Sept' 28th 2013.. Inside the covered market
The covered market actually started it’s life as an Un-covered market.
As early as 1901 the market in Beresford square was extremely busy and having busy traffic through it and around it made for an often hazardous environment.. The idea of a covered market to the east along Plumstead high street was talked about but nothing actually happened till more than 30 years later
The council acquired some land in Plumstead high street, close to Beresford square and in 1932 the open air market was opened with seventy purpose built stalls. Many of the traders complained that the move would ruin their business.
In 1936 it was decided to add a roof to the market, at a cost of £2,268. The work was to take three months to complete and during this time the stallholders were moved back to Spray St, once again complaining that the move would ruin their business!!
The Kentish independent of 18th september 1936 reports that the market in Plumstead road has re-opened today . The market covers an area of 11,270 square feet and is now covered by a steel framed roof that is only supported at the four sides, so there are no supporting pillars to cause obstruction.
The design of the roof is called "Lamella Patent construction" and was the first of its type to be built in the London county council area. Several local people have told me that the roof is a listed construction but I have contacted English Heritage today ( Jan 23rd '09 ) and they tell me that although they are aware of the building, it is not listed in any way..
"Lamella" roofing was invented in Germany and was assembled with a series of interlocking triangles.. They were popular for large span roofs, such as aircraft hangers.
The market inspector tells me that the covered market is on the councils "for disposal" list.
I looked around the market in January 2008 and the whole place is extremely shabby and run down with only a handful of units trading.
A few years ago I gained access into the area below the market and took a few pictures of the passageways that doubled up as air raid shelters during WW2. Nothing much to see apart from the remnants of a few wartime posters