Neighbour-ing

A series of events between 2012-2016 in the neighbourhoods of King’s Cross. Neighbour-ing brought people together to share local knowledge and personal histories through watching, listening, talking, walking, eating, playing, and making. It connected and expanded our awareness of each other, creating future possibilities for friendship, association, collaboration and action. It took us to corners that we might not have felt invited or known about. Events were free and open to everyone.

Thank you to all our neighbours for their contributions, most recently to Frances Holloway, Elizabeth, Nicole & Bob at the Somers Town Community Association, Sue Crockford, Diana Foster, Leon Hinkson.

Document2

Crumbles Castle The Keskidee (1971-1991) 10.03.16
Somers Town Community Association Somers Town (1984) 10.12.15
Leon Hinkson Crumbles, Bundles and Golf 26.11.15
Adeeb Ashfaq, Niels Braun, Joann Hong, Cairi Jacks, Luiz Conceicao Testing Ground 29.10.15
Carla Wright Squatting The Cally 09.10.14
Mark Newell Midden Lane and other dust triumphs 25.06.14
Carlotta Novella The Health Device for Somers Town 14.05.14
Rupert Perry Rupert's Walk Part II 29.05.14
Rupert Perry Ruper's Walk 14.11.13
Kate Owens Detour Cally Road 10.10.13
Roman Manfredi Round the Block 11.07.13
Tilly Fowler & Anna Hart A Silent Circle 13.06.13
Mo Hammoudan Mo's Walk 15.05.13
Steve Griffith Cally Walk 24.07.12
How might we be Neighbours 26.06.12

Some early responses:

Neighbourliness for me is just about talking, not being scared of your neighbour, and sharing knowledge. A lot of people seem to think these days that holding on to knowledge is all.

If we don't recognise that we need to walk and talk differently then we can't be neighbours.

Its two way thing really. You need to make the effort to get to know things. You need to be out and about and talk to people. A lot of times things get lost in translation.

It's quite sophisticated to know how to talk about what you do to somebody outside of it. Its really hard to learn.

3 c words: constructive, connect, communicate.

Somers Town (1984) 10.12.15
On a drizzly pre-christmas evening we gathered round the Somers Town Community Association café tables with mulled spicy apple to watch Sue Crockford’s 1984 ‘Somers Town’. The documentary relates the pioneering work of St Pancras Housing Association in 1930s and its’ socially sensitive slum-clearance, rebuilding and housing management, where every tenant was rehoused locally and rent collectors knew the names, joys and struggles of all their residents. In the conversations afterwards we heard from Sue about the pleasures of making the film, and Somers Town resident Dave who affectionately remembered many of those featured, including Father Jellicoe. It felt an important story to be told, and kept alive, particularly in the context of a housing crisis, and many requested further screenings in other community spaces.

Crumbles, Bundles and Golf 26.11.15
Leon Hinkson, a King’s Cross Estates ‘Redcap’ and lifelong Bemerton Estate resident, took us on a tour of his childhood haunts. We began beneath the restored clock on the Western Transit Shed, hearing how Leon and his friends used to take aim at it from the erstwhile golf driving range. We then walked around the Bemerton as Leon described ‘Forty-forty’, gambling away pocket money on ‘Two-up’, and picking berries in bramble thickets, and showed us where particular spaces remained or were long demolished. We ended at Crumbles Castle, an adventure playground built from the rubble of a former housing block, where Leon and hundreds of children have been able to play and let off steam watched over by Dawn and the other playworkers. We reflected on what it means to stay, and the future of play for the next generation as Leon is now bringing up his own young family in the Bemerton.

Testing Ground 29.10.15
Curiosities and concerns came into productive collision as Cairi Jacks, Adeeb Ashfaq (BA Fine Art graduates), Niels Braun (MA Communication Design), Luiz Conceicao (BA Architecture graduate), and Joann Hong (BA Jewellery graduate) discussed projects that were researched, resourced and realised around King’s Cross. We heard about brick pendants, foraging for medicinal plants, fly tipping, skills sharing, and unexpected hostings, about time spent in place, relationships formed, formal and informal permissions, motivations, expectations and realisations, and reflected on how these experiences had been taken forward into lives and practices. The evening evidenced the importance of conversation, not just between practitioners from different disciplines, but as an integral part of making work in public, where each question, request or invitation potentially leads somewhere unknown.