Tony’s flower stand opens on anniversary

Reopening marks one year since popular dad was stabbed to death

Friday, 3rd June — By Charlotte Chambers

Paige Eastlake stall

Paige Eastlake at the stall near Essex Road station run by her father

THE daughter of a popular flower seller opened up his old stall on Sunday to mark the first anniversary of his being stabbed to death.

Tony Eastlake was known as “the Flower Man of Islington” after a lifetime running a business close to Essex Road rail station.

In front of a banner that read “365 days of missing you”, his daughter Paige Eastlake led a minute’s silence for her father.
He was 55 when he died and had been selling flowers there since he was a teenager.

His family and friends started selling plants from his stall at around midday – opened for only the third time since he died – before holding a minute’s silence around 5.30pm, roughly the time he was killed.

Paige with Mr Eastlake’s niece Terri Maggs

They raised £545 through donations and sales, with all the proceeds going to knife crime charity the Ben Kinsella Trust, set up after Islington schoolboy Ben Kinsella was murdered in 2008.

Ms Eastlake said the charity had extra meaning for them as they were friends with the Kinsella family.

Ms Eastlake told the gathered crowds: “Everything we’ve made today will go to the Ben Kinsella Trust to try and fight this knife crime.

“I’ll miss [my dad] every day – more than I’ve ever imagined. It means more than you know [that you’re here today and] I appreciate it more than you know – it shows just how loved he was too.”

Tony Eastlake

Balloons were later released into the air, coloured blue in a nod to his love of Queen’s Park Rangers football club.

Ms Eastlake noted that one balloon appeared to “stay still” in the air for 30 seconds and “people said that was dad”.

Ms Eastlake and Mr Eastlake’s niece Terri Maggs both wore striking memorial T-shirts with pictures of them with him.

Speaking to the Tribune, Ms Eastlake said: “It was lovely. It was definitely hard for me to be there all day [although] it was nice to see how many people think about him a year on. It was a lovely day and I’m glad we could make that money for the charity.”

She said many people who bought plants were looking forward to growing them in Mr Eastlake’s memory.

The family plan to reopen his stall after a trial is over in July. A man has been charged with murder.

Related Articles