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Discussion: 100 years of Social housing

Francis Crick Insitute 1 Midland Rd, London, Londdon

Owen Hatherley and John Boughton on 100 years of social housing in Somers Town

Logo with Words Museum Change lives Awards 2022

Somers Towner a Radical Changemaker Finalist

A ‘Somers Towner’ is up for a national award for the work in setting up a museum for the area.

The People’s Museum Somers Town only opened in May 2022 and its founder Diana Foster is a finalist at the Museums Change Lives Awards which celebrate the achievements of museum and individuals that are making a difference to the lives of their audiences and communities across the UK.

The shortlisting reads:

‘Diana’s work in founding a community museum and living memory project has impacted Somers Town, Camden’s sustainable development at a time of uncertainty and encroaching gentrification. She worked to preserve local identity and memories in a place of radical reformers; where innovative social housing projects took place and radical thinkers such as Wollstonecraft and Padmore lived. She has campaigned tirelessly to promote this history and an area’s sense of place, and the museum aims to become a site of social justice: a community hub as well as a repository of memory.’

Museums Association

Diana said, “sustainable development is not just about recycling cups – it’s about an area having a sense of place and a voice – I felt that this area was being overlooked in the recent tsunami of development and hence the museum came about – after 6 years of work with many people.

Diana Foster

Diana will attend this year’s awards in Edinburgh in November as part of the Museums Association’s annual conference. More info:

Please see People’s Museum Somers Town which is open Wednesday to Friday from 10.30-5.30pm

To view the shortlist for the MCL awards 2022 please see the MA website. `@museumsassociation

Pink booklets

Phoenix Road Events June

The London Festival of Architecture has made Somers Town its focus on June 24- 26th June with many events and a partial road closure. There will be an outdoor installation by Nooma, the winning architecture practice, and many events. The new People’s Museum Somers Town is providing many walks/ talks and events over the weekend on the LFA theme of ACT! social Justice.

All events outdoors on Phoenix Road unless specified.

Opening ceremony Friday 24th June outdoors on Phoenix Road

Starts at 6pm Film & Q&A ‘St Pancras Rent Strike’ with John Cowley at the People’s Museum at 52 Phoenix Rd, NW1 1ES

Followed by talks in the installation.

Saturday 25th June

Flag making

Mural Painting from 11am with Nicki Deux and the People’s Museum Somers Town outside

Lunch – decolonised dinner! Try cuisine from different cultures outdoors

12pm Health and Hygiene St Pancras housing by Eleanor Marshall of Open City walk.

Meet at museum – Tickets

Sunday 26th

Radical Screen Printing from 11am – 1pm

12.30 Ossulston Estate – Echoes of Karl Marx Hof Guided walk Tickets

2pm Fun Auction

The People’s Museum will auction off Somers Town “heritage” with a serious purpose – why were 80 Doultonware Gilbert Bayes artworks from St Pancras Housing stolen and sold at auction? FREE fundraiser for our campaign to restore art to estates.  Outdoors on the installation Phoenix Rd

3pm The Model Estate: Oakshott Court by Camden Guide Fabien Watkinson Tickets

A Space For us? Panel Discussion Free
28th June at 6.30pm


New Museum in Somers Town!

A new museum has opened in Somers Town: the People’s Museum Somers Town – A Space for us finally found small premises at 52 Phoenix Road. This community-led museum tells of the area’s ‘Radicals Reformers Uncommon People’ will open Wednesday to Friday 10-5pm, after a launch party on May 12th.

In June the museum expands its programme with many events as an official hub of the London Festival of Architecture, including Saturday morning outdoor mural painting in Phoenix Road, walks and walks around the landmark social housing estates, culminating in a Panel Discussion on the 28th of June called A Space for us? – to question what is happening to our heritage and space and whether residents have a say. All welcome.

Lost/Found: Somers Town, the inaugural exhibition of the new Museum, tells a story of change through lost and found objects from demolition sites, from origins to decline, from slum clearance to social housing, from reform to protest. Many contributed to this…

Founder Diana Foster

Find out about June events below.


ParkView subject of a Radicals walk on June 10th 6pm

The Model Estate: Oakshott by Camden Guide Fabien Watkinson
Sunday 26 June at 3pm Tickets

Ossulston Estate = Echoes of Karl Marx Hof 26th June 12.30 by founder and resident Diana Foster Tickets

Health and Hygiene St Pancras housing by Eleanor Marshall of Open City walks Saturday 25th June 12pm – Tickets

Wednesday Lunchtime Social Justice walks on Radical histories themes: June 8th, 15th, 22nd Tickets 12pm Meet at Museum


Radical Screenprinting – each Thursday evening 6-8pm  Tickets

Friday Curated lates – with film showing – Unseen archival films Tickets


Family Mural Painting – FREE Tickets outside on Phoenix Road

A Space for Us! Somers Town Panel Discussion 28th June 2022 Tickets
6.30 pm (open to all) 


Social Justice Walk to installation on Homelessness by Artist Richard DeDomenici

Gilbert Bayes  Walk to courtyards to see Art in everyday life + Workshop Saturday June 18th 1pm Tickets

Unless otherwise stated: all start at People’s Museum Somers Town 52 Phoenix Rd. NW1 1ES

Please contact for local residents FREE tickets to many events.


Greening Phoenix Road update

Lucy Gannon, the Camden officer leading this project, came to the December neighbourhood forum meeting to give us an update. In 2022, we are likely to see trial traffic changes in the area, alongside new parklets, planting and benches. The project programme has been extended until 2025. Lucy’s report to the forum can be accessed here.

The project has it’s own website with the latest plans and reports, which can be found at

London Festival of Architecture

Camden has been chosen as on one of four “destinations” at this year’s London Festival of Architecture, with lots of focus on Somers Town. There will be a series of installations, exhibitions, talks and special events. The call for entries is now open, and LFA is inviting individuals and organisations to submit event proposals that explore the theme of ‘act‘. The submission for free entry proposals is 11 March 2022 and the festival runs across June.


Somers Town: a future neighbourhood

In October 2021, Somers Town was chosen by the GLA as one of two neighbourhoods to receive significant funding to combat the impacts of global climate change locally. The GLA has committed to £1.4M to fund 10 phase one projects, and Camden Council has agreed to match fund in kind. The application was a collaboration between council and community, and STCA and STNF will be leading on the neighbourhood strategy.

More about Future Neighbourhoods and the phase one projects can be found here.

Protest banner

HS2 protestors removed

The trees on Euston Square Gardens are soon to be cut down, meaning our area loses precious green assets – for a taxi rank to move temporarily. This morning the XR protestors were forcibly removed so their protection is now gone. They have apparently been tunnelling – wonder if this is the old nanny’s tunnel that used to exist beneath the street?


Flats in luxury tower on sale

Before it’s even had a foundation stone placed on the Brill Place site, estate agents are marketing flats that are to be built in ‘King’s Cross’ (sic) in Somers Town, apparently where you can ‘enjoy the benefits of nature”.

Guess how much a 3 bed (will go) for – is it:




Guess the highest you’re right!

A new iconic residential development for King’s Cross, Grand Central Apartments is a standout tower designed by award-winning architects Stiff + Trevillion and consisting of 68, One, Two & Three bedroom apartments and stunning Penthouses. Situated in a quiet Parkside enclave CIP with two acres of green public space where you can relax, and enjoy the benefits of nature