King’s Cross

The Woad To London

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The old name for King’s Cross, where I live, is Battle Bridge, and this weekend it will be subjected to Roman invasion all over again to celebrate the legend of Boadicea (I’m sticking to the old spelling – it changes every decade). She supposedly fought her last battle with the Romans there. Typically, she was […]

Backstories To The Bryant & May Books No.4

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Bryant & May On The Loose In rush-hour King’s Cross, one of the busiest crossing points in Britain, finding a murderer would be a nightmare for any force. But when a decapitated body is found in a shop freezer, London’s Peculiar Crimes Unit is not summoned – because the unit has been disbanded, and elderly […]

Remembering The Panarmonium

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  My London neighbourhood is pretty old, founded around 60 AD. Prasutagus, the ruler of the Iceni, ruled it as an independent ally of Rome and left his kingdom jointly to his daughters and the Roman emperor his will. But when he died, the will was ignored and the kingdom was taken. His wife Boudica was […]

London Corners – Keystone Crescent

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There are hundreds of books about London, many of them repetitive regurgitations of factoids, but of course there are many gems, including ‘Tired of London, Tired of Life: One Thing A Day To Do In London’ by the excellent Tom Jones, expanded from his hardworking website. (He has also pulled off the same trick for […]

A City Of Shopkeepers

In the last few years we’ve seen every last square metre of London commoditised and accounted for – they’re done away with the odd bits of greenery and strangely shaped spare spaces left behind for so many years by bombers and developers. One of Londn’s greatest pleasures has always been to be able to turn […]

Welcome To The Home Of The English Language

A new welcoming sign has been put up by the chimps in charge of such things at King’s Cross Station. Is it being too picky to expect the correct use of apostrophes? Or should we all just not bother? Reader Xan forwards the other one, even more horrible, from Tesco – or Tescoe’s – who […]

Celebrating St Martin’s

KINGS CROSS SOUNDS from Short Form Film Company on Vimeo. Since 4,500 art students suddenly appeared in my neighbourhood the area has got a lot perkier. I haven’t seen clothes this fun and stupid since I was 21 myself, wandering about in rainbow loons in midwinter, although generally these students seem more intense and conservative […]

My Hood Goes Good

Ten years ago, hookers and druggies ran the streets of my neighbourhood, and many buildings were derelict. Now King’s Cross is in the middle of a £2bn redevelopment plan. The area is centred around Pentonville Road, Gray’s Inn Road and Euston Road, overlapping Bloomsbury, Islington and Camden. Behind the station is a 67-acre former site […]

100 Architects VS Town Planning

I might have known – London’s most inept council is responsible for the pig’s ear that will be the redesigned King’s Cross Station. The miserable plan for the new square at King’s Cross has come about because Camden Council refused to allow any new structures, sculptures, water features or anything except the existing pavement. There […]

Put 100 Architects In A Room…

…Which is what they basically did for this – and offer them a big prize for redesigning the exterior of King’s Cross Station. The station’s decades-old but oddly makeshift green canopy housing junk food shops and junk book shop WH Smith is to be torn down and replaced with – well, here’s the winning entry […]