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June 17, 2016

Film night

Tonight is a showing of Somers Town: Then and now Film night traces a changing community via screenings of two short documentaries: ‘Somerstown’ (45 mins) of the origins of an innovative social housing project in the 1930s with rare archival footage; and a contemporary short of views of people in the area ‘somerstownwishes‘ (Diana Foster 2015) (25 mins)

Somers Town (Sue Crockford 1984 45 mins) Documentary on the people of Somerstown, North London, which was at one time one of the worst slums in London. Tells how the people were rehoused in the 1930s by the St. Pancras Housing Association and how the area’s sense of identity and community was preserved. Uses unique archive footage. Often communities were destroyed when the slums went down and the tower blocks went up, but not in this case.

‘somerstownwishes a film about you by you’ was a project to crowd source films of locals on their area – it forms a record of an area on the cusp of change.

Please note donations are requested only to fund the continuing Somers Town History Club. This is a non-profit event.

The event forms an element of Somers Town: What future? in London Festival of Architecture 2016, with this year’s theme of community.

Our event looks at Somers Town, an area that developed innovative social housing throughout the 20th century. Bordered by the fast-changing N1C, threatened by HS2, undermined by Crossrail 2, and now facing the possibility of the local council building luxury housing on its parks, Somers Town is at a turning point: one that many fear could extinguish its existing community. This is why it is timely to reflect on what it means to be a community and on the future of social housing.”