Three men in a van (and three women selling mistletoe)

Saturday 17th December, Rathbone Market, Canning Town, London…

A TEME expedition to the capital…

On the basis that ladies are more likely to sell mistletoe than men, Reg, Alec and I sit in the van (and it’s warmer there too).

Meanwhile Caroline, Doreen and Jill try to woo the punters of the East End with hand-picked Worcestershire Mistletoe…

We’re here at the invitation of Newham Borough, who are trying to revive the flagging fortunes of Rathbone Market with a mini ice-rink, Christmas carols, Father Christmas etc etc.

A big operation for us, coming over from Tenbury early this morning with a hired van full of mistletoe – and a bit of an eye-opener.

This area is relatively poor, and we don’t get many customers, even after reducing our basic range to 50p.

But if you take a walk to the edge of the pitch there’s Canary Wharf and affluent Docklands, just a stone’s throw (ok, several stone’s throws) away. What a difference a bit of water can make.

Barking Road is full of buses, and ethnic restaurants. But not people.

They seem to be going elsewhere (check out the pic) for their ‘last Saturday before Christmas’ shopping (and why not – they’ve got the whole of London and a working public transport system to use, better than the rest of the UK! But maybe not much cash…).

A few probs during the day – which is not only bitterly cold, but subject to the occasional breeze… here’s the carol-singers’ marquee in it’s new upsidedown position above the market stalls.

The cone had a good day, not sure about Doreen…

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