David Hoffman At Smithfield Market
Photographer David Hoffman visited Smithfield Market in November 1989 under commission by New Statesman & Society. In the event, only David’s black and white pictures were published in the magazine but he shot thirteen rolls of colour film, and today I publish a selection of these photographs of Smithfield for the first time.
“It took me two weeks to get permission from Mr Noakes, Market Clerk & Superintendent,” David explained, “I visited three or four nights until eight in the morning and then I went for a huge fry-up at the Cock Tavern.”
“The men who worked in the market were a really friendly, happy bunch – rough and ready,” he recalled fondly, “a few lumps of fat came flying and hit me on the neck, but nothing evil.”
“It was a privilege to go to Smithfield and take these photographs – I love the way the culture of the market has evolved organically from the needs of the buyers and the sellers over centuries, rather being organised from the top down.”
Photographs copyright © David Hoffman
The Smithfield Market Public Enquiry concludes tomorrow, Friday 28th February, with final submissions from 10am at the Basinghall Suite (accessed through the Art Gallery) at the Guildhall in the City of London.
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