I have a stand in the Admiral Vernon Arcade selling antique sewing tools. My immediate neighbours sell paintings and antique/vintage textiles. We work to make our stands attractive. The other businesses – cafes, food, clothes – all owe their business to us.
• Clean and repaint where ever possible, clean the outside awnings of bird droppings, make sure the fans are working in the summer. We need the road to look attractive to any visitors and possible property owners.
• Allot numbered parking spaces to dealers who pay a year in advance. Allow free parking Sundays.
• Install Wi-Fi in the arcades
• Improve the Portobello website, list shippers, foreign currency exchange – everything to make buying easy.
• Encourage dealers to have their own websites – a web arranger could advertise a special rate for new dealers and local businesses.
• Get inspiration from The Fleas (Clignancourt market) in Paris with photos of outside cafes, welldressed patrons.
• The housing in Paris keeps the character of the market as it was an old residential quarter built probably before the market. It is important to keep away from big blocks of flats that overpower the road and its stands.
We love the Portobello. Residents and dealers alike, we need to fight for it to retain its unique character. It beats Buckingham Palace for tourist visits. Let’s do it.
The Thimble Society