Bishop's Stortford's dog owners rally to help pet stallholder
Bishop’s Stortford’s dog owners have a new pet project – helping market trader Symon Clayton get his life back on track.
The 40-year-old had been trading on the town's market for almost two decades and his animal products stall in South Street was a familiar sight – and smell – for shoppers every Thursday and Saturday.
But in January, raiders stole his 10-year-old Ford Transit Luton van from outside his home in Takeley. The vehicle had his entire stock – around three tonnes of his most popular lines – on board.
The goods, including a wide range of hide chews and bones, were uninsured, and the loss is so great that Symon has been forced to give up his pitch.
The former Bishop’s Stortford HIGH School student told the Independent: “The hardest thing for me is that they’ve taken away my way of life.They’ve taken away my entire living.”
He and wife Kath have four-year-old twins, Freddie and Francesca. He said: “I’m not really sure about what I’m going to do next.”
That prompted regular customer Amber Davison to step in and set up a GoFundMe appeal to cushion the blow for Symon and his family.
The 25-year-old psychology masters student, who works as a private tutor and nanny, said: “I was really saddened to hear the news that Symon's van had been stolen, even more so when I learnt about the impact this has had on his business and therefore his life.
"He has provided many treats for my various animals over the years as well as the birds that visit our garden. I've lived in Bishop's Stortford all of my life and always remember seeing him at the market.
"I felt compelled to help such an upstanding member of the community and also saw many people on Facebook felt the same way, which prompted me to start the page.”
She has set a £3,000 target and has received donations totalling £625. To contribute see https://www.gofundme.com/symon039s-pet-stall-bs-market