Fruit and vegetables

Some of the most vivid memories of the market focus on food. Food is closely linked to a sense of identity for many shoppers at Watney Market, and as the communities around the market have changed so have the types of food on offer.

 Jim and Violent Payne © East London Advertiser 1960, Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives

Jim and Violent Payne © East London Advertiser 1960, Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives

There used to be an egg stall that used to just sell fresh eggs and bacon, and then there was a shop selling Savaloys and pease pudding. You know, it was all different, totally different.
— Sharon
Today, spinach. I needed my spinach. Two for a pound so I can’t get them any better from anywhere else.
— Nessa
 ©Diego Garcia 2017

©Diego Garcia 2017

...You knew that Mrs Smith’s apples were the best. And Jack had all these lovely potatoes.
— Ahmed
I used to go - Sunday morning. Get bagels and pickled herring and a green cucumber out of the barrel... We used to have winkles and shrimps.
— Joyce
We’d always have the same thing to get, so my Mum would have a sticky bun, and I would have one of those, you know there was an ice-cream cone with marshmallow instead real ice cream? Which is really gross when I think about it, but I really liked it.
— Nishat
You had rations for everything. I remember myself going for sweets. I had to give Miss Sherrad this book, and she would portion out so many little sweets – and you had farthings – so you had a certain farthings amount of sweets. You can imagine how small that was.
— Marg