It’s closing time for another antiques market in the Portobello Road area where dealers increasingly fear for the future of their trade.
They have previously hit out at developers
and property owners who they feel are strongly in favour of
seven-days-a-week chain stores and high-end boutiques rather than
the traditional Saturday antiques trade, and the last day of the
Gallery at 287-289 Westbourne Grove on May 26 will be the latest
But in this case the premises are believed
to be family-owned rather than a large landlord with several
properties, and Marion Gettleson, the Portobello antiques trader
who has run a Facebook campaign called Save the Portobello Road
Market, said it was sad and it seemed to be more "the end of an
She pointed out that the number of empty
shops along the western end of Westbourne Grove is "utterly
amazing", and although there is no shortage of people visiting the
area there is a shortage of those spending money.
It leaves Burton as the last antiques arcade
in Westbourne Grove, with some street stalls on Saturdays.
The Gallery opened in 1987 and has dealt
with high-quality Oriental and European antiques. Maria Nieves
Villacampa-Ascaso, one of the founder stand holders, said most of
the 16 dealers will "relocate to new stands within Portobello
She added: "It will be with great sadness
that I'll close my stand in the gallery. I have enjoyed the
ambience, and the true cosmopolitan bunch of dealers, collectors
and tourists that has come in to say hello."
Portobello Antique Dealers' Association
chairman Costas Kleanthous told ATG that he was very sorry to see
the gallery go, but understood it was for family reasons. "It's a
shame because there are some really very good dealers in there and
I'm not sure, as yet, what will happen to all of them," he
A planning application for 287-289
Westbourne Grove submitted to Kensington and Chelsea council
planning department was approved in January this year, including
alterations to the shopfront. A floorplan shown as part of that
application has the separate stalls inside replaced by single
commercial units. The applicant is listed as Mr J Harding.
ATG asked the Harding family for a comment
but had not received a reply at the time of going to press.
The closure comes hot on the heels of a
successful appeal paving the way for seven-day trading at the
Admiral Vernon Arcade in Portobello, which left antiques traders
who trade on Saturdays concerned about the implications.