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Primrose Hill ice cream war heats up

PUBLISHED: 11:14 15 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:11 07 September 2010

Ben McPartland A MOTHER has been threatened with stabbing in the fierce ice cream turf wars plaguing Primrose Hill. Helen Tindale, 48, who sells organic ice cream, was on the receiving end of intimidation and threats when she parked her van on Regent s Pa

Ben McPartland

A MOTHER has been threatened with stabbing in the fierce ice cream turf wars plaguing Primrose Hill.

Helen Tindale, 48, who sells organic ice cream, was on the receiving end of intimidation and threats when she parked her van on Regent's Park Road.

She believes the thugs who threatened her - who run their own ice cream van in Primrose Hill - might have been responsible for the brutal attack on a rival seller which the Ham&High highlighted last week.

Ms Tindale, of Chalcot Square, Primrose Hill, is now uneasy as she prepares to open up her Nice-Green Van for the summer season.

She said: "These are really nasty people and quite ruthless, and they certainly scared me into submission.

"I am a single parent living in a flat on my own. If they wanted to, they could do all sorts of things.

"These men were very unpleasant. One time they came up and said, 'this is our livelihood - we have a big family, we have got knives and we know where you live. If we see you again we will smash up the van and you will be knifed'.

"The organic ice cream was really popular around here and they [the thugs] didn't like it because they saw we were taking their business away. I said to them, 'we are a different market from you - our people like our produce but there is a still a market for selling Mr Whippies'.

"They obviously had a lot to lose. The last two summers have been lousy so they are desperate and they think they have a monopoly over their patch. But they are not acting within the law."

Following the chilling threats last summer, the windows on Ms Tindale's van were smashed. She is now wary about the new season, knowing that the turf wars have started again.

Last week we reported how on Saturday May 2, a 33-year-old ice cream seller suffered a broken rib and cuts and bruises to the face after he was beaten up in front of shocked onlookers in Albert Terrace.

His two attackers, both believed to be of Cypriot origin, were angry that the man had parked his ice cream van in the spot they normally take up.

Police continue to investigate the incident but the Ham&High understands the victim is not helping them with their enquiries for fear of further reprisals.

After the threats and violence, Ms Tindale now wants authorities to take action to make it possible for her to trade without fear.

She said: "I have been trying to get a permanent patch somewhere. I can stop legally and safely. I have spoken to local councillors and the mayor but have had no response.

"I just want to be completely legitimate and I certainly don't want any of my staff to be in a position where they feel unsafe."

Camden Town and Primrose Hill councillor Chris Naylor said: "It's a real shame that something as nice as ice cream is resulting in fights locally.

"I am very hopeful we can sort this out amicably and keep Primrose Hill happily supplied with the ice cream all its residents need.


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