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Borough Market traders evicted

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Current: 9 of 40
Tuesday 10 May 2011 4.01pm
Colinio wrote:
In summary - perhaps we can't just turn the clock back.

Alas, that is the true. Its in the tourist books now. Its got a reputation. People will keep coming, taking photographs, and getting in the way.

BM just needs to start the process of focussing back on quality produce, from real producers who are passionate.

Not on hog-roasts, chocolate covered nuts, or burgers.

BM will never be exactly what it was before, but it just needs to be the best it can be for food lovers, and locals, not the best it can be for tourists.

The sooner the 8 "sacked" stalls are re-instated the better.
Tuesday 10 May 2011 6.46pm
Lets just wait and see , borough market has been a trading post for 250 years . Its all about owner operators there is more to it then meets the eye , people have to see the bigger picture . Borough fell down the hot food trap and now there is time for a correction and better ways of creating a fair trading floor . ive always found the neals yard crowd abit snobby and even the coffee sector has changed since monmouth led the way . . Bring the market back to the masses quality produce sourced directly from growers not the guys in the middle . Serve the community on all levels and not get so worried about the politics . It is ,what it is, and will evolve and be great again

Watch this space

great food for all
Tuesday 10 May 2011 8.44pm
After the meeting at BM with managing director Glenis Reagon:

Dear forum Friends,

As many of you have asked me to report about this meeting I will do so.

I am not a business man, I am not farmer or a journalist and most of all I do not work or trade inside the BM so I can only give an account of my impressions; which are those of a reasonable person very curious to know the fate of a place he loves, a lot. Like many of us here.

To start: Immediately when I walked into the BM building and I looked outside onto the ever dismantled and badly managed Borough High street, the Shard raising nearby and on the other side the Thameslink railroad eating some of BM historical bits, I though: this whole thing, as it stands is a big task to manage. Not easy for sure.

By talking to Glenis, I had the concrete feeling that she is genuinely working towards the aim of creating a new BM, a version very similar to what many people here would wish to have, but also with several tasks to handle as priorities in order to get there, some tasks maybe inherited (she is not always being there..) some generated... some endemic (lots of tourists)..(Having said that, each of us could have a different view of what a perfect BM would be).

What has happened that I believe is very important, is that I had with me a list of possible future solutions (produced together with my friends, covering opening times, hot food policy, events, charity work and PR) and amazingly many, if not all of these pointers, where covered already by them (her) and she showed me some nice on going projects which where concretely addressing those issues.

Interestingly I also learned about other sites of the area being redeveloped, for collateral purposes, other than selling food, and that if developed as by design would benefit to the population in general through other ways.

Now I hope I am not saying things I should not, so I stop.

An important bit: When I asked about the future structure and space of the Market, I learned that it is difficult to make clear predictions as the anatomy depends a lot on the actual conformation of the railroad, while it is built. And I believe this is quite reasonable. Moreover, I think this uncertainty must influence many decisions at the moment.

On another level, I think that in terms of what is going on between the BM and the other markets around (see Maltby street) is a delicate situation whereby, if you listen to traders you believe they are 100% honest, if you listen the other bell, you may have contrasted feelings… as I said, we should work inside to know this things for real.
In regard, I do not want to take any part by now.

So the person I met today, is a person I trusted. I believe she is working for the benefit of BM with real passion.

However as I reiterated several times, and many here in the forum, there must be some serious gaps in the transit of the information from BM down; because if these things I have seen today where made open to the public more often (even through a better website) and the dialogue with the people (and maybe with the traders?) would flow more smoothly, some upraising like the one that happened in the past days would not happen in fact. Or less. So maybe the PR is missing some skills.

To conclude I went there fearing I would go home with the gloomy sensation that Liverpool street would be duplicated in that site, but I was actually happy to go home hoping for the best.

So by now, I will follow my instinct. Then….. if in 5 years we have a massive gigantic Starbucks in that place… I will change my mind.

Hope I brought some good news as well. Lets hope.
Tuesday 10 May 2011 10.29pm
Orione, no offence but I find it very difficult to know what to make of your report as it is very non-specific - presumably if Glenis relayed information to you as a 'layman', then it is in the public domain so you are free to share. You haven't really given any information that responds to any of the issues mentioned on this thread but obviously promising that you feel reassured.
Wednesday 11 May 2011 12.05am
to emmab] Orione, no offence but I find it very difficult to know what to make of your report as it is very non-specific -

Emmab.

I contacted the BM well before this thread started. Out of my interest. Incidentally it happened that all these things evolved. So I give credit to them for answering to my email and receiving me.

Sorry, What do you think I am going to ask to her? Some of the things raised in this forum by some user are serious enough to be dealt in a justice court. She spoke about something of those bits but what can I say?

I have no judgments on specific people, as I do not know all details. And I am not a journalist. Or a magistrate.

In addition, I cannot believe all the traders say, because as we know, the traders as well, like making money and being not fully clear. Are they all honest?? Do you know the details of their contracts, duties and behavior?

If you read what I wrote we touched several points.

I have contacted the trader who put that message on the forum, before I went there... no reply to me, sorry.

I just wanted to meet (well before all these stuff) somebody who deal with BM, and the person I met, I believe, is not as bad as many here are describing.

When I said I don't want to talk about some new developments is because I am not sure I will say the right things. They will reveal when they want.

That's it, and is enough for me to have a better view.

Believe what you wish...

I liked some of the projects I have seen. Hopefully they will be developed..
Wednesday 11 May 2011 5.37am
I hope you told her that she should look at the comments here and understand that there is a real uproar among the locals, who are after all the long time faithful customers of BM and not one-time floating tourists.
Wednesday 11 May 2011 6.47am
She is well aware of this and she mentioned herself immediately..... Also addressing some points.
Wednesday 11 May 2011 7.15am
As what she said to you is something we all need to hear perhaps then a statement from 'Homa' is required. It would be nice not to '... get worked up about the politics' however they have come to overshadow events it seems. Reading between the lines it appears that personalities and egos are affecting business decisions which are then spilling over into the public realm. The electronic wash of instant feedback from the Internet requires a degree of discipline it is true but equally it provides a very effective (cheap) tool for exploring ambiguities where they have arisen and it seems obvious to me that there are a truck load floating around the whole issue of where the BM is going and how it gets there.
Wednesday 11 May 2011 8.56am
Yesterday all traders received a nice letter from Glenis , which was meant to calm our nerves, reassure us that everything will be fine and confirm her open door policy. Trouble is, having been on the receiving end of her decisions on more than one occasion, I don’t believe a word she is saying. I would love to be able to go into more detail, but since those occasions make my business identifiable and I am scared of losing my pitch at BM I am not going to. I have, however, traded @ BM since the early days and have experienced the rise and the decline of Borough.

It was actually the hot food that made Borough what it is today. Brindisa’s chorizo, Pete’s venison burgers, Lee’s chicken wraps, the German hot dog, the ostrich farm’s burgers and more were the reasons why people started to come to the market on Fridays and, while they were there they, they started to shop there. Even on Saturdays the hot food enhanced the market experience and BM grew from there. Them were the days! And with the growing market came the tourists. I am sure Tate Modern played a part in that as well. There actually was a time where we actively courted the tourists and Borough was proud to receive tourism awards. Borough was becoming a victim of its own success. I firmly believe the hot food is a crucial part of BM, but have to concede that successive BM management has not been able to manage it properly. Cheap burgers on BM? I haven’t seen any. There are, however, plenty of traders of questionable standrards around the market itself outside of the control of BM management that are profiting from the popularity of BM. Reducing the hot food on offer at BM or even stopping it all together will only play into their hands. It will not change anything at Borough, bar leaving those traders that currently have a hot food offering out of pocket. Some of which may then decide not to bother to trade at Borough, only being able to sell their raw product may not leave them with a viable business.

Where does all this leave me and my business? We are hedging our bets. We are working, like a lot of other traders, on an exit strategy. We are convinced our time at Borough is coming to an end soon. We are just not sure what the reason might be. Are we going to be kicked out because we are doing something/ not doing something that has come to BM management’s attention? Are we going to pack it in, because BM will not be viable for us anymore? The Friday is certainly heading that way. Or are we even going to say, sod the money! We need to take a stand here. We morally cannot accept anymore what is being done to us traders collectively and leave. Now, if I can believe Glenis, none of that is going to happen and she will lead Borough into a bright future. Here’s hoping!
Wednesday 11 May 2011 9.34am
I've got to say for me, as a one time very loyal customer of Borough, the hot food has never been that much of an issue. Sure i might moan there are too many tourists and a couple of stallholder's prices on takeaway have obviously been following the Zimbabwean RPI rather than the UK one but i think they are still an important part of the market.

My main problem has been seeing stalls I regularly used thrown out, shut down, moved on and rates racked up so they concentrate more on takeaways etc.. And then when you get people like Hotel Chocolat moving in (as The Rabot Estate) I just despair...

Through this whole episode i think we have very clearly seen that maybe one of the biggest problems with BM is the trustees complete inability to communicate effectively with anyone - traders or us customers here on the forum. Their lack of openness with everyone just makes you more and more paranoid, which may be completely unjustified.

I spoke to Orione having met Glenis and, as he posted, he was impressed with what she had to say. He spoke of the new hall which is being designed (you can actually see some pictures of it on the Network Rail hoardings opposite Mango Tree).. In my more cynical moments i think a lot of all these problems are to do with this... The frontage of Borough Market is going to become a covered glass market, and based on the admittedly rather scrappy computer rendering i've seen on that hoarding, it looks very corporate. Bit like Spitalfields market...

So does this mean we're going to see an influx of more corporate chains like Hotel Chocolate (maybe trading under different names?) now they've managed to push everyone else out? Is that why this is happening? Look at Spitalfields - It could have been great but it's now a really bland mish-mash of chains you see everywhere.. bit like an upmarket airport terminal... Because i don't understand otherwise why the trustees are acting so aggressively unless there's some kind of ulterior motive - it's not good for us customers and it's not good for the people who have traded there for years and years and made the place what it was..

So come on BM - can someone PLEASE SPEAK TO US! I've tried writing direct and again no reply.. Please show you are actually interested in talking to your customers and not just firing off corporate soundbites..
Current: 9 of 40

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