CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Don’t put our market at risk with pointless rules

19 November, 2020

The household goods stall in Queen’s Crescent

• I WAS alarmed to read your article about Queen’s Crescent, (Decades-old market stalls told they have to use ‘click and collect’, November 12).

This only demonstrates how out of touch our officers in Camden are about the Covid-19 rules on one hand and the true needs of this community on the other.

Queen’s Crescent market, which is open on Thursdays and Saturdays, is a lifeline to local residents.

Many of them do not speak enough English to communicate their needs but can always count on Eddy Willis and other market traders to understand what they want using pigeon English and hand gestures.

The idea that QC customers who live on the breadline might have mobile phones, computers, or some such device to call their market traders to order their goods is not only ridiculous but cruel.

Queen’s Crescent market first opened in 1876 and is one of the oldest London markets. It has been woefully neglected in recent times but it is still nevertheless a valued amenity.

Some of our most beloved market traders have made history both for their unique characters and longevity.

Billy Felix and his wife Jean who sold office and art supplies sadly died a few years ago; then last year Jack Kilminster, who spent his whole life from the time he was 11 selling fruit and veg, died too.

One who does remain among the notable street traders is Eddy Willis who deals in housewares and cleaning products.

Eddy has been a market trader at Queen’s Crescent for 38 years and is much loved as a fair trader and a sort of father figure.

During the lockdown Eddy showed up every Thursday and Saturday and provided much-needed Covid-19 necessities at a reasonable price for his regular customers. For all intent and purpose, Eddy is an institution, locally.

We cannot afford to lose such characters. They must be encouraged and sustained.

There are other ways to protect the health and welfare of residents. No one would object to having to wear masks and distance.

If it is not necessary for Mawhood and other shops on Queen’s Crescent to use click and collect, then what is the motive for Camden to impose such draconian regulations on our valued market traders?

Does Camden want to eliminate the market because they are going about the right way?

CÉLINE LA FRENIÈRE
Talacre Road, NW5

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