Pub starts collection for London fire victims

The Coaching Halt pub in Maidenbower, Crawley. Picture: Google Street View
The Coaching Halt pub in Maidenbower, Crawley. Picture: Google Street View

A Crawley pub has started a collection for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in London.

At least 12 people died in the blaze, which ripped through the west London tower block in the early hours of yesterday morning (June 14).

Assistant manager Amber Kemp at The Coaching Halt pub in Balcombe Road, Maidenbower, came up with the idea and posted details about the collection on Facebook.

Dozens of residents were quick to show their support by offering items.

Supervisor Rob King, 21, of Stafford Road, Crawley, said: “Amber came up with the idea and had a chat with all of us and we all decided it was a great idea and made posters to put up in the pub.

“We have had a massive response, we can barely see out the window – people have brought in childrens books, towels, bed sheets, a mattress, cots, pots and pans – everything.

“It is such a dreadful thing to happen and it is amazing how many people have come to help in our local community.

“We have been offering free coffees and lemonade to people who have been bringing stuff in but people have not been interested in this – they have just been interested in dropping stuff off to show their support.

“All the stuff is being taken to London on Saturday morning so people can drop things off over the next couple of days during our opening hours which is between 11am to 11pm.

“Anything is welcome – these people have lost their entire homes and are broken.”

General manager Centh Mcgee, 37, of Balcombe Road, Crawley, moved to Crawley a couple of months ago and said the support from the community has been ‘fantastic’.

He said: “I lived in south east London and moved to Crawley a couple of months ago and I used to live in a block of flats which were very similar – so this was definitely close to home for me.

“In times like this families have been made homeless because of this tragic situation.

“We wanted to do anything we could to help. All the recent events that have happened in the last few months as well.

“Community is such a big thing and we have had an overwhelming response.

“And it shows that a lot of people say that community support has gone but this proves that it hasn’t at all.

“It is heartbreaking what happened, to see these poor families lose everything.

“It has shown me how much of a community we have in Crawley – the support has been fantastic.

“We only expected some donations – we never expected what we have had so far, it is amazing.”

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