And now Donna has died, aged just 48. Since she was a chirpy kid working her dad’s stall, Donna’s cheery cackle was the soundtrack of most market-goers’ Saturday. Her flowers, her herbs and other plants were cheaper by far than Columbia Road or any garden centre. She was strong on star lilies, had an eye for a dahlia and a tulip, was great with ‘mums – better than her dad.
I have come back from the crescent laden with armfuls of her cheery flowers more times than I dare remember, often forgetting in the excitement exactly how many vases I had. Donna was warm-hearted and quick-witted. She was loving and well-loved. Queen’s Crescent has lost a little of its soul. RIP.
Allan Jenkins is editor of the Observer Food Monthly magazine and has lived in Kentish Town since 1987.