King's Cross Voices
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KING'S CROSS VOICES THEMES
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The community has identified three broad themes with suggested topics. Recording of local voices will focus broadly on:
COMMUNITY

"а established neighbourhoodsа"а migrant and refugee communities

"а disenfranchised communities "а health communities "а tourists and visitors

Midhope Buildings 1960s

"Where we were was the East End Dwelling Company, it was meant to be for the working classes. You lived according to your block, to your station. We moved to Number 1 Midhope Buildings in 1954. That corner had been bombed, so it was then a very modern block, one of the better blocks. In Tonbridge and Hastings where lots of police officers lived, they didn't encourage people with children. There were set rules. I can remember moving in, and on my floor which overlooked what was then the cafe in Cromer Street and the Church, a very nice view, but it was the top floor,and me with two babies. I'd settled in for 2 or 3 days and there was a knock on the door. It was a very elderly neighbour who handed me a pummel stone and she expected me to clean - to do the stairs up, and the stairs down, and the loo, once a week. If someone couldn't do it for some reason, you'd do it for them. All very responsible. We also had those washing lines that went right across from one side to the other on pulleys." - Barbara Hughes, King's Cross Voices 2004.

Midhope Buildings 1960s
Photo Credit: Camden Local Studies and Archives.

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Diverse communities are found within the King's Cross area today.
Diverse communities are found within the King's Cross area today.
Photo Credit: King's Cross Oral History Project.
COMMITMENT
"а political activism "а governance "а regeneration
In the 1980s the proposed Channel Tunnel terminal was King's Cross. Here Norma Steel's mother, Clara Brown, stands in front of a sign protesting the proposed project.

In the 1980s the proposed Channel Tunnel terminal was King's Cross. Here Norma Steel's mother, Clara Brown, stands in front of a sign protesting the proposed project.
Photo credit: Norma Steel.

"They [were] going to put the biggest hole Europe had ever seen in smack dab in the middle of King's Cross. I just couldn't believe it! It was uncanny. It was absolutely devastating. After all the years of fighting for the community. It took a long time for the enormity of the project to sink in. Everything changed then. Everything changed."
- Norma Steel, King's Cross Voices 2004.


COMMUNICATION
"а transport (rail, canal) "а film, media and culture
King's Cross Station

Reg Hopkins was born in 1938. He recalls his first impressions of King's Cross Station as a youngster.
Photo credit: Camden Local Studies and Archives.

"It reminded me of a Turner painting. It was smoke and steam everywhere, great whooshes of steam would shoot forth. The station was so busy then as compared with now. Today it is all commuters. I don't say that it isn't busy today but then it was entirely different you know. If you went over to Platform 1 side, where the cab rank is, there would be boxes and boxes of pigeons there. They were racing pigeons ... It probably was the East of End of London where there was this tradition of pigeon racing so they would be taken to King's Cross, loaded on the trains, off loaded at York, at Darlington, and fly back. And also the mail. It was very busy. Huge sacks of mail right the way along the platform. Trains would bring the mail in, the lorries would pick it up, the lorries would return with more sacks and load the trains and off they would go. It was an extremely busy station. It was the hustle and the bustle that made it exciting wasn't it. You felt a sense of living there."
- Reg Hopkins, King's Cross Voices, 2004.


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ай2004 King's Cross Voices Oral History Project