There’s been a market in Smithfield since the tenth century, but developers would like to flood this historic area with shops, bars and office blocks — just like everywhere else. With a public inquiry in the offing, we should battle hard to protect this unique landmark, argues Rachel Lichtenstein.
At midnight, while the rest of Clerkenwell is heading to bed, the porters of Smithfield Market are just getting started; scurrying between refrigeration vans, offloading frozen carcasses and blood-soaked boxes from all over the country. By 4am the place is packed. Traders in stained white aprons shout out prices as cases of meat are sold to chefs from London’s finest restaurants and hotels. By 10 o’clock the whole thing has been washed away.
This is the way Smithfield has run for over a century. The last thing this unique part of the city needs is a load of suits taking over or another anonymous ‘shopping quarter’. But this very nearly happened, and still might.
Oct 15, 2018 0Last week, Birmingham officially launched one of the largest wholesale markets in the United Kingdom.
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