Leather Lane Stars

Real regeneration is achieved through people power, and sometime back in the summer a group of us at Ash Sakula Architects decided that traders are the ‘rain and shine’ heroes; the stars of our public realm. We think conversation makes community, and that people make the public realm. We wanted to celebrate the people that make Leather Lane Market, so we found out who were the Rising Stars, the Established Stars and the Supporting stars, interviewing them and recognising what they bring to the market community.

Leather Lane has definitely been shrinking and we want to reverse the trend. By lacing together shops and stalls in a common promotional push, we hope that local businesses will recognise their buying power as the right tool for injecting new energy into this 300 year old market.

Friends of Leather Lane Stars at a community meeting.

A market stall today.

When it's like this, it's lovely to be here.

Shola, one of the market's "Rising Stars," has been a trader at Leather Lane Market for 7 years, selling a variety of ladies bags.

I ended up spending more time here than on the road, so I kind of just migrated. It's lovely round here... Afer a while, you don't really venture outside.

Mario, a "Supporting Star," works at the Craft Beer Co. on Leather Lane, serving a wide variety of fine ales and beers to the discerning Leather Lane clientele.

Support the Market - buy a badge! Ash Sakula created these badges to spread awareness and raise money.

An historic illustration of the bustling market.

I could tell you every stone on this street and all round the neighbourhood.

Henry, an "Established Star" in the area, is one of the oldest traders on the block, having worked at the market for 43 years. He's lived in the area all his life.

The customers come to this market... they know me here.

Inga and her husband Andrew, "Rising Stars" at Leather Lane, have been selling hats, gloves, sunglasses and other fashion accessories at the market for 5 years. She started at Roman Road after finishing school.

At one time if you had a stall in this market you was God

Richard "Ritchie Rich" has been working in Leather Lane Market for 27 years, a well "Established Star" at the markets. He notes that the market 20 years ago "used to be like Mecca."