All’s Well That Ends Well

Mayor Sadiq Khan urged residents to support local traders as he took part in the reopening of Hackney’s centuries-old Well Street Market on Saturday. The Mayor raved about his morning market experience on Twitter too:

This street is where Tesco founder Jack Cohen first practiced his trade in the early 20th century. Ironically, it was chains like Tesco and Sainsbury’s which drove the local traders out of business. “The market shut down in the 1990s bit by bit due to the effects of global supermarkets… Creditors driving smaller traders out of business,” said Councillor Ian Rathbone, who has been instrumental in bringing the market back to life.

For four years, I have been putting up the Well Street market community winter festival. It gave a demonstration of what could be possible and we also built up a network of people who were interested in running a stall. Building on the back of that network and advertising, we now have a street full of stalls
Councillor Ian Rathbone

In August, the Well Street Traders and Residents Association raised over £82,000 through crowd-funding platform Spacehive – about 300 people contributed to the initiative to bring the market back to life. The market now houses about 30 different stalls selling locally crafted jewellery, stunning art, delicious street food and more. It also has a ‘teenage market’ where teens in the borough can set up their own stall free of cost and earn some pocket money.

Scenes at Well Street Market Pics: Varun B Krishnan

Artist Lewis Campbell, 38, now has a stall in the Well Street market. He has lived on the same road for six years and says the new market location feels fresh. “I’ve been selling art at markets in brick lane for about eight years. It feels strange, almost surreal running a business right where you live,” he laughs. Niamh Broderick, who writes for a construction company, says: “I live just down the road. I’ve already tried the beef sandwich and it was great. Hope this becomes a regular thing.”

The market is open on the first Saturday of every month from 9 am - 5 pm.