supporting the planet, children and animals. But it’s more a passion than a business.
“I’m a big believer in crafts being the solution to everything,” Kate said. “Working with my hands in a creative way is food for the soul.”
She sets up her stall alongside traders like Nicolas Hanson’s La Tua Pasta fresh produce that he supplies to 15 Michelin-star restaurants.
The Oyster Brothers street food vendors is also signed up, which will be selling rock oysters and freshly-grilled prawns and scallops from its pitch at Brussels Wharf on the Shadwell Basin quayside.
Wapping was "the only place" for Will to set up his market. His dad lives at the other end of the cobbled Wapping High Street.
Will has a passion for Wapping and old Dockland and even runs a blog about it, telling the story of the Shadwell Basin being the last Wapping waterway which was built in 1828, completing the West Dock which is now a housing complex with its ornamental canal, a last fragment of the old London Docks.
His other passion is saving the planet by doing something about throwaway plastic that ends up poisoning the oceans, another one of his blogs.
His Wapping Docklands Market starts April 17 from 10am to 4pm each Saturday, while shoppers who get a bit thirsty can pop to the famous Prospect of Whitby that has been on Wapping’s riverfront since 1520.
"These hard-working East End dockers were famous for their capacity for alcohol," Will added.
London's oldest riverside pub met their needs, so Will feels it is handy for his new market venture.