Kingsgate Road transformed into All Saints Road, Notting Hill

Filming of ‘Small Axe’

Have you been to witness the transformation of Kingsgate Road, between Messina Avenue and Gascony Avenue?

The set design and film crews for ‘Small Axe‘ directed by Steve McQueen and starring John Boyega and Letitia Wright have taken over this stretch of Kingsgate Road right here in Kilburn.

Be ready for some star spotting!

The centre piece of the set is the Mangrove Restaurant, originally at 8 All Saints Road.

Below are a few pictures.

What’s happened this fortnight 21st July 2019

We have 2 winners of the London Curry AWARDS 2019 in Kilburn. @vijayindiauk for “South Indian Curry Restaurant of the year” and @AnjanaasLondon for best “South Indian Dining experience of the year”. Try them out if you haven’t yet. Want to know more about Vijay’s link to the Beattles, read here.

We tried and loved the £17.95 “all you can eat” lunchtime offer at Philipsan Sushi.

Improvements will be coming to the pavements of Kilburn High Road. The deadline for implementation is 11th July 2020. Check out some of the photos we took at the meeting here and here of wider footpaths, new trees, improvements to encourage cycling and more benches. This was a pre-consultation meeting so we sadly cannot share the whole presentation!

Continue reading

Lonnie Donegan’s Plaque unveiling on 13th July 2019

A plaque for Lonnie Donegan was unveiled by his son Peter outside the
ENO ( English National Opera) building in Broadhurst Gardens today.

Lonnie recorded ‘Rock Island Line’ at the Decca Studios 65 years ago
today. This record accelerated the growth of Skiffle which led on to
rock and the Beatles.

Jim Carter who made a documentary called ‘Lonnie and Me’ is at the back.

picture by Dick Weindling

Some music by Lonnie Donnegan here

What’s happened this fortnight 7th July 2019

Is pink the new colour trend in Kilburn? Delightful window display and gentleman. Let’s hope however that this red and this yellow do not take over our streets.

Did you know that George Orwell was a Kilburn resident? We also have a plaque for him! Here’s an article from Orwell Jr when the plaque went up.

This shop was opened in 1884 by George Arnold as a pawnbroker/jeweller. He also had a branch in Kentish Town. Still a jewellers today!

Unfortunately Tara Leigh Tearoom closed down.

We went on a 2 hours walk down the Kilburn High Road with Shama Tatler Town Centre Manager, and Brent Planning Enforcement. Hope you will see the results soon. We will be attending a meeting on 16th July regarding improvements to the Kilburn High Road. So watch this space.

Continue reading

The worst play in the world?

Courtesy of Dick Weindling and Marianne Colloms

On Monday 15 May 1911, the play ‘When Kilburn Sleeps’ was put on at the Kilburn Empire. This was on the triangular site at the beginning of Kilburn High Road, where the London Marriott Hotel is today.

Kilburn Empire, then Essoldo Cinema 1953

It was produced by the wonderfully named Wentworth Croke.

He advertised it as ‘the worst play ever written, presented by absolutely the worst actors in the world’. ‘Wigs stolen from Clarkson’ (the famous theatrical wig maker). ‘Wardrobe from Petticoat Lane’ (the street market). ‘Mechanical effects by accident’.

It was written by Frank Dix (the advert said ‘pinched’), as a skit on melodrama.

Continue reading

Are Brent Council selling off restricted pavement space in town centres?

By complete chance we found out about 3 applications by JC Decaux to install 3 additional massive advertising signs on the pavements in Kilburn High Road. We alerted you to the applications in our last newsletter.

The application numbers are 19/1997, 19/2001 and 19/2006.

At the time, we tought that Brent Council would reject outright such proposals on the basis that our pavements are already too narrow for the footfall on the high road and that they do not bring any public benefit. We were re-assured that that would be the case with the recent publication of the Borough Plan 2019/2023.

Page 13 states “ Brent has busy streets and town centres – we need to ensure we are able to keep our borough moving with well-maintained roads and pavements, effective parking controls, and improved public transport and cycling facilities”

Page 14 states ” Invest in Brent’s town centres to reverse decline and support diversification, employment and enterprise. “ and “ Ensure well-designed public spaces and buildings – such as the multi-storey Generator building at the Northfields site,-through master planning ,environmental improvements,active community engagement and place management standards.”

Page 16 states ” Encourage people to use alternatives to cars for those journeys where it makes sense, by prioritising more walking and cycling routes, promoting sustainable means of transport and the health benefits ofbeing more active “

We found that on the 12th September 2018 Brent’s Cabinet agreed to the attached document “Authority to tender Concession Contract for six-sheetadvertising accroos the Borough”. This is a must read! We have highlighted the parts of the document that you should read.

In summary, Brent had a 20 years concession contract with JC Decaux (expiring in December 2019), thus the horrible free standing sign impeding pedestrians flow in front of 391 Kiburn High Road. The price that JC Decaux had to pay was 7 Public toilets against 72 signs, and for Brent to use the reverse of the signs to post “Public Service messages”. To the own admission of the officers the public toilets had not been operational. We know that, as the only one in Kilburn, in Victoria Road, has been out of service for years. As to the value of public service messages, advertising currently “Wembley Park” in Kilburn, we doubt that this brings any benefit to Kilburn.

Brent wanted to raise a 6 digit sum in their new contract, and employed Fortuna Associates to “monetise their assets”. The main criteria for tenders evaluation is Price (65% of evaluation) whilst Social Value is only 5%. There is no mention of siting the display boards in areas where they would not impede pedestrian flow and in fact there is a suggestion that their should be an increase of the advertising display portfolio to maximise income.

So in short, we think it is a sell off of public space by Brent. Good intentions to generate money, but should that be in breach of the Borough Plan visions and at the expense of pedestrians?

The decision re the final contract was made in March 2019, but the decision document has restricted access so as members of the public we cannot know how many signs will be erected nor how much revenue will be generated.

The only way we can stop our High Road to be blighted with these signs is to object to the planning applications. We need a minimum of 50 objections per application for them to be referred to the Planning Committee. So please do take 5 minutes to object and share with neighbours!

WE COUNT ON YOU! PLEASE OBJECT TO THESE MONSTERS that will bring no benefit to Kilburn. Planning application numbers are 19/1997, 19/2001 and 19/2006. Here is a link to the planning site. THANK YOU.