Posts Tagged ‘Kilburn Square’

Tottenham, Kilburn and Ponders End

Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

Tottenham, Kilburn and Ponders End – I travelled to Tottenham and Kilburn to photograph protests but fortunately the people from Ponders End had come to protest at Westminster. All three protests I photographed on Saturday 29th March 2014 were about the inhumane policies of the Tory Government.

Mothers march for justice – Tottenham

Rev Paul Nicolson
Rev Paul Nicolson

Rev Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty, an indefatigable lifelong campaigner on behalf of the poor died in 2020, aged 87. His first job after National Service in the Army had been with the family firm selling champagne around London, but after a dozen years until he discovered a vocation to become a worker-priest and was ordained as a deacon in 1967 and then a priest in 1968. Around 1981 he became a parish priest in Turville, the location chosen for The Vicar of Dibley, making his priority the support of the poor in a area of extremes of wealth.

He resurrected the practice, now common of being a McKenzie Friend, which allowed him to stand with and represent those brought to court over debts, particularly those unable to pay the Poll Tax. His revelations on the activities of bailiffs enforcing debts lead to a Code of Practice which, at least when enforced, gives some protection to the vulnerable, and it was his initiative in commissioning the Family Budget Unit to investigate the actual costs of living that led the the UK and London Living Wage being established.

Tottenham, Kilburn and Ponders End
Spiderman led the march

His work in later years was largely about housing and homelessness, and I met and photographed him on many protests. He set up the charity Zacchaeus 2000 (Z2K) but then resigned as its chair so he could campaign politically through Taxpayers Against Poverty.

Tottenham, Kilburn and Ponders End
Carole Duggan, the aunt of Mark Duggan, murdered by police in front of a banner with his picture

The march in Tottenham on 29th March 2014 organised by the Rev Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty demanded living incomes and decent truly affordable homes and rejected the unfair Tory bedroom tax, the housing benefit cap, unfair taxes, which were the cause of hunger and cold homes. He spoke before the march and walked on it with a placard hanging from a string around his neck: ‘We march for Freedom from Hunger, Cold, Outrageous Rents – Fight for a Living Wage’.

Tottenham, Kilburn and Ponders End

The march was smaller than hoped, several hundred rather than the hoped for ‘1000 Mothers March for Justice’, though more were expected to turn up at Tottenham Green East for the rally at its end, unfortunately after I had left. Those on the march included representatives from many local groups as well as others around London, and they carried an impressive number of banners.

Mothers march for justice

Kilburn Uniform Day – Kilburn Square

A few miles to the west, the Counihan Battlebus Housing For All campaign, along with the TUSC Against Cuts and Unite Community was holding a two hour protest in Kilburn Square on the main Kilburn High Road over child hunger and housing problems, calling for rents to be capped and for everyone to have a home.

In 2010 food banks were rare things in the UK, used over the year by around 60,000 people. After ten years of Tory policies this had increased to around 2.5 million, around 40 times as many. Much of that increase is a direct result of government policies, including its inhuman sanctions policy against benefit claimants, as well as of poverty wages and unfair employment practices such as zero hours contracts.

Moving people onto Universal Credit resulted in many being without resources for five weeks, sometimes considerably longer. As I wrote “Our government appear to be completely out of touch with how many people in the country live. They simply cannot comprehend what it means to be without money, or without friends or family you can rely on for a few thousand when you have a problem. Many people on low income simply don’t have any such resources – all they have is debts and bills to pay.”

Things have got worse since 2014, and soaring energy prices along with the additional National Insurance payments coming in next month will again put more families into desperate levels of poverty – and increase those evicted as they cannot pay the rent. It isn’t that the country doesn’t have the money – we are still one of the richest countries in the world – but that increasingly the already wealthy are getting richer while the poor sink into more desperate poverty.

And it’s successive governments – including New Labour – that are to blame, with a failure to build sensible amounts of social housing, the encouragement of high cost private housing and buy to rent. The wealthy have got tax breaks while many working full-time have been finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. And tax avoidance has reached huge levels thanks to a failure to plug silly loopholes and face up to the problems caused by off-shoring. We should have a zero-avoidance policy not one that encourages it.

Kilburn Uniform Day

Fellow Students Fight for Yashika – Parliament Square

The final event I photographed was a lively protest by fellow students and supporters at Parliament urged then Home Secretary Theresa May to abandon the planned deportation of 19 year old model A-level student Yashika Bageerathi to Mauritius due to take place on Mothers Day.

She came here with her family who claimed asylum after physical abuse from a relative in Mauritius in 2012, but the claim was rejected and the whole family are under threat of eviction – and as she is now 19 they decided to deport her alone weeks before she was due to take her A levels in Ponders End.

We continue to see “a ‘tougher than you’ shift to the right over immigration played out by both government and opposition over the past years, each trying to outdo each other … So we get foolish and desperate measures like the immigration vans, and raids at tube stations and other public places by the Border Force based unlawfully on racial profiling.”

Migrants, including many who are here without legal right to remain, play an important part in keeping London running despite government attempts to identify and remove them. Estimates in 2014 were that there were around half a million in the city and without them, “London would grind to a halt. They do mainly the low paid dirty jobs no one else would want for pay that isn’t enough to live properly on in London – often at below the minimum wage because of their immigration status.”

The protests and a petition with over 170,000 signatures failed to have any effect on the heartless Home Office and Yashika was deported. But good news came later. Perhaps because of the huge publicity around her case she was welcomed and supported back in Mauritius and was able to take her exams there. Despite her studies having been interrupted by spells in Yarl’s Wood immigration prison she was able to gain her A levels and go on to university – and keep out of the media limelight.

Fellow Students Fight for Yashika

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Around Kilburn Square – 1988

Thursday, November 25th, 2021

Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-21-positive_2400
Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-21

My next visit to Kilburn came in June 1988 and I began my walk from Kilburn Park station on the Bakerloo line. I took a couple of pictures in Cambridge Ave, but nothing exciting and then walked up Kilburn High Road to Kilburn Square.

Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-22-positive_2400
Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-22

Kilburn Square was built in the 1960s for Willesden Municipal Borough Council with a 17 storey high rise with 85 flats and four low rise blocks with a shopping centre and market area in a wide pavement in front of them on Kilburn High Rd. Work began on the tower block in 1961. The estate replaced Victorian terraced houses in the square.

Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-25-positive_2400
Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-25

These pictures are from the front block of the estate, the shops fronting Kilburn High Rd. It was designed to have shops on the first floor, but these were never very successful. They could be reached by steps or a long slope. This shows the tower on the estate behind the shops.

Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-26-positive_2400
Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-26

The management of the estate behind the shops passed to a Tenant Management Organisation in 1994 following the Right to Manage Legislation. Currently Brent Council is still consulting on plans to add infill housing to the estate, and appears to be taking some of the residents views into consideration. Although it’s sad to lose green space, if infill is done sensitively its better than the comprehensive demoltion of many estates across London which always result in a loss of social housing.

Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-11-positive_2400
The Cock Tavern, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-11

The Cock Tavern at 125 Kilburn High Road has a plaque stating it was licenced in 1486 and rebuilt in 1900 and was a Truman pub. It was later owned by Greene King and from 2009-11 was also home to a theatre on the first floor, but this had to close as the staircase was found to be unsafe. It was sold in 2016 and closed in 2019, reopening in January 2020 as The Juniper. The building is locally listed by Brent Council.

Quex Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6c-13-positive_2400
Quex Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6c-13-positive_2400

This estate office in Quex Road appeared have something of an obstacle course to enter, apparently designed to eliminate access for any disabled clients. I think there was probably a slope down behind the front gates then two sets of steps to the entrance.

The Earl Derby, Priory Park Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-15-positive_2400
The Earl Derby, Priory Park Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-15

The Earl of Derby dates from around 1869 at 155 Kilburn High Road. Having been called the Golden Egg for some years it reopened in 2013 and was described as a gastro pub under a shorter version of its original name, simply Earl Derby. It claims to be home to the cheapest pint in London, and in 2020 some beers were £2.00 a pint.

The side of the pub shown is on Priory Park Rd, and the block further down the road is Ryde House, designed by Willesden Borough Council Architect’s Department and built in 1964.

Sadly the wrought iron entrance at the left of the pub has been lost in alterations to the side of the pub. I hope it has been preserved somewhere.

Click on any image to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse the other images in the album.

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All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall. Contact me to buy prints or licence to reproduce.