Thursday, 21 June 2012

South and East London cart hybrid.

If I walk through any remaining street markets nowadays, my eyes are always on the lookout for anything to do with market paraphernalia and, in particular, market carts and where they come from.

So walking through Chapel Market in Islington, North London, the other week; I was pleasantly surprised to find a cart still being used albeit very ungraciously as a storage receptacle for old boxes.

Upon closer inspection I was further amazed that the cart itself was of two parts: the chassis, which had a Tappy name carved into it and an address “24 Fitzalan Street, SE” a street which still survives to this day and is just off of The Lambeth Walk; and a top part which had the name of “Hiller Bros 64 Squires Street E2”. Hiller Brothers carts have been well documented in the blog article by The Gentle Author on the Barrows of Spitalfields here.

This was informative for me in two ways: I now have another address that Joseph Tappy used as a works premises; and I have never seen a cart hybrid such as this before and wonder how and when it came to be made.
What is a South London cart doing in North London? Didn't North London have their own nearby firm of cart builders/leasers? Maybe it was somebody that migrated about the markets of London, had bought his/her own cart and had left it for some reason at Chapel Market?Maybe someone who was leasing a cart off the Tappy firm decided to do a moonlight flit, cart and all.
Why the creation of this 'hybrid'? I can only assume it was done because the original top half, which would have been a Tappy, was destroyed in some way, either through neglect or damage; and replaced with a part that was available. Plus, I am also assuming that this reconstruction must have been done after both the families had ceased trading, it is possible that Hiller Bros could have created and put the top part on the chassis.As usual, if anybody knows anything or can help with this, it would be helpful to me.
An intriguing find nonetheless.

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