Roman Road stretches through Bow and Globe Town. This is our pick of photos from our strip which remind us why we love this area so much.
Right now we might not be able to visit the Roman like we used to. The lockdowns have seen the gentle murmur of stall owners going about their business depleted to a respectful hush. Most of its shops, usually alive with chatter, are shuttered and now function temporarily online. But we know that this won’t last forever and as the country waits out the cold winter months, the Roman lies in state, until the punters, sellers and patrons return again.
In honour of our fine home, we have assembled a selection of the best pictures of Roman Road. Some are from lockdown and others a reminder of life before the pandemic. Each one tells a different story of a road that means a lot of things to a lot of people.
This shot of the market, taken in the low light of a February morning last year gives an indication of the hive of activity that this strip usually plays host to, including the ever-popular Sweet Treats.
Taken in nearly exactly the same spot as the previous photo, this is the market in 1968. Not much has changed, except maybe some hairstyles, floral shirts and pro-smoking advertisements.
Here we see the instantly recognisable archway which marks the entrance to the Roman Road Market from the eastern end. Taken during last year’s lockdown, this is a poignant shot and shows a community in waiting.
Also during lockdown in 2020, this is the non-market stretch of Roman Road in Bow stretching on towards Mile End park towards Globe Town and Bethnal Green without a car or number eight bus in sight. You can just spoke the Cranbrook Estate on the horizon.
This impressive shot, taken from above, illustrates the whole stretch of the market lined by Victorian buildings on either side. Did you know Roman remains were found in an 1845 dig on the current site of Armagh Road? There have been further finds since that justifies the name.
Taken early in the morning these shops are still shuttered in sleep, waiting for the day to start. Roman Road is known for its high proportion of independent shops. They are the backbone of our tight knit neighbourhood, each playing their part to make the road a thriving community.
This is the Globe Town end of Roman Road taken looking east at the sun rising. The area, which has garnered the tag of ‘well-being mecca of East London’, is home to organisations such as London Buddhist Centre, Globe Osteopathy and the Turkish Baths at York Hall.
Lanfranc Estate with its signature blue squares is one of Bow’s iconic estates. This shot was taken in 2014 but the estate was built in 1969 and named after a naval destroyer.
This shot, taken in December 2020, sees the Roman cast in a different light – Christmas ones, to be precise! The festive decorations illustrate a community bound by hope.
Dressed smartly in black, these shopfronts include our beloved Paradise Cycles. Have you ever noticed The Black Horse sign? This former public house operated from 1869 until its closure in 1995.
If you enjoyed this article, you may enjoy Rose Palmer’s photo essay on canal life through lockdown
Can you help us?
As a not-for-profit media organisation using journalism to strengthen communities, we have not put our digital content behind a paywall or membership scheme as we think the benefits of an independent, local publication should be available to everyone living in our area.
If a fraction of the local 40,000 residents donated two pounds a month to Roman Road LDN it would be enough for our editorial team to serve the area full time and be beholden only to the community. A pound at a time, we believe we can get there.