Spitalfields Antique Market 11
This is Jimmie Fish of Fish Island Antiques in Hackney. An ex-cocktail waiter on cruise ships who once served Rod Stewart, in an impressive reinvention, Jimmie now deals in industrial and workshop items, like desks, lockers, lamps and trunks. A proud Cumbrian from Carlisle with dark ginger hair and keen grey eyes, full of humour and bristling with positive energy – thriving in his new profession – Jimmie declared, “You get on better, if you’ve got a bit of character and personality about you. It’s good fun, every day’s different and you are your own boss!” Plain words that, in Jimmy’s mouth, became a declaration of independence.
This is Lily Beth Wood, daughter of Stuart (who we featured in May), which makes her a third generation market trader, at least. Lily was enjoying helping out her dad on his stall, while on half term holiday from St Peter’s School, down in Wapping where she lives. “I collect small things when the tide goes out,” said Lily, proudly outlining her mudlarking activities on the banks of the Thames, and revealing an inherited curiosity about things from the past, “Sometimes I find old ship’s nails, bones, oyster shells, bullets, book hinges and once I found a clay pipe in three pieces.”
This is Paul the Urban Shepherd. “I work with serious clothing but make it fun. My stock is countrywear, not made in the city but worn in the city,” said Paul, introducing the trend for men’s clothing from the provinces, appropriated by fashionable gallants here in London and worn with an urban attitude. Fondly drawing my attention to the quality on display, “It’s very well made – designed to last a lifetime – and, if it doesn’t fit exactly, it can easily be tailored to the new owner.” he explained. A style ambassador, Paul intuitively understands the necessary combination of levity and sobriety in menswear.
This happy couple comprises Sue Stokes & Leo Kurunis, loving mother and son. Sue lives in Bath and is an antique dealer while Leo lives in Hackney and is in a band. “Leo doesn’t come home very often,” confided Sue, who got up at three thirty in the morning to drive down to London which her stock of French antiques. This is Sue’s first week in Spitalfields, but she plans to be here every Thursday in future, taking the opportunity to stay over at Leo’s place in Hackney each week and see more of her son – that is, if he is not out gigging with Lord Auch.
Photographs copyright © Jeremy Freedman