ILFORD MARKET: It will be a big one

Ilford – VIJAY SHAH via ELLENA CRUSE and Ilford Recorder

A new covered market is planned for Ilford in the next few years at the site of the car park near the High Road and the Kenneth More Theatre in the town’s centre. Now, the official planning application for the market suggests that it will be a large one, with an expected 800-person capacity, according to material seen by local paper, the Ilford Recorder.

The 800-person capacity refers not to the amount of traders that will be operating in the market, but the maximum number of shoppers the market will be able to contain. The figure was released by Mercato Metropolitano (MM), the firm behind the market’s potential development. MM is a London-based company specialising in the operation of community-oriented marketplaces infused with an Italian soul, and have already set up a similar market in the Elephant & Castle area of central London.


MM plan to build a temporary ‘L-shaped structure’ which will last for five years at the Redbridge Car Park, off Ilford’s Chadwick Road and close to the shopping centre. That land is currently owned by the local government body for the area, Redbridge Council.

The project will include thirty food stalls, plus an on-site craft brewery and a hydroponic farm for growing local fruits and vegetables. There are also plans for the market to have its own cookery school to train locals in food culture. The market will operate all day and offer a wide variety of cuisines and food and drink types to cater to the surrounding area’s diverse population.

A spokesperson for MM explained to the Recorder: “The retail offer will always include a cold cuts and cheese counter, a range of selected groceries, wines and liqueurs, chocolate, patisserie, bakery/boulangerie, cooking tools, flowers, fruit and vegetables,’

‘The restaurant concessions will always offer a wide variety of foods from across the world, including Neapolitan pizza, Middle Eastern concessions, Japanese, fresh pasta, Argentinean/South American grills and specialities, pan‐Asian cuisine, Italian gelato and a world‐class bar.’

‘Whilst some of the concessions may open at different times of the day, the whole operation will offer breakfast, lunch, supper and drinks together with an all‐day retail offer.”

The planning proposals submitted to the council state that the market will likely be open from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm on Sundays to Thursdays, and from 8:00 am to 12:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays only. Visitors will be expected to leave the market quietly as not to disturb the peace of residents in the area, home to many residential houses and blocks of flats.

Redbridge councillors will meet up to discuss the MM covered market proposal some time in the New Year (2019), the Ilford Recorder stated.

Ilford previously had a traditional market, Pioneer Market, which was demolished several years ago to make way for the twin towers known as Pioneer Point, which dominates the Ilford skyline.


Ilford Recorder, Facebook

“Ilford covered market: Planning application proposes 800 person capacity” – Ellena Cruse, Ilford Recorder/Archant Community Media Ltd (28 December 2018)


“File:Crowds shopping at Borough market, south London – – 1522109.jpg” – Andy F, via Wikipedia (2 October 2009),


TESCO BROMLEY-BY-BOW: A fresher, brighter store

By Vijay Shah

Once again we at the Half-Eaten Mind decided to investigate what the postman/woman left for the office on the doormat (as per usual). As it so happens I am a loyal Tesco shopper. Although I do like to take my chances with the large Morissons in Stratford Central, my family usually swears by the store where ‘every little helps’..and that is a tradition that I have dutifully kept up. Well as we all know, loyal customers need loyal loyalty card schemes, and I have been a member of Tesco’s Clubcard service for a good many years. Every month, Tesco’s Clubcard marketing division likes to send a few money-off or extra points vouchers my way. Which I don’t mind at all, after all it’s marginally better than the reams of junk mail my bank always send. It’s a good thing I am a firm believer in recycling!.

About 3 days ago, a leaflet came to my attention announcing the revamping of Tesco’s Bromley-by-Bow store. I have never been there, so unfortunately I can’t tell you what it was like before. There’s a few branches closer to me, as flooded with supermarkets and pound shops as we are here, but the senior executives and developers at Tesco plc HQ have made a substantial effort it seems…they even enclosed £18 (around $28 US) of coupons…unfortunately they cannot be used at the nearby Tesco Metro in Green Street 😦 .

But HEM is meant to be useful and informative…so if you live in Tower Hamlets or can be bothered to drive a few extra miles to do your shopping, then this brief article will tell you what the new store has to offer.

Tesco Bromley-by-Bow new store mailshot
The mailshot announcing Tesco’s refurbished store in E3. (c) V. Shah/HEM

The paint is dry and the shelves are filled. We’re delighted to announce your new look store is now ready.Your fresher, brighter store means we can now offer you even more choice under one roof. From your weekly essentials to treats for your family, you’re sure to find whatever you’re after…” (Stuart Dickinson, Store Manager)

So there you have it, Mr. Dickinson proudly announces that Tesco’s supermarket in Bromley-by-Bow, east London, has had a makeover. The most likely reason is that as much of east London has been spruced up for the Olympics this month, they thought to do up Tesco here as well. Along with the blindingly brand new buildings, stadia and roads that have sprung up in this area, it is all to attract and stupefy not only the locals but also Olympics visitors and tourists. The newly refurbished store now boasts the following shoppers’ treats:

A ‘World Foods’ section boasting selected product ranges from west Africa, the Caribbean islands, Asia, Ireland and Latin America. This is one of the perks of living in such a vibrant, multicultural city, and foodies and aspiring chefs will be smiling from ear to ear. It will also mean that athletes and tourists from abroad will feel a little less homesick.

A halal meats counter for local Muslim communities. The in-store butchers offers a wide variety of meats and poultry, slaughtered under Islamic rites, and judging from the leaflet picture, looks very fresh and affordable. The facility is run by staff from the National Halal Centre in conjunction with Tesco. NHC were established in 1954, and claim to be the pioneers of halal meat trading in Europe. They are definitely worth a look if you are stocking up for a family dinner or a sizzling summer halal BBQ!.

A fishmonger and obligatory well-stocked fish counter. If you like your fish boneless and carefully filleted, the expert in livestock of the sea will happily attend to your every whim.

Wannabe Homer Simpsons will want to make a beeline for the Krispy Kreme Doughnut cabinet with its delectable range of glazed, iced, and packed-to-the-gills-with-raspberry-jam round cakey offerings.

In addition to doughnuts, there are also snacks, sandwiches and drinks available for people who need to eat on the go.

You can also expect your usual Tesco fare and a wide choice of private brand foods, household items and other goods. Tesco are adept at giving customers a varied choice. Expect to see brand-new fittings, lots of space, and clearly demarcated shelves…and hopefully a comfortable shopping experience that will leave you walking through the car park with several heavy bags of shopping and a great big grin on your face.

The store is within easy walking distance of Bromley-by-Bow Underground station and is near the new Olympic Stadium in Stratford. There should be ample parking space and the store also has its own on-site petrol station whose kiosk for cash payments and additional purchases is open Mon-Sat 8 am to 10 pm, Sunday 8 am to 8 pm. The PayatPump cashless service is however open 24 hours.


Hancock Road, Bow, London E3 3DA        Tel: 08456 779085


Monday-Saturday 6 am – midnight; Sunday 10 am – 4 pm

An artist’s rendition of the new Tesco site. (c) 2011 CABE