Donald Hyslop, chair of the Trustees of Borough Market, marks the start of a long and difficult journey back to normality after the recent terror attack
While the victims of last week’s terror attack will never be forgotten, and while the trauma experienced by this community will weigh heavily for a long time to come, it is essential for the wellbeing of everyone associated with Borough Market that we return to at least a semblance of normality as soon as we can. On Wednesday, the bell will ring, the stalls will open, customers will start to arrive, and the healing process will begin.
That healing process will require a vast well of empathy and support—something that we know exists here in abundance. We have been flooded with messages and offers of help. Traders, customers, staff and trustees have done whatever they can, from the local illustrator who has donated works of art inspired by the Market, to traders such as Horn OK Please and Borough Wines who used their presence at other markets to raise money for the Red Cross UK Solidarity Fund. Gourmet Goat is planning to give away pots of koliva, a dish of wheat berries, spices and mint that is loaded with symbolism in the eastern Mediterranean, in exchange for a donation. Hundreds of people have made donations the Borough Market trader support fund, which has been set up to support the small independent businesses whose viability has been put at risk from lost stock and cancelled trading days.
Rock solid community
The strength of this community has been sorely tested over the past 10 days, and it has shown itself to be rock solid. The Market’s staff have worked around the clock and through the weekend, in circumstances of both logistical challenge and emotional strain, in an attempt to get the place ready for its reopening. Many others, from the building firms that volunteered their help to the markets that offered temporary stalls and storage facilities to our traders, have played their part. On Friday morning, London-based florists, flower growers and greengrocers will join together to create a beautiful installation of flowers and fresh produce around the main Art Deco entrance on Borough High Street.
Anyone else who wishes to help in the coming weeks can do so in one simple but fundamental way: by turning up, putting a buzz back into the atmosphere, and buying some high quality food and drink from the fantastic array of traders who make this such a special and diverse place. To help our stallholders and give more customers a chance to do some shopping and show their support, we will be staying open on Sunday, both this weekend and next. Come along to show your love for Borough and the values of tolerance and community that the Market does so much to promote.
Starting on Wednesday, every person who comes here will be making a difference. At 10am, we will link arms, pause for a moment of silent reflection, then ring the Market bell loud and clear. And from that moment onwards we will need you more than ever.