This film is part of Free

Petticoat Lane

Join the Sunday morning crowds at the famous East End market, home of London's rag trade.

Non-Fiction 1903 3 mins Silent


In this fascinating Edwardian snapshot of East End life, flat-capped men flow in a Sunday morning tide down Middlesex Street - better known by its unofficial name, Petticoat Lane - just as they have for generations. The market in Spitalfields was a centre for the garment industry and was at the time dominated by Cockney street sellers and Jewish immigrants, who settled in the area from the 1880s.

As the camera pans across the market, we see the traders raised above the general level, barking at the crowd. The few women in the picture are stall-holders, selling patched-up trousers and restored boots, while a nearby card sharp tempts the punters. The market is still in operation on Sundays, with stalls open on nearby Wentworth Street during the week.