Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Memories of Billingsgate Market, that fishy smell and the promise of the Tower

Now we are on the Lower Thames Street in 1927 it didn’t look that different when I was regularly wandering along it in the late 1950s.

We usually got there around 10 on a Saturday by which time all the fish had been sold and apart from the odd porter there were just the men sweeping up.

That said there were still the odd bits of ice and discarded fish in the gutters and of course that all pervading smell of fish.

Had we been there a few hours earlier and the place would no doubt have been as busy as the scene in the picture postcard.

I always preferred walking down the Lower Road just because there was still so much more to see.

It started with the descent from the northern end of London Bridge down an impressive flight of stone stairs to street level and then the walk to the Tower of London.

This was one of those regular Saturday excursions which occupied most of the day and was pure magic.

Before you got inside the Tower there
were those smaller roads one of which of course had the Monument which was in  itself a pretty neat place to visit with what at the time had one of the best views across the City from its observational platform.

I can’t say I ever took much notice of St Magnus the Martyr which is clearly visible in the distance.

And now taking that route is to be amazed at the transformation of the road, but that along with Andrew’s stories of the Tower is for another time.

So I shall just close with a thank you to Mark Flynn who kindly lets the odd image from his postcard site and whose prices are very competitive.

Picture; Billingsgate Fish Market, 1927, courtesy of MARK FLYNN POSTCARDS, http://www.markfynn.com/index.html

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