Before the days of the supermarket and refrigerated lorries, food had to be moved quickly. Here is a day in the life of the old Stratford Fruit & Vegetable Market.
Stratford had its own fruit and vegetable market. Here is an account of the opening, from the Hackney Gazette, 4th October 1879.
A Walk from Whitechapel Church to the Leytonstone Road.
"As The Tram Car Goes" - An extract written by W. N. Noble in the 1870s.
Leaving the [Bow] Church I arrive at a branch of the river Lee, which separates Stratford from Bow and is the end of the Bow road - a spot remarkable for being the first stone bridge ever built in England. The particulars are thus related:- Matilda the Queen of Henry the First often went to visit the shrine of the nunnery at Barking, in Essex to which she usually rode on horse back. On one of these excursions as she and her attendants were crossing the ford it was found that the water by a sudden rain had swelled considerably so that the Queen narrowly escaped drowning - after the loss of several of her attendants. In memory of her signal deliverance she caused a bridge to be built different to all others in the kingdom - it being a stone Gothic arch. The place where it was built was then called the Strait-ford; and the people, who had never seen a stone arch over a river before, called it a "Bow," or the Bow near Strait-ford from which its present name is derived, namely Stratford-le-Bow.
This place was once celebrated for the manufacture of china, which obtained the appellation of Bow China. Some of the specimens of this ware proved to be extremely beautiful, but the rise of potteries and the opposition of the Chelsea, Worcester, Salop and Derby porcelain manufactories caused these works to stop. I now cross the bridge and step into Stratford High street, which in ancient times was famous for a company of white and brown bread bakers, who used to sell their bread in carts and on horses to the environs of the metropolis, and most grievously to undersell the Londoners who frequently complained; but as the people in power thought that the opposition thus created was beneficial to the poor it was never legally countermanded.
BALLOONS OVER NEWHAM. They took off from Stratford and North Woolwich and often landed causing damage to property.
STRATFORD WHOLESALE FRUIT AND VEGETABLE MARKET 1931
On the 8th March 1883, Ephraim Burford died at his home at no.5 Crownfield Place, Stratford, a few days short of his 74th birthday. His was the last in a line of three generations of that name to be involved in the calico-printing and dyeing industry in east London. Much of the land and property which made up Burford’s Printing and Dye Works had already been sold in 1866 with the remainder auctioned off in 1880. Part of this area is still remembered today as Burford Road, where until relatively recently stood The Burford Arms public house.