Food Glorious Food

An eggstremely smelly story

In 1915 Bermondsey was flooded with millions of rotten eggs in an incident that became known as the Bermondsey Bad Egg Boom. After war broke out, the council faced the enormous task of getting rid of more than 25 million of them.

How bad was the smell? The locals described it quite graphically: “I have stood by dead bodies that have been in the water for seven or eight weeks. But I could not stand those eggs.” Another visitor to the area remarked that the smell was “bad enough to knock a dog down.”

Destroying the eggs presented big problems for the council, which had been using a machine known as a Destructor without success. The liquid from the eggs kept putting the fires out and they proved very resistant to efforts to smash them with shovels and forks and force them down drains.

While you are sleeping...

Borough Market is known as “London’s larder” and has been around a long time. Historians tell us that as far back as 1014 there was a market on this site. It sold fish, grain, cattle, fruit and vegetables. People from all over Europe came to trade.

These days, it’s busiest when most of us are asleep – between 2am and 9am. This is when hotel owners, restaurants, cafes and greengrocers buy fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and fish. The market has its own “police force”, the Beadles, who until the 1930s used to be able to arrest people and throw them in the cells under the market.