Three stories recently of Londoners resisting gentrification and the “corporatisation” of the city — transforming London from being “turbulent, chaotic, fantastically creative, brimming with a sense of freedom” into a museum fit only for the super-rich (and bearing an uncanny resemblance to Singapore Airport).
First, our very own St James’s resident and friend of St James’s Church and Piccadilly Market, Stephen Fry is campaigning against the cultural evisceration of Soho.
Second, residents of the New Era estate in east London fought and won a battle royal against the millionaire executives of Westbrook Partners who wanted to sell their estate, evict families and triple rents.
Third, a vigorous anti-gentrification skirmish has blown up in Brixton over plans to evict dozens of much-loved independent local businesses, opening the way for chains to take their place and pay inflated rents.
These stories make it even more important for Piccadilly Market to survive and prosper: trading fifty weeks a year without interruption, adding the spice, vitality and eccentricity to central London which only a street market peopled by independent traders can provide.
Let’s hear it for London’s independent traders! And for ethical landlords, such as St James’s Church Piccadilly, who make such activity possible!