Band aid to help the market fire victims

AS Camden Town traders count the cost of the canal market fire, one iconic venue is holding a fundraiser to help them through tough times

Marc Mullen

AS Camden Town traders count the cost of the canal market fire, one iconic venue is holding a fundraiser to help them through tough times.

Lock 17 is holding a free all-day concert next Thursday featuring more than 25 bands, DJs and local artists.

During the event staff will be collecting donations for the stallholders who lost their livelihoods in the blaze 12 days ago.

Anthony Buck, who put on a free concert last November, decided to raise money for the traders after hearing their stories.

He said: "One of the stallholders lost about £80,000 of stock. We won't be able to raise that much, but we just want to be able to help them a bit and start something.

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"We want to let people know that Camden Town is still here and want to get people back up here.

"There was a lot of bad publicity where they said the Stables had burnt down.

"I am still receiving calls here where they ask if we have burnt down. I say, 'Yes and it's just me and a phone left'."

The day will kick off with unsigned acoustic acts playing live at the Market Bar in the Lock 17 complex which also includes the canal-side bar and Dingwalls.

In the canal-side bar there will be DJs who are hoping to project art on the outside of the building.

Jason John Whitehead has cancelled a Comedy Store Bournemouth gig to perform a stand-up set at the event.

Then at 7pm Dingwalls will open its doors for a free gig featuring Black Cherry, The Social, Tom All Alone and the Great Expectations and The Supernovas.

Many of the acts feature musicians who live or work in Camden, including The Changes, whose drummer works in Camden market.

Mr Buck said: "Hopefully everyone will dig deep for the traders. We have had much better, more renowned artists contacting us to play because it is for the stallholders so let's hope we can raise a decent sum."

Many of the canal market traders did not have insurance cover for their businesses, because of the cost.

Thierry Durieux has run Kalimantan Creations in the Stables market for 23 years. He said: "I looked into getting insurance a while back - it was going to cost something ridiculous like £1200 per month - £14,000 a year. It just isn't viable."

And Chtia Kamal, who runs a leather goods stall in the Stables market, said: "We have no insurance. There is very good security in the market, so it is unlikely for thefts. But yes, with the fire over the road we might now think about it."

marc.mullen@hamhigh.co.uk

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