LONDON • With emotions running high and stalls bursting with produce, London's 1,000-year-old Borough Market has re-opened for the first time since a deadly attack by extremists killed eight people.
Traders gathered yesterday for a minute's silence in honour of the victims of the June 3 attack, before fruit and vegetable stallholder Paul Wheeler rang the market bell, crying as he tugged the rope harder and harder.
"I was supposed to ring it only once, but once I started I couldn't stop. I just wanted to get the market back open," he said moments later, still visibly emotional.
"It's been really hard. Business- wise, we suffered, but emotionally, all of us here have been struggling with it. I'm just glad we're back open," he added.
A warren of alleyways and streets nestled under a railway bridge and by the side of the medieval Southwark Cathedral, Borough Market is a foodie's paradise, with stalls selling a variety of specialities from around Britain and the world.
It is also a vibrant spot for socialising, with the surrounding streets full of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants that were packed with people enjoying a balmy Saturday night out, when the three attackers struck.
They drove a van into pedestrians on nearby London Bridge, killing three people. They then ran into the maze of bustling streets, killing five people and injuring dozens by stabbing them and slashing their throats.
The rampage ended when the three attackers were shot dead at the scene by police. The market had remained shut until yesterday, while forensic investigators did their work and police stood guard.
By lunchtime yesterday, the market was packed with customers, takeaway food stalls were doing a brisk trade and the smells of everything from grilled sausages to Turkish coffee were filling the air.
"It will go back to normal," said Ms Maria Moruzzi, who runs a cafe on the edge of the market.
"We're going to welcome everyone back. We're here, and we're going to go forward. Nothing's going to shut us down."