Paying the Rent Again
Covent Garden Piazza
WC2E 8RF GEO:51.5119,-0.122749
This year, the ceremony will be held in the afternoon of Thursday, June 24th when the Trust – which is celebrating its 22nd anniversary – pays its “rent” of a posy of flowers and a red apple to the freeholders of each of the five blocks of properties known as the Protected Lands, including the iconic Central Market Building, the elegant Bedford Chambers and the land which includes London’s Transport Museum.
The Trust was set up in 1988 – eight years after the newly-restored Covent Garden Market was opened – to replace the Greater London Council’s role in the area and it was granted a 150-year headlease on the properties. The idea of the “peppercorn” rent was conceived by former Trustee Sylvia Marder when she worked as a solicitor with the GLC; it was she who wrote the Trust’s leases.
The rent of one red apple and one posy of flowers for each headlease reflects the history of the Market and Piazza as a fruit, vegetable and flower market. Each year the Covent Garden Market Authority, now situated in Nine Elms, kindly provides the “rent” which ensures the link is perpetuated.
The ceremony takes the form of the Covent Garden Area Trust’s Chairman and Trustees leaving their office at 13 New Row at 4.30pm to parade around the Piazza behind Camden’s Stables Market Town Crier, Alan Myatt, and a marching jazz band led by retired surveyor Tim Wacher and featuring any of the country’s eminent jazz musicians.
They will pause at two locations on the way to pay the “rent” – firstly to representatives of KBC Asset Management, on behalf of the freeholders of the Georgian terrace of properties on the west side of James Street, and then to representatives of Capital & Counties (Covent Garden London), the freeholders of – among other properties – the Market, Bedford Chambers and the Museums block.
For further information, and photographs of previous ceremonies, please contact Sarah Lane, Trust Administrator, on 020 7497 9245 or email firstname.lastname@example.org