Get out there! Bloomsbury guided walks for winter

VAL MARTIN MEMORIAL WALKS -Dates for February 2017 Guided, Historic Walking Tours of our Bloomsbury Squares, Val Martin Memorial Walks are free of charge and open to the public. No need to RSVP. Just show up! Everyone is welcome. They occur every Saturday and begin at 11:00am on the front steps of The Goodenough Club, 23 Mecklenburgh […]

via Step out in February — Bloomsbury Squares & Gardens


Reflections on a filthy week


On two days in the last week, the air quality in London was worse than in Beijing.   Particulate pollution soared to a “very high” level — black or 10/10 — in 20 London locations, according to scientists at King’s College. Bloomsbury was one of the 20. Four hundred London schools were said to be “choking” in areas breaching legal pollution limits. Almost certainly that would have included Argyle, Christopher Hatton and St George the Martyr.

Recommendations from the Mayor’s Office included the ideas that you should stay indoors and avoid doing physical exercise. Parents have been warned not to take babies outside. No word about not driving a car. Even though it’s known that the pollution inside a vehicle is even worse than for either pedestrians or cyclists. As Fitzrovia News reported, a common sight during the week’s cold snap was drivers in parked cars, idling their engines, sitting snugly in the warmth of a diesel fog.

The Evening Standard ran the story on its front page and said that “drastic action seen in European cities such as Paris, Rome and Milan — which in the past have all implemented temporary vehicle bans in response to soaring pollution — should not be ruled out.” Paris this week banned vehicles registered before 2000.

Locally, we spent a lot of 2016 discussing whether to to have pollution on Judd St or Tavistock Place. If it can be seen through the haze, there’s a bigger picture out there somewhere.

Holborn Library among ‘top ten’ threatened C20th buildings


The 20th Century Society waded into the debate about the future of Holborn Library this week. The Guardian featured the  Library in a story about the destruction of ‘some of Britain’s most remarkable buildings [which] are in danger of being lost as a result of development, dwindling budgets and short-termism.”

Holborn Library is included on a list of the top ten buildings that are under threat, according to the Twentieth Century Society. The director of the Society, Catherine Croft, is quoted in the article as saying: “We are witnessing the death of idealism and public spiritedness which underpinned so much of the best architecture of the 20th century.” Holborn library, built in 1960, is described in the article as “a milestone in the history of the modern public library”.

Camden Council is planning a large-scale  redevelopment of the Library site, Cockpit Yard and Johns Mews, which will involve  more than 100 residential units for private sale and social housing  being built on top of the Library building and behind it on the site of the Cockpit Yard workshops.  The Library is planned to be totally rebuilt, creating a café and events spaces but possibly less space for book stacks and reading areas. The scheme has prompted opposition from residents in nearby Great James St.

In addition – as reported in the CNJ – there are fears that some of the extensive archives in the in the library, looked after by the Local Studies and Archives Centre, are to be moved off-site.

Fitzrovia News – UK nationals not migrants pushing up rough sleeper numbers

The Times newspaper this morning runs a story with the misleading headline: “Migrants drive 50% rise in rough sleepers”. In its article The Times reports on yesterday’s release of official statistics of numbers of homeless people sleeping outside during the autumn of 2016. “More than 20 per cent of those identified as rough sleepers were […]

via It is the increasing number of UK nationals not migrants who are pushing up rough sleeper numbers — Fitzrovia News

From Fitzrovia News – Camden claims rough sleeper numbers less than 20. Really?!

Camden Council has told the Department for Communities and Local Government that there were only 17 rough sleepers on a “typical night” across the entire London borough in the autumn of 2016, according to official statistics released today. The figure of 17 is just not credible by any stretch of the imagination. Camden claims to have […]

via Only 17 people sleep rough in the whole of the borough says Camden Council — Fitzrovia News

Consultation with local police

Brunswick Life

The Camden Safer Neighbourhood Board have announced some forthcoming dates for consultations about neighbourhood policing. At the end of February, the Met will be merging Camden and Islington Police. On Thursday 26 January, there is an opportunity for local residents to meet the new joint Borough Commander, Detective Chief Inspector Catherine Roper, at 7pm in the Council Chamber at Camden Town Hall to find out how the merger will affect policing in our neighbourhood and ask any questions you have.

If you would like to contribute your views in response to the Mayor of London’s consultation on his draft Policing Plan, there will be a meeting to discuss this on Thursday 23 February. You can see the draft plans here.

Then on Thursday 23 March, there will be a meeting in Chalk Farm about whether initiatives to reduce noise and antisocial behaviour linked to Camden’s booming night-life have made…

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Circling the Brunswick


From philanthropists to philosophers, riots to restaurants, the area around the Brunswick Centre has more than its fair share of stories – believable and unbelievable.To hear about some of these, join Camden Guides on one of their winter walks around this fascinating area.

When: 22nd January, 3rd February, 11th February 11:00 am

Meet at: Russell Square Underground Station

Price: £8:00. More information: