WATCH Scott Unwin: when some people come up, I know exactly what they want.

My name is Scott, I have been here in the market about 33 years now, it’s a family run business. We are three generations now, each of us is here. We mainly serve restaurants, pubs and the public. We get most of our fish from all over the world, for example, Scotland, France, Spain, South America and China. 

I’m proud of my smoked fish.

We mainly do trade in smoked fish and it’s how I started off. When the company gets bigger and bigger, we do shellfish, wet fish and salted fish. We now do a big variety of fantastic fish from all over the world. To be honest, I’m proud of my smoked fish, we’re traditional. People come here from miles and miles away, just to get their smoked fish. And it’s in the top restaurants of London. They sell our fish and we’re quite proud of that. 

My father set the business up, nearly 40 years ago. They started small and I came with him as a young child, and then we’ve just grown it and grown it. Now he’s sort of semi-retired now. My father lives out in Cyprus. He comes here when we need him, when we’re extra busy. But I’m building it up now, just for my son to take over. So we’re doing well. It’s good.

My alarm goes off at 12:30 every night, I only live about 15 minutes down the road. I’ll get here about 1 o’clock in the morning. And then, we’re just packing up about 8:30am. So I should be indoors by about 9 o’clock. Every time we go, we have fish most nights. My garden has all fish objects and pictures of fish, and it has influenced a lot. It’s been in our family for years.

My boy, my son, is my best friend here.

There are too many memorable things that happen here. We used to have a seal, a seal used to come up from the River Thames just there, and we would go feed it our fresh fish. They used to come up nearly everyday, making a big noise. We gave it a fish, bass or salmon, and threw it over the fence in the water, and the seal would come out and eat it. Those are the good memories of the seal. It’s fantastic!

We’ve got a good customer relationship here, I mean some of the customers I’ve been serving for the last 20 years. Some people, when they come up, I know exactly what they want. We’re in a very good relationship with customers. There’s been talk of it for years, moving, but it’s going to be a long while yet before it moves. I don’t really want it to move. We’re in a position here in the heart of London and they’re moving us over to Barking, Essex Way. You don’t know if it’s going to be any good, if the people are going to come with us or anything like that. It’s just that you don’t know.

My father was down at the old one, the old market. He was a porter down there, probably over nearly 50 years ago. He worked down there then he came here to this new market. And now, this new market is going to be moved again. We don’t want to and no one wants it to move but times have changed. The market is getting old now. So I think we’re going to have to move. Most of the customers don’t want us to move. No one likes change really and a lot of my customers live over this side. And then to go to Essex Way, more traffic, more congestion, so they don’t want us to move now.

One of the memorable objects is my son’s cap.

He’s had it (since he was) a little boy, I’ll buy him a new one. He is a good boy, he gets up at 1 o’clock in the morning, every day. He comes to work, a very good worker. I’m proud of him, he does very well. A hat can keep you warm, especially now, we always wore hats down here for years. Always, wear hats. We got a lot of hats in the office, with different colors. My dad also wears a hat, so three of us.