London, UK: Wednesday 14 June – Borough Market re-opened to the public today following its closure after the London Bridge terror attack.
Amidst the floral displays and walls covered with messages of support, the market bell rang out at 10:00am to signal Borough Market’s return to full operation and to welcome shoppers through its doors once again.
A poem, written by Community Participation Officer for Southwark Council, Suléy Muhidin entitled Keeping Tradition Alive was read at the re-opening ceremony, which was also attended by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Chair of Trustees Donald Hyslop, said that the re-opening marked the start of a healing process and thanked the emergency services for their outstanding response on the night of the attacks, as they are once again called into action following last night’s fire in North Kensington.
“There has been a market in this area for a thousand years. It has survived fire, flood, plague and war. Sometimes – like now – it has become the focus of attention. But mostly it has just been a part of the everyday life of the city and its communities – a place people come to shop, eat, socialise and laugh. That’s exactly what markets do all over the world – bring people together.
Today we begin to reclaim and remake this place with you. Over the last few days our resilient creative community has been cleaning beyond cleaning, laying the tables and chairs, and bringing us back the familiar colourful displays, and sounds. So in a moment we give this place back to you with love, and we only ask you two very small favours.
Firstly, a call that echoes through a thousand years of history: spend a little money with us if you can!
And secondly, come here today; come here at the weekend; come here when you can; it’s your market.
London is open. Borough Market is open.”
To support the traders who have suffered as a result of the closure, the market has taken the exceptional step of extending trading hours for the next two weeks; it will open additionally on Sunday 18th and Sunday 25th June.
Notes to editors
Borough Market is London’s oldest and most renowned food market. It is also the only fully independent market in London, owned by a charitable trust and run by a board of volunteer trustees. The market hosts 130 traders and restaurants and attracts 16 million visitors every year.
A video of Suléy Muhidin reading his poem in Borough Market for National Poetry day is available here: http://boroughmarket.org.uk/articles/keeping-tradition-alive
Keeping Tradition Alive
by Suléy Muhidin
Let them, treat those two customers like they are the same,
For neither are present without the same objective,
For we are inspired by the history, the tradition of the trade.
Indulgent buyers alight with an eye for the beauty abounds.
Somewhere in the distance, we all hear that welcoming sound
Which calls us like summer time, like beauty like splendour.
“Over here!” they shout that wonderful vendor
And over we go to see what is afoot,
There is always such wonderful variety—behold.
Let them, the traders appeal to your taste,
If they can sell to kings and never lose their virtue;
If they can sell to queens and never show outward applause.
There is much to be gained from the wonderment of this place
We are proud to be ‘Southwark’ and we love the rat race.
It’s an atmosphere that takes you so present yourself fare,
There is everything to gain from the reputation we share,
Be a part of antiquity whether in front or behind that stall,
For we are all a part of a greater ambition
And for every penny spent we are upholding un-penetrated tradition.
Let them, the buyers inhale and exhale in their hearts,
If they can fill their minds with the experience – the art.
Remain in the moment; keep those wits about you,
For our history is what brought us here,
It is what has provided us with the tools to construct
None of this happened with a stroke of luck.
Yes, this took grit and desire and full of fair play,
Our old Southwark traders, they are here with us today.
Chuffed at your work, your grit, your drive
To keep the spirit of Borough Market alive.
To donate to the trader support fund, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bmrelieffund