History of Western International Market
The history of Western International Market stretches back to the final two decades of the 19th century.
It all began at Kew Bridge one day in the 1880s, when a farmer's wagon loaded with produce from the fertile area around Cranford stopped at the Express public house to refresh himself and his horses. Whilst there, he was approached by local people wishing to buy his cabbages, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The spot quickly became a favourite stopping place for growers, and a regular market emerged, initially on three days a week. Following a public enquiry in 1892, a two and a half acre site to the west of Kew Bridge was acquired, and thus started the old Brentford Market. Extended in 1906 and 1921, the market flourished and gained its reputation as one of the finest in the country until in the late sixties, it became apparent that it had outgrown its location.
A new site was found near Heston, and construction of a new market commenced, to be known as Western International Market. One day in spring 1974 the traders packed up their belongings, and a procession of trucks and lorries moved up the recently built M4 Motorway towards their new home, just a few hundred yards off junction 3.
The new Western International was an instant success, due to its exceptional location and accessibility, the unique family atmosphere and friendliness of the traders and, not least, the quality and freshness of its produce.
Weathering the storms brought about in the early nineties by the changes in trading laws, aggressive marketing by the supermaket giants, and changing patterns in consumer eating and buying habits, Western International has maintained its position as the premier wholesale fruit and vegetable market in the capital, and remains one of the strongest in the country.
Now in its new location adjacent to the old site, Western International is continuing its fine tradition of excellence and welcoming old friends as well as fresh faces to the market.