Presentation on theme: "The Community Takes Action in Response to the Housing Crisis."— Presentation transcript:
The Community Takes Action in Response to the Housing Crisis
Gospel Oak was marked for major demolition – whole streets of houses had been left derelict since the war. This outraged a lot of people who were struggling to be housed by the council. Large numbers of people objected to the high rents charged by landlords and squatted the empty properties out of protest and out of poverty. More and more groups of people saw this as their only option until Gospel Oak had the largest squatting community in North London. They renovated their houses and set up communal facilities including a bakery, a nursery and an arts centre. At left: Derelict house on Prince of Wales Road – Photo courtesy of Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre
Gospel Oak Grove Photo courtesy of Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre
A street of empty houses on Lismore Road Photo courtesy of Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre
Houses waiting to be demolished on Wellesley Place Courtesy of Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre
A family of squatters, Gospel Oak Photo by Michael Abrahams, courtesy of Museum of London
Relationships between longtime residents and squatters were complicated. While some appreciated the squatter movement and its larger goals, many disliked the squatters for their youthful and unorthodox lifestyles.
Prince of Wales Crescent Photo courtesy of Liz Jellinek
First Burst was the first neighbourhood summer festival in Gospel Oak. It brought together the disparate communities living in the area and allowed the growing alternative scene in London to mix with the old community that had been living in the area for generations. Over three days, there were float processions, live music, a disco, street theatre, poetry and events in shopping centres and in the estates.
The council made plans to demolish whole sections of Gospel Oak. All residents were threatened with losing their homes. Many disagreed with these plans and communities fought back against the council.
Photo by Michael Abrahams, courtesy of Museum of London