Innovation at the Assembly House

Come and chat about apps, startups and digital disruption, or just exchange some local gossip, if you prefer, in the Victorian splendour of one of NW5’s most iconic pubs

Kentish Town's famous turreted boozer
Kentish Town’s famous turreted boozer. Pic: Stephen Emms
This month’s future-focused local social meet-up, Kentish Cluster, is already upon us. Remember, it’s on a Wednesday night (tomorrow, 24th) rather than the usual Thursday, just for September, too.

The regular events, now reaching their sixth edition, are hugely popular with those who want to scratch beneath the surface and unearth some of the world-class business activity taking place in converted warehouses, backstreet mews, under arches or simply on laptops across the neighbourhood.

Within half an hour at August’s event in the Oxford, we’d met the guys behind Incubus, a converted double decker currently parked behind the Hawley Arms, dedicated to helping startup businesses flourish; the local girl about to launch back-to-pen-and-paper social community LoveMyLetterBox, a videographer, composer, interior designer, war historian and local indie record label owner.

So while the area’s vibrant tech scene, with all its intriguing new jobs, is the starting point, the drinks meet-ups are clearly attracting a much wider variety of creative people and helping everyone make stronger local links, exactly as it set out to do.


The tour of Kentish Town’s top watering holes continues, with the Assembly House a popular choice as we move inside from the beer garden months, seeking more cosy autumnal environs (even if the sun still is rather lovely at the moment).

Cluster guests may be aware of this ancient local tavern’s long history. They might perhaps have heard about its ghost, or simply seen it hand-drawn, painted or photographed hauntingly.

But look at the picture artist James Frederick King’s unique sketched 1850 document, Kentish Town Panorama paints:

“The old Assembly House of very long standing was held in great repute, being a pleasant distance from London, when those who sought a country walk could meet there with every enjoyment a country inn could supply; besides which it was famed for club dinners annually given, called ‘Beanfeasts.’ There was also a reserved parlour where none but the members of a society called ‘Social Villagers’ were permitted to enter, which consisted of the aristocracy of the village and where many cheerful evenings were spent as far as the glass andpipe could furnish, to pass a convivial hour, which often cheered their buoyant spirits and sent them home ‘merry’.”

We’d like to think week’s Cluster carries on those traditions, but all are welcome, so sign up now and we’ll see you, glass (and pipe?) in hand, at the bar.

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Kentish Cluster, Wednesday 24th September from 6pm to 9pm, Assembly House, 292-294 Kentish Town Road Register via Eventbrite to let the Cluster know you are coming. Email if you want to chat. And don’t forget:
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