3 March 2014

Lower Marsh, Waterloo – a market street

Earlier this year I heard that there a new Saturday market was planned for Lower Marsh. I was under the impression that there was a market there already so I checked on Google Streetview and as you can see from the snaps below, the market pitches were clearly visible with a few of the old-style barrows in position.

On Saturday 1st February, a beautiful clear and bright, yet very cold day, I went down to have a look for myself and discovered that the road has been re-laid and the outlines for the stalls were no longer in existence. The 'market' consisted of three brave traders at the eastern end.
Perhaps the street renovation is a work in progress and the pitch markings will be reinstated in due course? Watch this space.
Adjacent to the pedestrian underpass that leads to Leake Street I found five of the old wooden barrers [sic] and I am sad to report that they have been splattered with day-glo graffiti as per Leake Street itself. I will write about both of these things separately in subsequent posts.
Lower Marsh is still a lovely street and it's hard to believe when you are there that you are actually so close to a big bustling train station. It's dotted with specialist shops selling gifts, vintage clothes etc, plus some great cafés that are perfect places to grab a snack before getting on your train – much better than the mass-produced gunk offered by the corporate chains in Waterloo station's concourse.
Some lovely old architectural features still remain on Lower Marsh...
There's a large faded ghost sign at the western end advertising a catering company then, as you walk east you pass the Scooter Cafe's typographically elegant bar sign on your left, followed by some old lamp oil urns on a building that has seen quite a few changes over the decades and is now a thai restaurant.
On the other (south) side is Trussons (which sounds to me like a made up name for a Carry On film!). Close to and above is a sign for a long-gone optician and further along is Lounge 34 (originally The Spanish Patriot) – note the wonky spike on the very top.
I crossed over the junction into The Cut. Back in the early 1980s I used to work with a girl from Bermondsey who would go to The Cut's market every weekend because, she told me, it was so good and you could buy anything and everything there.
Sadly there is no sign of a market there now. The street is wide and it's possible to imagine a row of traders on each side with plenty of room for vehicles to pass through between them such as in this image.
See here for more history on the area.

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