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Hoxton traders set for return to former glory

PUBLISHED: 17:56 12 June 2013 | UPDATED: 17:56 12 June 2013

Nigerian food is dished up at Hoxton Street Market. Picture: Joe Woodhouse

Nigerian food is dished up at Hoxton Street Market. Picture: Joe Woodhouse

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A historic market was relaunched on Saturday with a huge knees-up and the mingling of traders old and new.

Hoxton Street Market in Hoxton Street, Hoxton, which has been running for more than 300 years, has traditionally only offered clothes, bric-a-brac, flowers and toiletries.

But now a range of new traders have set up shop – including food stalls and high fashion – in a bid to give the market a wider appeal and reflect the changing face of the Hoxton area.

The new-look market, supported by Hackney Council, was officially launched on Saturday, with people from all generations enjoying free music and the variety of new stalls.

Long-standing customer Tara Francom, 44, of Grays, Essex, who used to live in Hoxton, said: “I come here every week. It used to be a really good market and really busy but then it went quiet. But now, with the food, it’s quite nice. It’s a lot better.”

Meanwhile 30-year-old Tim Sanderson, who lives in Felton Street, Hoxton, came to buy flowers from long-term trader Mark Brooks.

He said: “I came a couple of weeks ago and was thinking if you get a few more food stalls it will be like Broadway Market. Now it feels like that!”

Reaction from both existing and new stallholders was overwhelmingly positive.

Tony Spickett, 48, of Brentwood, Essex, who has been running a menswear stall for 23 years, said: “I think it’s brilliant. We spent too long with people coming through here and saying it’s dead. It was quite depressing.

“I may not be busier, but it’s great to be part of something happening again.”

Men and womenswear stallholder Nick Papier, of Essex, also enthused: “The regeneration is great and the food market looks great. It seems that there’s a better flow of people.”

Andersons – a bakery which has been in Hoxton Street for more than 160 years – opened a stall on the day.

Proprietor Linda Anderson, said: “I think any regeneration is a good thing. We operate as a shop but we are supporting it by coming out.

“Let’s hope it’s sustained and we can get the market back to what it used to be. It would help if the council would stop charging for parking on a Saturday.”

Meanwhile newcomer Andrew Withey, 32, of deli stall Hackney Belly, of Hackney Wick, said: “I’ve sold a lot of bread and savoury muffins. It’s a really nice location and lots of people have been coming through.”

Cllr Feryal Demirci, Hackney Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “This is one of many steps Hackney is taking to support and expand its local markets. This will benefit existing traders and the businesses that surround the market.

“We are also delighted to have the support of local charities and businesses such as The Shoreditch Trust, Hoxton Hall and Mark Hix in making this happen.”

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