Saturday, 8 September 2012

Kilburn in the Orwell spotlight

Kington House, Mortimer Crescent, NW6 5NU in Kilburn, north west London will be the location for a significant unveiling of a plaque to author and broadcaster George Orwell on Tuesday 11th September at 3pm.

All residents and Orwell fans welcome.

The plaque will be unveiled by George Orwell's adopted son Richard Blair.

More information from

Orwell Plaque to be unveiled in Kilburn

Residents in Kilburn will be celebrating their significant literary heritage when they gather on Tuesday 11th September to unveil a plaque to George Orwell (real name Eric Blair) who lived on the Mortimer Estate, NW6

The plaque will be unveiled by Orwell step-son Richard Blair in a ceremony at 3pm on Tuesday 11th September.  The plaque will be on Kington House, Mortimer Crescent, NW6 5NU – which stands on the site of the house that Orwell and his family were themselves bombed out of during World War Two.

There will be a full insight into Orwell’s time in Kilburn and his literary output and life there during the ceremony.  All residents are invited.

This will be followed by a small reception in the estate community centre – Mortimer Tenants Hall and Richard Blair will then go onto West End Lane Books where he will conduct a reading, speak to local residents and sign some of his father’s books.

Ed Fordham who head’s up the Historic Kilburn Plaque Scheme said “It’s great that at a time whilst there is a debate raging about a statue at the BBC to George Orwell and whether he was a radical or not, we here in Kilburn, NW6, can get on with recognising one of our most famous past residents.

“George Orwell in Kilburn follows in a grand tradition of AA Milne whom we commemorated last year and there are many more to come including WH Smith, Louis Wain and Annie Besant.

Richard Blair writes about himself:
“After school near Edinburgh, I went to 2 Agricultural colleges, one in Wiltshire and the other in Aberdeen, I went into farming until 1975 when I joined Massey-Ferguson's demonstration team. Redundancy followed in 1986, so I went off on my own and bought a self catering holiday business on the West Coast near Oban, which is where I was brought up after my father died in 1950.

“After renovating and building some more cottages I sold them in 2008 and more or less retired, but was able to devote more time to the Orwell Awards Trust and also to the Orwell Society.

“Married with 2 sons and 5 grand children. My wife, Eleanor and I have been married for 48 yrs and we spend as much time up at our house in Scotland during the Summer (the house is in the same village as I had my business)and where we also keep a boat.”


Any queries should be directed to Ed Fordham on or 07974 950 512.  Questions relating to West End Lane Books should be directed to Danny or 0207 431 3770

Interview requests should be emailed in advance and copied to both Ed and Danny.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Kilburn History Festival 2012 - Final Times

Wednesday 11th July
St Mary’s Parish Church, Abbey Road, Kilburn, 7.30pm
The Gaumont State cinema and theatre

Sunday 15th July
11am meet at Kilburn Park tube (Bakerloo)
2pm meet at Kilburn tube (Jubilee)

Wednesday 18th July
St Mary’s Parish Church, Abbey Road, Kilburn, 7.30pm
Kilburn Priory - where was it and what do we know

Sunday 22nd July
11am meet at Kilburn Park tube (Bakerloo)
2pm meet at Kilburn tube (Jubilee)

Wednesday 25th July
St Mary’s Parish Church, Abbey Road, Kilburn, 7.30pm
Lived here and Loved it (Famous of Kilburn)

Wednesday 1st August
St Mary’s Parish Church, Abbey Road, Kilburn, 7.30pm
Kilburn’s 2000 year history

All events are free of charge on entry - but if you enjoy it please do give a donation - all money received goes towards the Historic Kilburn Plaque Scheme.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Dust down and get going again

At the risk of an analogy of a relaunch of a relaunch, I am yet again coming round the to revitalising of this blog of mine. Work and interests and family and life generally have taken over and it's time to draw this all together and get writing again...

As a context I am reading a lot again which is great fun and will be putting up some of this in the blog.

The Historic Kilburn Plaque Scheme needs gingering up and galvanising into action, the African Liberal Network is going great guns and the Forum for Africa is picking up steam after two great launch meetings at Liberal Democrat Conference (Birmingham) and Libretto Marketing is taking off nicely.

So - deep breath- time to get writing and posting proper I think.


Thursday, 30 June 2011

KIlburn History Festival - times and dates

Just to confirm that all is now on track for the history talks that will take place on Wednesday 6th, Thursday 7th and Saturday 9th July in St Mary's Church


There is no charge but there will be a collection with all donations going towards the Historic Kilburn Plaque Scheme...

There is a facebook group you can join: Kilburn History Festival 2011

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Kilburn History Festival 2011

The Kilburn History Festival will take place from Wednesday 6th – Sunday 10th July 2011 – a series of talks, walks and guided tours round interesting and significant local buildings.

More and more Kilburn residents have been making enquiries about the local history of the area – often triggered by the knowledge that the Kilburn High Road is the route of the ancient Roman Road, Watling Street.

The history festival comprises a series of 3 history talks, a guided history tour of the Kilburn High Road (repeated 3 times) and a series of local interesting old buildings that will be open for guided tours.

Programme of events July 2011

The talks on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday are all being held in St Mary’s Church, Abbey Road, NW6

  • Wednesday 6th July
    Ancient and Medieval Kilburn by Ed Fordham

  • Thursday 7th July
    The Development of Kilburn by Michael Alpert and Dick Weindling

  • Saturday 9th July
    Lived here and Loved it. (famous people of Kilburn) by Dick Weindling
(we would like to ask for a donation towards raising money for the Historic Kilburn Plaque Scheme)

Sunday 10th July
History tours of Britain’s oldest road – Kilburn High Road

  • 11am meet Kilburn Park Tube Station (Bakerloo Line) to Kilburn (Jubilee)

  • 1.30pm meet Kilburn (Jubilee) to Kilburn Park Station (Bakerloo Line)

  • 3.30pm meet Kilburn Park Tube Station (Bakerloo Line) to Kilburn (Jubilee)
(The tours are free of charge, but if you enjoy it any donation will be given towards the Plaque Scheme)

As most people know Kilburn is divided between Camden and Brent local authorities and in part in Westminster Council as well. This has had the effect of splitting the historical records – whilst Willesden and Hampstead, for example, have been well documented and researched Kilburn has been neglected.

This festival, working in conjunction with the Historic Kilburn Plaque Scheme, seeks to raise the profile of the ancient, diverse, and rich historical tapestry that exists in the local area.

Working with Camden Local Studies & Archives Centre and Brent Archives and Museum

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Save the streetscape - surely???

One of the main features of this blog is to capture the local area today, draw out the local area of yesterday through surviving history - I soon found however that the pace of change was such that quite often I captured it today and within a matter of weeks and months it had already changed...

Some of the features of the blog in the early days have already gone.

So it seemed only right that I caughts the demolition in my own street of Quex Road of the back of the Older people's hostel.

I can't deny I'm a tad worried that glancing at the website of the architect it looks like they are planning to demolish the whole frontage - which would be a real shame - there are too few nice victorian features in Kilburn and demolishing them wholesale seems overly unecessary.

You can see the plan here:

But at the moment the demolition is just the back of the building so it's poss the front will survive and with it the pleasant streetscape. We will see - a good test for how good/sensitive are Alan Camp as architects I guess.