Page 6 - October 2014
P. 6

“COME IN NUMBER TWENTY-SIX -
              YOUR TIME IS UP”

                                          by Bob Richardson (9718)

       OU MIGHT THINK IT SAFE TO                  ampersand for £1.50 in a box of junk, as I once
       ASSUME that the onslaught of the           did in the old market.
       bulldozer has been halted in the capital,
       that we have learned from our past         A few miles to the west of Spitalfields
       mistakes and posiƟve efforts are being      market stood number 26 Blackfriars Road.
made to preserve the past. That is not always     The building was of no great architectural
the case, as opponents to the redevelopment       significance, and had liƩle to commend it, but
                                                  it was like an old friend and I always made

of London’s Smithfield meat market will tell       a point of throwing a glance in the direcƟon
you. A scheme to revamp the site seems set to     of this crumbling four-storey pile each Ɵme I
make the same mistakes which are evident in       passed it on a number 45 bus.
Spitalfields, where another of London’s great
indoor markets was gentrified to the point of      Twenty-six BaƩersea Road was the long-
being almost unrecognisable. The quirky liƩle     Ɵme headquarters of NATSOPA, the NaƟonal
stalls selling second-hand goods, hand-made       Society of OperaƟve Printers Assistants.
clothes and home-cooked pies gave way to          The trade union had a quirky name which
corporate chains and expensive restaurants.       suggested to me that someone had come up
It’s a pleasant enough place to visit on a sunny  with an acronym and worked backwards from
Sunday, but a coffee and a Danish pastry will      there. In fact the organisaƟon started life as
leave a large hole in your wallet, and you’re     the Printers’ Labourers Union in 1889 and was
unlikely to find an aƩracƟve wooden italic         re-named the OperaƟve Printers Assistants
                                                  Union ten years later. In 1904 it had a further

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