We broke in in the normal fashion

Steve Lake moved to Priory Green Estate in 1979. Tipped off about an empty flat in Grimaldi House, a Dickensian building out of keeping with the rest of the estate, Steve and a few friends decided to make it their home. They broke into the flat ‘in the normal fashion’, and changed the locks to …

Grassroots politician who lived round the blocks

 Photo credit: Michael Hall She represented King’s Cross as a councillor for 22 years and went on to serve three terms as the mayor of Camden, but it could be said Barbara Hughes’ political roots lie in the Hillview Estate. It was here she brought up her three sons in the 1950s and ‘60s and …

It’s my home, for better and for worse

When Shola Alli moved onto Hillview in 1999, it was with mixed feelings. On the one hand, the estate’s refurbishment had just been completed and everything looked shiny and new. On the other, it was still damned by association with King’s Cross, whose own regeneration had not yet begun. “The area was still very much linked …

Nice work if you can get it

Taking a tea break It is a fine winter’s morning when I meet Hillview caretaker Khaled Ali, the sun beaming down from an impossibly blue sky. As we sit down to chat in the courtyard of Whidborne Buildings amid the luxuriant shrubbery it is hard to believe we are a stone’s throw from the Euston …

From bleak to chic

When John Mason moved on to Hillview as one of the first shortlife tenants, he did not think he would still be there some 40 years later. After being burgled three times in one flat he ended up in another on the ground floor near one of the entrances. “It did not take long for …

Where the Buffalo Roam

Where the Buffalo Roam Jane Penton was born a Kiwi, but having an English grandfather allowed her to move to the UK during the eighties. Over the ten years that Jane was in London, she spent time living and squatting around Somers Town, an area of King’s Cross behind The British Library. I spoke with Jane …

From life to art, and back to life again

Photograph credit: Michael Hall George Eugeniou approaches playwriting as a cycle: it starts on the ground, with his community, where he embeds himself in the lives and struggles of the people around him. He then pours that experience back into the creative melting pot, and makes work that is rooted in the concerns of his …

Let me call you sweetheart

We first met Queenie while running a story sharing event at the Millman St Community Centre in Camden. Queenie’s presence at these sessions was always felt. Shouting out when she remembered things – always keen for a sing along, her love for the area she has spent a lifetime in was clearly evident. At 97 …

It was such a good time

Growing up in suburban Surrey was a far cry from the edgy world of King’s Cross in the 1980’s. Sue Smallwood escaped what she describes as the back stabbing environment of rural England to experience something altogether different. Despite it’s reputation as a dangerous place filled with prostitutes and drug pushers – Sue found a …