A new market was opener in the old Covent Garden area in London, on Monday (18 August) by the Deputy Leader of the Greater London Council, Mr.
A new market was opener in the old Covent Garden area in London, on Monday (18 August) by the Deputy Leader of the Greater London Council, Mr. Illtyd Harrington. It marked the beginning of a period of rehabilitation for the area - once the most famous fruit and vegetable market in the world.
The new Street market for stall traders was opened with a fanfare of trumpets and a programme of music by the Band of the Grenadier Guards. Since last year, when the fruit and vegetable market move to anew modern site at Nine Elms south of the Thames, the Covent Garden area has been empty and desolate. Now it is coming alive again.
The Stallholders - many of them true-born cockneys - have colourful names such as Joe "Flowers" Mitchell, Barry "Spark" teden, and Lennie "Four Chops A Nicker". But the market managers are also making available a free stall on weekly basis, for local organisations who may want to use it for fund raising.
The basic generators of optimism over Covent Garden's future is the fact the GLC and Covent garden Forum - the residents' organisation - are now working together instead of arguing. The Forum is provided with an annual GLC grant of five thousand pounds, and employs a full-time secretary. It also publishes a bio-monthly news letter.
All planning proposals are referred to forum members first for their opinion, and so far the GLC and Forum have not disagreed. For instance there is general agreement with the GLC's study for one block north of the proposed central piazza, which would involve the demolition of only one building in Long acre, and the conversion of the internal Yard into flats.
Ideas are flowing thick and fast about Covent garden's future. The only problem seems to be keeping a proper balance between the interests of residents and the desire to turn at least the central area into a showplace.