‘End of lockdown party’ goes on through early hours on Sunday morning until the police arrive

Police and an ambulance attended a large and noisy "end of lockdown party" at a short-let apartment in Fitzrovia on the morning of Sunday 5 July after someone was taken ill. Police and ambulance attend after someone is taken ill at the party on Sunday morning. The party which started at around midnight on Saturday …

A large financial boost is needed to save the performing arts

By Helen McMurray The impact of the coronavirus epidemic on businesses and jobs is becoming all too obvious now. Since we live so close to Theatreland, you may have already heard from people connected with the Performing Arts of the particular difficulties they are going through, and I understand that former employees across all the …

The artist Harry Jonas – ‘Last of the Fitzrovians’

Row of buildings.

By Robert Cunning I first met Harry Jonas in the early 1980s. I was a volunteer with Islington social services, and a message came in to help an ageing artist, who thought he was the best painter in Britain. Harry Jones lived at 35 Maple Street (with arched window). Photographed in 1969. Source: London Metropolitan …

Soho’s lost post-war living room of badly behaved bohemians

The Colony Room in Dean Street W1 was a living-room-sized drinking club for members only, above an Italian restaurant up a long dirty staircase. It was at the heart of a post-war Soho packed with pubs, clubs and restaurants full of people wanting to get off their heads on drink or drugs, debate, argue, and …

Portraits for NHS Heroes, an online exhibition at The Fitzrovia Chapel

The Fitzrovia Chapel, in Pearson Square, is hosting a virtual exhibition entitled “Portraits for NHS Heroes” showcasing portraits of NHS staff, created during the current crisis. There is some very accomplished work on display, elegantly complemented by the Chapel’s extravagant interior. The Net Gallery in partnership with Tom Croft have created the virtual exhibition at …

Public art in Fitzrovia: On Reflection, British Transport Police headquarters

Mosaic on wall.

An early morning stroll along Whitfield Street after officers have driven away their vehicles from outside the British Transport Police central London headquarters reveals the beautiful mosaics created nearly two decades ago. Up close it is difficult to discern what they are. But cross to the other side of the road and they emerge as …

A tribute to Beethoven leads a fundraiser for the NHS and musicians

Musicians playing.

A Fitzrovia playwright and an oboe soloist will both join a cast of the many this week to produce a tribute to Beethoven, and fundraise for the NHS and musicians affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Local playwright Sue Blundell and Fitzrovia Music Festival (FitzFest) founder Dan Bates will be joined by musical director Elliott Devivo …

Should you wear a cloth face mask to protect others?

Man wearing a keffiyeh.

It is no substitute for social distancing and washing your hands to stop the spread of Covid-19, but wearing a washable, cloth face mask when you go shopping or have to use public transport could help stop you spreading the virus if you don't know you have it. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has now …

Proprietors of historic pub on Hanway Street launch crowdfunder to re-open after lockdown

Front of public house in street.

Tenants of one of the smallest and most well-loved pubs in Fitzrovia are appealing for funds from its customers to enable it to re-open when social distancing measures are relaxed and London returns to some sort of normality, whenever that may be. Bradley's Spanish Bar, tucked away off Oxford Street in the tiny single-track lane …

Mouth-wateringly good, baked comfort food to take away on Warren Street

Shopfront.

By Stephen Heath For those struggling for a glimmer of cheer in these grim times, I do recommend a brisk walk (or two) up to Shaheen Peerbhai's Miel Bakery on Warren Street. Unlike its now boarded up neighbour, our other favourite foodie haunt, the iconic Honey & Spice, it is still open and offering a limited …

Camden criticised over mural restoration contract

Cherry picker on open space.

Camden Council has been criticised for its choice of contractor to undertake the restoration of the Fitzrovia Mural and the way it handled the competitive tendering process. Kristina O'Donnell, whose father and uncle are depicted in the mural, says she is "heartbroken by the decision" to award the contract to Global Street Art to restore …

Museum is keeping the drama of toy theatre alive with a new exhibition

Man standing in museum.

A special exhibition featuring 14 artists will reflect on the unique collection of dolls, teddy bears, and toy theatres, at Pollock's Toy Museum in Fitzrovia this month. A Pollock's Gallimaufry will be a month long event showing works by contemporary artists working in a variety of crafts and media inspired by the unique, mostly Victorian, …

Photographic exhibition revisits Booth’s survey of a district

People in street.

A new exhibition takes a contemporary look through the lens of a camera at the people and places in a London district first described by social reformer Charles Booth more than a century ago. John Angerson, an award-winning photographer and artist in residence at the Old Diorama Art Centre in Drummond Street, traced the footsteps …

Ten days of events take off in a moon-gazing celebration of Bloomsbury

Moonlight image.

The first events of the Bloomsbury Festival are launched today with a moonlight street party in Store Street to celebrate the 50 years since the first moon landing -- the theme for this year's festival. There will be 10 days of events, many of them free, taking in the people and places, art and music, …

Film: Reclaim housing as a human right, not a commodity

Buses and London skyline at night.

The increasing cost of housing and the lack of homes for ordinary people is happening because the wishes of global capital are serviced over and above the needs of the many. As Architects for Social Housing have observed: “Building more homes does not push house and rental prices down. While the law of supply and demand …

Bloomsbury, Fitzrovia and the origins of eugenics

In the first of a new two-part documentary on BBC Four, science journalist Angela Saini and disability rights activist Adam Pearson take a walk around Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia to discover the people and the institutions behind the controversial idea that the human race can be improved by selective breeding. They reveal that eugenics, a driving …

Powell’s film masterpiece set in a shadowy Fitzrovia on big screen

Man with camera.

One of British cinema's most controversial films, and which was shot on location in and around Rathbone Street in Fitzrovia, will be screened on Friday and followed by a Q&A. Peeping Tom (1960) nearly ruined director Michael Powell's career after it was badly received due to its scenes of voyeurism and violence. But it held …

‘Lost murals’ from Camden Town Hall go on sale at auction

Image of Bloomsbury & Fitzrovia.

A collection of "lost murals" which depict images from the former borough of St Pancras are going on sale at auction next week, reports Spitalfields Life. The three oil paintings which measure nearly six foot by six foot are by artist Cecil Osborne (1909-1996) and show St Pancras & Kings Cross, Highgate & Hampstead, and …