The picture above is one of the three Evening Standard pitchers near Monument tube station, taken on the day London was awarded the Olympic Games, and the day before the 7/7 bombings. Until April one of his neigbouring sellers was Ian Tomlinson.
Hard to imagine, but the day may be at hand when London no longer has its Standard vendors. From today, the 182-year-old paper will be a free sheet, with the vendors handing it out, rather than selling it. Along with the news, they’ll still be dispensing their famously robust opinions (whether you want them or not) , weather forecasts, betting tips and directions to tourists – but for how long remains to be seen. This is a huge experiment which could easily see this dismal newspaper’s collapse. By far the best thing about it is the paper’s public face – the vendors – some of whom have been trading from family pitches for most of the Standard’s existence.