Another bit of self promotion, but also a good excuse to put some pics on here of a neglected, and now misunderstood and much-maligned, area of north London.
Starting at Kings Cross, Caledonian Road runs due north for over a mile (I must check that!) all the way to Holloway. In the past the street was well-used by cattle-drovers taking their stock to market in the area that is now Caledonian Park. The park/market area was originally just a stop-over for the herds on their way to Smithfield Market. And in later years there was a thriving antiques and bric-a-brac market there. Only the clocktower, and the shells of former pubs are left these days to hint at the history.
The Cally is a real mix – on the east side there's the Thornhill and Barnsbury Estates with their carefully-designed terraces and managed squares and gardens, including a road once lived in by a recent PM, then on the western side council estates were erected thus creating a real mix of cultures; a "them and us" situation – almost a Regent Street 'divide' of the north. A recent BBC programme about the road only glanced upon the diverse history and, in my view, spent too much time talking about the current dodgy landlords and prostitutes at the KX end.
I travel up and down the Cally almost every week spotting old bits of history here and there and some of my observations are shown below.
But to the point... this Sunday the whole area is coming together for the Cally Festival – a pop-up street celebration of the area's diverse offerings, which will include art, craft, music, dance and more.
The stretch of the road between Offord and Bridgeman Roads will be closed to traffic for the day and, judging by last year, it should be good... I hope to see you there... come and find me at my Amelia Parker stall.