A+ A A-

Something serious is brewing down the Portobello Rd Market.

 
 
Unknown to most of us who live in the area, large parts of the Portobello Road Market have been bought up by one individual (disguised behind various Limited Companies) whose grand plan has included the eviction of longstanding traders and replacing them with a huge flagship chain store . At the end of December 2009 the first large-scale public salvo was fired; now the cat is out of the bag for all to see: All Saints on the corner of Portobello Road with Westbourne Grove, a warehouse style mega store the length of six shop-fronts along Westbourne Grove and four down Portobello Road, covering a total area in excess of 15,000 sq ft. In one single blow more than 150 traders and market stallholders vanished from the Portobello Road Market to be replaced by a giant fashion retailer.
 
 (if you just want to sign the petition and join the Save the Portobello Road Market page on facebook, go to the bottom of this page,  otherwise read on)
 
Until now the process has been happening silently under our noses but no longer so. The issue is that this is the first step of many others to follow (yes!! that's right!) which will destroy the much loved character of this area for good – unless we do something about it. Further damage can be avoided but it will proceed if we do nothing and ignore it. We believe that we can do something and we truly hope that you believe so as well. There are times when people are moved into action. This is one of them. There are times when our sense of identity and of life is ripped by unwelcome challenges from the outside. This is the case now, albeit not as individuals but as a community. This is not just about you and me and a landlord and hundreds of market traders. This is deeper: it's about what we value in life, what we prefer our surroundings to be like, how we engage with the past and the present, it’s about the future we create by acting now.

What makes Portobello Road unique is diversity, not uniformity in the shape of large shops. Mega stores taking over several individual shop units represent one way of thinking whereas a variety of small shops and market stalls represents several alternative ways of thinking. This variety is intrinsic to the diverse community that makes up this area. Indeed what this area is in many senses is what we are as well; that's why we choose to live here or near it or visit frequently. And the crucial  question is: do we really want Portobello Road to become a few large chain stores affair? Do we really want to throw away the market heritage and replace it with a sterile large shopping mall? 
 
The Market as we know it is under threat  
  
The practical consequences are already there for everyone to see, not just in one single large shop taking over several but also, you'll notice, no stallholders are allowed on the pavement in front of the AllSaints shop. The market has shrunk overnight and it's simply been kicked out and our experience and enjoyment diminished. This impoverishes the whole area and is pure character assassination. If we do nothing about it, this trend will carry on down the street, turning it into some Westfield under disguise in Portobello. 

The single benefit of the Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush is that it concentrates all the big chains in there. The advantages to us are clear: firstly - we can avoid it; secondly - it clears our streets of the people who we would probably like to avoid anyway; thirdly – it leaves the real places real. This is an important point to consider for replacing places of character and history with fabricated environments  which have neither, turns them into... well... non-places. Much like a car park, an airport or indeed a shopping mall. They are transient and built with one function in mind: they are not designed for living but as in the case of the shopping mall, solely for buying. They are supreme in representing uniformity with all the ideological paraphernalia and accessories that go with it. These environments are characterised by the fact that they can happily exist in Shepherd’s Bush much in the same way as they exist in the middle of some roundabout in Beijing China. They bear no relation to local histories, people or places, but rather to a global economic moment. They are irrespective of anything that stands for genuine, for character, for diversity, for the local folk and for communities. They are soulless and rootless in every way. They are as charming as a petrol station in the middle of the motorway.

One person owning such a large tranche of the Portobello Road market is something questionable but not something we will address here extensively - it’s how the system is built and it's the nature of the beast (one day, surely, one person or institution will own the whole world but that's another argument). 

It is however our concern that the character of this area is under threat and this is not a bogus claim. It's happening now and it's urgent that we all get involved and manifest our concerns about it. This is a cause for the local civil society and indeed for everyone elsewhere who loves our market for what it is. 

It is our view that the Kensington and Chelsea Council is not doing enough to protect the area, its heritage and character. What still is a unique cultural, economic and historic asset for London is being neglected and allowed to be destroyed. This is why we have to move and move quickly. 

Let's get together and sign the Save the Portobello Road Market petition and join the Facebook Page to keep informed of any developments. Tell your mates and everyone who cares. Time is of the essence as much has already been lost. You really can make a difference: sign it now and join the page. 

To sign the petition:


To join the Facebook Page Save the Portobello Market:
 
Spread the news!! 
 
{module Related articles} 
 
(If you liked this article, please press below to join the Source mag on facebook to follow updates on this and other stories - it does help to keep it going!)
{module Facebook FanBox for articles} 

Comments  

#4 King Lear 2011-07-20 14:53
Don't you lot ever give up ?

You're fighting a losing battle ya know.
#3 Chris 2010-04-13 10:10
There is a meeting at the Kensington & Chelsea TOWN HALL, Hornton Street W8 7NX tonight at 6pm 13th April.
The Save Portobello Market campaign are asking people to attend to show support for the refusal of RETROSPECTIVE PLANNING PERMISSION to All Saints for changes to the facade of the building. This is a Public MNeeting so anyone can attend.
#2 Cristina 2010-01-28 23:25
What is the deadline for the petition and who is going to do what with it? Please, let us know!
#1 Jo 2010-01-21 13:17
this is absolutely outrageous!!! I've noticed that shop and was very surprised that the council gave planning permission for something that is so OUT OF PLACE!!!!!!!!!! I'll certainly let others know about this!

More News

Prev Next

Hits:4989

Portobello Radio Ep 42, with Chris Sullivan & Piers Thompson: The End Is Nigh Special.

Portobello

 Piping hot from the USB, the latest episode in ...

Read more

Hits:4216

Two meetings, one voice

Two meeting…

You had to be there. North and south of the boro...

Read more

Hits:27771

New Site

New Site

We're back ;)   Read more: New Site...

Read more

Hits:4416

Corbyn Won Kensington Nomination

Corbyn Won …

On July 21st Jeremy Corbyn overwhelmingly won th...

Read more

Hits:5383

Hats-off to Micky P: Portobello Live 3rd/4th May

Hats-off to…

Reflecting on the Portobello Live Festival - by ...

Read more

Hits:5926

Portobello community stands up against plans to turn iconic area into bland shopping centre

Portobello

Hundreds of protestors, including children and p...

Read more

More News 2

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Hits:7971

Greferendum: an anthology

Greferendum…

Thinking of Greece. ...

Read more

Hits:4914

Pink Cigar video release

Pink Cigar …

 Local down’n’dirty rock’n’roll outfit Pink Ciga...

Read more

Hits:7802

Gaz’s Rockin Blues 35th Anniversary Spectacular

Gaz’s Rocki…

Gaz’s Rockin Blues 35th Anniversary Spectacular ...

Read more

Hits:5384

Interactive Video Art at The Dissenters Gallery Catacombs

Interactive…

On Saturday 4 July, 11-5pm, a chance to see the ...

Read more

Hits:4545

"Exposed" a Solo Show by Louis-Nicholas Darbon

"Expos…

 Coming up Thursday- June 4th -  at the Graffik ...

Read more

Hits:4801

Mock The Opera Protest @ Holland Park

Mock The Op…

A protest is taking place tomorrow at the Hollan...

Read more

Hits:6719

Where next for Labour?

Where next …

 Labour’s defeat in the UK general election on M...

Read more

Hits:4598

Artists For Nepal – local benefit gig for Nepal

Artists For…

 Thursday May 21st at the Elgin with music, film...

Read more

Hits:5113

RED ALERT by Maximilian Wiedemann

RED ALERT b…

West Bank last exhibition at the current buildin...

Read more

LOCAL

Prev Next

Hits:4216

Two meetings, one voice

Two meeting…

You had to be there. North and south of the boro...

Read more

Hits:4416

Corbyn Won Kensington Nomination

Corbyn Won …

On July 21st Jeremy Corbyn overwhelmingly won th...

Read more

Hits:5926

Portobello community stands up against plans to turn iconic area into bland shopping centre

Portobello …

Hundreds of protestors, including children and p...

Read more

Hits:4801

Mock The Opera Protest @ Holland Park

Mock The Op…

A protest is taking place tomorrow at the Hollan...

Read more

Hits:5354

Here's my proposal. What’s yours?

Here's my p…

  Local resident Tristan Hazell has plans for t...

Read more

Hits:5266

Cheer up! A new and more expensive supermarket opened up on the Portobello Rd

Cheer up! A…

Same, same, same...  ...

Read more

Hits:6359

Westway Trust releases statement of intent on the Portobello Village proposal

Westway Tru…

Following the strength of feeling against the cu...

Read more

Hits:8514

Westway Trust (WT) unveils Portobello Village

Westway Tru…

The debate has started over the redevelopment of...

Read more

Hits:5490

Sir Malcolm in the Middle

Sir Malcolm…

 Kensington MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind has been susp...

Read more

Hits:5541

'SHAMBOLIC' -  RBKC confuses 'want' with 'need'

'SHAMBOLIC…

Following our short article by Tristan Hazel on ...

Read more

PEOPLE & PLACES

Prev Next

Hits:4287

Ostuni Queen's Park by M. Kuehn

Ostuni Que…

Having recently savoured the delights of the ver...

Read more

Hits:5383

Hats-off to Micky P: Portobello Live 3rd/4th May

Hats-off t…

Reflecting on the Portobello Live Festival - by ...

Read more

Hits:6444

Canal Deli food review

Canal Deli…

Canal deli - lovely people - scrumptious food or...

Read more

Hits:5693

Why hipster incursions into the KPH might not be a bad thing.

Why hipste…

I visited the KPH on Ladbroke Grove last evening...

Read more

Hits:5025

Source Mag Christmas treats IV

Source Mag…

Fine Bone China Tableware Upcycled Vintage Ceram...

Read more

Hits:5557

Source Mag Christmas treats III

Source Mag…

One of the kind hats, flowers, decorative hand c...

Read more

Hits:5538

Source Mag Christmas treats II

Source Mag…

Have you ever thought of offering a family docum...

Read more

Hits:4833

Source Mag Christmas treats I

Source Mag…

Coalition Colouring Book by Tom Pride. ...

Read more

Hits:5495

Want to get involved with online radio?

Want to ge…

K2K Radio wants to hear from you! ...

Read more

Hits:6075

Reflection on breaking barricades

Reflection…

From protesting with Anonymous to connecting wit...

Read more

Local Events Calendar

<<  December 2018  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
     
      

Upcoming Events

Social GK5

writers pic2

We're looking for writers! Join in! (scroll down the article)

Rants

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

I don't do …

I don't do rants. But,

...it's a rant! ...

Read more

Last Night …

Last Night I Dreamt...

"I could see the body of Kim Kardashian..." ...

Read more

Portobello …

Portobello drinkers 'harassed' by children

  From our sports correspondent Dave 'the ...

Read more

Everyone’s …

Everyone’s a F*****g DJ

by Kensal Scream  At long last! Another salvo f...

Read more

Lap dogs …

Lap dogs & devil dogs - the final solution

By Kensal Scream Time for another rant by the K...

Read more

Trains and …

Trains and  lycra pants

 By Kensal Scream That Really Grinds my Gears i...

Read more

An e-mail f…

An e-mail from Billy Connolly?

We can not be sure that  it’s his but it co...

Read more

Your Experience

Real time web analytics, Heat map tracking

Login or Sign Up