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Old images of Roman Road Market [GALLERY]

We have dug out some images 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. There are some groovy images of women wearing horn-rimmed glasses and hurrying to do the weekly shop. You will see that the piles of rubbish on the Roman today are a long-established feature on our road. 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.

The market used to be open for long hours: there are oral accounts of trading going on until 10 pm well into the 20th century. 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.

Black and white image of Roman Road Market
Roman Road Market 1968 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Black and white image of Roman Road Market
Roman Road Market 1968 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Black and white image of Roman Road Market
Roman Road Market 1968 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Black and white image of Roman Road Market
Roman Road Market 1968 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Black and white image of Roman Road Market
Roman Road Market 1968 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Black and white image of Roman Road Market
Roman Road Market 1968 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Black and white image of Roman Road Market
Roman Road Market 1968 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Black and white image of Roman Road Market
Roman Road Market 1968 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Black and white image of Roman Road Market
Roman Road Market 1968 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Black and white image of Roman Road Market
Roman Road Market 1968 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Photography of Roman Road Market 1968
Roman Road Market 1968 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Black and white photograph of Roman Road Market in 1968
Roman Road Market 1968 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Black and white photography Roman Road Market
Roman Road Market 1968 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Black and white image of Roman Road Market
Roman Road Market 1981 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Black and white image of Roman Road Market
Roman Road Market 1981 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Black and white image of Roman Road Market
Roman Road Market 1981 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Roman Road Market 1981
Roman Road Market 1981 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Roman Road Market 1982
Roman Road Market 1982 ©Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives

Roman Road Market 1999

Roman Road Market 1999 ©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 colour photos of Roman Road Market.

 


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5 thoughts on “Old images of Roman Road Market [GALLERY]

  • May 4, 2018 at 1:04 am
    Permalink

    Well done lovely photos of the old roman road market the real roman road market not like it is today it used to be packed not like now

    Reply
  • May 8, 2018 at 2:56 pm
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    Will be showing these to my father in law Dave Eastwell as he used to have a greengrocers shop & stall there & often talks about all the people he knew.

    Reply
  • May 12, 2018 at 6:07 am
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    Lovely photos. Are there any more in the archives please?

    Reply
  • June 9, 2018 at 10:01 am
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    Great photos great memories

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 9:42 am
    Permalink

    My nan used to live in McKenna House back in the late eighties, early nineties. which is at the back of Roman Road market. I used to love going down the Roman on a Saturday. I used to shop at Chizel’s men’s boutique and get my mum shoes from Shoe Boys. The clothing designs and quality of goods in the shops back then was first class. After nan passed away in 1993, I stopped going down the Roman so regularly. Now I find it has changed quite a bit, and appears to have lost it’s sparkle from the bygone era. I’ll forever treasure the fond memories though.

    Reply

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