"Blood, sweat and tears" - Ancient market finally opened but does it have the wow factor?

Surrey Comet: "Blood, sweat and tears" - Ancient market finally opened but does it have the wow factor? "Blood, sweat and tears" - Ancient market finally opened but does it have the wow factor?

Kingston's Ancient Market Place officially reopened today after a £3m revamp.

The troubles of the past year - which has seen the scheme run over time and over budget - seemed to be forgotten as the historic site was packed with shoppers, stalls and market traders.

In glorious summer sunshine, London deputy mayor Kit Malthouse officially opened the market, having earlier praised the development during his keynote speech at the Kingston Futures conference, taking place at the Rose Theatre.

Kingstonfirst chief executive Ros Morgan said: "It's been blood sweat and tears but today has demonstrated what we had in mind all along.

"Today's a celebration of all the good things Kingston has to offer.

"Markets are making a comeback, because they offer that authentic experience.

"Markets complement retailers, but market traders are businesses in their own right and we want to make sure our traders have the very best platform to succeed."

Kingston councillor Chrissie Hitchcock said: "It's been something I've wanted to see for 20 years.

"We've now got a wow factor market.

"We had all that pain, but this is the gain."

It's finally open. What do you think? Let us know at letters@surreycomet.co.uk

Comments (9)

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5:32pm Tue 24 Jun 14

DB says...

I think it is a big improvement just as the new 'riverside' development is much better than what was there previously. I just don't understand why everything has to take so long in Kingston.
I think it is a big improvement just as the new 'riverside' development is much better than what was there previously. I just don't understand why everything has to take so long in Kingston. DB
  • Score: 10

8:40am Wed 25 Jun 14

Tony from Surbiton says...

The materials used for the floor/pavement are obviously very expensive, but does it really go with an 'ancient market place'? Also the new wooden stalls that are presumably going to rot unless they give them a coat of paint or varnish. Not really in keeping with the 'ancient marketplace'. It's not awful, but is a wasted opportunity. I think it could have been better done and more in keeping with the surroundings. It looked to me like they have paved over the water fountains that were put in a few years ago, but I can't be sure.
The materials used for the floor/pavement are obviously very expensive, but does it really go with an 'ancient market place'? Also the new wooden stalls that are presumably going to rot unless they give them a coat of paint or varnish. Not really in keeping with the 'ancient marketplace'. It's not awful, but is a wasted opportunity. I think it could have been better done and more in keeping with the surroundings. It looked to me like they have paved over the water fountains that were put in a few years ago, but I can't be sure. Tony from Surbiton
  • Score: -1

12:27pm Wed 25 Jun 14

kingstonpaul says...

All that bare MDF looks cheap and as a previous contributor noted, this material will weather badly. Ros Morgan laughably talks about the market being an authentic experience, but actually it felt reasonably authentic in the first place. In fact the new re-modelling has drained the place of any vestige of ‘ancient’, and feels far removed from other ‘authentic’ markets around London. As soon as the council started talking about the market becoming a ‘food hub’, it was a recipe for bland and beige. Out with the colourful awnings, out with individual expression, in with the standard and formulaic.
All that bare MDF looks cheap and as a previous contributor noted, this material will weather badly. Ros Morgan laughably talks about the market being an authentic experience, but actually it felt reasonably authentic in the first place. In fact the new re-modelling has drained the place of any vestige of ‘ancient’, and feels far removed from other ‘authentic’ markets around London. As soon as the council started talking about the market becoming a ‘food hub’, it was a recipe for bland and beige. Out with the colourful awnings, out with individual expression, in with the standard and formulaic. kingstonpaul
  • Score: 1

12:46pm Wed 25 Jun 14

peterf17 says...

There was nothing fundamentally wrong with the layout of the old market place. Not sure how the cost and disruption caused by this development can be justified, particularly in the current climate.
There was nothing fundamentally wrong with the layout of the old market place. Not sure how the cost and disruption caused by this development can be justified, particularly in the current climate. peterf17
  • Score: 1

6:17pm Wed 25 Jun 14

NewKingstonian says...

Are the stalls finished? They certainly don't look like they are and the chipboard/mdf looks awful.
Are the stalls finished? They certainly don't look like they are and the chipboard/mdf looks awful. NewKingstonian
  • Score: 1

6:33pm Wed 25 Jun 14

S Leader says...

A food hub with no toilets or hand wash stallholders will have to wash there hands in the same sink used to prepare food also the memorial garden that was used as a market place is still disgusting also the market house still had scaffold up today well done kingston first at least we know why we have the highest council tax in london
A food hub with no toilets or hand wash stallholders will have to wash there hands in the same sink used to prepare food also the memorial garden that was used as a market place is still disgusting also the market house still had scaffold up today well done kingston first at least we know why we have the highest council tax in london S Leader
  • Score: -32

5:52pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Judi456 says...

Well done Kingston, it will be interesting to see how the stall holders keep dry when it decides to pour down with rain, the MDF roofs are slanting the wrong way. The new foodie stalls all look rather unappetising and a real mess. The fish stall looks wonderful when the fish man has washed down his stall and melted ice is covering the new paving stones. Which are now beginning to get covered in oil and dirt and chewing gum. Yes what a good idea to choose light grey. And the builders were still there trying to finish off the work today. Yes, Well done Kingston. What are you going to twiddle your thumbs about and waste taxpayers money on next, I dread to think.
Well done Kingston, it will be interesting to see how the stall holders keep dry when it decides to pour down with rain, the MDF roofs are slanting the wrong way. The new foodie stalls all look rather unappetising and a real mess. The fish stall looks wonderful when the fish man has washed down his stall and melted ice is covering the new paving stones. Which are now beginning to get covered in oil and dirt and chewing gum. Yes what a good idea to choose light grey. And the builders were still there trying to finish off the work today. Yes, Well done Kingston. What are you going to twiddle your thumbs about and waste taxpayers money on next, I dread to think. Judi456
  • Score: 2

6:02pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Foo Bear says...

I have not made my mind up yet if this is a hit or a miss.

The gradients on the paved areas seem to be a little too steep; - I am wondering how safe they will be in icy conditions. It took a lot of work to lay the stones, but how will standards be maintained after utility repairs? The new market stalls just look like a case of 'The Emporer's new Clothes'; they look cheap, nasty, short term, and an insult to Kingston. Where exactly did all of that £3M go?
I have not made my mind up yet if this is a hit or a miss. The gradients on the paved areas seem to be a little too steep; - I am wondering how safe they will be in icy conditions. It took a lot of work to lay the stones, but how will standards be maintained after utility repairs? The new market stalls just look like a case of 'The Emporer's new Clothes'; they look cheap, nasty, short term, and an insult to Kingston. Where exactly did all of that £3M go? Foo Bear
  • Score: 0

2:22pm Tue 1 Jul 14

kingstonresident2 says...

the choice of colour for the new paving is just ridiculous. It already looks filthy in parts, as it was obvious it was going to from the moment they layed the first brick. Around the food stalls where in places it is already thick with spilled grease it looks little short of disgusting. I don't know who has paid for all this nonsense but I hope it wasn't us council tax payers because it's a complete waste of money. Whoever is responsible should lose their job imho.

doubtless this will get marked down as everyone else who dares criticise this scheme seems to be - I suspect a few vested interests are at work.
the choice of colour for the new paving is just ridiculous. It already looks filthy in parts, as it was obvious it was going to from the moment they layed the first brick. Around the food stalls where in places it is already thick with spilled grease it looks little short of disgusting. I don't know who has paid for all this nonsense but I hope it wasn't us council tax payers because it's a complete waste of money. Whoever is responsible should lose their job imho. doubtless this will get marked down as everyone else who dares criticise this scheme seems to be - I suspect a few vested interests are at work. kingstonresident2
  • Score: 2

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