I grew up in Streatham but my family and I would go to different markets most weekends. East Street Market in Camberwell was my favourite. It was where my nan would get nighties, socks and knickers from. I have all these memories of being in this loud market filled with people from every walk of life. It was an incredibly vibrant place.
When I was younger, with no sense of direction, I didn’t understand where exactly East Street Market was. It dawned on me when I got older and started getting the bus to Camberwell. The first time I heard ‘East Street Market’ on the tannoy, I nearly lost my mind. It had been this mythological place from my childhood and suddenly it was real.
I’ve never visited the market as an adult. I wanted to leave it as it was because I was so heartbroken at Brixton Market turning into something I didn’t understand. Visiting the same spaces and being respectful of them since I was a child means that I’ve always had gentrification on my radar. So much of my work is concerned with how things change and how we lose the connection that we had to them. I want to remember East Street as the magical marketplace I visited at the weekends.
‘Queenie’ by Candice Carty-Williams is out now in paperback (Trapeze, £8.99). Follow Candice Carty-Williams on Twitter.
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