MA coursework 2015

Cue: Canada Water is celebrating Christmas in style. Like many other hotspots in London, today it opened a Christmas market. However, this one has a twist: a distinctive Nordic theme. Anna Fleck reports on why this southeast area of London has adopted a Scandinavian identity. 

 

Christmas has come early to Canada Water. I’m standing on Albion Street, which has transformed into a Scandinavian Christmas Market for the weekend. I’m here with Ana Langleid, who has come up for the festivities.

 

Ana Langleid, local resident: We have been selling Glugh which is mulled wine in English and it has been on the Church Facebook saying that it's the meanest mulled wine in London. 

 

Other stalls are cooking bratwurst and selling traditional Christmas decorations and homemade woollen mittens. Astrid is from Norway and has attended the market for the past four years. 

 

Astrid, local resident: This was where the old docks were, where all the Scandinavian ships used to come in. So these were churches built for the sailors when they came with timber from Norway or different goods.

 

The market has been so successful, that some members of the council are considering transforming this area of London permanently into a ‘Scandinavian Quarter’.

 

Richard Pace James is a governor of the local school on Albion Street and he supports this new idea. 

 

Richard Pace James, Albion Street school governor: We think a Scandinavian theme might help give some character, so we think if we could sort of theme it, we think it might bring a bit of coherence to the street and encourage other businesses in.

However, there is a danger that the change could push some people out of the area.

 

Richard Pace James, Albion Street school governor: There is a sense in which actually Scandinavian things are quite expensive, so we need to be careful about using it to help regenerate but not make it exclusively and expensively different.

 

O Neil, a litter picker that works along Albion Street doesn’t think this is a problem. 

 

O'Neil, community worker: It will be good for the area, for the people around here, more tourist attraction and scenery. 

 

Mr Barry Duckett, Chair of the Canada Estate Tenants and Residents Association, disagrees.

 

Barry Duckett, Chair of the Canada Estate Tenants and Residents Association: Why should we suddenly change our whole area to be Scandinavian? Why? There's no reason for it. There's two churches down there and a market. So why should we suddenly call Albion Street Scandinavian Street? I don't know. 

 

The fate of Albion Road is yet to be determined, and so, for the time being, at least, people seem to be enjoying the Scandinavian Christmas spirit. 

 

In: Christmas has come early…

Out: ...the Scandinavian Christmas spirit.

Dur: 1’59”