Piccadilly Market ~ Best Kept Secret of London’s West End

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Many visitors to Piccadilly Market say (to paraphrase): ‘I’ve lived in London all my life and didn’t know this market existed!’

To which traders respond (to paraphrase): ‘Yes madam [sir] we’re a hidden gem. We’ve been a hidden gem since 1979.’

Which in some ways is fine — it’s good to be a gem — but a shame in others. The St James’s Church community should be more widely known:-

  • The extraordinary church designed by Sir Christopher Wren. William Blake was baptised there in 1757. Hitler tried to destroy it in 1940 and failed
  • Secret gardens in the heart of London’s West End
  • Lunchtime and evening concerts
  • Winter night shelter in the coldest months
  • Caravan Drop-In counselling service, open seven days a week
  • Talks and workshops — ‘events inspiring heart mind and soul’ — hosted by Alternatives
  • The market — open six days a week. Many traders are artisans who manufacture their own products. Others source specialist and unusual items from around the world. Piccadilly Market is the only permanent general market in London W1. There’s a delicious food market on Mondays
  • The welcoming Anglican community: “… a common commitment to be in solidarity with poor and marginalised people and to cherish creation”

 

That’s quite a gem, a few yards from Piccadilly Circus. Should it be hidden? No. Piccadilly Market should be a ‘destination market’ like Covent Garden, Spitalfields and Petticoat Lane. Why hide your light under a bishop bushel?

 

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