'This market has been murdered!' Redevelopment in the 60s and 70s

Watney Street was once lined with bombsites, the remnants of WWII. In 1965 redevelopment began, and the market was temporarily relocated, but the project took over a decade to complete. In 1977, ‘This market has been murdered!’graffiti appeared on a boarded-up shop in Watney Street. The market also began to face competition from local supermarkets. It was only in the 1990s that it began to grow once more.

 ©Tony Bock 1970 All Rights Reserved

©Tony Bock 1970 All Rights Reserved

The houses I lived in were small, they were just for small families, but big families lived in them and they were well overcrowded… we never had electric, we had gas, outside. We never had a bathroom, we use to use to baths over the other side of commercial road and we use to go there for weekly baths. I mean we never had nothing.
— Joyce
One of my most vivid memories of growing up is, these tower blocks just behind us that were built, and the excitement of going up and seeing that people had really nice flats.
— Penny
 ©London Metropolitan Archives, City of London, Collage: The London Picture Archive [273547] 1969

©London Metropolitan Archives, City of London, Collage: The London Picture Archive [273547] 1969

 Sarah Jackson 2017

Sarah Jackson 2017

There was a big hole there in the kitchen wall. You could see the market. You could see the market down below, through this hole.
— Marg
When I first came here I thought I didn’t want to live in the middle of a market, you know, I’d rather live in a street, not a market... but then I realised that its actually quite convenient because everything is here and, yeah it can be a bit loud, but there’s some sort of charm in hearing you know, people selling their stuff.
— Fatima