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‘Beautiful send-off’ for Nag’s Head trader Annie

Annie Curtis Jones, who was also a talented costume designer, died on Christmas Eve

02 February, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Annie Curtis Jones

STYLISTS, artists and workers in the creative industries gathered to celebrate the life of a beloved Nag’s Head trader and carnival costume designer.

Annie Curtis Jones, who died on Christmas Eve, was a popular trader at the Seven Sisters Road market, where she was known for her generosity and good spirit. But unknown to most of her customers, she was also a talented designer who spent decades making costumes for award-winning films and Notting Hill Carnival.

Ajay Kenth and husband Mick Hurd at the Paddington Arts Centre gathering

Her family and friends gathered at Paddington Arts Centre, in Westbourne Park, on Friday to remember the long-time Essex Road resident. She used the centre to create costumes in the run-up to the carnival.

Her partner, Joshua Blake, recalled the first time he met Annie, at a recording studio in Brixton more than 20 years ago.

“Annie’s best friend brought her down there. We just hit it off and we were just tight. Going out dancing everywhere. We had so much fun and we were so happy,” said Mr Blake.

He was soon persuaded to swap his south London home to live with Annie in Islington.

Marleena Blake, Tammy Harewood, Marie Barrett and Joshua Blake were among those at the arts centre

The funeral at West London Crematorium, in Kensal Green Cemetery, was a “beautiful send-off”, he said. “There were so many friends and family there.”

Set designer Mick Hurd, who met Annie at art school, recounted their raucous nights out together in 1970s London.

“We went to the bar at university and then the pub on the corner,” he said. “We would then spill into the Blitz club.” The Blitz, a legendary nightclub in Covent Garden, was known as the hub of the capital’s punk scene where musicians and artists would flaunt their costumes.

“We had so many parties in Essex Road too,” he said. “She was my friend when we both first came to London and we are still great friends.”

Annie, who was 66, died from a heart attack.


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