Unique Photographs of Soho and Central London

Berwick Street Market: A Shadow of What It Was?

By epaulet

Berwick Street in Soho is home to a centuries old street market.

Berwick Street Market can be found on a map between Peter Street and Broadwick Street in Soho. Ancient records show that the market originated in 1778 when local shopkeepers offered for sale their goods on the pavement outside their shops. Berwick Street Market was officially recognised as a street market in 1892.

Unfortunately the market is but a shadow of what it was in the past and what it could be. Many articles on the web about Berwick Street Market bear no relation to the truth of how the market actually IS. The fruit and veg in the market is MAINLY being sold off by the punnet - if it is not sold by the end of the day it is thrown away - it won't most likely won't last until tomorrow. I have had several experiences of this waste where I have been tempted by a "punnet for a pound" so I am speaking from experience.

The fruit and veg at Berwick Street Market is also not particularly inexpensive either, it is VERY expensive if you have to throw most of it away, of course - and it is certainly more expensive than nearby supermarkets - just try the John Lewis Foodhall in Oxford Street for good value, crisp and fresh fruit and veg (within a few minutes walk). Somerfield's in Berwick Street (which I am not a fan of for other reasons) has a very limited range of fruit and vegetables but often prices there are less expensive than most of the market stall prices and the fruit and veg LOOKS better and LASTS longer. (How amazing?!)

A sad and sorry state of affairs when it is obvious that supermarkets can put before buyers fresher and more attractive fruit and veg than can most of the Berwick Street market traders - but don't take my word for it - visit Berwick Street Market and decide for yourself. I will say there is one excellent trader of fruit and veg in the market, and I always use that one - see if you can work out which one it is when you visit Berwick Street.

Of course, this doesn't mean ALL of the Berwick Street Market traders are like this, there is that one market trader who sells consitently GOOD fruit and veg, I use him for my shopping, but why not visit this ancient street market and see for yourself.... Berwick Street Market can only improve with more visitors, and more discerning visitors. Are you encouraged to check out the market yourself because of this article?

On an aside, because I frequent Berwick Street Market frequently, I have seen one of the market stallholder in league with the card touts and rip-off artists who frequent this part of Soho and prey on tourists and the gullible - just stand at the Blue Posts Public House and watch this scam almost any morning - see for yourself but DON'T get involved yourself.

It would be refreshing if some of the other online reviews about Berwick Street Market that I have read when preparing to write this article were more honest and that the reviewers and writers actually tried visiting the market instead of regurgitating stale platitudes and insipid (and inaccurate) praise..... just because the market exists.

I value Berwick Street Market and use it regularly but I want it to be better!...... for me and for everyone else.

To sum up, Berwick Street Market is a shadow of what it must once have been and what it could once again be - wake up public! wake up reviewers! wake up Westminster Council! the market is a resource we don't want to see trashed in this way.

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Author Information: epaulet is a writer, web publisher and journalist who publishes information websites, news and articles.

Berwick Street Market Photographs

Berwick Street looking towards Walkers Court at Night

Berwick Street Photographs