Amy Winehouse: 'RIP Camden's finest'

By Tim Masters
Entertainment correspondent, BBC News in Camden

image copyrightPA
image captionTributes have been left outside the home of Amy Winehouse in north London

In the hours following the news of Amy Winehouse's death, fans gathered outside her home in Camden and at her favourite local pub, The Hawley Arms, to pay tribute.

It was a time for quiet reflection.

As daylight faded, around 100 people had arrived in the residential square where Amy Winehouse had made her home.

Under a tree opposite her large three-storey residence, fans laid down floral tributes and photographs of the singer.

There was even a guitar, with the words "Amy - never forgotten" written on it in thick black marker pen.

"RIP Camden's finest" said a card pinned to a nearby railing.

"I say No No No," said another.

'Immense talent'

Many of those who came were local residents who expressed disbelief at what had happened.

Harriet Reardon, 23, and Adam Caslin, who live just round the corner from the singer, were listening to an Amy Winehouse record when they heard the news on Saturday afternoon.

"We thought it was a hoax at first," said Ms Reardon, adding: "She's a true Camden legend."

Mr Caslin left a letter among the floral tributes expressing sympathy to the Winehouse family, as well as a personal message to Amy.

"She was the voice of a generation, an immense talent, but she was always willing to chat," he told the BBC.

"I hope that people remember her talent, her music and her unparalleled voice, and see past her tribulations."

'Really sad'

Local resident Karen Heath had been at the police cordon for most of the evening.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionLetters and flowers have also been left at Winehouse's local pub the Hawley Arms

"I feel quite upset. I didn't know I was going to feel like this. It's so sad," she said.

"I used to see Amy around and about in Camden. I knew the people who lived in the house before her. It's been renovated quite recently.

"Since Amy moved here I've not see any paparazzi, it was always quiet."

Her neighbour, Samantha Swinglehurst, said: "Being in Camden, people always ask me if I've seen Amy. She was an extraordinary talent."

Canadian Alicia Baird, 24, who is on holiday in London, set out for Camden as soon as she heard the news of the singer's death.

"I really wanted to come and see her house," she said. "I was wandering around Camden for several hours and no one could tell me where she lived. But finally I'm here. It's really sad. I'm still in shock."

Beer mats

A few minutes' walk away, in a more bustling part of Camden Town, people were thronging to Winehouse's favourite pub, The Hawley Arms.

Music pounded downstairs, as drinkers remembered the singer who would sometimes serve behind the bar.

"It's like a little pilgrimage, really," said Andy Potter, who had come from King's Cross. "I've met her and I've met her dad. Her dad was so proud of her."

Krystle Stack, 27, and her friends had written tributes to the singer on Hawley Arms beer mats.

"The atmosphere is really friendly, a lot of people are a bit sad but trying to hold the emotions back a bit," she said.

"She was never unapproachable or the sort of person who thought she was above you because she was in the spotlight."

Mary Gallagher added: "She was one of us, we're all from Camden, she made this her home and everyone remembers her for the amazing talent she was."

Laura Woods, a singer, added: "She was an icon. In a time where we're fed a lot of mass-produced music, her music really spoke to people. I think it will stand the test of time.

"She was the best singer of our generation. There won't be another like her."

Around the BBC

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.