Feature: Lizzie Guilfoyle
AN EXHIBITION entitled Bloomin' Marvellous -
the story of Covent Garden and London's famous flower market -
is back by popular demand and runs at London's Transport Museum,
Covent Garden until May 29, 2005.
Covent Garden, with its neo-classical buildings and columned
arcades, elegant restaurants and trendy bars, museums, boutiques,
craft stalls, street performers and The Royal Opera House, is
one of the world's most fashionable tourist attractions.
Yet what few visitors realise is that Convent Garden was, until
relatively recently, the site of one of the world's largest and
oldest wholesale fruit, vegetable and flower markets.
Now, a stunning display of illustrations,
maps, cartoons and photographs (seen together for the first time)
bring to life the market's 400 year history.
It's all here - from medieval convent garden to sprawling market
place favoured by prostitutes, pickpockets, politicians, gamblers,
artists and actors.
The exhibition also charts the construction of the Victorian
flower market building which was, of course, immortalized in the
musical, My Fair Lady, and which now houses London's
A major refurbishment programme is being planned as part of an
£18 million Heritage Lottery Fund project.
Pictured are flower sellers and a male worker, known in the market
as 'Corduroy' - taken circa 1876.