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Is the antiques market doomed?

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Friday 25 June 2004 12.57pm
This issue isn't directly addressed in the Bermondsey Square thread, so I'm staring a new one.

Walking through the market today, I was struck at how tiny it now is, how few traders there are, compared with the number that were there even 18 months ago, when it used to spill on to Bermondsey Street and take up the whole square. I also noticed that "Down Under Antiques" on Bermondsey Street is having a closing down sale; as are the pictures-and-books traders in the building on Long Lane -- I even have a feeling today (Friday 25/6) might be their last day. I overheard a conversation between two traders on Long Lane: one said, "We'll have to get a bottle of Champagne to say goodbye", the other replied, "More like take a gun to our heads".

What's going on? Are there plans for the building on the corner of Long Lane and Bermondsey Street? Have the traders on the whole given up on Bermondsey? Will the Bermondsey Square redevelopment REALLY be able to retain the market if the thing that makes the market, its PEOPLE, have just upped-sticks?

I don't know how busy it is early morning.

I'd really like to hear if anyone knows anything or has any views.

Friday 25 June 2004 1.07pm
There was a piece in the Daily Telegraph about this last week

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Friday 25 June 2004 1.10pm
This may not actually be anything to do with Bermondsey

I have read stuff recently about the whole antiques market (that is the national 'market') (note omission of apostrophe) is going down the pan as people don't want to buy old Queene Anne chairs and Edwardian pottery any more.

Is there also something ironic here. Is it that the Ikea-shopping loft-dwellers who come to Bermondsey for the traditional 'feel' of olde London Towne (no offense) - in things like Bermondsey market - also don't want to buy what the market sells...?

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 25 June 2004 1.12pm by red bus.
Anonymous User
Friday 25 June 2004 1.32pm
There's a board up in Bermondsey Square which I believe details the plans for regeneration. I didn't stop and read it because it was pouring with rain when I walked by.

I understand they are building where the indoor stall are but leaving an area within the building which will be designated for antique shops. It all sounds a bit twee and will probably be populated by an altogther different kind of trader than those there now - ones that can afford massive rents presumably, thus pushing up the cost of what they are selling.

Talking to one of the traders recently, she told me that the outdoors stalls will stay in place but I would imaging it's only a matter of time before that area gets 'sanitised' too. I thinks it's a great shame.
Friday 25 June 2004 3.40pm
I saw Saturday's article, and thought it fascinating. Personally I thought this morning's market was the busiest I have seen it for some time - lots of American accents, which can only be a good thing.

eBay must have a lot to answer for - & suddently people are happy to buy things unseen which is a fascinating development.

I cannot help but feel that a market devoted solely to antiques on a Friday morning will be a little short on activity, and scarcely a vibrant centre for Bermondsey.
Friday 25 June 2004 3.56pm
I went there last Friday for a wander, on my day off, and between 11 and12pm there were quite a few people looking(and buying). I found it odd, because I kept spotting things that my parents had, or I had, at home that were being sold for money and that we had thought were just junk. Of course, whether that means I end up selling them on ebay or instead just treating them with a bit more respect is hard to say, but I will be back to the market - I had a really fun time browsing and was quite tempted by some of the lovely old china.
Anonymous User
Friday 25 June 2004 4.12pm
I did exactly the same a couple of weeks ago - thinking that I may pick up some china and came home with a victorian chair. It's beautiful but I've got nowhere to put it!
Friday 25 June 2004 4.12pm
After about 10, it's pretty well finished.

It is a load of old junk, much of the stuff. I struggle to imagine who buys a lot of the stuff that's for sale there (yet there's some really quite nice stuff).

Try it on eBay, you may be lucky... you may not. At least you'll have got rid of the clutter!
Friday 25 June 2004 4.29pm

I second that I am an ebay junkie.
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