Mike Pentelow in pub.
Mike Pentelow enjoying music and a drink at the King and Queen pub in September 2018.

Fitzrovia News has been overwhelmed with the number of tributes paid to Mike Pentelow, editor-in-chief of the newspaper, who died suddenly at his home on Nassau Street on 1 April aged 73. He had suffered a short illness which included Covid-19, according to the postmortem.

Mike was a journalist all his working life and over the past 20 years he also authored books about history, pubs, and a walking guide.

He played a large part in the life of Fitzrovia since moving to Nassau Street in 1970 at the start of a decade when the residential community was beginning to assert itself: fighting for housing, preserving its heritage, creating new public open spaces, and popularising the name Fitzrovia.

A chronicler of Fitzrovia life past and present, the neighbourhood’s Boswell also helped shape its future. He contributed articles to Tower community newspaper, forerunner of Fitzrovia News, helped to organise the first Fitzrovia Festival, took part in setting up the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, and eventually editing this newspaper.

He loved the neighbourhood’s pubs and restaurants and led guided walks revealing the secrets behind the doors and windows of its quiet back streets which he’d gleaned from hours of research sat in London’s libraries.

In recognition of his life and achievements, obituaries have been published in the three New Journal local papers serving Camden, Westminster and Islington — papers which he also contributed to.

The Morning Star, where he had worked as a sports and industrial correspondent, published a double page spread about his life written by colleagues and trade union friends. He also had an obituary in The Guardian, and The Journalist, the magazine of the National Union of Journalists.

In a special edition of Fitzrovia News we publish several pages about Mike’s life, as well as tributes from friends, and feelings of loss from the many people who were close to him.

Due to the Covid-19 crisis Mike was cremated following a brief ceremony according to his wishes at Golders Green Crematorium on 20 May. There will be a full memorial ceremony and celebration of his life when social distancing restrictions are relaxed.

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