Launch email 1

Hello neighbour

This email is here to stimulate you with ideas, events, culture and good reads, all bubbling up from London's most creative and innovative neighbourhoods.

> Friday 17 July 2020

Hello neighbour, and welcome to your first

Weekly C Time

email. Our aim is to cut through the inbox overwhelm, revealing 5 unexpected local highlights, carefully chosen from across the Borough of Camden. A concise heads-up to inspire you as we head into the weekend. And if you've a little more time to burn, dive down the digital rabbit hole at your leisure, as we've curated a further selection of juicy locally-focused links, awaiting discovery in the second section.

It's up to us all

to revive and reinvent our neighbourhoods for the better during the many challenges of the COVID era. Think of this email as your weekly starting point. It's brought to you by 

, a new cross-media publication that's independent but collaborative, and keen to do things differently. 

  1. Camden's COVID Stories 

Lockdown played havoc with our launch plans for Camdenist, but it also gave us time to consider what kind of support this industrious part of London will most need in order to recover. Starting how we mean to go on (albeit it in 'beta' soft-launch mode), we've been speaking to a range of different Camden businesses about how they have coped, and what we can all do now to help ensure they survive. Read the growing collection of Camden COVID Stories, and let us know if you - or a business you love - should be featured next.

2. Lockdown Love Letters 

Mount Pleasant's Postal Museum, usually famed for offering those brilliant rides on the Royal Mail's disused subterranean railway, is starting a historic new collection - and it wants you to be a part of it. They are gathering an archive of letters, post cards, parcels and packaging that document how we've connected during this time of enforced distance. You can submit items to be considered for inclusion in this, the latest chapter in the museum's truly fascinating 500-year-old history of the post.

3. High Time High Line

High street economy champions Camden Town Unlimited & Euston Town have been blogging a visionary series of ideas entitled Beyond the Pandemic. Despite having financial challenges of their own, the good news from their latest post is that the Camden High Line project has not been derailed by COVID. Far from it. When viewed from the socially distanced summer of 2020, the need for a new elevated park on abandoned railway tracks between Camden Market and Coal Drops Yard now seems more urgent than ever, as the Borough's green spaces have proved such an invaluable urban resource in recent weeks.

A little bird tells me...

 Camdenist will be available free in print soon. You'll be the first to know. 

  4. Virtual Holiday in KX 

The Granary Square ‘beach’ has become a mainstay of local family summer days out. Inevitably, COVID means the four dancing fountains aren’t able squirt forth this year, but they've been replaced by giant virtual swimming pools that look impressively tempting. A similarly-sized word search, 2D maze and hopscotch are also waiting to be discovered, plus Instagrammable art from Andy @notestostrangers Leek, and a playful permanent sculpture by Eva Rothchild. All are free, as part of the area's Great Outdoors season, which should prove a decent few hours summer staycation distraction.

5. Will You Be Back? 


We've got an embarrassment of cultural riches on our doorsteps in Camden, but they've all been shuttered for months. Now, as institutions within the Knowledge Quarter including the British Museum, The Place, Sadler's Wells and the Wellcome Collection begin to host visitors once more, it's vital they know how safe locals feel about returning. You can help inform them to get it right, by answering a few questions on your thoughts about making trips to events, shows, exhibitions and galleries this summer. There's a £100 Amazon voucher in it if you're lucky winner, too.

  • Kentish Town-based graphic designer, Karishma Puri, has created an Instagram account called @isolating.together, featuring portraits of her neighbours alongside moving accounts of their impressions of being in lockdown.

  • Another locally-based photographer, this time celeb fave Rankin, has taken a striking series of portraits of NHS workers during lockdown. From paramedics to porters, the sense of pride and care captured in their eyes is really something to behold.

  • Camden's streets are visibly transforming to be more friendly to cyclists, (and inevitably e-scooters soon) by the day. The Council's Adam Harrison has been updating on the latest permanent and pop-up cycle lanes, low traffic neighbourhoods and dockless bike bays, He's also revealed how Fitzrovia and Drummond St are about to join Belsize Village in a sanctioned summer of outdoor street dining.

  • While pub theatres and the West End's cramped Victorian playhouses all remain dark, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre is, for obvious reasons, about to become the first London theatre able to reopen. Bookings start next week for a special Jesus Christ Superstar and also for Monday night comedy from big names too.

  • Camden Town's legendary gig and club venue the Electric Ballroom is one of the few places you can currently hear a DJ over a BBQ and pint of Camden Hells. You'll need to sit down, but the outdoor Backyard Ballroom is now open every weekend.

  • Long-running local website Kentishtowner has published a fascinating story revealing Camden Town's history as the global centre of piano-making, pointing out many of the piano factory buildings that still stand today.

  • New Journal reporter Dan Carrier has made a video capturing the surreal first North London Derby at the new White Hart Lane. The passionate Spurs fan reported on watching his team's exciting win, sat alone in the eerie, empty stands.

  • Hampstead Heath's popular Saturday (10am-2pm) Parliament Hill Farmers Market is expanding from this weekend, to run every Sunday too. Should help with the queues that have been a feature of lockdown, during which the market has remained resolutely active. 

Well worth following, too...