Queen's Market in East London is unique. It seems unimaginable that for 10 years this vital resource could have been threatened by Newham Council and rapacious companies. In response to this attack on our local resource, shoppers, residents and traders formed the Friends of Queen's Market (FoQM) who defeated the developers and continue to PROTECT and PROMOTE the market to this day.
Queen's Market is prospering: new stalls, more shoppers and special events have helped to bring in new customers whilst also raising awareness of the continual need to safeguard our community's vital resource.
Shoppers have reminded us of the need to SAVE QUEEN'S MARKET from any form of threats, given these hard economic times.
Queen's Market - a place celebrated for its inclusiveness and the vital role it plays in bringing communities together.
Greetings and shout-out
to the Focus E15 Mothers
Newham Council wanted to GET RID OF these homeless
young mums by re-housing them outside London for the same reasons that they
wanted RID of our market: social cleansing to make Newham a shiny
magnet for wealthy people who do all their shopping at
Westfield and see the rest of us as riff-raff. Their fight goes on and has included the heroic occupation of the
scandalously empty Council properties on the Carpenters Estate.
mothers, you are an inspiration to us all. See Focus E15 Facebook for up to date
Parking, the fight goes on
continues to charge extortionate parking fees to shoppers at the market with
none of the concessions or free parking offered to shoppers in other areas of
Newham. Friends of Queen's Market has worked with traders to produce a parking
proposal which will go to the directly elected Mayor Robin Wales.
Film screenings at Queen's Market
evening of Bank Holiday Monday an audience of around two hundred watched Tom & Jerry cartoons and then one of the great Bollywood films - in Queen's
They sat on silver cushions drank tea and munched on
popcorn. Silver pennants flying, Aamir Khan on the screen, the
market was transformed into a magical place. The show and refreshments
(all free) were provided by the Green Street Community Forum who showed for all
to see that the market is a valuable space which the community can use on
MAKING THE LAW WORK FOR US
Friends of Queen’s Market have been busy ensuring the council doesn’t ‘sell off all the silver’ in the borough by making sure Queen’s Market is RECOGNISED AS AN ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE.
What does it all mean? It’s in the Localism Act passed by Government that states, if a place “is currently being used, or was used in the last five years for activities which improve the social wellbeing and interests of the local community” then it can be nominated. We believe Queen’s is clearly of value and much more, so we filled in the forms and sent them off.
Just awaiting a reply from Newham Council.
Let’s hope the council see sense and want to also safeguard our market.
New visitors and supporter from round the world
of Queen's Market were happy to welcome a group of mature students from
Frankfurt. Their study tour was called "London Calling - the East End in the
bonfire of the financial markets?" They appreciated the incredibly
diversity of the produce on offer. And they listened to the story of the
developers who wanted to demolish the market. The law wouldn't allow developers to get away with such a
thing in Germany, they reckoned. (Note to our Council, check this out next time
you're on a jolly to Newham's twin town in Germany!)
Easter Fun at the market
occasional art stalls are getting famous. At Easter time in spite of the dodgy
weather young artists eagerly coloured in the 'easter bunny' with his
football scarf - and munched their free Easter eggs. We'd welcome suggestions
for Eid and Diwali activities!
Our exhibition about the history and struggles at Queen's Market
Saving the Queen's, a pop-up exhibition was a collaborative effort by Eastside Community Heritage and Friends of Queen's Market.
The pop-up exhibition included photographs and oral histories from the early days of the market up until the recent campaign to save Queen's Market.
If only Newham council would show Queen's Market the same care it shows to other local assets....
The summer of 2013 saw two cultural celebrations of Queen's Market.
Human Coral, an art exhibition featuring Queen's Market , was shown at
the Rich Mix Arts Centre in Bethnal Green throughout the month of June.
Queen's Market and the fight to save it featured in the film 'We aint stupid.' shown in July as part of the East End Festival.
art was the work of Newham's young artist Saif Osmani: young East
London film director Mitch Panayis made his documentary feature debut
with the film.
Both exhibition and film were well attended and praised
If you missed either watch this space: you may get a second chance later in the year!
THE MARKET'S FUTURE
Council's Core Strategy (their plans for what they want to see built in
Newham over the next 10 year) was passed in 2012. It allows the Council
to 'develop' the market when they feel ready. You can read more about
the Core Strategy on the 'History of the Campaign' page.
Council don't have to do everything that's in the Core Strategy. Three
things are making the developers and Council keep their greedy mits off
the market for the time being:
1) The recession
2) The campaigning by Friends of Queen's Market
We are convinced that your continuing support for the market is keeping the Council at bay. We are proud to be the community campaign that PROMOTES and PROTECTS the market.
It seems like a lot has happened since Asda retreated in 2006, the planning application rejection in 2009 and finally St. Modwen, the developers bolting in 2010. This is all good news for the community and for the future of the 111 year old market that we have all come to love and depend on for fresh fruit and vegetables, amongst other supplies. Remember, QUEEN’S MARKET BELONGS TO YOU!
The market is now under the control of Newham Council and its elected people. However, the local planning Core Strategy has a few worrying proposals. Friends of Queen’s Market are here to make sure that the market stays here for the people of Newham and shoppers everywhere.
Sadly, not all’s rosy as the car park charges have more than doubled. The car drivers who visit the market are not wealthy people and the charges are hitting them as well as the market traders. Friends of Queen’s Market believe this increase is UNFAIR and DISPROPORTIONATE and request the old charges be reinstated. See the picture of our demo further below.
Also, the roof is still giving everyone grief. £150,000 of taxpayer’s money paid over, with a 20 year guarantee, but the water is still coming in!
Friends of Queen's Market protest against the doubling of car park charges.
Under the new, much improved market management, Queen’s Market has received an AWARD for being the greenest market in South England and there’s a nice glass trophy on display in the Inspectors’ office. Go and have a look for yourself! Friends of Queen’s Market congratulates the traders, especially the fruit and vegetable stallholders- saving the planet whilst saving money for the market – nice one!
Congratulations on the latest award from the Local Government Chronicle. Thanks to the traders' hard work Queen's Market came 2nd out of 82 contestants for the Zero Waste Award. Well done!
New Traders: If you want to have a stall in the market please call 020 8475 8174 or 020 8475 8971
How to get there: Turn right from Upton Park Station, the market is next door.
Tubes: District & Hammersmith & City Lines (30 mins from Central London, 10 minutes from Mile End Station) Buses: 104 (from Stratford), 238, 58, 330, 376 Car parking: whilst short-stay parking is available on Green Street, we advise you to park at Shaftesbury Road car park, or Queen's Road car park.
The planning Inspector’s Report was published 16th January 2012
In his report Inspector Geoffrey Salter commented that the Queen’s Market building was quite sound (though unattractive!) and ‘far from irreparable’. He acknowledged the local fears aroused by the Council’s last scheme to redevelop the market but noted that it had been discarded. Describing the market as ‘vibrant and vital’ he said that in the light of Council promises to retain the market ‘a scheme for redevelopment or possibly refurbishment would be acceptable’.
Angela Daley, Friends of Queen’s Market Coordinator, commented ‘We are pleased that the Inspector called our market vibrant and vital: we’re glad he flagged up refurbishment as a possible alternative to pulling it down. Now it’s up to shoppers and traders to make their voice heard and safeguard this vital community asset!”
Get your money's worth........ compare the prices!
We did a price comparison by purchasing the same fruit and veg at a local supermarket on the local high street (Green Street in Upton Park). It puts a new twist on the catchphrase "every little helps".
Successive governments have dabbled in social engineering with varying degrees of success. These attempts to establish racially harmonious communities have invariably proved as futile as an alchemist's attempts to turn bass metal into gold. Yet, in Queen's Market there has evolved a remarkable community that is London's,and in probability Europe's most ethnically diverse. Over the course of the market's one hundred year history successive waves of immigrants have made the East End their home; ranging from Russian Jews escaping the Tsarist pogroms at the beginning of the twentieth century to Zimbabweans fleeing the tyranny of Robert Mugabe in 2009. Rather like a coral reef this multi-layered and multi-faceted community is a fragile form, easily destroyed, yet near impossible to replicate.So why is this market such a magnet to ethnic minority communities from right across London? Its success lies in the fact that its functions are many and varied. As a social space it provides an ideal arena for social interaction. The market is a living information exchange, a place of linguistic comfort, education and of course, gossip. The human dynamic of the market and its environs energies and reinforces cultural identity for people, many of whom feel maginalised and lost in London. With over 85% of the shoppers coming from African, African-Caribbean and Asian communities it is evident that the style of shopping is redolent of that found in the markets of Kumasi, Kingston and Karachi. Any one who is familiar with Russell Market, Bangalore will know exactly why Queen's Market resonates in the way that it does. With its souk-like ambience, access to fresh, culturally appropriate produce and goods at amazing prices ensures that news of the market spreads far beyond the East End. This human reef has some rarer national groups if one is prepared to explore; who would have thought that Burundians, Ecuadorians, Latvians andthe Togolese would be regular denizens of Queen's Market - they too have heard of its fame. The market has also provided a fertile environment for entrepreneurs to start toput down purposeful roots in the UK. It is encouraging self sufficiency and a degree of financial independence that has helped successive communities to become an essential part of that extraordinary world city that we call London. Queen's Market continues to evolve and absorb the social mores of countless nations. Add to this the piquant Cockney humour and you have the sort of cocktail of peacefully coexisting humanity that social engineers can only dream of.
Support for our market from internationally acclaimed Newham-based poet Benjamin Zephaniah:
"It is one of the most weird and wonderful places in the capital: a dazzling medley of colour, languages, shops, stalls, merchandise and movement. It is a lifeline for the people on low incomes: the things that are sold here, from halibut to haberdashery, are almost unbelievably cheap." - Paul Kingsnorth, Real England (2008)
"Queen's thrives because most locals still cook for themselves - the market is essential. To them, it represents nothing short of their identity - the very heart and soul of their community."- Carolyn Steel, Values to save for Queen's and country, Building Design, 5/12/2008.
Be sure to take a look at our food links elsewhere in this website. Even better come and discover why Queen's Market was chosen as one of three finalists for the 'Best Food Market' in the BBC Radio Four Food & Farming Awards 2008.
"The diversity is remarkable enough, but maybe even more remarkable are the prices -everything is eye-wateringly cheap. Asda's Price Promise would be laughed at here. In an area like this, with so many people living on very low wages, this is not just convenient, it is vital."An extract from Real England - Paul Kingsnorth (Portobello Books, 2008)
Queen's Market is especially valued by women living in London:
"Queen's Market, Upton Park is a thriving and profitable covered street market. Situated in the East End, it has been in existence for over a century and is at the heart of a vibrant community that draws in people from across London and beyond. Famed for its affordable and culturally appropriate produce, it is much more than just a market, it is a living information exchange and a communal space. Queen's Market is an important centre of employment and brings in millions of pounds into the local economy. It exudes entrepreneurial spirit, tolerance and good humour. Little wonder that Londoners love it."
- Sasha Laurel, Chair
Friends of Queen's Market celebrate the retreat of the developer (Yellow Advertiser). For details of our heroic campaign please see page 2- Story of our Campaign.