1. Why West Kentish Town Matters
No Talacre (Kentish Town’s much-fought over ‘Green’)? No Kentish Town City Farm? On Tuesday we attended the first Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum consultation at St Luke’s Church in Oseney Crescent. We admire everything that the KTNF is trying to achieve, but are bemused that West Kentish Town – NW5 at its most diverse, creative, multi-cultural and, of course, deprived – has been excluded from the supposed Kentish Town boundary outline (which currently runs along the Overground railway line).
West Kentish Town is home to many NW5 gems of which KT residents are so proud, from the pioneering City Farm, the first of its kind in the UK and this year celebrating its 40th anniversary, to leafy Talacre Gardens with its acclaimed sports centre, and vibrant developments like Streetfeast, Zabludowicz Collection, Rankin’s Annroy Gallery and the hip Camden Brewery bar. Not to mention it’s where the only twice-weekly street market in NW5 takes place, itself something that could really benefit from some intelligent and constructive re-thinking. And, as any of you know, it’s also home to The Kentishtowner.
If we’re looking at real change beyond cosmetic improvements to the immediate Tube station area (which admittedly are needed) then surely we all need to remember the diversity of the whole postcode, and consider the more challenging issues in our neighbourhood too. The boundary of the map for the Neighbourhood Forum should simply be NW5: this is, and always will be, synonymous with Kentish Town, from its western fringes at Grafton Terrace to its eastern tip at Brecknock Road.
2. A Comic Opera at Lion and Unicorn Theatre. Following the last few weeks of their hugely successful production of Macbeth, Kentish Town’s acclaimed theatre is hosting the world premiere of The Wolves Descend, an hour-long modern opera about an eccentric Croation guesthouse whose staff concoct a macabre plan to entice more visitors. (24-28th July only).
3. A Local History Book Launch. ‘Camden Town & Kentish Town Then & Now’, a new book of rare archive photos which compares scenes from the eighteenth century and later with their 21st century counterparts, is being launched at the Owl Bookshop on July 12th. We’ve already had a sneak peak – and it’s the perfect companion for devotees of our Wednesday Picture features.
4. Music at the Map Studio Cafe The multi-floored space with charming rickety rooms and terraces has soulful sounds aplenty this month. Every Thursday evening at 8pm (£10) see talented folk like Zeeteah Massiah (tonight), The Simians of Swing (12th), or Sam Coombes Trio (19th).
5. Six Quid In The Manor. A delicious sandwich feast at Tolli for £4.60 packed with chicken, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes. On the food and coffee front this place never fails to impress, but why oh why can’t they sort out that decor? Still, it’s £4.60 well spent with smiley service too (extra points for letting dogs in). So please don’t do a well-known chain when Tolli is waving politely next door.
Finally, don’t forget the Zabludowicz launch tonight, if you like a knees-up with your smattering of art. But first we’d like to hear your thoughts about the Neighbourhood Forum plan in particular below. Did you go to the consultations? Is the proposed boundary of interest?