Page 38 - MarketTimesDecember2019
P. 38

which is a stone’s throw from a bustling street food market in Rupert Street.
So the rough-and-ready authentic Church Street market is staying put where it has thrived since 1830. Originally a hay market, vegetables and general goods were added within a year and the market moved into an impressive building called Portman Market.
Mary Ann Evans, better known as the author George Eliot, shopped there and at one point there were grand plans to develop a fruit and veg market to rival Covent Garden. That dream never materialised and when the site was sold
Coun Tim Barnes is Westminster City Council’s cabinet member for Economic Development, Education and Skills, a role which covers markets and remembers the market from his early childhood
in 1906 the traders simply moved their stalls on to the street.
Despite its proximity to plush apartment blocks bordering the heart of the West End, Church Street is a deprived area surrounded by council and social flats with a high proportion of people renting. More than two-thirds of households do not own a car.
The six-day-a-week market has been the mainstay of the ethnically diverse community for decades, receiving a boost in 1976 with the opening of Alfie’s Antiques Market in the former Jordan’s department store.
FEATURE • CHURCH STREET It is now home to 70 dealers and provides
another reason for people outside the area to visit the market on a Saturday, which is the busiest day with around 220 stalls.
Many of the traders have been standing Church Street market for decades. Terry West runs one of many fruit and veg stalls on the market where he has clocked up more than 40 years.
Like so many of the old traders, he remembers the good old days when the market was heaving.
Jack Econonou, who has been selling fabrics on the market for the past 45 years said: “It isn’t as busy as it used to be.
   Abdul Karim has been selling men’s and women’s clothing on Church Street market from Monday to Saturday since 2001
 Jack Econonou has been selling fabric on the market for 45 years

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