I was very pleased to pick up this wonderful pamphlet for the princely sum of £1 over the weekend. It dates from 1958 and records a particularly unpleasant spat within the Labour party in St Pancras . There was a strong left-wing, some would say quasi-communist, group among the local party leadership - and St Pancras was at one stage a byword for municipal radicalism, with stunts such - as you can see - flying the red flag on May Day from the local town hall.
In part because of this row, and the discredit it brought on the local Labour party, the Conservatives took control of the borough in the 1959 elections - triggering a particularly bitter and contested rent strike (the story is told in Curious Kentish Town)..
The Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras was in existence from 1900 to 1965, when - along with the boroughs of Holborn and Hampstead - it became part of the new London Borough of Camden. In political terms, the name is still extant - the constituency of Holborn and St Pancras, which stretches all the way north to Kentish Town, is a safe Labour seat and currently represented by Sir Keir Starmer.
The town hall where the red flag flew is on Euston Road, opposite St Pancras station. It was purpose-built in the 1930s as St Pancras's town hall, and then became Camden town hall. Camden is, I believe, moving its municipal headquarters into the newly developed King's Cross goods yards site in coming years.
Members of St Pancras borough council down the years included Barbara Castle, George Bernard Shaw and V.K. Krishna Menon.
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