Once upon two-thirds of a lifetime ago, I spent rather a lot of time in Colindale. This anonymous corner of North London was, until 2013, the home of the British Library's Newspaper Library. It held more than 53,000 titles and had some 50 kilometers of shelf space
I went back to Colindale this week - for my car's annual service - and had the chance to wander round the area. It's changed - though not a lot. There are now, to judge from the shops, significant Romanian and Chinese populations. The café I used to go to for my lunchtime sausage sandwich is still there. The old Newspaper Library isn't - but its function is reflected in the street names of the development which has arisen on that same location.
The old building was not architecturally blessed, as you can see -
and the new development is not an obvious improvement -
But how nice to see the old purpose of this site perpetuated in the nomenclature of the new lay-out. It might have been nice to see some of the more outlandish of newspaper titles to be on display - Ally Sloper's Half Holiday, perhaps. But then again, I don't suppose many people want to live at 2 Beano Court, Motorcycle News Avenue.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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