Monday - 01 September 2014

Bermondsey plans its first night antiques market

11 July 2013Written by Joan Porter

Mike Collins is to build on his success running Bermondsey Antiques Market by trialling a night antiques market during the summer.

It will follow on from the Friday market in Bermondsey Square from 3pm to 10pm with live music to give it all a party feel.

This is what Bermondsey has been waiting for and will surely lead to new business, with market stalls picking up customers from the hyper-gentrified Bermondsey Street and surrounding area as they gather for drinks and dinner.

"We have encouraged restaurants and bars in the square to be actively involved in the night market and hopefully this will forge closer links with local residents and businesses in the area," said Mike. "If it's a success we'll follow it up with a Christmas event plus dates in 2014."

Increased Occupancy

Meanwhile, since Sherman & Waterman, market operators, of which Mike is a director, took over the running of the market for Southwark Borough Council on March 1, occupancy levels have increased an astonishing 300%.

Mike describes the first three months as "a baptism of fire", with rain, sleet, snow and wind, but he also describes them as "an inspirational and enlightening journey… the dealers have generously embraced unconditionally our intrusion into what has for many years been a market regulated by the dealers themselves".

Many of the dealers now at Bermondsey come from Mike's stable who stand at Spitalfields and Covent Garden markets. As well as the silver and jewellery for which Bermondsey is famed, the market has now burst out into mid-century furniture, ceramics, art, ephemera, antiquarian books and vintage fashion.

"The market is very much a work in progress and I strongly believe we are seeing the advent of a new era in the timeline of this most historic of markets," said Mike. A remark with which the hard core of dealers at the market and I utterly agree.

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