Browsing the quaint stores of Columbia Road is always a pleasant shopping experience, but every Sunday without fail, the strip turns into an enchanting garden of sweet aromas and vibrant colors.
Columbia Road is one of the only streets in London whose shops have not been commercialized. The nearly 60 shops on Columbia are privately owned and operated, preserving the character of each unique shop. From art galleries to vintage clothes stores, bars to bakeries, delis to cafes, the street has everything a human could need or desire.
The shop owners keep the Flower Market tradition alive through a mutual passion and determination. The Sunday Flower Market was originally a Saturday Trading Market. As many Jewish folk moved into the area, the market was moved to Sunday, and as the Saturday market declined, the flower market flourished.
During an economic decline in the 1970s, the street was in danger of demolition, but the community came together and saved the area. Because of the shop owners’ dedication to the market and refusal to conform to the retail world, the market is still running today. Each Sunday the street is lined with a huge variety of flowers and trees, and the barrow boys (street vendors) still sing “Everythin’ a fiver.”
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