Something's afoot on Kentish Town's College Lane. After decades of neglect, and much controversy, the former site of the rail workers' social club is being developed. I do hope they don't ruin this very special place - and that they don't destroy the truly wondrous Little Green Street, a rare survival of Georgian shop fronts and often billed as the oldest street in NW5.
The photo above was taken this morning through the gates of the site. The land was bought a few weeks ago for £7 million, it's reported in the Camden New Journal, by developers Four Quarters. The previous attempt at development - buildings thirty houses on the plot and using cobbled Little Green Street as the main access route - came to nothing, but only after years of argument and ill feeling.
College Lane consists of a medley of more than twenty properties, most mid-to-late Victorian, which front not on to a road but a footpath. And it also has one of the most local and telling memorials to the men of College Lane and around, ten of them, who died a century ago in the carnage of the First World War. The memorial is among the local curiosities and landmarks which will feature in a forthcoming book, Curious Kentish Town.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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