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(March 17–20, 2005)

Mark Pearson

Skier's Food Market

Will Pearson

Borough Market

London, England, UK

01.00 pm 19th March 2005

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© 2005 Will Pearson, All Rights Reserved.

Borough Market is managed by 21 Trustees and run by a small team of office staff and Beadles who look after security. The Trust is governed by acts of parliament dating back to the18th century. In 1999 the Market was registered as a charity.

The Market comprises three main elements. While historically focused around a wholesale fruit and vegetable market, in recent years a weekly fine food retail market has been established. The third strand of our operations involves management of a number of shops specialising in food retailing.

Strangely enough, it is when most of us are asleep and there is little sign of life on the streets, that the Borough Market is at its busiest. A typical wholesale traders day starts at around 2am. Throughout the night, large container trucks transport fresh fruit and vegetables from producers near and far. They are unloaded in Stoney Street by a team of "pitching porters" and stacked on the traders stands to await the arrival of customers.

In the early hours, greengrocers, restaurateurs and hoteliers from the City, West End and the South East come to select the freshest produce available. The local café and pubs in and around the market complete the hive of activity. The Trustees own "police force", the Beadles, who until the 1930s used to have powers of arrest and the use of cells under the market (recently re-discovered), maintain good order throughout. By 9am, most of the trading has finished, leaving the Trustees team of "sweepers" free to clear away the debris left by another frantic trading session.

Since 1999, a very successful weekend gourmet retail market consisting of up to 70 stalls and stands has been developed. Producers from all over the country bring a range of fresh produce to the market, including; fish, meats, vegetables, ciders, cheeses, breads, coffees, cakes and patisseries.

Other stalls specialise in produce imported from abroad.

To ensure that a range of quality produce is maintained, the Trustees have appointed an Advisory Food Committee comprising stallholders and Trustees staff. A waiting list is maintained to encourage new traders as space allows.

The Market has been voted London's most popular market in the Time Out's publication's retail surveys. In 2003 it won the Visit London award for the most popular London experience, also voted for by the public. Similar accolades have appeared in the Evening Standard magazine as well as national newspapers.

Borough Market now also boasts an increasing range of high quality food shops in its premises situated around the wholesale core. Following the arrival of Neil's Yard Dairies in 1997, we now have a further 7 retailers, adding substantially to the already diverse range of produce on sale around the Market.

Small wonder then that Borough Market is attracting people from an increasingly wide catchment area in addition to the local population. What everyone finds when they come in addition to the produce is a unique space and meeting place that is The Borough Market .

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