When I was a teenage town mouse, there was only one thing my friends and I wanted: to be allowed to go to Camden Market without adult supervision and spend all our pocket money on black nail varnish, black Doc Martens boots, spray-in pink hair dye, black-lace fingerless gloves, orange lipstick and badges with rude slogans on them. And teenage girls I know now want much the same thing, despite the abundance of cheap and trendy clothes shops on every other high street.
The Goth’s favourite market has not only kept going, it’s never stopped selling the same wares. The streets remain relentlessly grubby, the stalls still sell sloppy crêpes filled with mushroom and cheese sauce and the tourists continue to flock. The market has always stood for seamy anarchy, teenage sub-societies and grime. Which is why I was saddened by the raging fire last weekend, that destroyed 300 stalls and more. I hope pin-striped property developers don’t move in and try to change it to something new and shiny. Or I’ll be down there with my black nail polish, writing graffiti on the pavements.