Tours will reveal architectural secrets of Queen's Market

Queen's Market is set to benefit from a £2m grant. Picture: Newham Council

Tours of Queen's Market are part of this year's London Festival of Architecture. - Credit: Newham Council

People can learn about a market's architecture through tours taking place during a festival.

Queen’s Market, in Upton Park, will be one of the destinations of the London Festival of Architecture 2021.

It has been operating for more than 110 years and Saif Osmani, born and raised in east London and a graduate of University College London's The Bartlett in architecture and historic urban environments, will lead the tour.

He described it as “probably the most successful market in Newham”.

“One of the excitements of markets is that they allow people of various communities to get to know each other, to interact,” Saif told the Newham Recorder. “You very quickly get a sense of what the community is like from them.”

The tour has been organised with Friends of Queen’s Market, an 18 year-old campaign group, and Just Space Network, a network of grassroots community groups.

During the walk, people will learn about the changes that have happened to the market and its surroundings, as well as the impact of the move of West Ham United to the London Stadium.

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“The market is a cultural centre for us. You learn about African, Indian and other communities. It is very different from what’s on offer on the high street,” Saif said.

“Markets offer a full-on experience like the smell, the sound. The sound is a very important aspect of the East End culture.”

Tours start at 11am, 12pm and 1pm on June 5 and the meeting point is outside the market.

“I was born near a market (Whitechapel) and when I moved to Upton Park, Queen’s Market was an important part of our shopping. It has a special place in my heart,” Saif said.

Started in 2004, The London Festival of Architecture will run throughout June and this year’s theme is 'care'.

To book your ticket for a tour, visit:

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