What’s the story with Kentish Town Canopy?

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Yes, it was only erected here in 1982 after Kentish Town main line station was rebuilt. But let’s stand a moment and soak up the atmosphere


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Not as much history as you might think. Pic: SE
Not as much history as you might think. Pic: SE

We’ve all walked past it a thousand times. And in fact, we reckon half of London’s music lovers have at some point too, on their way to The Forum.

So what’s the history? The answer is: not as much as you’d hope for. Yes, it’s an ornate Victorian structure, which quite a few years ago had a £180,000 makeover, but it was only erected here in 1982 after Kentish Town main line station was rebuilt. And even then it was shipped over from Elstree, for goodness’ sake. Here’s what this corner looked like before

So with that in mind, let’s stand a moment and soak up the atmosphere. For some, it’s a desolate, windy spot, but those in the know swoon at the big, pillowy clouds, or the sunset over Parliament Hill beyond the railway lines; we grin at Natasha’s flower stall, or at Mr P’s iconic grafitti, whilst queuing patiently for a double espresso from Bean About Town.

And yet: we all know there’s potential for this spot, isn’t there? Is it too middle class to suggest some kind of daily or weekend food market (darling)? Or are we becoming obsessed with food markets as signifiers of…well, what exactly?

Thoughts please. Or failing that, at least tell us things you’ve seen under the canopy that made you smile. Keep it clean now…and be nice about those leisurely afternoon drinkers.


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  • Tim

    Balloons! Or, maybe some nice fairy lighting on the structure, a bit like the trees in Sloane Sq?

  • Kentishtowner

    A good idea. In ‘Steeles Village’ on Haverstock Hill the well-heeled residents have all clubbed together to light up the street so it looks like Christmas all year round. Sounds twee but it’s quite nice actually.

  • charlie Beckett

    It’s where the winos shelter. They won’t appreciate the seeds or the fairy lights.

  • fiona

    Best of both worlds: twinkly tramps. Very Kentish Town. Anyway, as they get the most use out of the place they should decide, really. I love the fact they have their own designated spot and never really bother anyone.

  • Tim

    A stand-up piano

  • Tom A

    Tim’s stand up piano idea has inspired me!

    A piano wouldn’t survive the elements, but surely The Canopy could have a lovely big glockenspiel and a couple of fixed drums…

  • fiona

    Glockenspiel! Glockenspiel! hang on a minute, is that with or without winos? actually I don’t care, just get a giant glockenspiel in there now!!