The Camden markets are a number of adjoining large retail markets in Camden Town near the Hampstead Road Lock of the Regent's Canal (popularly referred to as Camden Lock), often collectively named "Camden Market" or "Camden Lock". Among products sold on the stalls are crafts, clothing, bric-a-brac, and fast food. It is the fourth-most popular visitor attraction in London, attracting approximately 100,000 people each weekend. A small local food market that has operated in Inverness Street since the beginning of the 20th century has lost stalls since local supermarkets opened; by mid-2013 all the foodstuff stalls had gone, leaving only stalls similar to those of the other markets, including fast food but not produce. Since 1974 a small weekly crafts market that has operated every Sunday near Camden Lock has developed into a large complex of markets. The markets, originally temporary stalls only, extended to a mixture of stalls and fixed premises.
The markets originally operated on Sundays only, which continues to be the main trading day. Opening later extended to Saturdays for most of the market. A number of traders, mainly those in fixed premises, operate throughout the week, although the weekend remains the peak period.
The complex of Camden Market is composed of six general sections, each with its own particular focus on wares, while the Stables Market, and the Camden markets generally have their roots in alternative sub-cultures. Due to the popularity the markets, visitor numbers have increased to the extent that Camden Town tube station has restricted Sunday afternoon access to incoming passengers only in order to prevent dangerous overcrowding of the narrow platforms, while Chalk Farm and Mornington Crescent stations also provide easy access to the market.
Camden Lock Market
Camden Lock Market is situated by the Regent's Canal on a site formerly occupied by warehouses and other premises associated with the canal. By the early 1970s the canal trade had ceased and a northern urban motorway was planned that would cut through the site, making any major permanent redevelopment impossible, and in 1974 a temporary market was established. By 1976, when plans for the motorway were abandoned, the market had become a well known feature of Camden Town. Originally, the Lock was a market for crafts, occupying some outdoor areas by the canal and various existing buildings. It attracted large numbers of visitors partly due to stalls being open on Sundays, when previous to the Sunday Trading Act 1994, shops were not permitted to operate on Sundays. While the range of goods has since widened, with stalls selling books, new and second-hand clothing, and jewellery, the Lock retains its focus as the principle Camden market for crafts. There is a large selection of fast food stalls. In 1991 a three-storey indoor market hall designed by architect John Dickinson was opened on the site of the first outdoor market. In the style of the traditional 19th century industrial architecture and housing in the area, it is built of brick and cast iron.
From 2006 a large indoor market hall was constructed in a yard between the Camden Lock Market and the Stables Market that was previously used for open air stalls. In November 2007 a large part of the Stables Market was demolished as part of a long-term redevelopment plan for the area and rebuilt as a year-round permanent market area. A new book, Camden Lock and the Market -  - tells the 40-year history of the original market, including interviews with many of the very first craftspeople and stallholders.
|This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (October 2012)|
Owned by Bebo & O.D. Kobo, Richard Caring and Elliot Bernerd of Chelsfield Partners, the Stables Market is the largest section of the complex. The market is located in the historic former Pickfords stables and Grade II listed horse hospital which served the horses pulling Pickford's distribution vans and barges along the canal. Many of the stalls and shops are set in large arches in railway viaducts.
Chain stores are not permitted and trade is provided by a mixture of small enclosed and outdoor shops and stalls, of which some are permanent, and others hired by the day. In common with most of the other Camden markets the Stables Market has many clothes stalls. It is also the main focus for furniture in the markets. Household goods, decorative, ethnically-influenced items, and second-hand items or 20th-century antiques, many of them hand-crafted, are among the wares. There are also clothing and art pieces for alternative sub-cultures, such as goths and cybergoths. Two of the more well-known of these shops are Black Rose, which caters for goths, with items such as coffin-shaped handbags, and Cyberdog, which houses much cyber-style "neon" PVC and rubber clothing.
In October 2006 a large indoor market hall was built in a yard between the Stables Market and Camden Lock Market that was previously used for temporary open-air stalls. In the summer of 2007 redevelopment of the back of the Stables Market began. This redevelopment consisted of two new four-storey buildings housing shops, food outlets, offices, workshops and storage facilities, as well as an exhibition space.
Redevelopment will include a new pedestrian route through the rear of the Stables Market exposing 25 of the existing railway arches. Pedestrian walkways—in the style of the existing historic ramp and bridge system—will open up the site and increase access for visitors. A glass roof and cycle parking spaces will be added.
In 2006 Stables Market trader Sasha Rodoy launched "Save Camden Stables Market Campaign" in a bid to stop developers destroying the original stables horse hospital buildings and tunnels which made up the market. Under the pseudonym "Suki Jacobs" she launched an HMGovernment epetition, organised press coverage, and published "Save Camden Stables Market" Forum. Public objections to the application from local residents, as well as deputations (supporting and opposing it) were presented to Camden Council. The protests caused a request for more clarity to be made by market traders who feared the rumours of chain stores, such as Top Shop, moving in to the market were damaging trade.
Many of the objections have ignored agreed restrictions on the size and design of the shop units. These restrictions were intended to suit independent traders and discourage high street retailers. Also the design of the scheme and the materials aims to ensure that the redevelopment complements the industrial nature of the site's existing Victorian buildings.
Councillor Dawn Somper, Chair of the Development Control Committee, Camden Council said: "We absolutely support the desire to preserve the independent and alternative attraction and feel of Stables Market—rather than it looking like a typical high street—and also its economic importance to the Camden Town area. On balance the committee felt that the design, size and heritage considerations of this application were a significant improvement on the previous consented planning permission."
During the weeks leading up to Christmas in 2004, the high-profile radio DJ and TV presenter Chris Evans made use of a stall in the Stables Market to sell many of his possessions, ranging from sofas to TVs and crockery.
Camden Lock Village
The section along the canal to the east of Chalk Farm Road is owned by cousins Bebo & O.D. Kobo, Richard Caring and Elliot Bernerd of Chelsfield Partners was known as the Canal Market and had a covered entrance tunnel leading into a general outdoor market. The market was devastated by fire on 9 February 2008 and reopened in May 2009 as the Camden Lock Village. The cover over the original street entrance was removed and a new entrance near the railway bridge was created.
Buck Street Market
The Buck Street Market is an outdoor market focusing on clothes. There is no formal or legal definition of Camden Market; the Buck Street Market's sign reads 'The Camden Market'. A few stallholders design their own wares, while at the weekend these designs are more likely to be found in the Electric Ballroom market.
The Electric Ballroom, close to Camden Town tube station, has been a night club since the 1950s. It is open during the day at weekends as an indoor market. Whilst it has its share of imported goods, the market strives to attract independent designers and dealers specialising in unique and unusual items.
Inverness Street Market
A small century-old street market that once had many stalls selling fresh produce and foodstuffs, unlike the other markets. By 2012 it retained only two vegetable and fruit stalls amongst stalls like the rest of the markets; by mid-2013 they too had gone.
2008 Camden Market fire
|Wikinews has related news: London's Camden Market in flames|
On 9 February 2008, at around 7:20 p.m., a large fire broke out in the Camden Canal Market area on the north side of Chalk Farm Road. After crossing the railway line, the fire badly affected the rear of the Hawley Arms on Castlehaven Road. The fire was extinguished during the night by 100 firefighters There were no casualties, but railway services running above the market were disrupted. Camden Lock Market and the Stables Market were unaffected by the fire and remained open. The fire was caused by a banned liquid petroleum gas (LPG) heater left turned on on a clothes stall which ignited adjacent materials within one of the stalls.
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- "Camden Council: Camden Council planning decision on Stables Market". Camden.gov.uk. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
- ""Save Camden Stables Market" Forum".[dead link]
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- Thomas, Rachel (27 November 2004). "Chris Evans back on the market". BBC News. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
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- Camden New Journal: Camden's oldest market in Inverness Street ‘could go under’, 11 February 2010
- Camden New Journal: Fruit & veg to be missed, 16 May, 2013
- The Hawley Arms pub in Camden – before the fire destroyed it (thelondonpaper)
- "Source of market blaze identified". BBC News Online. 2008-02-10. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- "National Rail Enquiries — Incident Details — Lineside fire between Camden Road and Gospel Oak". National Rail. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
- Camden New Journal: Market traders were warned on danger heaters
- "'Camden Town is burning down!'". 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Camden Market|
- Eyewitness accounts of the fire.
- Camden market.
- Camden goods depot development from 1839
- Edmund Yates, 1879 - Of the Parcels-Delivery Company and "Pickfords"
- Camden Lock and the Market, the book