First Fork

Fork Deli, at 85 Marchmont Street, has won this year’s Marchmont Association award for Best Shop Front.

We’ve presented the awards  every year since 2006, to recognise the efforts made by local independent businesses to improve the local shopping environment. The awards are also intended to encourage businesses to conserve the historical character of our many original period shop fronts – Fork’s being one of the few remaining examples to have survived since the Edwardian era.

James Harper, one of this busy shop’s two managers, received the award from Deputy Mayor Richard Cotton, last Thursday.


It was a strong field this year, with a refurbishment completed at the North Sea Fish restaurant, the old Povey’s shop coming back into use and shop re-fits from Marchmont St through to Judd St. Two ‘specially commended’ businesses were

Silk Road at 67 Marchmont St and ‘Arte & Stili’ at 6 Leigh St. Both very different – which goes to show the strength of independent spirit still fluorishing in our part of London.

This was Fork’s second victory in the MA awards – it won ‘Most Imporoved Shop Front’ back in 2012. The coffee’s great too.

Well done Fork!

Regent Square in new ‘flexible’ locking plan from April


Regent Square is one of 15 additional parks that Camden Council has identified as safe enough to be managed using a “flexible” locking approach. In effect this means the Square will be left unlocked overnight, with some monitoring taking place to check if there is any increase in anti-social behaviour. The new arrangement comes in from April 1st – next week-end.

A further 12 sites are to be reviewed over the next six months, which could  lead to them being included in the flexible locking regime from September. Brunswick Square, St Andrew’s Gardens, Tavistock Square and Judd Street Open Space are all included in this trial.

There are no plans to change the overnight locking arrangememts for St George’s Gardens, Queen Square, Russell Square and Marchmont Street Community Garden.

Parks management is to be run by a new Camden contractor from April –  a company called Quadron Services, trading as idverde.

What do we think?

Photo credit: Velo Richard –

Tavistock Square 7/7 Memorial

We’ve had word from the 7/7 Memorial Trust, with encoruraging news on their plans to install a permanent memorial in Tavistock Place.

Chair of the Trust, Philip Nelson, says “We are delighted to report that we are at an advanced stage with the design of the memorial, following conversations with the families, local residents and with local statutory organisations, which should lead to the planning application being submitted in early April.”

Anyone wanting to support the application is very welcome to send a letter to Philp,  including a little bit about yourself and why this memorial matters both to you and the local community.

Letters can be posted to  Philip at Flat 12, 13 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SH. Need to be quick though – letters have to arrive with him by Monday 27th March. Alternatively, scan a signed respone and email to

The memorial takes the form of a cast metal plaque within the Tavistock Square Garden. Its placement and inscription references the location of the incident. The memorial’s message is intended to be contemplated from within the garden square, however the memorial also announces a presence onto the public pavement outside the boundary of the railings.

The architects developing the design, Carmody Groarke, have previously worked successfully with the bereaved families to design and deliver the National 7 July Memorial in Hyde Park.


GOSH plans re-development of Great Ormond St buildings

17_02_Hospital_Redevelopment_Phase 4 marcomms_A5 leaflet_Community_Digit.._.jpgGreat Ormond Street Hospital is edging towards new plans for a further re-development of its site.

This will be another major institution construction project in the area.
The plans are for the main street-facing building on Great Ormond St, including the Paul O’Gorman buildings. GOSH is looking to demolish these and replace them with a single new, clinical building.
The Hospital Trust  is running a design competition to select a bid team who will develop proposals. A public exhibition will take place, for people to look at the plans, at St George’s Church in Queen Square later this month, on Sunday 19 March 1 – 5pm, Monday 20 March 10am – 7pm and Tuesday 21 March 10am – 4pm.

Waltz of my heart



Songhaven is a free concert series specifically designed for people living with dementia or
memory loss and their carers. They will be hosting their next event on Saturday 11 March at 3:00pm, at the Lumen Church on Tavistock Place.

It’s called ‘Waltz of my Heart’, and wil be a dance-inspired programme by mezzo soprano and Bloomsbury resident Vivien Conacher, who will be joined by guest soprano Eleanor Ross and pianist Nigel Foster. The 40 minute concert programme will include waltz songs, tunes from the operetta stage, beloved operatic arias, and more. Composers featured include Richard Rogers, George Gershwin, Ivor Novello, Leonard Bernstein, Irving Berlin, Franz Lehár, and Jacques Offenbach.


As Vivien has told Marchmont Voice, “The event will provide  a wonderful opportunity for audience and performers to mingle, and chat about their favourite songs. Everyone is free to be themselves at a Songhaven concert and we pride ourselves on our relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The response to the previous concert in February was just amazing”.

You can look forward as well to “an uplifting audience singalong, followed by afternoon tea” by Black Olive Cooks.

To book visit or call Age UK Camden on 0207 239 0417



Councillors set to kick Tavi Place decision down the road


Camden councillors look likely to defer a final decision on the Tavistock/Torrington Place traffic scheme at Wednesday night’s long awaited Cabinet session. The papers for the meeting contain a recommendation that the consultation findings should first go to a formal Public Inquiry which would “further examine the merits of the scheme”. This is likely to delay the decision for up to another six months and could cost the Council as much as £100,000. Opponents of the plans will see this as a final chance to state their case, with those in favour hoping it is just a final hurdle to clear.

It’s understood that the recommendation for a public inquiry is the consequence of an administative oversight by planning officers when the trial was set up in autumn 2015. At that time the necessary copy of the experimental traffic order was not lodged at the Town Hall. This would have left the Council exposed to a possible legal challenge, subsequent to a decision being made. Whether an objection has already been made by a member of the public, or whether the council is taking a safety-first approach to ensure that it doesn’t face a later legal challenge isn’t clear from the paperwork.

In the meantime the trial  layout, with one direction of vehicle traffic and separate east and west bound cycle lanes, will be maintained.

The papers for Wednesday night’s meeting also include a detailed review of the consultation results, at a much more local level than we have seen before. These show  local residents did back the Council’s proposals. Overall 79% of the 15,000 responses  supported the trial layout. Amongst local residents living in WC1 addresses, the majority was also in favour – though by a slimmer 56%.

Local support extends across Bloomsbury. At the smaller-scale four digit postcode level, there was a majority in favour in all postcode areas with the exception of WC1B – which covers the area around the British Museum and Southampton Row – where 68% were opposed. But residents living closest to Tavistock Place and Torrington Place backed the one-way traffic proposal. In WC1H – which includes Judd St – 56% were in favour, whilst in WC1E (around UCL) it was 60% and in WC1N (Russell Square / Great Ormond St) a majority of 53% were supportive.

A lot of detail by types of respondent is also provided in the report, and shows very high support for the trial amongst students (95% in favour), local business employees (92%), University staff (95%) and hospital staff (87%). Even 57% of people providing services and deliveries to local businesses were supportive. The only groups opposed to the layout were patients travelling to nearby hospitals and – unsurprisingly – taxi drivers. 99% of the cabbies to respond to the consultation were opposed. But there were 13 in favour.

Coram’s Fields February Holiday Schedule & Term Time Programme

Coram's Fields User Group

Dear Supporters and Friends,

Here are the latest sport, youth and holiday scheme details provided by Coram’s Fields, which we are happy to pass on.

Half Term Holiday Play Schema: feb-2017-holiday-playscheme-programme

Youth Programme: yc-timetable

Sport Programme: sports-programme-feb-half-term

February Drop-Ins:  february-schedule-drop-in

As always we need your feedback and wishes on this, so please write to us anything that is relevant!

We have some important updates to with you soon, so wait for our next newsletter.

Thank you


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