The Bricklane experience

13 Juil

I liked to go and sell my post cards  on Bricklane and I did it yesterday ;). Bricklane market is half legal, half illegal so a large amount of traders has the licence to sell in the street and most of them are food stools (Japanese, Spanish, Indian….). But if you  walk down Bricklane street you’ll find on the side a diversity of products to buy: old or vintage clothes, electronics, books, bikes, ….. you can find a large choice of things and sometimes they could be very weird! Who cares??? There is only one guy, the Trading Standards man who comes, usually in the middle of the afternoon,  to check who is allowed to sell and to warn others to run fast. So when he is around the market, everybody starts to drag their cloth full of things and stay in the place till it becomes quiet again. I saw him twince, warning my neighbour who has to live quick because she didn’t have the licence. That tends to be a funny game between the illegal traders and him…it is quite different when the Police get involved! I don’t thing they would bother simple booksellers but they are quite suspicous against bikesellers. Bricklane is a very cosmopolitan area, you can meet very different kind of people: families, tourists, students, workers from everywhere (in majority Spanish, French and Italian…some Indians and Pakistanies from the area). When we decided to sit for the second time after 5, we met quite a lot of interesting people and we did good networking with our customers and other traders. Great day in Bricklane with great company 😉 and at the end of the day you can have a drink at a gig in the Vibe bar!

Hope to see you around one Sunday! I am the one on the orange carpet selling postcards for one pound!


10 Réponses to “The Bricklane experience”

  1. Celine in London juillet 13, 2009 à 9:52 #

    I can’t believe that I was there yesterday but I did not see you…but there are so many people over there that it is not surprising. I will pay more attention next time to see if I can see you!

  2. KristL septembre 5, 2009 à 5:19 #


    Was just looking for info about the Brick Lane black market…. found your website : I am planning to do it tomorrow : Do I have to ask anyone or can anyone go there and set up their « blanket-stall » ?????

    Thank you for replying if you’ve got this message before tomorow.

    Are you still doing it?
    I’ll see you there may be!!!

    Many thanks

    • cam240683 septembre 6, 2009 à 7:42 #

      Hi Krist,

      I just got your message now! You may have experienced it today but if it is not the case, I can just tell you that it is quite great to do it. Nothing is technically legal because 80% of the people in Bricklane haven’t got any licence to sell in the street. It is not allowed by the British government to sit and sell your thing in a public place but there is always a big step between what it is totally prohibited and what you can do without really being arrested. So you just come to Bricklane, bit early to be able to have a place to stay and put your « blanket stall » and you can start selling. Sometimes, someone can ask you your licence and because you don’t have it, he will ask you to leave. But you will be more than aware by the rumor of the street so you will take your disposition to look like just someone sit on a blanket.

      Good luck!

  3. larry septembre 23, 2009 à 12:58 #

    i think u tramps selling ur cheap flea infested crap lower the tone of the whole area and r a magnet for a lot of the criminal activity in the area.
    Get a licence!

    • cam240683 septembre 23, 2009 à 6:58 #

      I am totally agree with you about getting a licence and I know about all the criminal activity around the market. But you don’t have to look just the dark side because in my case, I was not selling « cheap flea » nore illegal staff, I was just selling my work and tried to connect with people. As I said in my post, it was really interesting to be there because I met quite interesting people and had great exchange of ideas. Don’t be so radical with all the people selling things because this is part of Bricklane spirit and the reason why it is so popular. This helps to bring people in this area, bad or good people. I don’t thing Bricklane needs the market to bring criminal activities….

  4. larry septembre 25, 2009 à 1:39 #

    breaking the law is breaking the law.
    I love the spirt of bricklane, but if u r a real artist, don’t undervalue ur cards and ur self by selling on a street corner, thats not how we do things here.
    Bricklane has a real problem with bikes being stolen, people selling pirate dvd. Where there is crime like this someone is a victim.
    I will b in bricklane this sunday, i will look 4 u…
    Get a licence!
    Share the cost of a stall with someone,come in a show ur cards to some stall holders, they might sell some 4 u
    What will u do when it gets cold and the rain comes?
    Get a licence!
    The lane looks like a flea market come car boot market
    Where r u from, would u sit on the pavement with the dog mess and vomit and sell ur cards….
    Get a licence!

  5. bobby octobre 11, 2009 à 5:42 #

    larry = crazy

  6. fed juillet 27, 2010 à 4:33 #

    how can i get a license?

    • cam240683 juillet 31, 2010 à 9:35 #

      I don’t have any clue… You can ask to one of the traders or contact:

      Renting a stall at Brick Lane Markets:

      Please call Tower Hamlets Market Services
      Tel: 0207 364 1717

      Please do not use the contact form below to enquire about renting a stall. It is for website enquiries only.

  7. Natalie Smith août 18, 2010 à 11:15 #

    Larry, I think you are a complete idiot. « Breaking the law is breaking the law »???? What kind of boring, square zombie are you? You say « That’s not how we do things round here » But what the hell do you know? A lot of the blanket sellers on Brick Lane sell really great stuff and I find you ill-informed comments both annoying and devoid of any intelligence. You should write for the Daily Mail maybe??


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