The independent London newspaper

A little patch of Camden lost

17 September, 2020 — By John Gulliver

THIS graffiti on a wall in a plot of land in Somers Town, known locally as a park, is a like a cry in the night. It has appeared mysteriously some time in the past few days and clearly expresses the disenchantment and sense of isolation people in the area feel about their little patch of Camden.

Over the years they have quite rightly regarded it as theirs and now it is being set aside for one of the tallest tower blocks in central London whose flats are to be sold in the private market – grossing, no doubt, possibly anything beyond £30million.

A luxury block in the midst of a working-class community agreed by a Labour council who believe they have made a good trade-off by persuading the developers – a global company, based in an offshore haven – to subsidise a school building programme.

Many of the locals felt ignored– treated with an arrogant air by officialdom. The park they use will become a luxury block of flats – another downward slippage historically in Somers Town as the area, with land values rising all the time, becomes more and more gentrified.

What will be left of old Somers Town, an ancient part of central London and what was once a typical piece of Cockney homeland?


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