Barrow boys have been welcoming shoppers to Broadway Market in Hackney since the 1890s, selling everything from bacon to beans. John and his mate Tony (pictured right) may be the last in the line. John started selling fruit and veg on the market nearly 50 years ago. He traded through the eighties' crash, now his barrows are the centrepiece of the revived Saturday market. He embodies today's principles of quality, speciality and variety.
There are 100 more stalls to welcome you. And while they don't all seek to match John's competitive prices, they all offer something special, and they all offer one thing for free: a welcoming smile.
Most stalls are open from 9am-5pm on Saturdays, but John starts serving much earlier.
16th Oct 2012
Hackney cyclists claim "huge support" for the controversial closure of the Cat and Mutton bridge over the Regent's Canal last month. Their claim is based on questioning just 139 people - less than one percent of the 20,000 who shop at Broadway Market on Saturdays. The sample is statistically insignificant. It is meaningless.
The cyclists also say that 91 percent of those questioned would favour closing the bridge to cars and trucks every Saturday. That represents a grand total of 126 people out of 20,000: an equally meaningless number.
It is regrettable that a group with acknowledged expertise in town planning - and so much influence at the Town Hall that they were able to force through the closure without consulting people who live and work on Broadway Market - can resort to such misleading claims.
They might, perhaps, begin to restore credibility by redirecting their efforts into educating cyclists to respect pedestrians by not riding on pavements.
20th Sep 2012
There are some fine environmental health officers in Hackney - we see them frequently in Broadway Market and we would like to see them even more often.
But they can only do what management allows them to do: the Ridley Road rat scandal shows that the management is dysfunctional.
Hackney's former senior environmental health officer, Dr Yunes Teinaz, has warned for years that illegal bushmeat and sheep meat unfit for human consumption was being sold in Ridley Road shops. He left the department some time ago. His warning went unheeded. Thanks to the BBC's Freedom of Infomation request (see our Facebook link) we now know that there have been no checks on illegal meat for three years.
The result - as Dr Teinaz has warned - is a severe threat to human and animal health. This is a management which has ignored the lessons of BSE and Foot and Mouth Disease - and epidemics of gut-wrenching food poisoning.
Officials are already moving to protect their backsides.
Markets Department bosses point out that this is not their responsibility because the meat was found being sold in shops and shops are not considered to be part of the market. So market inspectors - who are on the street day in day out - could not be blamed for failing to notice the odd rat.
The Health and Community Services department, which is responsible for markets, declares on its website: "Our priorities focus on ensuring Hackney people feel safe and enjoy a clean environment ..." But the Health Department says it is no longer responsible for environmental health.
This is a recipe for confusion. It has evidently failed to protect the people of Hackney. Environmental health officers should be given the resources they need to do their job. And, please, let us have no more excuses.
Hackney Cabinet member Feryal Demirci today promised action: "Environmental health officers are investigating the premises concerned based on information we now have to enable action to be taken. This council will investigate any allegtions raised."
Public contact number for the environmental health team: 020 8356 8438.
30th Aug 2012
Here are the Council's detailed plans for new public loos to serve both London Fields and Broadway Market, plus the opportunity to have your say. We'd like them sited as close as possible to Broadway Market, please!
26th Jul 2012
After six months' hard labour, the roadworks are almost complete.The street is clear, Saturday market stalls have returned to normal - with some much-needed improvements.
Hackney Council engineers are now finishing the pavements and will soon install more cycle racks in sidestreets.
Work on the long-awaited new public lavatories serving both London Fields and Broadway Market, and the rebuild of the junction with London Fields and Westgate Street, is expected to start in January. Here is the Council's proposed design.
14th May 2012
The Observer's Jay Rayner misses breakfast at the new Market Cafe http://bit.ly/L2thoZ ...
and 10 of the best London street food stalls as listed here in The Guardian and in Boat Magazine.
24th Feb 2012
Broadway is Hackney's favourite Saturday street market, according to the latest survey by The Retail Group for Hackney Council.
"Satisfaction with the market is excellent", says the report.
More people shop on Broadway and its popularity is increasing.
Other findings confirm our own customer survey.
18th Jan 2012
"Broadway Market ... is an example of what can be achieved with local determination and drive ... it has been a great success."
Meg Hillier, our local MP, in the Commons debate on the future of local high streets following the Mary Portas report, 17 January.
Catch up with the debate at bit.ly/zP4lHM.
30th Nov 2011
Why you like Broadway Market, what you don't like, why you come here: the answers to these vital questions, and many more, are in the results of this year's customer survey now online here.
7th Nov 2011
The company's annual report and accounts for 2010-2011 are now available in the Contact section of this site.
7th Oct 2011
“Broadway is a magical market … enduring friendships … devoted regulars.” Jamie Oliver’s food magazine tells stall tales. Here’s the whole report, with thanks to the people at Jamie Magazine (jamiemagazine.com).
26th Jul 2011
Broadway Market features as one of London’s finest food markets in Time Out’s top 101 list of places to go and sights to see. A click on the badge above will take you there. The map in the Contacts section of this site will guide you to us in time for lunch.
26th May 2011
Broadway Market is now by law a traffic-free zone from 6am to 6pm on Saturdays. The measure has been introduced by our friends at Hackney Council to protect the public as well stallholders and the stalls crew while the market is being built and cleared away. Our biggest problems are parked cars which cause severe obstructions - and danger to the public when owners try to drive away through the crowds and across pavements - and cyclists who ride through the street. So cyclists, please consider the safety of others and dismount. It is illegal to ride through the market at these times.
23rd May 2011
Welcome to our new website. We now have a live Twitter feed and news section, an improved online stalls application system and a whole new page on Broadway Market’s shops. We hope you like it.
Links to Facebook, Twitter and email are at the bottom of the page. Facebook will continue to be open to all and we welcome comments and news - if you would like your news or opinion to be included in this column, please email us.
The site has been refashioned by Hugh Williams at DUNK in the great tradition of Ronny Ellefsen at tapeinteractive.com and Sam Thompson at shrinkpad.com. Special thanks to Rupert Selby at Off Broadway for the extraordinary effort he has put into listing the shops.