'Ridley Road Market': The Book

by Tamara Stoll in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 11th October 2019 we successfully raised £14,042 with 211 supporters in 32 days

Support the production of 'Ridley Road Market': A comprehensive book of photographs and stories of this unique London street market

by Tamara Stoll in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

"Ridley Road market is where the world meets. No one has captured its vibrancy and humanity better than Tamara Stoll. Her book is now the definitive record of one of the most historic and colourful street markets of London, if not the world." 

- Ken Worpole, writer, social historian and Hackney resident since 1969

What's this book about?

Ridley Road Market has been serving the diverse communities of Hackney in East London since the 1880s, and according to fourth-generation market trader Larry Julian, has continuously "changed in every decade". The street market is described as a "hub of connection, interconnections and social interaction" by sociologist Sophie Watson. 

This book weaves together photographs, archival materials, stories, newspaper cuttings and a series of postcards. It has been in the making for 8 years in which I switched roles between photographer, market trader and oral historian on Ridley Road Market. Alongside taking landscape, still life and portrait photographs on the market, I explored the social and historical fabric of this street.

Why make a book? 

When I went to archives and libraries in London, I found very little written about the market's past. The Hackney Gazette writes about my search for Ridley Road history in 2017. 

I produced a set of Ridley Road postcards and ran a market stall trading postcards for stories of the market. Over 150 personal narratives of traders and customers collected during this period are included in this book - a collective writing of the many histories that have unfolded on this street. 

The multitude of voices, which speak of the past, the present and an uncertain future constitute Ridley Road Market as a precious cultural and social space, but also address the consequences of gentrification.

Why is this urgent?

There are currently plans to redevelop parts of the market. Traders of the Indoor Market are faced with being moved out (as well as 60+ artists on the 1st / 2nd floor of the same building, including myself). 

Who is benefiting from it? 

A number of copies will be donated to local schools as a resource of local knowledge for the next generation of Hackney citizens. We are also committed to returning this book to Ridley Road to be sold on the Julian Egg Stall, at 6 Ridley Road. Profits from these book sales will go to the Save Ridley Road campaign. The group is fighting the redevelopment of the Indoor Market into unaffordable retail/office spaces and luxury flats.

Who am I? 

My name is Tamara Stoll and I have been a photographer for 10 years. When I started taking photographs on Ridley Road back in 2011, I was living a couple of minutes away. Since then, over 200 people have contributed to this project by sharing their personal photographs and stories. Hackney Archives and the Rio Cinema Archive have kindly allowed the use of their archival photographs. This project has never received any public funding - what’s kept it going is the support from other photographers & practitioners as well as local people & organisations. It's been a labour of love but now we need to raise £10,000 or we won’t be able to produce this publication.

This book forms a pilot for emerging community art and publishing organisation which I am in the process of setting up over the next 12 months. I will be launching a new range of services and products offering art and publishing projects to community groups, cultural organisations , businesses, and educational institutions. These are context-based and collaborative in nature with a focus on documentary photography, archiving, social history, storytelling, community records, events, and printed matter. ‘Ridley Road Market’ will be launched as part of this in December 2019. Throughout  2020, I will be distributing and selling ‘Ridley Road Market’ alongside promoting my new services.

Your support will help:

  • Produce a beautiful, multi-layered and insightful book on this beloved market
  • Publish unseen photographs and a wide range of personal stories and narratives
  • Share the many facets of Ridley Road as a historical, social and cultural space

Our aim is a print run of 500 depending on our crowdfunding support during this 30-day campaign. Your support is crucial now! Check out our rewards: books at production cost, small print editions,  photography sessions and much more... 

Book specifications

  • 205x270 mm 
  • 248 pages
  • 85 colour photographs, taken on film with medium format Rolleiflex camera
  • 70 archival and donated photographs (from the early 20th century to now) 
  • Printing: 4/4 CMYK 
  • Binding: thread-sewn in sections of 12 
  • Cover: Hardback
  • Design Jörg Schwertfeger

We are currently completing the final, refined version to be printed in October. The 2018 dummy version was nominated for the European Art Graduate’s StartPoint Prize 2018 and included in exhibitions at Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, House of Arts Brno in the Czech Republic.

Risks and challenges

The materials all already exist and the design is in progress. The printing will be done in Germany by a company familiar to the designer. With a prior book dummy produced in 2018, the book is well on its way to being printed. This means we have high hopes for completing the project for the December 2019 delivery.

We are ambitious and committed to producing a book that our readers and supporters will treasure, keep returning to and reading for years to come. 

Help us publish ‘Ridley Road Market’!

If you'd like to find out more, please get in touch via here. I look forward to hearing from you! Thank you for your support!

Please support us by sharing on social media and with your network. 

@tamara.rabea / @tamara_rabea

Limited Edition Prints 

With your support we'll be giving books to these schools in January 2020:

Book Review in Hackney Citizen, 27/08/19


Figures and numbers

(Some amounts above are estimates and might vary depending on other elements.)

Crowdfunding will cover 70% of the production cost of £12,500. The remaining 30% is match-funded through private and local funding.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£25 or more

121 of 150 claimed


Get a copy of 'Ridley Road Market' at production cost!

£10 or more

3 of 25 claimed

THANK YOU - Ridley Road Postcard

Receive a personal THANK YOU on a Ridley Road Postcard sent to you!

£15 or more

12 of 25 claimed

Limited edition photographic PRINT

Small print, signed, numbered & sent to you. Edition of 25, digital c-type, 6”x6”. Choose between 'Market Barrow', 'Going Places' or 'Ridley Tapestry'.

£50 or more

26 of 30 claimed

1 book for yourself AND 1 for a book contributor

Buy 1 book for yourself AND buy 1 book for a market trader/ book contributor. We'll let you know who receives the copy. Your name will appear in the 'THANK YOU’ in the book. To thank you, we’ll include a signed and numbered PRINT, 8”x8”, edition of 25, digital c-type. Choose between 'Market Barrow', 'Going Places' or 'Ridley Tapestry'.

£75 or more

10 of 25 claimed

1 book for you, 2 copies to Hackney School/ Market

A copy of 'Ridley Road Market' for you, 1 copy will be given to a Hackney school and 1 copy will be sold on a Ridley Road market stall with all profits going to the 'Save Ridley Road' campaign. We’ll send you updates of this happening! Your name will appear in the 'THANK YOU’ in the book. To thank you, we’ll include a signed and numbered PRINT, 10”x10”, edition of 25, digital c-type: 'Market Barrow', 'Going Places' or 'Ridley Tapestry'

£125 or more

6 of 10 claimed

Photographic Portrait Session

Get a copy of 'Ridley Road Market' and meet me for a PORTRAIT SESSION. I'll take your portrait - in my studio, your home or somewhere in Hackney. You'll receive a handful of portraits shortly after.

£250 or more

3 of 5 claimed

Bundle of 10 books

Get 10 copies of 'Ridley Road Market' at production cost!

£300 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Photography for independent businesses in Hackney

Get a copy of 'Ridley Road Market' and I'll take photographs of/ for your independent business in Hackney. This will be a half day's shoot of portrait, product or interior photography.

£500 or more

1 of 5 claimed


A 'SPECIAL THANK YOU’ in the book and a copy sent to you. 10 books will be given to Hackney schools. 10 books will be sold on a Ridley Road market stall with all profits going to the 'Save Ridley Road' campaign. We’ll send you updates + photographs of this happening! To thank you, we’ll include a signed and numbered PRINT, 12”x12”, edition of 5, digital c-type: 'Market Barrow', 'Going Places' or 'Ridley Tapestry'

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