First came the Huguenots, then the Irish, the Jews, the Maltese and more recently the Pakistani, Somali and Bangladeshi
communities. Throughout its history it has nurtured a rich ecology of small gatherings, of chapels, meeting houses,
synagogues, chevras, friendly and mutual societies. Spitalfields' stock of social capital is high and its key currency is solidarity.
But the Corporation of London wants to turn Spitalfields into "London's exciting new financial quarter...."
"We want immediate intervention in the process that is allowing the Corporation of London’s imposition of a development that would destroy
the unique locality of Spitalfields. We wish to see Spitalfields Market protected because of its distinctive contribution to both the local area and
to London. We want a full appraisal of the implications of this development on the Spitalfields area and the full involvement of local businesses
and residents in the planning of this and other places where major office expansion is proposed."
Spitalfields Market Under Threat (SMUT - campaign) website: www.smut.org.uk
In 1682, King Charles II granted a silk thrower, a Royal Charter that gave him the right to hold a market in or near Spital Square. For
the next 200 years, the market traded from a collection of sheds and stalls, doing its best to cope with London’s growing appetite for
fresh fruit and vegetables. As time went by, it became a centre for the sale of home-grown produce, which was being traded there six
days a week. By 1876, a former market porter bought a short lease on the market and started work on a new market building, which
was completed in 1893 at a cost of £80,000.
With no room for the expansion it so badly needed, the market was forced to move and in May 1991, it opened its doors at its new
location in Leyton. These modern industrial units are functional but New Spitalfields certainly has no charm.......
No great history here as far as I'm aware but some decaying lettering on the side of the
corrugated iron market shelter makes a good photo......
Pioneer Market, Ilford
Due for construction of a 31 storey building comprising of
basement parking, retail on ground and first floor, medical centre on second and third
floor, 264 residential units on the upper floors and telecommunications mast above.
November 2006: the area is now just a levelled piece of ground awaiting its redevelopment
These buildings were recently described to SAVE BRITAIN'S HERITAGE by the City of London's
Surveyor as 'rather cheap and nasty' and that they could do rather better for the area by knocking
them down and starting again"
The stalls had their office above
The empty buildings are examples of the work of Victorian architect Sir Horace Jones. The market
was bombed during the blitz and repaired during the 1950's. However, after surviving the Germans
the building are under threat of demolition from modern day developers who wish to build office blocks.
Unneccessary need for more offices? - there is currently 2.5 million square feet of empty office space
within a mile of the market and a further 22.5 million square feet lying vacant across London.
These derelict buildings are the General Market and Fish Market Annexe. The adjacent Meat Market
is still trading although the lease on that expires in a few years.
Smithfield Market was haunted in the middle of the 17th century by the ghost of a lawyer named Mallet, who is said to
have died in 1654 after eating poisoned meat. Described as being dressed in the gown of a lawyer and wearing long-pointed
shoes, he appeared in the market every Saturday night between the hours of nine o’clock and midnight, tormenting the
butchers by pulling joints of meat off their stalls. Some of the braver of these men attempted to drive the ghost away with
their knives and meat-cleavers but could feel “nothing but aire”. It would appear that the ghost was not absolutely certain
that the affected meat had come from Smithfield however, because after terrorising the butchers at Smithfield he often
moved on to Whitechapel and Eastcheap, where he similarly angered the butchers there.
Smithfield Meat marker still up and running. There are a couple of pubs around here that are open at 7 in the morning to
cater for the market workers, if you ever fancy a pint before breakfast..........
Islington Gazette - July 2006 Public inquiry into market 'regeneration'
PLANS to redevelop part of Smithfield Market have been put on ice after Government planning minister Ruth Kelly decided to call a major public inquiry.
Developers Thornfield Properties want to knock down the derelict General Market building in Farringdon Street and replace it with a seven-storey steel and glass block.
The original building was designed by Victorian architect Horace Jones - who designed Tower Bridge - but the General Market was not completed until after his death and a large part of it was altered after it was hit by a bomb during World War Two.
For this reason, English Heritage has never approved it for listing, although it claims it is an "important building in a conservation area" and should be refurbished.
The City of London Corporation gave the project the go-ahead despite a flood of complaints from residents, preservation groups like English Heritage, SAVE Britain's Heritage and even from Prince Charles.
Now Mrs Kelly's intervention could mean that even if the developers win the right to go ahead with their plans, any work will not be able to start until the end of next year at the very earliest.
Thornfield Properties managing director Michael Capocci said: "Thornfield is resolved to see this application through to the end of the process and we are looking forward to presenting the strength of our proposals to the scrutiny of a public inquiry.
"We have presented the strongest possible case for our regeneration proposals for the run-down and disused western edge of Smithfield. We are naturally disappointed and frustrated that this application and the significant benefits that it offers the market, the Smithfield area, and the City of London will now be delayed given that it has already taken six years to get to this point. However, we have continued confidence in the proposals as we go forward."
Smithfield traders reckon the £150million development will bring a new lease of life to the area.
Greg Lawrence, Smithfield Market Tenants' Association chairman, said: "This development is essential for the life of the market to go on and thrive.