While passing by Shorditch High Street station today, I saw something unusual. A sort of street market had popped up under the rail bridge, with rough looking people peddling meagre wares. If I was going to go by looks alone, I’d have said the sellers were a mix of homeless and more wily opportunistic folk. There were t-shirts, trousers, jackets, scarves hung all over the fences and a wide range old electronics and bric-a-brac spread over the pavement. It looked like the leftovers of a car-boot sale or the contents of donation bags usually left outside charity shops. Notably there were also a large portion of old mobile phones and bicycle parts. The sort of bike parts that are conspicuously absent from those abandoned bike frames still chained to lamp-posts across the city.
There seemed to be some sort of more official market going on up the street, so I wonder if this was some form of illegal spill-over, trying to grab people on their way to or from the official market and get them to pay for what I would have called scavengings.