If Borough Market is at a crossroad, what interests me as a shopper and a resident of SE1 is which direction is it heading?
The short answer to this question is of course that we do not know because the plan has not been released but that would be too easy wouldn't it?
We know from Mr Wilkinson's interview that Borough Market caters to a variety of customers: local people like me, foodies from around London and tourists.
My guess is that the new plan will focus on catering to the needs and tastes of the foodie who will travel across whole London to buy exclusive products that can only be found there.
This tie nicely with management's stated aim to make Borough Market more exclusive in response to the various farmers markets which are popping up across London. You do not need a wholesale offering for this type of customer. On the contrary, wholesalers use valuable space which will become even scarcer once the new glass front is built since the area underneath it will be unsuitable for market activity (that such a structure got accepted in the first place beggars belief). That's why they had to go, an objective which has been achieved.
My fear is that Borough Market will lose its purpose for local customers as a result. Do not get me wrong. I can be partial to some honey hand collected by a bunch of blind Albanian monks and sold at extortionate prices. However, I do buy this type of item only once in a while and only once my shopping bag is full of fruit and veg, meat, poultry... and loads of other stuff I know I can buy at my local supermarket but that I prefer to buy at Borough Market anyway because I would rather give my money to the farmers rather than to Mr Sainsbury or Tesco. It is those basic product that brings me to shop there (other than the bit of banter of course) and not the honey.
With the recent departure of so many well-know names, I actually find the offering of basic products in decline compared to what it used to be. Conte cheese anyone? The new traders brought in recently also fail to fill the gap in my opinion.
I do not subscribe at all to the idea of Borough Market as a brand. For me it is first and foremost a local market, a place to get raw quality food from. I am also of the school of thought that says that you do not need to be served an espresso when you go shopping for three apples. I want a real market, not the caricature of one.
Finally, any plan need a team to execute it. Given the c**k up that has accompanied the eviction of the Borough Market 8, I am not sure that the management team currently in place is the right one to steer the market in such difficult and troubled time. To have to resort to gagging the traders says it all doesn't it?
I wish trustees would call in management and start asking hard questions but so far the impression I get is that they are asleep at the wheel.
I was told by a trader today that Borough Market would be open Sunday 3rd July.I wonder when this was hatched.Anybody else seen any press/pr media coverage of it.borough market community festival ? The buzz word here is community festival.You have to go to BM own website to find any mention of it.Its a big event with loads of kids events,demos.The management needs to wake up,you need new Pr/promo blood,because a simple google of "Borough Market community festival 3rd July only brings up your own webpage. It's only 2 weeks away!
Right. I have now received a disturbing private message from a certain individual that has made abundantly clear the abysmal depth this topic has descended to, and that it now purely serves personal gratification that goes way beyond the emotions behind BM, so I will take my passions related to BM elsewhere. Feels like a relieve somehow. BM is a battle worth fighting, but this place is not the battlefield anymore.
Tabularasa's comments seem to me to make good sense. I particularly agree with the statement 'I want a real market, not the caricature of one.'But I think, perhaps, that my agreement could be assumed from what I've posted here before. So I'm going back to reading, not posting, for the moment.
Like eDWaRD WooDWaRD, I begin to feel that this isn't the right battlefield. But I still think it's a valid and valuabe place to gain information and a sense of how the community actually feels about BM.
As I said this is just what they want to happen. They will be cheering in the BM offices now as they begin to pick people off one by one. Edward & aoibhneas you have both made such great contributions to this thread so thank you both.
I don't want to equate all this to a battlefield as the majority of posters are fair and moderate but that ultimately is how the BM management see it because that is their style of management - divide and rule. We know this from the way they treat the traders and this is possibly the only place that traders/ shoppers / local residents have a voice. You stop posting and you are voting for BM management style and for this behaviour as being acceptable in society.
Sorry for ruining your PLOT theory... I (me) sent two messages to reply to the below reported observations by Stu M and Edward Woodward (please read it) and were nothing horrible, they can send them to James if they wish.
I sent them as private message because I was following James's suggestion not to write posts that are not interesting to everybody... But I find them offensive.
And I thought we are adult enough to stop addressing personal accusations and talk about the problems or solutions.
But it looks like it is impossible.
The message for Aohibenas was sent by mistake as it was for Edward, and was followed by a long message of apologies and explanation and proposals.
He/She replied in fact to this very nicely, to then post that remark... what can I say.
So.. no plot. But now I understand other things I did not before, so I will not post for long time and only read new posts.
These are the posts I replied privately to, please have a read...
ok, just so I'm clear..
First we have Ceri, then we have Orione/ HappyFeet/ Walter-Ego - all singing the bizarre BM theme tune.
Then we have HappyFeet...Friday 17 June 2011 9.04am
"Yes, me and my GF have similar characters and we are both from different foreign countries.. So typos... "
Followed by...orione Friday 17 June 2011 2.43pm
"Happy feet is my girlfriend's account and she exists."
Obviously very busy up there in BMM offices this afternoon, with all that rain!
So you can sit in front of your computer and indulge your multiple egos for as long as you like. Maybe you SHOULD be allowed multiple logins and your own section on the forum so you can debate with yourself at your own leisure.
OK - we've proved that a sensible discussion is impossible. This thread is now closed. Please don't attempt to start another market thread straight away - let's have a 'cooling off' period for a little while.
Thank you to those who have made thoughtful posts in this thread. It's a shame some people have spoiled it.