A mooch around and a bargain: social life at Watney Market

The market is about more than buying and selling. Sometimes women visit for fruit and vegetables; and sometimes for family and friends. For several generations the market has provided valuable social connections and networks.

Its true, if your mother went down to Watney Street – we use to on Saturday morning – you never knew when you were going to get home because there was always someone your mother knew and they would get talking and I use to get cross and say ‘mum can we go?’ - Joyce
 ©Phil Maxwell 2010 All Rights Reserved

©Phil Maxwell 2010 All Rights Reserved

When you are from the same community, you kind of have this code of familiarity, even if you don’t know the person. I use to always think ‘that’s really strange’, because I knew my Mum didn’t know them personally, but she’d call them ‘brother’ in Bengali… For someone who had left a family and come to London, and to have a community that acted like a family, that’s very important - Nishat
They’d come out in all weathers, bless ‘em. The people were very friendly here, you know. Which I love about this market. You can walk down here and always bump into someone you know and say ‘how’s everything going’ - Erica
 ©Phil Maxwell 2010 All Rights Reserved

©Phil Maxwell 2010 All Rights Reserved

The ordinary  East Enders, they like to have a mooch around and bargain. - Patricia