Is Camden Council a good keeper of our culture and history?The case of Kingsgate Community Centre

What a coincidence! On the weekend of the £80000 Camden Council extravaganza, “Light Up Kilburn”, a significant part of Kilburn’s history was found, dumped in Gladstone Park, NW2.

Thank you Philip Grant for contacting us and making us aware of this. We were shocked!

So what was found in Gladstone Park?

A significant memorial board that was within the Kingsgate Community Centre.

A bit of history about Kingsgate Community Centre:

“”According to the British History Online website, the Kingsgate Community Centre was built in 1913 to house a first of its kind ie the “Hampstead Health Institute” founded in memoriam of King Edward VII. The building was later extended in 1929, adding St George’s Hall to unite various social services in one centre, then a novel concept: the main object was prevention of disease through hygiene education, but by 1929 the institute also had pre-natal clinics, and dental, oral, ophthalmic, and infant welfare centres, in addition to a social club, becoming the first local community centre. This was all before the establishment of the NHS and is a significant part of The history of the wider Kilburn Area.

The Borough of Hampstead (that was incorporated into Camden Council) took ownership of the building after the NHS was established and ran it as a Community Centre. The building was run as a Community Centre until 2020 when it was suddenly closed. It hosted a Covid-19 testing centre during Covid and thereafter has been inhabited by “Guardians”. In December 2021 Camden Council were awarding £20000 by the GLA to carry out an appraisal report of the building as part of the High Streets for All challenge. Since then no news apart front an appearance in the Levelling Up bid that Camden submitted in 2022 to LUCH, without success.

This building holds a special place in the heart of any Kilburn resident. I remember having my children birthday parties there, the hall hosted many events from local community groups and the local Labour CLP held their meetings there.

So one would assume that the historical significance of this building would have been preserved under the guardianship of Camden Council.

It appears it hasn’t. The memorial board below was found this weekend, dumped in Gladstone Park. This memorial board used to have a proud place within Kingsgate Community Centre.

So what has happened? How can it have made its way to Gladstone Park? Why was it not protected? A lot of questions that Camden Council need to answer.

More than happy to be contacted by Camden Council to direct them to the new keeper of the board.

This incident raises serious questions about Camden’s ability at safeguarding our heritage and celebrating our culture.

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