Fitzrovia has had its own community newspaper for 50 years. That has to be a cause for celebration. So now we have published a book reflecting on the past five decades of local news.
Over the years the name of this publication has changed, and it has been a bit stop-start at times as its fortunes have ebbed and flowed. But its style and reportage have remained remarkably consistent.
It began as Tower but later became Fitzrovia Neighbourhood News, and ultimately the mainly online Fitzrovia News.
Throughout, it has been written and put together by volunteers, funded mainly by advertising by local businesses and distributed widely.
Although boundaries can be fuzzy, most residents perceive the neighbourhood as a single entity — bounded by Gower Street and Great Portland Street, Euston Road and Oxford Street — albeit constitutionally divided between the City of Westminster and the London Borough of Camden.
The paper has been fearless in delivering both bouquets and brickbats to the two authorities over the years. The focus has always been on the people and businesses of the neighbourhood with a strong emphasis on the history, local organisations and events which make up the unique character of one of London’s most diverse and socially mixed “urban villages”.
The selection of stories is inevitably partial and subjective, but hopefully portrays the character of the area as it is, and also reflects on how it has changed over the past half century.
We hope this compilation will jog a few memories amongst our older readers but also inform and entertain those who have moved into the area more recently.
Pick up a copy of Fitzrovia News: Celebrating 50 Years, at Fitzrovia Community Centre, 2 Foley Street, London W1W 6DL. Read it online or download it below. And explore our nearly-complete online archive.