By Sarah Yeneralski Museum Volunteer
Our new exhibition Romford Market: Historic Heart of the Town, focuses on the changing face of Romford Market and explores the impact it has on the town and the people who lived and worked in the area. Changing shopping habits have meant that the market has had to change with the times in recent years and our exhibition reminds us all of the rich history and colourful stories that once attracted many people to come into Romford for the market alone.
Your Market Memories is a section of the exhibition which retells some of these stories. One of these memories was from Joyce born 1926 who tells us about when they sold dogs in the market and how as a little girl she bought one and took it home to the initial displeasure of her mother.
Animals feature again in the exhibition with a picture from the 1960’s featuring two children with a Squirrel Monkey which was used to attract customers to the market. Nowadays neither the selling of animals nor using them for pictures would be acceptable practice and the exhibition demonstates how much the market and indeed society has changed since those times.
Younger visitors may be fascinated to read of one of the area’s more colourful characters Colonel Blood who lived in Romford c. 1667 and was famous for trying to steal the Crown Jewels. It is also interesting to read about a unique way that a husband may have sought to end his marriage prior to the 20th Century and how Romford market featured in this practice.
With personal memories mixed with historical facts this really is an exhibition that everyone can find something of interest in. Whether you are new to the town or have lived here for many years, I am sure that you will agree that Romford Market is still today the historic heart of this town.
Romford Market: Historic Heart of the Town runs from 10th January to 28th March. Usual admission fees and opening times apply.