WATCH Bobby Unwin: I just have to accept them, don’t you?

I am Bobby Unwin, I’m nearly 70. I have been here in the market for about 53 years. Bobby’s Fish has been here for about 30 years now, we sell mostly smoked fish, smoked salmon, wet fish, salted fish and lots of salmon as well. So we’re still quite an assortment of fish here. I’ve got my son and my grandson and we got a porter as well. 

What do we like about this market? This, where we’re standing now. It’s the best area, where we’re earning our money, that’s the best part I like.

I used to be a boxer.

I was 17 years old, I came down here and I’ve been involved in boxing and that, for most of my life. Training boxers and boxing myself, for a number for years. I like being here so much, I’ve known people here since I was young. So I’ve known people like 30, 40 years in the market.

There’s the social side of it as well. If you’re a market person which I’ve been all my life, you meet the public and every day is different. And that’s what I like about it. No days are the same. Sometimes you have quiet days, sometimes you have extremely busy days. And it’s been just my life, you know what I mean. 

Originally, we worked in the old Billingsgate Market up near Monument and Lower Thames Street as well where I first started. My old boxing trainer got me a job there, Teddy Lewis and I’ve been here ever since. I’ve been there and I came to this market 20 to 30 years ago to start my own business. And I’ve carried it on ever since. And my son’s coming and my grandson following. So, I am semi-retired now, but I still come down here like to help them out. I don’t work every day here. But of course, we have busy Christmas time and I’ll come down a little bit more to help them. There’s a steady business, good business, so hopefully it can carry over another 20, 30 years. Give that fingers crossed.

We shall wait and see.

We were supposed to be moving, but since this coronavirus has happened, we don’t really know what’s going to happen now. The world’s in a bit of a turmoil now. So we shall wait and see. Supposed to be moving in five years time. But they’re saying it could be maybe seven, it could be another 10 years yet. But I don’t suppose I’ll even be here then, so I won’t be looking down over it.

When I was working as a porter in the market. Having a try, working with myself. I decided to take a stand. I went up to the City of London Corporation and that’s how it all happened. Built it up from nothing really. And to a steady little business now. You’re not going to get fortune, but you’re going to get a living. And now my boys took over, my grandson and hopefully could be my great grandson might come in here one day. Might be four generations, you don’t know. If I can keep going for another ten years or whatever, you never know. So, or 12 years, I don’t know. It’d be nice.

Things will keep being replaced by the new one.

When I see the surrounding skyscrapers, I just have to accept them, don’t you? They say it is a progress now and everything, you know, I mean, the company, the old market, we move down here then now we have to move to another location. Things will keep being replaced by the new one. My son will continue the business, and we will be alright. We understand the situation and we can’t complain really. The general public is good. We’ve been serving the same people for many years. It’s been good for us, no regrets really.

I always wear a hat and white clothes. I’ve worn the hat for about five or six years. So this will be the next one and we have another one up there. This is a bit warmer than that one, when it gets a bit too cold, I’ll wear that.