IARA Update 10.5.20

Dear Members

Things feel very quiet at the moment. We hope everyone is doing ok. It’s been great seeing people (from a safe distance) on their doorsteps during the lovely weather.

Green issues

Boma –the garden centre in Islip Street – is now open for online orders and deliveries: www.bomagardencentre.co.uk

Lots happening at Transition Town’s Think and Do site – to get on their mailing list email info@transitionkentishtown.org.uk

We are delighted with the response we’ve had for keeping the young street trees watered. All the ones in our area now have someone looking after them, and some of the new planting in the tree pits is beginning to show results. This is not to forget an appreciation for all the people who have been planting, maintaining and watering tree pits in the streets for years – particular thanks to Chris for keeping the Raglan Street garden looking so lovely.

Elders zoom meeting

We’re having our first virtual meeting for some of the elders group this Wednesday morning at 11. If you’re not already on the Elders mailing list and would like to join (no lower age limit) let us know and we can send you details.


Paul and John have sent us this:

We have seen a spate of bags of rubbish, including garden cuttings and garden waste being left on the pavements. These are sometimes left adjacent to Camden Council litter bins or our trees.

Apart from the fact that this is regarded as fly tipping which carries a fine of up to £2500, it creates a nuisance for residents who live nearby because;

The once a week pavement sweepers and bin collectors will not pick up fly tipped rubbish, even if left next to litter bins– it will be left until it is reported separately.

You can report fly tipping via https://www.camden.gov.uk/fly-tipping-street-obstructions or use the app: https://www.camden.gov.uk/clean-camden or just APP store > Clean Camden. It is quite clever: you take a picture and it automatically locates it and you just say what sort ot rubbish it is and press send. And it usually get quite a quick response.

A bag of rubbish can act as a magnet for others to dump their rubbish and a build up occurs;

Any bags that include food waste are often torn open by animals, creating more mess and inconvenience;

Our neighbours affected by this nuisance are left to contact Veolia to arrange for the fly tipping to be removed;

It creates more work for Veolia and more cost to the Council to deal with this activity.

On a general point, we have discussed before issues with Camden’s garden waste collections. The Council charges £75 a year for a weekly collection of 3 white bags. Perhaps residents who need occasional collections but who don’t need 3 bags collected a week could get together with other residents to contribute towards the cost? If you are interested in looking into this further, email IARA your details and we will put you in touch with each other.”

Masks and scrubs
The valiant sewing team continue to churn out supplies for the NHS and recently received this appreciation from KT Health Centre:

The 2nd batch of masks were as big a hit as the first. It’s like Christmas when people see the bag arrive, thank you so much!”

Book and DVD exchange?

Harriet is suggesting a way of exchanging books and DVDs

Her friend says she sends out pictures of the spines of books & DVDs on offer. People respond if they are interested. Some of us may feel cautious about this at the moment, but if you like the idea and are ok with sharing your contact details we are happy to pass on recommendations and maybe images of items you are willing to loan or pass on. If they have not been handled since the virus and people wash their hands before handling them now, there should be no danger of infection.


Tapping the Admiral – For those of you who used to enjoy the pies at the pub at 77 Castle Street you’ll be pleased to know that they are now doing take away (including delivery on Tuesdays and Thursdays) You can ring the cook, Matt on 07931 044636 after 18.00 and place an order Monday to Saturday.

Tackling Social Isolation Amongst the Seniors

We recently met (via Zoom) two RCA Students who are working on a project in collaboration with Camden Council to tackle social isolation among older people. We had an interesting discussion, largely focussed (from our point of view) on the fact that there is a lot happening in communities already, and within this particular area there are many very active and involved older people. They have now sent us the final version of their survey, and would be pleased if you would have a look at it https://radhikaagrawal264884.typeform.com/to/l5csvP

Local History

Martin and Etienne in Ryland Road have been doing a fantastic job with daily updates for their street, including a number of pieces about local history. We have (with their permission) copied some of these to the IARA website https://www.inkermanresidents.org.uk/category/historyand will continue to upload more, so if you’re interested do keep having a look.

And when we meet again …

… face to face, what shall we do? People are looking forward to celebrating – maybe on a street by street basis, with some food, drink, maybe some music, dancing … This may be a distant dream, but nice to start thinking and maybe planning.


The app is proving very useful in discussions about trees, masks, finding volunteers to help with shopping etc. If you’d like to join the group, let us know (with your phone number)

IARA Update 28.4.20

Dear Members

Firstly, we hope everyone is well. If you need any help (shopping, some virtual company …) please let us know.  There are lots of friendly people willing to help out.

Kentish Town Health Centre have been delighted with the masks several of you have made for them. Sophie has forwarded this amazing picture of a selection recently delivered to the centre.

They write:

The masks have gone down an absolute storm! My colleagues are currently rummaging through the bag like it’s Christmas! The flamingo material is particularly popular and as i suspected the brighter jazzier fabric is being snapped up.

I hear you want feedback on the type of fixings – I think on the whole the behind the ear fixings are preferred but really it’s a small point.

They are going like hot cakes so if you and your team do have any more I am sure we would give them a good home but I am aware that we cannot hog all the supplies and others need them too

Thank you once again, you’ve made our days”

So many thanks to the sewing team and all who have provided fabric, elastic, etc. More masks are still needed and  Annabel writes:

Kind neighbours are providing fabric etc but more is welcome. New but unwanted shirts are excellent. 

We’ve used loads of T shirt fabric for the ties (instead of elastic). T shirts made of 100% cotton work less well than the ones that have elastane (Lycra) in the mix, so it’s worth checking labels.”

You can leave bags of fabric etc. outside 9 Inkerman for Sophie or on the tall iron gate at 44 Raglan for Annabel.

IARA WhatsApp group

We know that some streets have their own WhatsApp groups and the IARA one now has over 20 members. It’s getting friendly and has been really helpful re face mask making, rainbows and trees. If you want to join just let us have your mobile number. 


Jan writes re Camden Foodbank food supplies –

Vouchers issued to clients can be fulfilled at any Foodbank. Currently, Chalk Farm Foodbank have plenty of food and are able to give full bags to people. They are also able to deliver in some cases. They are open on Thursdays 10.30 til about 1 (not entirely sure at the moment as I think they were staying open longer than usual).

The banks that are in need of donations (food or money are Camden Town https://camden.foodbank.org.uk/ and Euston https://euston.foodbank.org.uk/

and on the subject of food …

Violaine, the neighbourhood’s very own baker from Raglan Street, has sent this:

I have started baking breads again ? so if you think IARA members could be interested here is a short presentation. And still, if anyone is in urgent need let me know, I am more than happy to offer some!

The Bread Next Door

Every Wednesday morning, freshly baked sourdough bread delivered at your doorstep. Handmade in Kentish town with organic flour, water, salt and natural yeast culture.

More information : Violaine 07522705414 / violaine@consciousdelights.com and www.consciousdelights.com

Give non-British citizens who are NHS workers automatic citizenship

Julia has reminded us that there is this petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/305129 which is more than half way to its target of 100,000 signatures. If it reaches that it has to be debated in Parliament. It feels like one that may have cross party support, acknowledging the massive contribution non-British workers are making to the NHS.

Sharing resources – gardening, diy …

Emily sent us this a little while ago (apologies for the delay in posting it)

I am just emailing in reference to your borrowing items idea last email which I thought was great, we have a wallpaper steamer if anyone wants to use it if they are in the midst of DIY right now. I also have a few gardening tools that I can lend – lopers, pruning saw, fork, secateurs, hand trowel and forkemily.blackmore88@googlemail.co

[We, D&D, are also prepared to lend usual garden tools like spade, fork, rake, trowel, but also quite strong parrot bill, and our 10 foot long handled pruner.]  

Also, I was on Gardeners World website and I know you are probably wanting to support the local garden centre but I thought you might be interested in the offers that are detailed on there to supplement the plants you are going to buy – there is an offer for 40 lavender plants for paying postage only and 10 perennial plants for £10 – here’s the website if it is helpful https://www.gardenersworld.com/offers/gardening-offers/ I guess many nurseries are probably going to lose a lot of stock so are offering it off cheap rather than sadly throwing it away.

We’ve also been in touch with a new project set up to save and sell on plants from nurseries forced to close: https://plantsavers.co.uk/


Street trees

The first priority is to identify the new trees and ensure that people are taking responsibility for watering them.

Dilip has kindly forwarded to us a map of newly planted trees from Camden.

Obviously we don’t know everything that everyone is doing but the trees that we have identified as being new are:

Four in Alma St. We are taking responsibility for the northern two and Dilip is taking responsibility for the southern two. This is separate from the tongue in cheek mini garden that we have created outside of number 49 with Gill who is taking responsibility.

There are two down the bottom of Anglers Lane and Maggie has kindly agreed to adopt those.

There are four along Prince of Wales Road going towards the High Street on our side and Sarah has very kindly agreed to water those – quite a major enterprise that means she needs to drive down with her watering cans and buckets.

Going west along Prince of Wales Road there are four new ones on our side and we have one of them adopted and are negotiating for the other three.

Going up Grafton there don’t appear to be any new trees on the map although that may be wrong

The map shows two new trees at the top end of Willes – about level with number 50.

There are also several now in the green space around Monmouth house and Alpha Court. We don’t know who is taking responsibility for those will be happy to hear about that.

– – – – – – – – –

Tree Gardens and a Survey of Street trees. 

As a separate project there is the question of the small gardens in the tree bases which maybe we can just call Tree Gardens? Many have been adopted but some are orphans. To plan this and to increase appreciation generally might it be good to have a survey of the street trees?  Which is where TreeTalk comes in.

We put a mention in our last bulletin of this new app “TreeTalk“ which is a remarkable project in which almost every tree in London is identified on the street maps with the interactive facility where you click on the location of the tree, it names it and gives you a description.

On some of them it shows you a photo so you can really check they’ve got it right. And just occasionally the photo actually shows the location in our streets. There is quite a lot of information which might increase anybody’s appreciation of the trees. 

More of that later or in a separate email as it may overload this bulletin, but to kick off the survey, I have done a survey of the ones in Alma St and found some mistakes and some updating is needed.  The organisers were very friendly and appreciative. 

I suggest that perhaps we all work on the basis of starting at the north or the East End of streets and heading south or west and identifying the tree by the house number it is outside of.

More of all of that in a later email and on the website. 

IARA Update 22.4.20

Masks! An urgent call for help

One of the GPs at the James Wigg practice has sent out this message:

I am one of the partners and we have been discussing the use of masks today.At the time it was felt that reusable masks were not advisable to be used as protective equipment, but there has since been a review of the evidence and that has changed. I appreciate we might be too late now and youmay have no capacity, but I wonder if your kind offer was still standing. If so, we would love to take you up on it for as many as you can make!

We take it that the review of the evidence means that there are simply not enough masks available for the NHS, which is really shocking.

The email was sent to Sophie, who writes:

It seems to be an indicator of just how dire the shortage of PPE is if they are now in need of home-made face masks..

I am going to make some for them, and wondered if you would like to join in this? I’m happy to pick up from you and drop them at James Wigg and have suggested delivering a first batch on Friday.  

Let me know if you’d like to contribute.It would also be wonderful if anyone has any spare fabric or thread they can drop with meSeveral people have already responded – if you haven’t yet and would like to help please contact Sophie sophiejcarter13@btinternet.com and she can give you some guidance – including a pattern – and coordinate a response.

There is also a plea for funding for the project we mentioned recently, to make scrubs and masks for the new Hot Hub for treating Covid patients:

Any Camden patient registered with a Camden GP who has suspected Covid-19 will be seen at the new hot hub – Camden COVID Response Unit. It is based at The Peckwater Centre. But staff there need protective clothing.

Yani (from Universal Dry Cleaners and Laundry in Brecknock Road) is coordinating a local campaign to make scrubs and masks. He has identified a small north London factory who will make 200 scrubs a week for the next 4 weeks – at cost. If you would like to support this campaign to protect our NHS staff, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/yani-zertalis?utm_term=Jeev5RYmX

You can contact Yani directly, at info@universaldrycleaners.co.uk if you can sew scrubs and masks yourself.
Don’t take risks with other health issues

A local doctor has written in with this warning

Just a message to say that the hospitals are not full, and so people should access healthcare as normal. For example we have seen a big drop off in people attending with stroke and we are worried people are staying away unnecessarily.

We would add that a friend whose grandson injured his hand badly went to a local A&E and was seen immediately, patched up kindly and efficiently and was home in an hour or so.

Camden Foodbank works under the umbrella of the respected Trussell Trust and are very stretched now. They are appealing for funds. Go to https://camden.foodbank.org.uk for details. 14 Pratt Mews, NW1 0AD

Nature corner.

Local Birds A very interesting website is: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/smart-bird-id-europe/id1437744799 It helps you identify birds by microphone or camera.

Trees: this website https://www.treetalk.co.uk/opens up a map of where you want to walk and tells you all about the trees you are walking past. Which leads to ….

Local Trees: We are using that website to make a full survey of the trees in the Inkerman Area which we think will be of wide interest and would allow us all to link people with trees and tree bases.

Many are already well looked after. We are working our way down Inkerman Road on what seem to be very unpromising sites, using plants donated by Dilip. Lucy at 32 worked on hers and will look after it  and Matt has adopted one outside his house on the corner of Inkerman and Willes. The ones level with 3, 4 and 6 have been dug over and seeded with wildflowers and Hollyhocks and adopted by their neighbours to care for them

Crime warning

Shivaun has sent in this depressing report:
I’m writing from The Brinsmead. I want to let you and the members know about a theft we had last Thursday evening around 6.30. A man on a scooter broke into our building and stole all 6 or 7 delivery packages that were visible in the lobby. He came down Ryland Road from Grafton Road and left the building towards Prince of Wales road. 
He appeared familiar with our building so I expect he will be back

We are wondering if others have experienced similar burglaries. Or indeed, if anyone recognizes this man.y

Thursday clap for the NHS – and have a tomato plant!

Gill has kindly sent this offer:
I’ve been nurturing some black cherry tomatoes and now have around a dozen seedlings ready for potting on so if anyone wants one I’ll be very happy to share….at a safe distance of course! Maybe after the Thursday evening 8pm clapping session?? Gill 49 Alma Street.

IARA WhatsApp groupThere’s quite a bit of activity in the new group – we now have 23 people in the group. If you would like to join it, let us know and we’ll add you. Some of the chat (and the action) has been about the trees and the facemasks metioned aboveOn the group, Syeda has posted some great pictures and news about her team cooking for staff at St Mary’s Hospital.

More Local History Ryland Road in their daily updates have included some great history stuff which we will put on the IARA website Local History Section 

IARA Update 16.4.20

Masks and scrubs

Quite a few of you have asked for details of the project based on the Kentish Town Health Centre, to make masks and scrubs for health workers. If any of you would like to be in touch with each other to share ideas, experiences, materials, let us know and we can forward contact details. And if anyone has spare material, thread etc. let us know and we can put you in touch with the sewing team.

We have two white cotton sheets which we are happy to donate for scrubs (it seems a shame to cut them small for masks if there’s a need for scrubs) – if you are sewing scrubs and would like them let us know.

Covid 19 stories

One reassuring story from we suspect a rather fortunate recovered patient!

I started feeling unwell with a bit of a temperature and a shivery, feverish feeling. I also had an upset stomach. By day two I didn’t have a temperature any more but still felt shivery and under the weather. The main symptom was a strange tight feeling almost like a band around my chest, and breathlessness if I ran upstairs. It was uncomfortable but not debilitating, and lasted for 7 days. My partner and the kids have had no symptoms at all so possibly/hopefully they have also had it but were asymptomatic. We feel very fortunate.

But we have also had accounts of much more unpleasant and long lasting symptoms.

It would be good to have other stories to share about how everyone is coping. One suggestion is for people to contribute a few sentences about people’s experiences of home schoolingand ideas and tips.

Want a dog companion on your walk?

Harriet is asking:

I have 2 trusted households who walk my dog. If anyone else would like to borrow him, please tell them to let me know. Likes long walks. Very obedient. Good with older children. Plays foot ball & is very friendly & great company. Particularly good for people who walk alone & would like a companion with 4 legs! harrietcraven@tiscali.co.uk

Sad news

We are sad to report the death (not from the virus) of Margaret Walters, longterm resident of Willes Road. Gerry has sent us this brief obituary:

Broadcaster, critic, and feminist Margaret Walters was born in Australia in 1938. She studied at the University of Melbourne and then at Oxford University. She taught English Literature at the University of Reading before turning freelance, becoming a regular guest on BBC arts programmes, such as Critics’ Forum, where she was noted for her sometimes acerbic wit. She was film critic of Spare Rib, and then The Listener, and a regular contributor of reviews to The Sunday Times and The Times Literary Supplement. Among her books are The Nude Male: A New Perspective (1978), and, the result of her lifelong active feminism, A Very Short Introduction to Feminism (2005).

Local History
If you haven’t looked at it before, you could while away isolation by looking at the history pages on the IARA website https://www.inkermanresidents.org.uk/category/history

There is a compilation we have made of maps of the area from the time when Kentish Town was in fact down by St Pancras Old Church, followed by maps of our area with the growth of housing during the Crimean era up until 1916 – the last Ordnance Survey map that is out of copyright. They are arranged in reverse date order so be sure to click 2 or >  in the hard to spot box down the bottom of the page to see them all. 

 It also has a link to the really excellent Conservation Area Statement which has more background history and details of almost every street with a well informed, if rather precious, architectural commentary. 


Maybe we can resuscitate the Local History Group? 

Meanwhile, with kind permission from the wonderful daily Ryland Road newsletter, here is the story of the Claudius Ash False Teeth Factory, which is the long building to the left of the archway in Anglers Lane:

From our Special History Correspondent – Sara

Pearly whites

Claudius Ash (1792-1854) began his career as a goldsmith, but turned his skills to dentistry and manufacture of dental equipment, including artificial/false teeth.

Prior to his involvement, replacement teeth were either (very gruesomely) gathered from bodies on battlefields, or (cruel to animals) made from hippopotamus or walrus ivory, which were prone to discolouration. Ash’s idea was to make teeth from porcelain mounted in gold plates, fixed by gold springs and swivels. Apparently, they functioned well and looked good.

His firm (several of his sons and their descendants were involved in the business) became incredibly successful, dominating the European market.

At the Great Exhibition in 1851, the firm exhibited 2 sets of mineral teeth with gold tubes, and single teeth of various colours.

And these would have been made at the factory in Anglers’ Lane, just around the corner from Ryland Road.

Several of our earlier residents worked at this factory.

Sisters Alice Rosa (20) and Amelia Jane Gibbins (16) from number 36 were recorded in the 1891 census as being employed as artificial teeth makers. Although they moved from Ryland Road, they stayed in Kentish Town and carried on with their work making teeth. They never married, and lived together till their deaths in the mid twentieth century.

Another pair of sisters, Hilda Louisa (18) and Ida Florence Short (16) from number 1, worked as dental assistants in 1911. Their father, Robert John Short, had worked in the manufactory in 1893 when the family was living in nearby Castle Road.

Trees and gardens
Several people have offered to look after the young trees near their houses (and thank you Sarah for going much further!), which involves at least weekly watering into the green bag (more if you water a small amount), and to water bare batches where we and others have put wild flower seeds. 

In our last email we mentioned that Camden Garden Centre has packages of different kinds of plant for sale, plus seeds.  For example, for £50 (+ £12 delivery charge) you could get roughly five or six good size plants or 13 1 litre perennials.  We have thought of ordering a pack – partly for ourselves and partly for street trees – for example a
pack of mixed outdoor plants half for sunny good light and half for shade.  It is though quite a lot of money and we’d be happy to share costs if anyone else is interested.  Or if you want details for yourself of what is available let us know and we can forward the full list (which includes packs of climbers, roses etc.).  It doesn’t seem to be on their website.

Shopping, eating …

We’ve been delighted with our order (mainly fruit and veg) from The Fields Beneath – see previous emails for details. Several local restaurants are doing take away/delivery – we’ve mentioned some before, and we know that Babuji (south Asian street food) opposite KT station is taking orders.

Quite a few people have picked up shopping, prescriptions etc. for friends and neighbours – please ask if you need help as there are lots of offers.


We’ll go with setting up an IARA WhatsApp group.

Update 12 April 2020

Thank you posters.  Following up the last bulletin which showed Dee’s poster saying Thank you to NHS staff and lots of others – we attached her PDFs.  They are lovely but if you don’t want to print out three A4s, we also attach one we did which is the same excellent wording but in a Word-type document that you could adapt to make it more individual and personal. We can’t import that here in proper layout and colour but the text you could cut and paste is:

Thank you to NHS staff, Care Workers, Posties, Rubbish Collectors, Street Cleaners, Shop Workers, Transport Staff, Delivery Drivers, Volunteers and all who help.

If you don’t have a printer and would like a poster, let us know your requirements!   

Masks. There has been a good response to Sophie’s offer of masks. There is also the James Wigg Practice who are asking for people to help make masks and gowns etc. Volunteers welcome.  If you would like details of who to contact and tips on how to help let us know and we’ll forward you the email.

Trees – there are several newly planted trees in the streets that really need watering through the summer. We have got volunteers to water most of them but there are some in Prince of Wales Road which are waiting for volunteers. Anyone keen?  We did them today but it is a long way to lug 15 litres.. 

More broadly it might be good to build on the already flourishing tradition in the area of “Adopt a Tree Base Garden.”

Willes Road of course has won Camden Council prizes in the past and several other streets are very well catered for.

There are some notable exceptions with some truly tragic tree bases, baked hard and mostly used by dogs…

We tried in vain a few years ago with the one on the corner of Anglers Lane and Raglan but it defeated us! We are trying again with two in Inkerman Rd with just some shallow digging and a scattering of wild flower seeds and Hollyhocks that seem to like it here. 

We also created a tongue-in-cheek mini-garden in the empty tree pit outside 49 Alma St and Gill has kindly adopted and improved it. It’s just temporary until hopefully Camden will plant a tree in the autumn.

General gardening. We ordered stuff from Boma but they seem to have shut up shop completely. Camden Garden Centre has responded to enquiries with the offer of rather expensive boxes labelled things like Garden Flower Sunny or Shade etc.

We could order a box and ask people to share the costs. Any takers?

Or – has anybody got more plants or seeds than they need right now and could offer some around?

Equipment sharing – this is For The Future… (a phrase we will get used to ..)  There has always been an informal sharing of DIY and gardening equipment but it does require rather a lot of trust. Maybe it needs less trust if it is just simpler things like ladders, watering cans, secateurs, parrot bills, trowels etc?  Let us know if you need something like that and we can ask and put people in touch. Obviously anyone sharing needs to be careful about contact.

Vehicles. Much, much more ambitious for the future – a fantasy maybe…. We do currently share our car with another family but have always had a dream of IARA shared vehicles… a small electric car, a family car and one day a motor caravan?!

Shopping and deliveries.  The Owl is closed but their website says: 

” …. our delivery service is back up and running! Our colleagues at Daunt Books in Marylebone are running a full ordering service with online ordering at dauntbooks.co.uk or by email at enquiries@dauntbooks.co.uk It will be immensely helpful to the Owl if you place your orders here and you will also benefit from the wonderful service provided by Daunt Books.”

Morgans is still open for orders. Someone was on the point of ordering cartridges from Amazon and was saved from this by the news. If £30 is a bit steep we could arrange for people to share an order. 
The Prince of Wales mini-supermarket will deliver if the order is £15 or more.  Be very precise in what you want… and they do have a limited range (wot – no Marmite?!)  07576 001 900. Brothers – Shablu and Shiblu Ahmed. 
The Fields Beneath also offers deliveries or collecting. https://www.thefieldsbeneath.com/020 7424 8838 and comes strongly recommended by some members. They are vegan, so no animal products but plenty of fresh produce.

WhatsApp:   To repeat a previous bulletin which has not elicited much response…  : 

A few people have indicated an interest in forming an IARA based WhatsApp group – but since we raised this we’ve discovered quite a lot of overlap with other groups. Raglan street has one of its own – perhaps Inkerman too?

And going a bit wider there is a Covid-19 WhatsApp group for Kentish Town, which is now subdividing itself into smaller groups. Two of these cover Inkerman Area and David has joined those to try and make sure we work together and don’t duplicate work or confuse people.

Anyone who gets this email who is also in the Zones 9 or 10 groups might like to contact us so it is all coordinated. The groups seem so far to be very much the product of the Mutual Aid approach and have not developed any wider social contact style unlike the other street based ones.. We would welcome people’s ideas on this.

Perhaps those of you who have said you’d like to join an IARA group would let us know whether you’re happy to join one of these Mutual Aid ones or whether you’d like to share details with each other to start an IARA group.  (One or two of you have already responded – no need to again)

D & D

IARA update 2 April 2020

Dear Members

Like many people, we have to think hard to remember what day it is, or how long this very changed world has been our environment. Looking back at the 6 emails we sent to you in March, we realise it is less than a month since we first mentioned the virus, and the need for our community to hang on in there and support each other. Since then we have heard about a huge amount going on – neighbours looking after each other, phoning to check on friends, running errands, sharing information. Ideas and information are still flowing, so here are a few.

Helping the NHS

Sophie, who is herself recovering from the virus, has sent us this:

You may already be aware of this, but in the absence of widespread testing the NHS would like as many people as able to create a daily record of their symptoms (whether you think you have virus or not) to provide as much data as possible on transmission and range of symptoms.”    go to https://covid.joinzoe.com/

The first time you log on you enter a bit of information; after that it takes a couple of seconds every day, just to say whether you have been tested and whether you are well that day.

Food and supplies

The Fields Beneath – The cafe next to Kentish Town West station on Prince of Wales Road is now offering a delivery service for fruit, veg, some groceries (You can also order to collect from outside the cafe). Go to https://www.thefieldsbeneath.com/ , click on “order groceries” scroll to the bottom of the page to find links to what’s available, then email your order.

We’ve also successfully ordered and had delivered food from the Prince of Wales Road supermarket 07576 001900 (details in previous update)

Ali, who lives in The Gates on Prince of Wales Road, recommends a greengrocer who normally has a market stall on Plender street in Camden. He says: “John (Mackie) isn’t expensive at all and has been doing free contact-free deliveries to our building and area. His wife does flowers. They’re both fantastic. Maybe neighbours could order on same day so it’s easier to deliver.” 07970 509333

Free food for those in real need:  A local community organisation will deliver free food (on a weekly basis, if possible) to people who are on low or no pay, who are self isolating or in any other situation that puts them in urgent need. 

Please let us know if you would like to know more about this, for yourself or a friend or neighbour. Referrals need to come through a community organisation, so we’ll need to take details, including the full address including post code. They say:

We are not asking for names or phone numbers. Please indicate household size if relevant (e.g. large family) or if there are any special requirements (no meat, number of children, etc).”

This organisation distributes on each Wednesday and yesterday they were short of volunteers – so please let us know if you can help – it would help if some people had use of a bike or a car. 

We have seen that Morgans on the corner of Anglers Lane and the High St is offering delivery of paper, ink catridges etc for orders over £30. 020 7485 4472 If this is too much, maybe we could put two or more people together to makje up the total? Great to support our local shops.

Calling blood donors.   The NHS are apparently low on volunteers.  


Find your inner​creator!

A creative neighbour has suggested this:

residents might like to think about skills they have to produce Isolation arts and crafts during our lockdown, and we feature it on a stand at the next Alma street fair.” Great idea – and you can take a picture of your creation and send it to us to include in this mailing?

Crime, scamsHard to believe people are taking advantage of the virus – but they are. If you are the victim of, or hear about, a crime do please let us know so that John, who represents us on the police Safer Neighbourhoods Panel, can pass on the information.

Also, there are some nasty scams going around – including one telling people they have been spotted going out more than once a day and can pay their fine online …


Families on lockdown around the world have been finding inspiration in Rosen’s children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, by putting teddy bears in their window for children out for their daily walk to see and be cheered up by the line “We’re not scared” or similar. A few people round here have done it – you might want to.

   < One child’s response to the crisis. 

A few people have indicated an interest in forming an IARA based WhatsApp group – but since we raised this we’ve discovered quite a lot of overlap with other groups. Raglan street has one of its own – perhaps Inkerman too?

And going a bit wider there is a Covid-19 WhatsApp group for Kentish Town, which is now subdividing itself into smaller groups. Two of these cover Inkerman Area and David has joined those to try and make sure we work together and don’t duplicate work or confuse people.

Anyone who gets this email who is also in the Zones 9 or 10 groups might like to contact us so it is all coordinated. The groups seem so far to be very much the product of the Mutual Aid approach and have not developed any wider social contact style unlike the other street based ones.. We would welcome people’s ideas on this.

Perhaps those of you who have said you’d like to join an IARA group would let us know whether you’re happy to join one of these Mutual Aid ones or whether you’d like to share details with each other to start an IARA group.

Stay well

Current Affairs – ie Corona Virus issues aka Covid-19

It is hard to keep up with the torrent of emails currently. But to do our best: Starting with the most recent:

On 28 Mar 2020

Coronavirus updates – and some other happier stuff! 

Help and helpers

People are really getting into the swing of asking for help, and getting it from friends and neighbours who have volunteered. We are aware of several very active street based groups especially Ryland Road. Renewed thanks to Robbie in Alma Street for suggesting that IARA starts this wider one. We are particularly keen to reach some areas and individuals who may not be well connected to neighbours – yet.

We’ve had three requests for prescription pick ups (all successfully matched with a volunteer), one for help to re-set TV channels, and a couple for food supplies (also successfully sorted). Another one for general support – plus we’re aware of neighbours phoning each other to check everyone’s ok. It’s really heartening.

It would be best if offers of help or request for help could come to us through email but remember IARA now has a dedicated phone number 07909 103 451 

Mary, who is professionally experienced in this subject, has given us some advice about volunteers who enter into a regular support arrangement with someone, including:

If anyone wants help, suggest you ask them at that point for a name and phone number in case of emergency contact – if a volunteer only does shopping, and the resident becomes ill for whatever reason, the volunteer needs to pass on their concerns otherwise they will feel responsible for more than shopping!

Some cases so far:

There are a few cases of coronavirus in the neighbourhood now. Everyone is being super careful and responsible and we very much hope that no-one is seriously ill. Fingers crossed that that stays the same. Best wishes to those people and their families and a reminder to ask for help if it’s needed.

Information and advice

You’re probably drowning in information and advice about the virus and will have had a letter through your door from the council, which is quite comprehensive. In case you’ve missed it (or it’s still soaking in disinfectant) they have set up a dedicated website which they say will be updated daily. The address given is camden.gov.uk/coronavirus, but it actually seems to be https://www.camden.gov.uk/COVID-19

On the subject of disinfectant, we’ve heard a lot about the effectiveness of bleach (google it).

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that it will kill the virus. You mix about a teaspoonful of ordinary household bleach in about a pint of water and use it to wipe down surfaces, wash fruit (then rinse) etc.

And here’s a plea from our local medics, Sidd and Saisha:

We’re starting to hit the peak of the pandemic here now, and as cases rise and hospital beds fill up, there will be more strain on the health systems. So the best way to help the NHS would be to stay home, which I’m sure you already know. The more we can flatten the curve, and the fewer new infections we have, the better our hospitals and healthcare workers (among others) will be able to deal with it. The pandemic will probably take a few months to dissipate, before we can say most of the population (at least in the UK) have gone through the cycle of being infected, recovering, then developing immunity to it, all whilst keeping the most vulnerable populations shielded while it’s still going around. There is still a long way to go.”

Food supplies

Some people are now getting online delivery slots, so if anyone is really stuck for food we can try and put you in touch with others who might help.

There is also a really generous offer from a Ryland Road baker who has offered to bake an extra loaf and deliver it for free to anyone who is really struggling to feed themselves.

And Patricia writes:
In case you don’t already know – Bumblebee do Veg. box deliveries. Bit expensive but some people might be interested. Mixed seasonal veg. small box £9.95 – they also do larger boxes.  Bumblebee Tel. no. 02072841314

Cathy reminds us that we have a local milkman, who delivers on Fridays (milk, bread, cheese, eggs etc). His number is  07772 427599

Also, the little supermarket at 19 Prince of Wales Road is offering free deliveries on orders over £15. They seem well stocked with groceries, wine and beer and some veg and fruit . Their phone number is 07576 001900 or 020 7267 4453. Home delivery service slots are 11 am – 3 pm and 6 pm – 11 pm. See attached poster .


Just a few people have said they’d like to keep in touch with others through WhatsApp. Let us know if you’d like to join them. We’ll start a group soon.

Raising morale – green spaces

Encouragingly, we took our daily walk on the Heath today and it was good to see nearly everyone keeping their distance from each other. Kenwood and Golders Hill Park are now closed, but most other green spaces are still open and we all hope that continues – we are told it will as long as people stick to the guidance.

One way we are trying to cheer things up is to enhance the small gardens at the base of trees.

We have created a rather random pop-up mini-garden in the empty tree pit near the Anglers Lane end of Alma St – (hoping it wasn’t nicked or trashed over night…) It’s temporary, obviously, until the autumn tree planting season. We did order some more plants and seeds from Boma who were doing a delivery service bit sold out too quickly for us.

Other matters …

Any old ipads, laptops, phones?

At this time we are all very dependent on phone contact, emails, online information etc. Some people are concerned that their aged phone or iPad may fail them and have asked in anyone has a spare they could lend for the duration – and help set up – please let us know and we can connect – ideally by email although you could text us on our new dedicated number 07909 103 451

Mini crime wave: Harold writes: “we had a knock on the door earlier today from a young man trying to gain access to retrieve a football from our garden. There was no football in sight (not sure where the pitch is either!). He then carried on down Willes Road knocking on doors. I suspect this sort of thing will only increase as we move forward but a reminder for people to keep an eye out and think carefully before opening the door.”

Also, reports from Ryland Road of attempted thefts of bikes and motorbikes.

Last Sunday – so long ago!:

Coronavirus Scams.pdf437 KBDear Members

We hope everyone is feeling as OK as possible at the moment.  Here are some updates

Coronavirus support

We and others have distributed notes offering support to Grafton Road, much of Willes Road, Inkerman, the top parts of Anglers and Holmes.

Ryland and Raglan are covered with very active neighbour support. Monmouth House is setting up support in the block. If anyone else wants any notes to put through neighbours’ doors, let us know – we have some left.

In response to our emails we’ve had some lovely replies, including people who are themselves self isolating but happy to chat to anyone who is feeling isolated and wants a bit of virtual company.

There’s a suggestion of setting up a WhatsApp group for support – if that interests you and you’re happy to share your phone number let us know and we’ll put you in touch with others who respond.

Offer of advice

We’ve had a wonderful offer from Saisha and Sidd in Alma Street. Saisha writes: 

“Sidd is also a doctor with the NHS, and I work in public health myself, so if there’s anyone who needs medical help, please feel free to reach out to us. We’d be happy to provide medical advice or just answer general queries. If anyone feels they have developed symptoms and needs to be checked, Sidd is willing to speak to them (we can do this over the phone to limit contact so the virus doesn’t spread and see if that works). If nothing else just to gauge whether they can be treated at home or need to go to the hospital ASAP.”

If you would like to speak to Sidd or Saisha, let us know with your name and phone number and we will pass your request on to them.

There is an advice email that we have received about what to do if you actually get the virus – we paste it in below as it is a bit long to put in here. We are not medically qualified and do not endorse this and we hope some of the medics on our email circuit of 300 homes in the area will come back with comments.

On the subject of the NHS staff you may have seen the proposal that the whole nation applauds them.  Organisers of Clap for our Carers are asking everyone that can to clap at 8pm on March 26 – whether it’s in your garden or local park (at a safe distance from others, of course). 

Coronavirus scams
Perhaps predictably, there are people out there taking advantage of the situation. Councillor Jenny Headlam-Wells has sent us an update from the police, which you can probably find online. Mind how you go!

Alma Street Fair

Sadly, but inevitably, we have had to take the decision that there will be no Alma Street Fair this year. There is no certainty about the future, and when it might be safe to get together – at all, and certainly not on the scale of the fair. Huge thanks to everyone who has contributed so far and we look forward to celebrating happier times.

Gerald tells us that Harry’s Fine Food – the fish merchant and butchers on KT Rd. next to the Library – will deliver free to the over-70s on orders of £30.00 or more (they also do organic fruit and veg, deli items and some groceries) 0207 485 0346.

MAP in Grafton Road 

See previous email about MAP’s offer.  In addition, their food bank has started for people who can show proof of benefits received.  

They say that all items will be disinfected thoroughly before being distributed.  The notice on their door gives food bank times.

Phota.Almost the only other food outlet actually in The Inkerman Area is Phota – the fairly new Vietnamese Retsauarnt in Willes Road. We have heard good things about their food (but again no endorsement from us as we have never eaten there ) They are doing collection only – https://phota-vietnamese-street-food.business.site/ – 020 7428 9898

* Advice from a UK Consultant working with Covid19 in Italy 

“What I have seen a lot of are recommendations for how to try to avoid getting coronavirus in the first place — good hand washing, personal hygiene and social distancing — but what I have NOT seen a lot of is advice for what happens if you actually get it, which many of us will. So as your friendly neighborhood Nurse let me make some suggestions:

You basically just want to prepare as though you know you’re going to get a nasty respiratory bug, like bronchitis or pneumonia. You just have the foresight to know it might come your way!

Things you should actually buy ahead of time (not sure what the obsession with toilet paper is?):
whatever your generic, mucus thinning cough medicine of choice is (check the label and make sure you’re not doubling up on Paracetamol)
Honey and lemon can work just as well!
Vick vapour rub for your chest is also a great suggestion.

If you don’t have a humidifier, that would be a good thing to buy and use in your room when you go to bed overnight. (You can also just turn the shower on hot and sit in the bathroom breathing in the steam).

If you have a history of asthma and you have a prescription inhaler, make sure the one you have isn’t expired and refill it/get a new one if necessary.

This is also a good time to meal prep: make a big batch of your favorite soup to freeze and have on hand.

Stock up on whatever  your favorite clear fluids are to drink – though tap water is fine you may appreciate some variety!

For symptom management and a fever over 38°c, take Paracetamol rather than Ibuprofen.

Hydrate (drink!) hydrate, hydrate!
Rest lots. You should not be leaving your house!  Even if you are feeling better you may will still be infectious for fourteen days and older people and those with existing health conditions should be avoided!
Ask friends and family to leave supplies outside to avoid contact. 

You DO NOT NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL unless you are having trouble breathing or your fever is very high (over 39°C) and unmanaged with meds. 90% of healthy adult cases thus far have been managed at home with basic rest/hydration/over-the-counter meds.

If you are worried or in distress or feel your symptoms are getting worse, ring 111 and they will advise if you need to go to hospital.  The hospital beds will be used for people who actively need oxygen/breathing treatments/IV fluids.

If you have a pre-existing lung condition (COPD, emphysema, lung cancer) or are on immunosuppressants, now is a great time to talk to your Doctor or specialist about what they would like you to do if you get sick.

One major relief to you parents is that kids do VERY well with coronavirus— they usually bounce back in a few days (but they will still be infectious), Just use pediatric dosing .

Accommodation wantedOne of the Airbnb hosts locally has had an enquiry for a long let by a student with a budget of £500-£600. She is not currently letting, but if anyone locally is interested in finding out more please let us know and we can give you more details. She writes:

I don’t know the person who has enquired so am unable to vouch for them so I think anyone taking them in would want to go through all the measures they would normally getting a lodger. He has had two good reviews on Airbnb and is verified as who he says he is.”

Please reply to us and we can forward.

D & D
———————————————————- ————————————–

Dear All

We’ve been amazed and touched by the number of responses we’ve had to the email about the coronavirus. It’s lovely to have confirmation that we live in such a strong and supportive community.

We now have details of over 40 people willing to help.

We also learned that Raglan Street and Willes Road have set up their own support networks, and there is activity on Next Door, and a Facebook group – Covid-19 Mutual Aid. Please let us know if there are other groups you know about.

We do live in what is quite a privileged area but there may be others in the wider area who need help and it would be good to know if people are willing to offer help a bit further away. Some people have already offered this. We’re also glad to know that Mel, who helped set up the Tenants and Residents Association in Monmouth House, is planning to leaflet the flats there asking whether people need help.

We’re in the process of talking to Age UK Camden about getting in touch with older people who may be isolated and need help. We’re also aware that any of us (not just the older ones) could have to, or want to, self isolate. So do let us know if you yourself need someone to help with shopping or errands – or if you know someone else who does.

Another way of helping would be to support local food banks who are low on food donations – or donate money at

If the schools close, there may also be charities that will try to provide meals for children who would otherwise have had a school dinner – if anyone has information about this do let us know.

On a more cheerful note, Transition Town is organising some nice outdoor planting events – starting with Wildflower sowing next Saturday.  https://www.thinkanddocamden.org.uk/ https://www.thinkanddocamden.org.uk/contact/


Introduction – what is the Inkerman Area Residents Association?

To remind established residents and to introduce us to new residents…

The Inkerman Area Residents Association (IARA)  is our local residents’ association. We cover the area bounded to the east by Kentish Town Road, to the south by Prince of Wales Road and  to the west and north by the railway lines.

We started 34 years ago. We are all volunteers. Anyone who lives here is automatically a member, and you can be involved in the association by coming to meetings and/or joining our ever-growing e-mail group, the main way we consult on local issues as they arise (e mail us on inkermanara@hotmail.com to join the group) (more…)

Welcome to our website

This is the website of the Inkerman Area Residents Association.   See above for information about the Association.

See also the articles reporting local events as well as links to other information about the area.

If you are interested in the history of the area, click on Local History in the column on the right for a series of maps through the years showing how the area was built up on fields.

In Local history there is also a link to the excellent Conservation Area Statement which has a description of all the streets and buildings in the Conservation Area which cover much of The Inkerman Area.

Any comments or suggestions: inkermanara@hotmail.com


Before we start… please note this section goes over several pages and you need to spot the rather unnoticeable box at the foot of each page to arrow yourself into the next page. This part of the website consists of: 1. some quite old postings of a History of the Area in Maps – (ignore… Read more »

History of the Gates by Pamela Taylor

I live at 40 Prince of Wales Road, the first house in the terrace between Hampstead Gates and the railway bridge, and I’m one of the writers for Alan Godfrey who publishes reprints of large-scale OS maps with accompanying historical notes.   The map dates range from the 1860s to the 1930s, the scale is usually… Read more »

Pearly whites – false teeth in Anglers Lane – from our Special History Correspondent – Sara (13)

Claudius Ash (1792-1854) began his career as a goldsmith, but turned his skills to dentistry and manufacture of dental equipment, including artificial/false teeth.   Prior to his involvement, replacement teeth were either (very gruesomely) gathered from bodies on battlefields, or (cruel to animals) made from hippopotamus or walrus ivory, which were prone to discolouration. Ash’s idea… Read more »

Impressionism’s debt to Kentish Town – by Martin

[Some of you may have been on the excellent walk in our area guided by Daniel Hausherr, a Camden guide. I have compiled this using his notes, and adding material I have found elsewhere.]  This story begins in 1832, with the establishment of Winsor & Newton, famous for the artists materials that it makes. William Winsor was a scientist… Read more »