On Friday 8 October we held a 15th anniversary party. The theme of this event was our place in the neighbourhood; we wanted to make clear our links with local people and organisations. To start the evening there were some talks. The writer and historian Gillian Tindall gave a brief account of the development of our area in the nineteenth century, and the coming of the railway line that bisects it. Her book, The Fields Beneath (1977) explores the historical geography of Kentish Town where she has lived since 1963. Robin then spoke about his move from working at home in another part of Kentish Town to the making of this shared space, and the idea of the co-op. Duncan followed by mentioning some of the people who’d worked in the building, some of the work done that had been acclaimed or memorable, the cafés frequented at lunchtime (some now gone) and reflected on the pleasures of day-to-day life within the building.

Party invitation

Local people including Alexis Keir, director of Elfrida Rathbone Camden (situated diagonally opposite us), a local osteopath and other neighbours turned up to say hello, stay for a chat and join us for a drink. In the atrium Dan made a display of photographs with captions of nearby ‘landmarks’, including Salvinos and Bumblebee, two shops much frequented for lunch provisions. Adjacent, Naomi pinned up maps and new artworks about the local underground river, the Fleet, the course of which could be traced, braille-like across the paper. A short film about the construction of the building, Making buildings, originally made for and shown at the Crafts Council gallery, was projected onto a screen above the front door. Members, assistants and guests enjoyed good food including a pulled-pork and bean stew made by Simon and Jack with help from Peter and others, an aubergine dish made by Dan, several different salads and savoury snacks. Beer and wine was organised by Olly. As evening fell, a bonfire was lit in the front courtyard which people congregated around before drifting away.