Stuart Goodman In Broadway Market
Broadway Market 1982
Broadway Market 2004
Last year, I published Stuart Goodman’s photographs of Broadway Market in 1982 and today I present his pictures of the Market in 2004 accompanied with poems by Caroline Gilfillan. A former Fleet St Photographer, Stuart Goodman lived in Broadway Market from 1976 before moving in the eighties to Norwich, where he lives today.
In the twenty years between Stuart Goodman’s two sets of photographs, the Market transformed – both in the nature of the merchandise and the range of customers coming to buy. Yet even these pictures from 2004 seem to belong to another age, now that Broadway Market has become a fashionable destination, teeming with tourists from all over Europe – a place to see and be seen each Saturday morning.
“These pictures were first shown at Stephen Selby’s Off Broadway Gallery in Broadway Market in 2005. Stephen & I set up the Broadway Market Preservation Society in a moment of drunken youthful exuberance in the Cat & Mutton one night in the late seventies and this developed into the Broadway Market Action Group, which begat the Residents & Traders Association.
The cobbles had already gone by then, replaced by the awful brickwave, and there was an air of excitement about the market although it had not yet developed the sophisticated glitz of today. I was in the market recently and, while I love the buskers and the buzz, it feels like a film set to me now.
In 2004, there were just four of the market people still around from when I took the 1982 photos, John from the fruit & veg stall, Henry Tidiman from the butchers, Stephen Selby leaning out of his window and Joe Cooke from the pie & mash shop. Today there is only Stephen Selby and Joe Cooke.
In 2004 when I spent a day wandering around the market taking these photos, I stopped to buy a cup of coffee. “What are you doing?” the guy on the coffee stall asked, so I told him about my market project. “That’s funny,” he said, “I’ve got a stall in Norwich Market too and last year, there was a bloke showing his photos on a stall near me.”
“That was me” I said.”
- Stuart Goodman
Walking down the market you point out
Isle of Wight tomatoes, firm fleshed,
lined up on plastic greensward
in scarlet overcoats.
When we lived here, our skins were tighter,
our pith more closely packed.
And now? We’re a little bruised, a little ripe,
but thick as jam with taste and sap.
Broadway Market Feet
In 1600 porters ferried heavy packs
of city goods from Shoreditch to the broad
way where now the wooden stalls are stacked,
heading for Clapton’s ale-houses and beds.
Later, shepherds guided sheep from the weald
of Aeger Londiniensis – thigh-deep
pasture now enclosed as London Fields –
to this market street. Bloody butchers’ feet
ripe with fleece and meat tramped sawdust
in the Side of Mutton bar.
Now pointed toes
prowl the bricks, and foxy trainers rush
for café seats. Sweet foot, reads the sign below
a docile flock of moulded plastic shoes
blinking primary yellow, red and blue.
Broadway Market Buildings
Their flat flanks line up, shop-front trousers
patched with plum and lime paint.
These old boys held their ground when the
London sky spat bombs that splintered
brick and bone. Side-stepped the Council’s
wrecking ball. In drab carpet slippers
they watched women fill shopping trollies
with onions, spuds carrots, toms: savoury,
sensible stuff. This March morning sweeter
tastes are on their tongues: blue and white
candy stripes; the market police cycling
in jackets sharp as sherbet lemons.
Broadway Market Pubs
The Perseverance overlooked a canal
that served up cans, crisp packets, plastic bags,
and wire trolleys wearing weed shawls.
In winter she shivered in a dress of worn bricks.
The Market House growled through tonsils
roughed up by Players Number Six.
Black and blue, white-fronted, she
smelt of damp overcoats and bitter.
The red brick face of the Goring Arms
blinked lights the colour of pop,
beckoned you in to wooden benches
and a soft spot in her velvet lap.
The Cat and Mutton faced two ways,
had two signs stuck on her like
enamel brooches. Big-boned, loud,
her halls were full of gas and gab.
Now the first’s been sold up. The second’s
boarded up. The third’s Doved up.
And the fourth is loved up, as rampant with
custom as nasturtiums in bloom.
Broadway Market 1982
Photographs copyright © Stuart Goodman
Poems copyright © Caroline Gilfillan
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