I was devastated to discover that Greenwich Village Market is to cease trading after this weekend (21/22 March) — to make way for a housing development which is no longer to take place. As the Evening Standard reports:
The land was originally earmarked for housing but the recession stopped that. The developers have pulled out. Yet the owners of the site, Capital and Counties, have still given the market notice to quit.
There is talk of Greenwich University buying the land but even if it happened, the site would be vacant for years while a proposal is worked up and taken through the planning process.
For those who aren't familiar with the Greenwich markets, the Village Market is the slightly scruffy outdoors part towards the station, open on weekends with myriad antiques, record and bric-a-brac stalls of the type that can be eminently rooted through for a full afternoon. It's adjacent to the fantastically nichey Old Bottle Shop, and has long been my favourite of London's markets, nestling between the overpriced tourist-magnets of Portobello and Spitalfields and the glorious rock-bottom junk hoard of Deptford.
And yes, it's being turfed out to remain derelict for the foreseeable future. Thanks, developers. This weekend is the last weekend that they will be trading, and I urge people to make a swift visit before it's gone.
There's also news that the venerable Brixton Market almost befell the same fate, with London Associated Properties attempting to steamroller it into a "West End-style shopping precinct", but it has received a temporary reprieve thanks to the onset of recession and protests from local traders. There's a current attempt to get the site listed to make this arrangement permanent - here's hoping...