CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Wonderful people have made our once grotty square beautiful

26 March, 2021

Belsize Village ‘streatery’

• WITH regards George Sanders’s letter (This ‘revitalisation’ of the village business is a load of rubbish, March 18), he asks: “Since when did wealthy Belsize ever fall on hard times?”

George Sanders obviously doesn’t live on the same planet let alone in the same Belsize Village as I have for nearly 40 years.

Belsize has a large population of ordinary working people and since last year many have lost their jobs and livelihoods.

People that generously give their time and effort to help keep the village clean. They are not self-appointed officials that take over the daily collections, simply nice generous, active, members of our community.

In the last 40 years the village has always had a varied array of restaurants and other vital and necessary businesses. Some have been lost or changed over the years.

And in the last 10 years had lost the old vibe and looked pretty sad with an almost constant pile of rubbish left every day in the top of the village square.

Last year a group of hard working and wonderful people from the village community decided to do something about improving the sad, grotty-looking, square. These are courageous people.

Amid a pandemic they cleaned and made our once grotty square beautiful and turned it in to a space for children to play or a meeting place for the community to hang out and interact with each other over a coffee.

There’s plenty of seating and space. And thanks to the streatery last summer the restaurants managed to survive and kept their jobs.

Justine Wyatt (Letters, March 18) doesn’t have any desire to live in a café society and complains about the streatery bringing in the foodie set from beyond this area; and claims that we have more restaurants than locals who use them.

She ignores the fact that any restaurant, anywhere in London, needs all kinds of custom to survive, whether from their own neighbourhood or from others. I, and many of us, go to other areas to visit other restaurants as well as most people do.

Finally, there are simply no greedy or thoughtless cash-driven outsiders trying to take control of our village. And all children living in Belsize have plenty of space to play in our square.

LOUISE LAWSON, NW3

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