Fitzrovia Festival celebrates 40 years of life and history

Part of the original Fitzrovia Festival poster from 1973.

Part of the original poster advertising the first Fitzrovia Festival in 1973.

By News Reporters It was in June 1973 that the first Fitzrovia Festival was celebrated with people organising events to embrace life in Fitzrovia. For three decades it was a street festival but in recent years it has become a smaller event celebrating Fitzrovia’s special character and the neighbourhood’s history. In June 2013 we celebrate 40 years of "The People Live Here Festival" with an exhibition, guided walks and literature. 

From Saturday 22 to Wednesday 26 June a number of events will take place organised by the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association and sponsored by LDG Estate Agents. There are also events taking place at the Fitzrovia Community Centre.

No booking is required, just turn up. The following events will take place:

Continentale Cinema on Tottenham Court Road.Lost Fitzrovia: The Gort Estate and Tottenham Court Road — 10am to 4pm, Saturday 22 June and Sunday 23 June 2013; 5.30pm to 7.30pm Monday 24 June, and 5.30pm to 6.30pm Tuesday 25 JuneIn this exhibition of photographs never publicly seen before a stretch of Tottenham Court Road and the streets to the west of it, now long demolished, is brought back to life to show the variety of styles of architecture from Geogian, through Victorian, Edwardian, art deco; as well as a hotch-potch of post-WW2 and 1960s refurbishments at ground floor level. Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, 39 Tottenham Street, W1T 4RX Entry: Free.

Book covers and pages.Literary Fitzrovia: Books about the neighbourhood — 10 am to 4pm, Saturday 22 June and Sunday 23 June 2013; 5.30pm to 7.30pm Monday 24 June, and 5.30pm to 6.30pm Tuesday 25 JuneCome and find out more about this inner London district at this small exhibition where you can browse or buy books about Fitzrovia by local authors. From E Beresford Chancellor’s London’s Old Latin Quarter published in 1930, Nick Bailey’s street-by-street history of Fitzrovia published in 1981, to London Recruits: The Secret War Against Apartheid published in 2012. You’ll find lots to discover in this small library and bookstall. Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, 39 Tottenham Street, W1T 4RX Entry: Free.

Mural on wall painted by Brian Barnes.Hidden Fitzrovia: The buildings and their inhabitants — 2pm to 3.30pm, Saturday 22 June 2013: Join a 90-minute guided walk to discover the buildings, the famous and infamous people, and you may discover that things are not quite as they seem in this unusual neighbourhood. Led by Fitzrovia News editor and co-author fo Characters of Fitzrovia Mike Pentelow, the walk will take you through Fitzrovia’s streets where the strange and unusual can be found. Murder, the last hangman, and more. Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, 39 Tottenham Street, W1T 4RX Entry: Free.

Old bicycle leaning against shop.Heritage Fitzrovia: conservation areas and listed buildings — 12pm to 1.30pm, Sunday 23 June 2013: Join this 90-minute guided cycle ride through quiet streets looking at buildings and find out how Camden Council have introduced a 20 mph speed limit and cycling contraflows to ease permeability for cycling, and discover what facilities Westminster City Council and Transport for London are providing for increasing numbers of people wanting to cycle. Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, 39 Tottenham Street, W1T 4RX Entry: Free.

Police officers walking.Free Fitzrovia: know your legal rights when stopped and searched by the police — 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Monday 24 June 2013. What powers do the police have to search you? What if you are arrested? Come and find out about your legal rights when stopped and searched by the police. Your questions will be answered by a solicitor specialising in criminal law from Tuckers Solicitors, a UK law firm specialising in criminal law and civil rights. Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, 39 Tottenham Street, W1T 4RX Entry: Free.

Pirate ship pub sign.Infamous Fitzrovia: from dog fighting to train robbers — 6.30pm to 7.30pm, Tuesday 25 June 2013. A sobering guided walk to admire some of Fitzrovia’s 40 or so public houses, many of which are architecturally striking. But what went on amongst the spit and the sawdust offers a different treat for the voyeurs of Fitzrovia life. Partly-reformed boozer, historian of Fitzrovian deviancy and co-author of A Pub Crawl Through History, Mike Pentelow will reveal the depths of depravity that went on inside Fitzrovia’s pubs. Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, 39 Tottenham Street, W1T 4RX Entry: £10.

black and white tiled facade.Streetwise Fitzrovia: at home and work in an inner London neighbourhood — 6.30pm to 8.00pm, Wednesday 26 June 2013. A guided walk led by local estate agent Laurence Glynne who has known the area since the 1960s. This is a tour of the narrow streets, houses and businesses and will give a unique insight into the Fitzrovia Estate, its ebb and flow and changing fortunes. Meet at LDG Estate Agents, 39 Foley Street, London W1W 7TP: Entry £10.

Fitzrovia Community Centre (FCC) are also supporting the Fitzrovia Festival with an open day at 2 Foley Street, W1W 6DL

  • FCC Open Day, 10am-4pm Sat 22nd June
    • Free coffee & croissants for Fitzrovia Festival attendees and Architects on the RIBA open studios walk
    • Tours of the centre and viewings of some of the materials from the redevelopment of FCC
    • Community Garden Art & Craft sessions for under 12s, including:
      • ‘Chalk gardening’ in the Courtyard and
      • Recycled flower planting
    • Free wireless access and mobile charging
    • 11.30 – 1pm, ‘Coffee and Conversation’ discussion (part of a series of informal consultations on future activities and opportunities at Fitzrovia Community Centre)
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