Skip to content

Stuart Goodman In Broadway Market

March 4, 2017
by the gentle author

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

You may also like to take a look at

Stuart Goodman at Broadway Market, 1982

Stephen Selby, Antiquarian

Travellers Children in London Fields

At Broadway Bookshop

4 Responses leave one →
  1. Christine Dowdell permalink
    March 4, 2017

    I live in Salisbury where we have a market twice a week plus monthly farmers’ markets. One of our stallholders is also Mere Fishfarm where I buy wonderful smoked trout terrine.

  2. Greg Tingey permalink
    March 4, 2017

    As always, one has to be careful in choosing which stalls to patronise, but very good quality & value can be had here …
    Though I tend to go into “The Dove” – their range of both British & Belgian beers is excellent

  3. Caroline Gilfillan permalink
    March 5, 2017

    Great to see these photographs on the always excellent Spitalfields Life site. I remember we had a fabulous launch party at Stephen’s gallery. Thanks for including the poems, too.

  4. Shawdian permalink
    January 13, 2018

    It’s a long way for me to go go to buy Isle of Wight Tomatoes (but they look quite yummy). I buy my Isle of Wight Tomatoes at my local vegetable shop here on the IOW and it is good to see our produce is enjoyed far and wide. We islanders support home produce buying as much as is available and have festivals such as the Garlic Festival which helps to publicise home grown island fare. However the great big Superstores (those magnitudes of “no matter what you want we have it all) have crept onto the island teasing us all how convenient it is to purchase everything in one ‘con’venient place. However; just like Broadway Market we like to support the people we know who give a friendly smile and a chat as well as the food stuffs we love. I hope Broadway Market continues to thrive. It is the range of people as well as the range of goods that makes the perfect shopping experience. Long live Broadway Market .

Leave a Reply

Note: Comments may be edited. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS