News – some sad, some glad and other things

Births, deaths and weddings

We have never run births, deaths and marriage announcements much in the past but things seem to be happening rather a lot.

We announced the recent sad death of Rosie (Rosanna Hibbert) who had lived in Anglers Lane (the house with the Boris plaque) for many years.

There is a Service of Thanksgiving on Thursday 3rd March 2011 at 2 p.m. Rockbourne Church, near Fordingbridge, Hampshire. More details from us if you are interested.

More locally we informed members of the death of Dorothy who had lived in Alma Street for 30 + years.

Last week we heard of the death of Fred Cunningham who lived in Raglan Street.

His funeral will be at Marylebone Crematorium in East Finchley on Thursday 10th February at 10.00. The family have suggested that donations to the British Heart Foundation would be appreciated instead of flowers. Again contact us if you wish.

Although over the years he had moved away and come back, he was in fact born in that house; possibly a record as Fred was in his late eighties?

On a happier note Alma Street, which had seen the exodus of children and young families over the years, is now the proud home for seven new babies in the last 12 months. Without permission we will not give details but it is great to see the enlivening of the street. What about other streets in our area? Alma street cannot have a monopoly on fertility.

Pizza Express

Also on an upnote – there was recently a party at the Pizza Express to celebrate the triumphant defeat of the application to demolish it and replace it with a hideous lump of a building.

The developers are likely to appeal and we will be publicising how to lodge a submission. You can do so if you objected in the first instance but we will do one for the area anyway. They may win on appeal but it is great to see Camden listening to strong local opinion.

Congratulations to Alan Morris, chair of the One Prince of Wales Residents Association for his work on this.

Camden’s Unsung Heroes.

One thing that Camden is doing is to run a sort of competition for Camden’s Unsung Heroes, in association with the CNJ.

”The awards are for celebrating anyone who has helped keep Camden’s music heritage alive.

Nominations can include individuals or groups who have made an exceptional contribution, or who have shown an innovative unique approach to music in the community, or music industry in Camden.
This could include any one from venue owners to volunteers who give their time to teach or entertain throughout the borough and inspire others to enjoy music.”

We would like to suggest the people behind the summer Street Event, Diana and Michael from Flaxon Ptootch.

There is also Chris who has been running Map cafe as a music venue for some time and has deep historic roots with music in the area.

And you may know Dot’s music shop in Royal College Street which is a small, exquisite, very local enterprise run by a family who have lived in the area for decades. Noel was born in their house in Rochester Road. Like all local shops we hope members will support them.

Other news: you will have seen that the restaurant called Red just north of Leighton Road is now the Kentish Canteen and has been gathering good reviews. What is not obvious is that the building was the previous Police Station – and the basement has cosy dining nooks – which were the old cells!

Bradleys, the curtain shop opposite Somerfields has closed and a Co-op Funeral Service will be opening there soon. Itta pizza opposite is closing as the owner ignored the fact that it has shop use and not restaurant use. (Recent correspondence in the CNJ). Nationwide in the High Street is going to close in March.

We now have a Pret a Manger and the major and long running building work on two sites on the west side of the High Street will result in the appearance of a Costa Coffee in the double fronted one – previously Oxfam and solicitors and ?? next to Samwidges…

Camden’s Draft transport strategy 2011.

Members who came to the meeting on 6 December or who read our report will know that Jacqueline Saunders, Traffic Planner came from Camden and explained that….(to quote a recent e-mail ..) “London boroughs are statutorily required to produce a Local Implementation Plan (LIP) which demonstrate how they plan to implement the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy. In response, Camden has produced the Camden Transport Strategy – a new comprehensive transport strategy that outlines the key transport challenges for the borough and how we plan to address them.

We now want to find out what you think and would welcome your views. Please can you pass this on to your networks, service users or group members.

A full version of the draft Transport Strategy and a Summary document are now available on the Council’s web site for public consultation. There is also an on-line questionnaire which people can complete. Alternatively, more detailed responses can be submitted by email or by post as detailed on the website. All consultation materials can be found at: “

Kentish Town Area Action Group

(this is a Camden Council forum – not to be confused with Kentish Town Road Action which has campaigned tirelessly for preservation and improvements to the High Street. Most irritating that this new forum has been given such a confusingly similar name.)

There was a meeting at the Library on 25 January and Debby reports:

“Minutes should be out soon. Nothing unexpected – Theo Blackwell did a gloomy presentation about what he began by calling savings and, after some baracking, called cuts – all extremely grim. The loudest voices were raised in protest about the closure of playcentres, luncheon clubs and cuts in adult care services, including for people with mental health issues. A lot of angry and upset people, but mainly quite civilised.

Our councillors managed it pretty well. Suggestions are invited for future themes for meetings – the next one is likely to be in March and will look at the reality of the council’s budget, which will be set by then. Not much on specifically Kentish Town issues but councillors are open to suggestions for how these meetings should be used.”

Transition Kentish Town is a movement whose aims are: “Transition Kentish Town is an initiative formed by ordinary members of our community who are concerned about the imminent challenges of peak oil and climate change.”

On Saturday 19th February, Transition Kentish Town is holding its flagship event of the year at the newly reopened Kentish Town Baths on Prince of Wales Road. “How can we build a better future for everyone in Kentish Town?”

French School

The work on the French School continues apace and we are planning a small meeting with staff to begin a process in which we hope they will become a part of the community, good neighbours and an asset to the area. we hope we may use their facilities, join in events, etc. Please let us know if you would like to be notified of the date of the meeting.

We will be taking them to task about the fact that they applied for permission to work on trees in the courtyard area and did quite drastic work before even the closing date for responses.

Don Hibbs reports: “Took a stroll around the school this afternoon, and, from the branches in the Cathcart cul-de-sac and the detritus in Holmes Road, it would seem that whatever objections we may have had, it is too late to raise them? One Silver Birch has gone, and the one next to the scaffolding against the school has been pruned. Ditto the crown of the Cherry.

As I passed the Willes gate, I noticed that Old Faithful (still under its TPO, I believe) was having its lower branches tidied up.”

Royal Wedding:

Kate Vizard in Cathcart Street says “The street is feeling patriotic about Will & Kate’s wedding! We wonder if anyone else might want to celebrate with a Street Party or similar. We had one in 1981 but maybe times have changed. Would it cost a lot to cordon off the street?”

Anyone interested can contact us and we will pass it on.

Holmes Road Hostel

Again at the meeting on 6 December we raised concerns about the future of the hostel and were given assurances by Councillor Julian Fulbrook including an explicit undertaking that staffing levels would not be reduced. We heard that in fact they will be. The trained and skilful staff will be on duty less and replaced by security staff. Given the quite high needs of some residents and the fact that it has been run in an exemplary way for many years we contacted him again and got an astonished response.

And then simply a reply from an officer confirming this and pointing to the need for Camden to make 20% cuts. We will be responding but are not optimistic in the light of the scale of the cuts across the borough.

And last of all a further communication from Camden:


Are you interested in helping to challenge the Council to improve its housing, adult social care and community safety services?
If you are, why not put yourself forward to become a co-opted member onto the Council’s HASC Scrutiny Committee?

The scrutiny committee is seeking to fill a vacancy for a representatives from the following relevant bodies to serve as co-opted members from 24th March 2011 until 11th May 2011 (with a possibility that this will be extended for a further 12 months).
If you are interested in becoming a co-opted member then please contact

The closing date for expressions of interest is Wednesday 16th February 2011 at 12:00 noon “

Best wishes D and D