Two traditional Hackney street markets are set for comebacks and another is about to be born. The coming weeks will see the revival of Chatsworth Road and Well Street Markets and the launch of a vintage and artisan market, also in Chatsworth Road.
Chatsworth Road Market might be considered a cradle of entrepreneurship, as this is where Lord Alan Sugar, and John Cohen (founder of Tesco) both cut their trading teeth. The market closed twelve years ago, however, as the rise of supermarkets had made it more difficult for small local retailers to compete.
Last year, a group of local residents and businesses decided to bring the market back. Their labours are to bear fruit on Sunday 7 November as part of a three-week pilot scheme that extends to 5 and 12 December. On each of these days trading in Chatsworth Road will run from 11.00am to 3.00pm. Once the trial is complete, Chatsworth Road Traders and Residents Association will discuss with Hackney Council the move to a permanent market in 2011.
Sunday 7 November is also to see the opening of the new Hackney Home Made and Vintage Market in the bookshop courtyard on the corner of Glenarm and Chatsworth roads.
About a mile to the south, plans are afoot to reignite Well Street Market, which has dwindled in recent times to a single stall on most days. A Facebook site ‘Save Well Street Market’ was started recently and soon attracted nearly 200 members. Then at a meeting on 1 November the Well Street Traders and Residents Association was launched and a new logo for the market was unveiled.
George Edwards has been in Well Street for nearly 30 years running his health food shop. “They’re a lovely bunch down here,” he says. “Well Street must become a thriving market again and a place where people like coming to meet one another.”
“Times are tough but a good market can make a world of difference to struggling shopkeepers and customers who are looking for bargains,” said Cllr Ian Rathbone, who has been helping to lead the campaign to get the market going again./ 2 November, 2010