Elders meeting 17.2.20

Notes of a meeting of the Independent Elders held 17.2.20 Present: Debby, Don, Anne, Harriet, Michele, Patricia, Iris, Lesley Apologies: Charles, Robert, Dot 1. Planning, Traffic and the High Street i. West Kentish Town plans. Don has seen signs up on the West KT estate advertising a ballot on the proposals. He will forward the… Read more »

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. 

https://www.camden.gov.uk/documents/20142/7629312/Inkerman.pdf/f1d68477-503f-0de2-c0ac-61d8e20587d1

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.

WhatsApp

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

Update 16 April

Masks and scrubsQuite 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… Read more »

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.  

https://www.blood.co.uk/news-and-campaigns/news-and-statements/coronavirus-covid-19-updates/

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 …

Children

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. 

WhatsApp
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