Owen plaque unveiling

The Marchmont Association will be unveiling the latest commemorative blue plaque to go up in our area – to Robert Owen, father of the Co-operative Movement.


The unveiling event will take place on Monday 5th September from 2pm at 4 Burton Place, London, WC1H 9AH, where Owen lived from 1832 to 1840.

We are grateful to the owners of 4 Burton Place, One Housing, for permitting us to install the plaque on their beautiful Georgian house and for generously sponsoring the plaque.

All are welome – we look forward to seeing you there.


Mary Mary

On a dark and stormy night during 1816 – the “Year Without Summer” – a young Mary Shelley, challenged by Byron, sets out to write the ultimate horror. In the turmoil of Mary’s mind, past and present blur, and the created becomes the creator.

The Frankenstein story is now being re-told in ‘Mary Mary’, a play by Theatre Mensch showing as part of  the Camden Fringe on 20th and 21st August at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre. The play celebrates the lives of Shelley alondonremnd her mother Mary Wollstonecraft – an extraordinary mother and daughter who never had the chance to know one another.

There’s a strong local connection to the Frankenstein story. Wollstonecraft married political philosopher William Godwin at St Pancras Church, and died giving birth to Mary in Somers Town. Marchmont St can even stake a claim as the birthplace of Frankenstein, since a house on the site of the current No 87 (now the Russell Supermarket) was Mary and Percy Shelley’s home when she started to write the novel 200 years ago.

Book tickets via http://www.camdenfringe.com
More information about the production can be found on our website: https://theatremensch.com/mary-mary/ and tickets can be purchased at: https://cam.tickets.red61.com/performances.php?eventId=3113:1331

Mew appeal launched

Having already received generous pledges from a number of individual supporters towards the £1,200 cost of manufacturing and installing a plaque to poet Charlotte Mew, the Marchmont Association is now launching our public fund-raising appeal.


All donors will be credited on publicity (with their consent) and will be invited to the unveiling event and associated reception. If you would like to contribute, we would be delighted to hear from you via: ideas@marchmontassociation.org.uk.

Please feel free to pass on this information to others who you think might be interested in contributing.

Charlotte Mew was born at 30 Doughty St and lived there from 1869 to 1890. Virginia Woolf referred to her as ‘the greatest living poetess.’ Siegfried Sassoon wrote of Mew: ‘One who surely stands with Emily Brontë and Christina Rossetti . . . many will be on the rubbish heap when Charlotte’s star is at the zenith where it will remain.’ Her foremost champion Thomas Hardy wrote: ‘Miss Mew is far and away the best living woman poet – who will be read when others are forgotten.’

Following a long period of neglect, the feminist press Virago edition of her work, published in 1982, played a major role in her renaissance, as did the Penguin Classic Complete Poems edition published in 2000. Since that date her reputation has been steadily climbing.She will make a welcome addition to the local collection of literary blue plaques.

Richard Ekins – MA Committee


Last chance to book…

Bloomsbury’s Squares: Pioneering Past, Uncertain Future

The Study Day organised by the Association of Bloomsbury Squares and Gardens, and the Birkbeck Garden History Group is fast approaching. Event is to be held Saturday 7 May 2016  

2016 is a landmark in the story of the Bloomsbury Squares, as they face serious council cuts and explore possible new ways of finance. The Study Day will trace the history of the squares, from their creation as country oases in an urban setting, through their prominent role in the early heritage conservation movement and the postwar opening of many to the public, followed by decline and then reinvigoration at the millennium, to the current situation. The day will include a number of short walks to view individual features of the squares as part of the programme.

Venue: UCL School of Pharmacy, Brunswick Square, London 30)

Booking through Eventbrite https://bloomsburysquaresstudyday.eventbrite.co.uk

Tickets (incl. lunch and refreshments) £32 (BGHG members £30)

ABSG study day 7 May flier (March updated 2) 

Resurrecting the Shakespeare Hut


Do you have stories or photographs handed down through your family about the First World War? To commemorate the centenary of the war, Digital Drama are looking for people in the Borough of Camden with family memories of life during 1914-18.

The stories will be used in a heritage exhibition, ‘Resurrecting the Shakespeare Hut’, running in July/August/September at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine on Keppel Street.

The exhibition  will tell the forgotten story of the YMCA Shakespeare Hut, a mock tudor building opened in 1916 to provide rest, recuperation and entertainment for WWI troops on leave in London. It was opened to mark the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in August 1916. The exhibition will also feature the family WWI stories of local residents from Camden.

As well as looking for stories from local people about their own families’ memories of WWI to be included in the exhibition, the project also wants volunteers interested in researching the history, helping with oral history recordings, and taking part in a performance re-enactment of the opening of the Hut on 11th August.

Find out more …

Alison at Digital Drama on 07525 205148 or e-mail Alison@digitaldram.org


Words in Holborn

Another upcoming Local Studies event that caught our eye…..

Writing by Shakespeare and his contemporaries connected with Holborn
performed by John Levitt to mark the quatercentenary of the Bard’s death


Tuesday 26th April 2016 at 7.15pm

Camden Local Studies & Archives Centre

2nd Floor, Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8PA

 Admission Free