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Larry with the toys

Meet the traders of the iconic Walthamstow market

Published: 17 June 2022
Filed under: regeneration

'E17 Market Stories' is an outdoor photography exhibition celebrating the historic Walthamstow Market, giving people an insight into the lives of the diverse community of market traders.

Featuring a trail of large format photography on prominent buildings along Walthamstow High Street, the exhibition showcases trader’s portraits and market scene photography by Lloyd Ramos, a local photographer who grew up on the market.

In addition to the photography there are QR Codes placed on nearby lampposts linking to videos online by Waltham Forest filmmaker Ashton John (Home Project: Walthamstow) which documents the individual stories of 11 featured ‘hero traders’. These colourful and often eccentric personalities give an insight into market life through the telling of personal, sincere, and emotive stories.

Walthamstow Market started in 1885 and is hailed as Europe’s longest outdoor street market, spanning a kilometre of the High Street, with many of the traders having families that have traded on the market for generations. Markets have traditionally been the heartbeat of Town Centres, but with so many technological, economic, environmental, and social challenges, markets across the UK are having adapt for their very survival.

Having an ‘exhibition on the market’, on the market is a great way for visitors to immerse themselves within the exhibition, giving an opportunity to experience the market in real life, and even meet and chat to those featured in the exhibition. Some might even learn the forgotten art of ‘the haggle’ and pick up a bargain as a souvenir.

As well as stalls selling food, clothes, household goods, homemade jewellery, and all sorts of interesting products, you’ll find cafes offering cuisine from around the world, its famous variety of haberdashery shops, and an eclectic mix of independent shops.

Check out the details of the full large-scale exhibition including the trail map in our events section, and watch the trailer for the exhibition below: