Old colour photos of Roman Road Market [GALLERY]

We have dug out some old colour photos of Roman Road Market in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s from our local archive library. These and many other images of streets of Bow are freely available at Tower Hamlets Local History and Archives. Take a look at banana stalls piled high in the 1970s and enjoy the amazing outfits from the 1990s. Scroll through and let the nostalgia begin.

Roman Road Market began as early as 1843, when it was illegal ‘but withstood several attempts to close it down’. It was recorded as a fully fledged market in 1887 by Booth, who toured the area with the local policeman and reported that ‘Roman Road…is one of the great market streets in London. Things to be bought of every sort, even patent leather shoes. Some demand for good quality as well as for cheapness’. The market is the heart of Bow, and ‘going down the Roman’ has been a tradition for generations.

Today, market days are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, but shops are open all week. The Old Ford and Bow Traders and Shopkeepers Union was inaugurated in 1910 to promote the welfare of costermongers and traders as well as those they lived alongside, and there have been traders groups ever since.

Roman Road Market Fruit Stall
Roman Road Market 1986 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Roman Road Market bananas
Roman Road Market 1973 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Roman Road Market bike stall
Roman Road Market ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Roman Road Market fruit
Roman Road Market 1973 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Roman-Rd-Market-1990
Roman Road Market 1990 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Roman-Rd-Market-1990
Roman Road Market 1990 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives

Photographs courtesy of Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives with special thanks to photographers Mrs C. Ely, Mrs H. Bazalgette, Robert Anthony, Kenneth Newman, F. Holingbery and the Borough Architect and Planning Department.

If you like this, you might also like our black and white archive images of Roman Road Market.

  1. kerryann

    Good morning,
    Could someone contact me regarding placing a write up about a small mental health charity BowHaven. We are based in the heart off Roman Rod market. I am the manager kerryann Newland and our website is http://www.bowhaven.org.uk for you to have a look at . We would love to be part off the newsletter along with the locale community knowing we are based here for people with mental health.
    Look forward to hearing from you,
    Kerryann,
    0203 022 5778

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