White Stiletto Dreams

Category: Radio 4
Romford Market was vibrant in the Eighties. Now it is dying, a victim of supermarkets and cut-price stores.

David Eldridge – market-boy turned prizewinning playwright – grew up in Romford. He won a scholarship to a top school and told his dad he’d attend if he could work the market after-hours. Manning a shoe stall isn’t obvious training for a playwright, but in the Eighties the market was a stage. There were the characters: the Fruit & Veg Man, the Leather Boys, and the Lampshade Man. And the dialogue – bantering with the customers was rude, funny, and definitely an art.

But the market – and the decade – wasn’t just about fun. Romford had a reputation as a rough town in the 1980s – a place where your race could be a serious issue. In this programme, David time-travels back to tell his story to presenter Cathy FitzGerald, and weigh up what has been gained and lost.

Rockethouse Productions Ltd