Tooting covered markets

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Tooting Stall Stories!

An Oral History of the two covered markets in Tooting in SW London.

"Tooting Stall Stories" is a new oral history and arts project working with Furzedown Primary School and the community to explore the history of Tooting's covered markets. Built in 1930 and 1936, Tooting Market and Broadway Market were just two of many indoor markets that were dotted all over South London, most of which are now long gone. These indoor markets have been an essential part of the life and commerce of the area for 80 years with the history of the shop holders reflecting changes in the area and of London itself.

This project explores the history of the markets focussing on the lives of the people who run the shops and those who shop in them. It explores their life stories, their family history on the market and in the area, some dating back generations, some more recent. These will include the Stannard family who have been running the butchers for 50 years, the cobblers which has been repairing shoes on site for 80 years, the watch repairers who came from India via Kenya and have been fixing the watches of Tooting residents for 47 years. More recent Tooting residents who have set up shop include "The Juice Man" who gave up a career in IT to provide nutrician to the people. These and many more stories will be explored and recorded for this project.

With funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Wandsworth Grant Fund, arts and education charity digital:works is working collaboratively with Furzedown Primary School and Wandsworth Local Studies to explore the history of the markets. The children will work with historians to understand the history of Tooting in the development of London to give a context for the role of the markets in the area.

The Year 6 children will lead on this project. With workshops, training and support from digital:works the children will visit the markets to meet the people working there. After workshops exploring local history they will work with digital:works to understand oral history techniques and recording. They will then develop interview questions before returning to the market to conduct and record oral history interviews with traders and shoppers.

These interviews will be edited to make a documentary film starring the people on the markets.

The children will also be producing creative anbd historical written work inspired by the people they meet and their research on project.

They will also be working with wonderful local artist Sally Booth to create artwork on the market, again inspired by the people they meet.

The film is going to be premiered on the market itself on December 7th so watch this space for details.

After this launch Furzedown School is also going to have it's very own shop on the market run by the children to display the artwork, the writing and the film so watch out for details here also.

The film, writing and artwork will also be on display on this website.

The full unedited interviews will be on this website and will also be given to Wandsworth Borough Archives for their collection.

For more information or for schools wishing to work with Wandsworth Local Studies please visit their website here..

Thanks very much to K & K Stationers & Printers Ltd in Tooting for printing leaflets and posters for this project.

Wandsworth Grant Fund Logo







Oral history interview broadway market, Tooting

Latest News

October 2021

The markets have continued to change since we ran the project with many of the old stalls remaining while new stalls, many selling cooked food, have proliferated. Since then Tooting has been called one of the coolest places in the world according to the Lonely Planet!

Exhibition in Tooting Library - 2017

The wonderful writing and artwork produced by the children as part of this project is currently on display in Tooting Library. It's in the entrance and also upstairs in the children's section so pop in and have a look. It's on from now until February 11th 2017.
Tooting Library
75 Mitcham Road
SW17 9PD

Oral History Film Premier and Exhibition:

The film was launched actually on Tooting Market on Wednesday 7th December 2016 on a big screen erected specially for the event. A big turnout of parents, stall holders, local people and an assortment of historians turned up to watch the children present their film. It was a great Tooting night and a celebration of the children's hard work and achievements and of the markets themselves. On display also was the writing the children have done inspired by the market and the recipes they have learned and cooked thanks to the support of Gloria from "All Sorts" on the market. Thanks to everyone who turned up.

You can watch the documementary film now on this website on the film page.

Tooting Market Oral History film launch

Exhibition on Broadway Market:

Furzedown School have set up their own gallery in a shop on Broadway Market for a few days. This is showing the artwork they have been doing as well as their writing work and the film is also being played on a loop. Lots of people have come in to see it including MP Dr Rosena Khan. The exhibition is on from Thursday 8th December to Saturday 10th December from 9.30am to 2.30pm.

Oral History and art exhibition on Broadway Market

Making Art on the Market:

In addition to making the film about the market, children have been working with local artist Sally Booth to make artworks inspired by the stalls and people.

Children drawing on Tooting Market Art on Tooting Market stylish - Tooting Market Oral History Portugese tailors in Tooting Market