News 04•16

Clive Boursnell returns to capture the magic of the market

Clive Boursnell's picture of Lays of Chelsea

You’d be hard pressed to find a photographer as au fait with Covent Garden as Clive Boursnell. In the late 1960s and early 1970s Clive dedicated his time to capturing the magic of the old Covent Garden before it moved here. To record the end of an era.

Clive has published three books devoted to the old market, packed with stunning photographs encapsulating the spirit of the place, documenting both the things you saw and those you didn’t.

Four decades later Clive has returned to the market and its people, to New Covent Garden Market, to capture the magic that was never lost in London’s original and finest fruit, veg and flower market.

You may well have seen Clive around the market over the past year, and he’ll be a familiar face for years to come as he’ll be with us documenting market life over the next six years.


Drop-In Office on the Buyers' Walk

Brand New Covent Garden Market exhibition board

We’re opening a new Drop-In Office in Unit D74 on the Buyers’ Walk, in the Fruit and Veg Market.

We’re stocking the space with everything we need to talk you through the plans for Brand New Covent Garden Market, including our 3D model, our large exhibition panels showing the new market in fine detail and our booklets.

To start with, we’ll be opening the office for drop-ins every other Friday morning, from 03:00 to 08:00 starting Friday 29 April, as well as using the space for pre-arranged chats and meetings. Once opened, we’ll review how often we’re there to make sure it’s enough.

As the name suggests, there’s no need to book, simply drop-in and talk to Beth Stephens and Alette Anderson. They’re there to help answer any questions you have. Should they not have the answer on the spot, such as to a specific technical question, they’ll come back to you shortly after having checked with another member of the team.

The office is open to the whole market community; tenants and staff, customers and suppliers. Everyone is welcome. In the coming weeks, the Drop-In Office will be open 03:00 to 08:00 on:

  • Fri 29 April

  • Fri 13 May

  • Fri 27 May

  • Fri 10 June

  • Fri 24 June

  • Fri 8 July


3.3 million cups of tea drained from the old sprinkler tank

The old sprinkler tank

At the beginning of April, we successfully switched over the sprinkler system to the Temporary Sprinkler Tank. The market is a bit of a fragile old thing and likes to provide us with a challenge at every turn, but the switchover went smoothly thanks to a big team effort from all involved.

We then began the task of draining 500,000 litres of water from the old sprinkler tank that sits atop The Pavilion.

That’s the equivalent of 6,250 bathtubs of water, though you wouldn’t want to bathe in it, or 3.3 million cups of tea, and you certainly wouldn’t want to drink it either. After 24 hours of continuous draining, the tank is now empty and ready to come down in May.


Other works on site


New Entrance Plaza construction

Works are progressing well for the new Entrance Plaza. Currently the builders are digging up the concrete, readying the ground to lay down the new concrete, upon which the Plaza will then be built. The new Entrance Plaza is due to open later this summer.



External stairwells

We’ve nearly finished building the new stairwells inside the Fruit and Veg Market. Once finished, we’ll start the demolition of the four external stairwells, which will give us a bit of extra circulation space for the construction programme. These are due to come down in May.


Construction Programme

Construction Programme

Click on the image to view a larger version of the construction programme.

This is the latest Construction Programme for the next few months. As with any project of this size, all dates are indicative and are subject to change. As we get nearer to the start date we will be able to confirm timings with more certainty. The start date refers to the date that area is handed over to the contractor and is not the date significant works might start as, often, preparatory works are needed before demolition or construction can begin. The end date is our target end date.

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