Magazine article The Spectator

Market Values

Magazine article The Spectator

Market Values

Article excerpt

Portobello Voices by Blanche Girouard The History Press, . £14.99, pp. 256, ISBN 9780752499369, Spectator Bookshop, £13.49, After reading Portobello Voices, I feel more strongly than ever that the unique Portobello market mustn't be allowed to close. It gets over a million visitors a year and is one of London's most frequented sites.

Blanche Girouard interviewed a crosssection of people involved with the market and has written up their recorded interviews verbatim, using their own voices. This has the effect of making the market feel very immediate and alive. And what a rich crosssection is here. There are antique dealers and the costermongers who have passed down their stalls from generation to generation; there are the obsessive collectors, who think that there are more bargains to be found now than ever before; new young entrepreneurs trying to start up businesses (after all, Peter Simon of Monsoon began here) and recent arrivals, like the refuse-collector from Lithuania. …

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