The Old Bottle Shop
Hands up who remembers the Village Market? It’s not a year yet since the market closed, and yet it seems like forever ago. The site sits forlornly waiting for anything to happen while the traders have been scattered to the four winds.
The Old Bottle Shop lady made a stab at keeping going – from that secretive little upstairs warehouse marked only by a giant plastic geisha (whatever happened to her?) – to what some consider to be even more secretive Trafalgar Road – one of the many, many many empty shops along a sad-sack street that desperately needs a revamp.
She certainly shared the space with some oddities. Whenever I went by there was something new jostling with the assortment of vintage glassware – ladies’ knickers, grow-bags, saucy stockings. But it’s been closed for some time now.
Adrian was curious, and the next time he saw her, asked her what was going on. It’s a sad story. He says “Apparently, she has been evicted by the landlord and her stock seized by the bailiffs. And sure enough, Saturday’s catalogue at the Greenwich Auction was full of beautiful old bottles of all shapes, sizes and hues – a life’s work of collecting under the hammer. “
Adrian tells me she has still has some stock in a small space in the basement of the Junk Shop (where several Village Market refugees seem to have established themselves) and was talking also about doing more car boot sales, etc. but she won’t be taking on another shop.
Perhaps it was inevitable. Tourists just don’t get down as far as Trafalgar Road – and let’s face it, why should they? It’s just a bog-standard, local street full of takeaways and a few decent shops, but with a constant flow of heavy goods traffic and narrow pavements that don’t invite browsing. The shops are tiny – and would be perfect as cutesy little gift stores (I wish The Home Front every good thing, btw – a lovely shop, and a brave move) but anyone stopping to look in a window would hold up the entire street.
The East Greenwich Traders Association are keen to make Trafalgar Road a ‘cultural corridor’ for the Olympics. I guess if nobody’s allowed to cars during the games, they could spill out onto the road, but personally, I think they have an uphill struggle ahead. Any ideas for how Trafalgar Road could be made – well – a bit nicer than it is?