My name’s Lee. I’ve been working down here now for about 32 years. I’m 48. This company here behind me, Fawsitt Fish, has been running for about 15 years now. So I worked at a couple of companies before that down here.
We arrive at the market about 1 o’clock in the morning where we do our answering machine, take our orders off the answering machine, and then we have to look at what fish we’ve got coming in, price the fish up. And then we come downstairs, set the fish up on the front, as you’ve seen it set up and then it’s on to the sales and we start selling to our regular customers and the public.
And then at the end of the day, like now at 7am, we start to pack up. I used to have a fishmonger’s, I used to own a fishmonger’s outside the market a few years ago, and I’ve also worked for different wholesale companies down in the market as well. Other companies do different sorts of fish, so some companies just do salmon, some do other exotic fish, then there’s a company like us with a mixture of everything of white fish, your cod, your haddocks, your skates. More traditional fish. But other companies as you have seen as you walk round there, exotic fish, frozen fish. So that’s the difference in the companies.
Everybody gets on well with everybody.
I tend to get on well with most people, I like to sort of treat someone how they would treat me, so I’m pleasant to them and they are pleasant to me. So I think I get on with most people down here. There’s a few things that we can’t talk about right now, but I mean, in general, it’s a good place. Everybody gets on well with everybody. One of my best friends is down here.
I was the best man at his wedding. He was the best man at my wedding. So that was good. That was one of the good things that came out of it. A good friendship and also obviously I was the best man. He was my best man. And our families get along well. I’ve seen his children grow up and he’s seen my child grow up so that they’re good memories, they’re good things like friendship.
I came here straight from school. It was a pure accident. I wasn’t going to do this at all. I was going to do something in sports and leisure. I came here as a Christmas job. I was just working here for Christmas to get some extra money. And I liked it so much. And I ended up, like all the people who ended up staying here.
I’ve worked my way up the ladder.
I remember I was very nervous on my first day. As soon as I got here, there was no sort of hello, this is what you got to do. It was just, right, do that, pick that salmon up, throw that salmon in the scale, bag it up. It was just, full-on, straight from the minute I got here. There was no one showing you what to do. You were expected to know what to do. You just got on with it and just got on with your work.
When I first started, I was at 16. I’ve started at the bottom. I was doing all the washing the walls and washing the tills. And I think I’ve worked my way up now to a high level in the market. So I help run this company now. So that’s a good achievement. I think I’ve worked my way up the ladder.
I’m sort of near the top now, if you like. If you can get that far. So that’s been going on a little while with us now, so we’ve been going through the projects with the people designing the new market and making the new market. So it looks good. It looks like it has what we need. The new generation needs to push on and it needs to be a more modern market, in a more open market. So hopefully that’s what we can do and what we can achieve by it.
We need to now create a new legacy for Billingsgate.
I’m positive about the relocation. Yeah. I think you’ve got to be, I think we need to now push on. We need to now create a new legacy for Billingsgate. It needs to be not just old school. It needs to be an open market for everybody. I think you might get a slight base of customers but you’ll still have your old school, you still have your wholesale because they’ll hopefully still need the market, but then you’ll also have the cash punters who come in as well. So it’ll be pretty much the same. I reckon it won’t be too different.
What would you like me to exchange with you, my socks? Oh, yes, I can. Just kidding, I’ll find you something. I’ll find something with a company name on it. Oh yeah. Maybe I’ll make you something. You know what my socks smell, and I’ve got holes in them.