It was only after an epic battle for Spitalfields’ rich heritage by local conservationists that many of the area’s 17th and 18th century houses were preserved from redevelopment ten years ago.
Now the property developers are moving in again, this time to demolish the 1929 London Fruit and Wool Exchange and adjacent buildings to erect another office building in Spitalfields, a decision ratified by London mayor Boris Johnson recently after strong opposition by residents and Tower Hamlets council.
But at least Old Spitalfields Market looks set to continue as the busy tourist magnet that it is, with markets most days of the week and vintage, designer markets and a general market on Saturdays.
A new addition to the area is Nelson Events' monthly art and books market at London's Old Spitalfields Market, which launched on Saturday, September 29. Nelson had been encouraged by exhibitors at their Newmarket and Ally Pally fairs to start the market and the tally at the first Spitalfields event was some 80 dealers.
There were 60 stalls - of which 30 were art, some of it local, including prints, contemporary work and watercolours, with 20 book and ten antique stalls, including Art Deco and collectables.
Old Spitalfields Market is certainly a lively place for antiques. Mike Collins of Sherman and Waterman holds his very buzzy antiques and vintage flea market there every Thursday; he did try a Saturday market earlier this year but it didn't work out.
"It was a very encouraging start so I'm hoping we've stumbled across a winner," said Paul Kelly of Nelson Events, who plans to build this market to 150 dealers.
The next art and book market is on Saturday, October 27.
Tel: 01263 888111.