*A new direction for Matt*

At seventeen, Matt was working for his dad selling kitchens and I was working up in London doing a YTS in graphic design, I absolutely loved it.


In my lunch hour, on college days, I would fly up and down Leather Lane buying bits and then selling them to the college teachers and all the girls at college for a profit.

Matt and his dad clashed like mad working together, Matt thought he knew it all lol so before long he got the tin tack!


Unsure of what to do I convinced him to start his own business.

My mum was from Dulwich and my dad Peckham, she used to buy clothes from a shop in Rye lane, Peckham, all store samples and surplus.


On moving out of London, newly married with a baby & a mortgage, she would traipse across the bridge to visit Rochester market.

The last thing you could ever call my mum was a fair weather customer, as kids we went come rain or shine.

Fruit and veg, meat from the butchers, broken biscuits and tins with no labels!

Most of the traders were Londoners, my dad was commuting and studying so it made her feel less homesick chatting to all the traders and the man that owned the shop in Peckham, Frank, had a stall at the market every Friday.

Over the years, to earn herself some extra money, Frank would leave her a rail of clothes and she would try to sell as much as she could to her friends and mums at the school.

I loved it when she had a rail delivered and as I got older I was desperate to fit in the clothes.

Even at age 10 I would try and sell to everyone. This is me trying to convince my nan Lily to buy a MINI JUMBER DRESS! 😂

As a teenager I would finish my paper round and then run to the market before schooling’s Fridays, to help as many traders as I could unload their van.

I only helped the ones that sold fashionable clothes though because they would say choose something off the rail.

I helped a lady called Wendy, she sold samples and surplus with her mum and dad I was in my element. She would get lots of one off designs.

She was quiet a scary character though and really quiet rude to her customers, I think she was so busy she didn’t have to be nice so, basically she wasn’t!

I would get really stressed because sometimes she would send me for teas over to the cafe and the queue would be out the door!

I was too scared to say Im going to miss the bus so I would miss it and then have to run all the way to school up Cliffe road it was like doing a half marathon before school!

At the time the cool place to shop was SNOB in Chatham we all had our jelly bags with a SNOB carrier bag inside.

It was expensive though and I much preferred the buzz of buying from Wendy, not knowing what she was going to get in and you knew no one else was going to have the same on.

I was hooked!

To be continued ………









5 thoughts on “*A new direction for Matt*”

  1. Marilynn Thompson

    Loved East Lane being from Sydenham and my husband walworth road. Knew a of the traders from Rochester market too has Alan was a porter at Covent garden. The good old days you can’t beat them

  2. Omg Jane, such an interesting blog & brought back many happy childhood memories of my own of Rochester market. I used to skip sch on a Friday just so I could tag along with my mum to get the latest fashion item.

    We knew all of the traders and it was a real community feel even though the majority were from London. Even better in our eyes as more trendy wear!!!

    You mentioned Frank ???? Can you believe it my mum worked for Frank selling clothes too. My mum also loved fashion and although she did the evening parties to sell the clothes to make some extra cash she usually ended up owing Frank as couldn’t resist buying the latest outfit for herself ! Let’s just say the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! 🍎x

    1. How amazing is that Sophia, my mum bumped into Frank in Chatham not long ago, he has moving away with his wife to the coast I will ask my mum where to. We were probably there at the same time lol all them years ago ! ❤️😘xxxx

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