As the weeks pass by, we are observing not just decreasing footfall through the Ridley Road but an increasing number of vacant pitches. It is clear to see from our nine months, backed up by conversations of insight with the long-term traders (backed up by a nostalgic shot and insightful quote from the current “Mnemonic City: Moving Streets’ exhibit at the Doomed Gallery (first pic)), the market is slowly dying. Despite our love of being part of the community for one day of the week, those with livelihoods dependent on the markets trade, it is clear that something needs be done. Hackney is a center for arts and culture, people with a passion for creativity and the inspiration to bring it to life. The urban re-generation is a wonderful thing for the community when in-balance with local heritage, with a respect to the ethos present and if developments occur with the people’s best interest at heart. Dalston, especially, has been the port of call for many people moving into the City, and with this influx of new young residents, brings in the corporate chain stores looking to capitalise; the flip side of East London’s gentrification. This area is blessed with a market steeped in tradition and heritage, it must be celebrated and be made an integral part of the lives of those moving into the area - come and see the real reason why Dalston is one London’s most wonderful places to be. The major corporations, with their multiplying number of express outlets (5 stores on or either side of the Kingsland Rd), provide a sense of convenience, supposedly needed in our hurried society, however, they ignore the effects of their actions on communities destroyed. We have to make it a point to source our ingredients from the market, with it’s individual wood and metal frame check-outs all on a vibrant aisle. No club cards or nectar points or any other means to monopolise an individual, what you see is what you get, loyalty points for character not spend. The millions spent by these supermarket chains on re-creating a market feel in store, can be found in abundance on the Ridley Road - this must be promoted. The market deserves a voice to stand up against these faceless companies which consider profitability as the priority when faced with any issue. We are keen to help drive footfall to the Ridley Rd and encourage the notion that it can be destination. The atmosphere provides the perfect setting for spending a few hours doing your shopping, to connect with friends, new and old, as well as have lunch if one wishes. As it has been for us, the market is the perfect platform and home, for unique creatives with original work to sell, a shop window in the heart of Dalston with a constant footfall. And the plan is to create a small collective which will work in harmony with the long-term traders whilst respecting the heritage of the market thus benefiting the long list of attributes the market has to offer. We are working closely with the Hackney Council and local traders to help this initiative flourish, working as a unit is far more powerful, and if the market is to be regenerated and reinvigorated, it requires collective efforts and a conscience decision to make the market a way of local life. So come and chat to us on Saturday’s, we’d love to hear your views about the state of the market and your suggestions to help improve it too….