After the previous evening’s blaze, which took 100 firefighters to bring under control, Camden Town was open again on Sunday, with obvious exceptions. An area either side of Regent’s Canal was closed to the public as cleanup continued in preparation for an investigation into the cause of the fire, which severely damaged the Canal Market and the Hawley Arms pub. Nonetheless, the markets were still busy as people came to gawp and shop (maybe a Thundercats t-shirt? Life must go on, after all). Londonist ventured in as well, armed with a digital camera and a bit of sadness to see shabby, beloved Camden in such a state.
Open but isolated on the other side of the destruction, Stables Market got Alan Myatt, Camden’s town crier, to give people directions around the barriers.
Outside the Hawley Arms, now famous as the burnt-out hangout of Winehouse and Doherty, fire crews kept working at the last remnants of the blaze.
A chimney outside the Hawley was still being hosed down at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
And smoke drifted out of the pub’s top-floor windows.
According to the BBC, officials know what caused the fire but are keeping shtum pending the investigation, which begins Monday morning. Main roads nearby could be closed for the next four days. OK, look: Camden markets – especially, to be fair, the Canal Market – are tatty and silly, and smell too much of terrible incense. But they’re still unbeatable for people watching, open-air food and buying a transcendent second-hand coat. Can they please, please stop being knocked down, burnt down and otherwise levelled? Thanks.