At the corner of Exmouth Market, there used to be a single-storey shop. It housed possibly the worst bakery in London and, being unworthy of Exmouth Market, it was knocked down never to be seen again. I’m not sad to see it go. It used to do those sticky buns that are best eaten fast lest you remember what you just ate. And it had fluorescent lights and a ceiling made of fibrous panels, half of which were missing. The staff were miserable, clearly aware that their days behind the counter were numbered. As I said, I’m not sad to see it go.
In its place, almost finished now, is a new building. The wrapping hasn’t come off yet. It is several storeys high (ie as high as the other buildings on the Market) and no longer looks like the odd sock, that dingy little bakery at the end of the street. I wonder if people remember the bakery that used to be there. I say this because, as I stand in front of other building sites in London, I have caught myself saying, ‘What used to be there?’ And usually, there is a blank look from whomever I’m with, that look which says either ‘I don’t know’ or ‘Why are you asking me this?’ or ‘You always say the same thing. Shut up!’
So, preserved here for prosperity, before the new Exmouth building is revealed, let us all remember the single-storey bakery at the corner of Exmouth Market so when we look forlornly at the new building in its place we can be satisfied that progress is a good thing.