We Are The Beating Heart Of The East End
After a year of planning, THE EAST END TRADES GUILD launches on Monday 19th November at Christ Church, Spitalfields, with an assembly of two hundred founding members declaring “WE ARE THE BEATING HEART OF THE EAST END.”
It seems incredible now to think back to the time when I first interviewed Paul Gardner, fourth generation paper seller and proprietor of Spitalfields’ oldest family business. Although I knew at once that Gardners’ Market Sundriesmen was an extraordinary endeavour, supplying cheap paper bags to the smallest businesses and traders in the East End for over a century, I could never have recognised the outcome of writing the story of it.
Paul Gardner was being faced with an excessive rent increase at the time which threatened to put him out of business, yet the public expression of support was such that the landlord relented and the point was made – that small proprietor-owned businesses like this are the essence of the East End. If property pieces have gone up and multiples choose to come here, it is because of the distinctive appeal of businesses like Gardners. And, in the hundreds of features that I have written since then about the small tradesmen, market traders and independent shops, it became obvious that the potential existed for them come together to find a collective voice, asserting their importance and working collaboratively to ensure their survival.
Community organiser Krissie Nicolson spoke with Paul Gardner and some other traders, arranging meetings at the Bishopsgate Institute throughout the last year at which people met to pool ideas. Attending these gatherings, it was fascinating to observe the notion take flight and observe new members arriving at every meeting bringing new energy, until this autumn it was obvious that the Guild had acquired its own momentum. And already, membership badges have started going up in shop windows around the East End announcing the presence of the Guild.
The culmination of this process is the event on 19th November which constitutes the founding of The East End Trades Guild as a new co-operative of small independent traders working together in the interests of all proprietor-owned-and-run-businesses in the East End. The ceremony will commence at 7pm sharp with a trumpet fanfare for The East End Trades Guild by Tim Davy accompanied by a presentation of photographic portraits of all the founding members, followed by the premiere of a film by Sebastian Sharples entitled “We Are the Beating Heart of the East End” featuring the traders and celebrating the infinite variety of small businesses in the East End.
If you are a trader and you would like to join the East End Trades Guild, please email email@example.com Members of the public are invited to attend to be witnesses to the founding of the Guild – please arrive at 6:30pm.
EETG logo designed by James Brown
Calling all brass players! We need you to help launch the EAST END TRADES GUILD on Monday 19th November. Tim Davy will be creating a fanfare with as many brass players as possible to announce the founding of the Guild.
All brass players are welcome that can read music. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up, giving information about your level of experience, and be prepared to come to the rehearsal at 5pm on Monday 19th November at Christ Church, Spitalfields, ready for the performance at 7pm.
Paul Gardner, the founder member of The East End Trades Guild
Read my orginal story about Gardners’ Market Sundriesmen