Cloudesley Association – September 2020 Update

1. People Friendly Streets / Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

The London Borough of Islington is seeking local residents' views on the concept of the ‘People Friendly Street’ so whatever your opinion, now is the opportunity to express it.

Islington Council have stated on their website that we all have experienced quieter streets during the height of lockdown and ‘if we don’t act now (…) traffic will be much heavier than before the coronavirus crisis’. Changes to neighbourhood streets are likely to affect everyone and some will be welcoming of the changes and others very much opposed so it is particularly important that your views are known (whichever way you may feel).

Some changes have already taken place, e.g. the widening of the pavements by the school on Thornhill Road, the various tube stations and a temporary cycle lane on Euston Road. On the other side of Islington many residential streets have already been temporarily closed to traffic for 6 months, although it is unclear whether these temporary changes will be reversed if residents object to them.

Further information can be found here:
and you can add your ’thoughts, ideas and suggestions’ on an interactive map: 

The Barnsbury and St Mary’s Neighbourhood Group has recently been formed to support the plans of Islington Council to introduce Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in the borough. They have a website that has a lot of information:

There are also weekly protests/marches on Thursdays outside the Town Hall for those who object greatly to the plans/current arrangements in other parts of Islington.

Some of you will recall there were discussions about cycle lanes before. One for York Way is planned according to This link will give you the list of a large number of cycle routes at various stage of implementation (implemented to those being aspirational).

We would warmly encourage everyone to record their thoughts on the interactive map referred to above!


2. Thornhill Square Gardens

Dirk Meerstadt has kindly provided us with the following update in relation to the ongoing work in Thornhill Square Gardens:

The Friends of Thornhill Gardens project was started a couple of years ago by Rowena Champion, Barnsbury Ward Councillor, and has made real progress over the past year.

The aim has been to establish a supportive community-building project to create an inclusive inner urban Garden meeting the needs of children and families, the elderly and dog owners. It has been a real pleasure to see how many more people are using the Gardens; early mornings people exercising and walking their dogs, day time children and their families coming to play and picnic on the child-friendly upper lawn which is now fenced off as well as running along the new Children’s Nature and Wildlife Trail, groups sitting on the central benches meeting and chatting to neighbours and elderly sitting on the benches round the outside enjoying the view over the best green lawn (in London!) during the hot weather watching the thrushes hopping along searching for worms. More birds (song thrushes, blackbirds, starlings, robins, ring necked pigeons and parakeets, and occasionally a greater spotted woodpecker) and wildlife are now seen in the Gardens.

The volunteers have worked throughout the lockdown socially distancing. It has been enormously satisfying work seeing all the developments ... and getting so much positive feedback (and donations!) from the users of the Gardens.

Recent achievements have been...
1. Clearing the peripheral shrubs to create a view of the War memorial
2. Fencing off of the top lawn and 4 flower beds
3. Deep forking the grass, spreading 4 tons of sharp sand, fertilising and irrigating it to create a proper green lawn
4. Spreading 2 tons of sharp sand 4 tons of compost on the 4 flower beds now with beautiful roses
5. Digging out 120 yards of shallow trench, wood lining it and filling it with wood chips to create the Childrens Nature and Wildlife Trail with ferns
6. Building a pyramid of wood logs filled with earth and planted with ferns to create a fernery... much admired!
7. Building 2 wood structures for worms, slugs and insects for children to explore along the Trail
8. Erecting a donated wooden garden shed next to the Gardeners brick house with its small kitchen a toilet and large metal back store
9. Purchase of a powerful shredder to cope with all the cuttings to make compost and mulch
10. Fencing off of a corner area to create a WildFlower Meadow area
11. Digging out the 3 lower lawn flower beds and adding large amounts of compost with the planting some pear tees (beautiful flowering in Spring) and various shrubs
12. Planting 6 New Zealand Flax in a circle in the centre of the lower lawn which is being restored by Brendan.

In all we, mostly oldies, have shifted some 25 tons of earth, sand and compost since February 2020... it has been exhilarating work.

We want to restart the last Sunday of the month volunteer gardening 10 am to 2pm followed by a picnic on the lawn. Usually about 15 turn up... youngest 3 and oldest 91! . It has been a joy seeing locals really getting to know neighbours, often chatting to them for the first time. Do come and join us!

Many thanks Rowena for starting this wonderful community building project.

To celebrate this amazing space and the achievements above, Nick Collin has kindly added a screenshow – “Thornhill Gardens Gallery” – at the bottom of the Thornhill Gardens page on our website, here: You can also access it via a sub-sub-menu item under “The Area”.


3. Holy Trinity Church

Kevin Rogers from the Diocese hopes to be able to give a full community update on progress that has been made to the Church at some point in October. In the meantime he has confirmed that work to the south aisle and vestry roofs are now almost complete and we will be moving over to the north side of the building in the coming weeks.

With the south aisle complete, they will initially use this space to house the exhibition planned for the library which would have opened in March.

Kevin has also let us know that the design work on the ‘bone library’ (which was mentioned at the October 2018 public meeting) is moving forwards. The initial phase of investigation and design work is virtually complete. They have submitted a pre Planning Advice application about 3 weeks ago and are awaiting contact from the Planning Department. In terms of use, the Diocese anticipate about 6 to 10 scholars will use this facility every year. The impact, in terms of traffic, will be very low.

As the repair works progress, the Diocese are looking at an option to renew the wrapping on the turrets for a further 3 years. If they can afford this work, it should be possible to strike much of the scaffolding on the west front – a major visual improvement to the square - apparently they should know where they are on this in about 5 to 8 weeks.

In addition, the Diocese have been invited to apply for a major grant which would complete the majority of the external repairs. The major challenge will be to find between £500k and £800k of match funding. If any of the residents are linked with firms that have a philanthropic arm please do let us know and we can forward details to Kevin.

Please see attached a flyer for details on:

- Free exhibition on ’Tales from the Crypt’ at The Cloudesley Centre (Saturday mornings between 26th Sept and 28th Nov 2020)

- Guided Walking Tours weekend and lunch time walks between the 26th September and the 14th November.

- Evening Talks using the Zoom platform, and

- Legacy Zoom Workshops.


4. Website Revamp

Our website, , has been revamped and we would encourage you to check out our “Breaking News” items – in particular the new blog on the progress of the church restoration. We very much value any feedback you might be prepared to give us via the “Comments” facility.


5. Islington Farmers’ Market and Canopy Market are open!

The farmers' market has returned on Sunday mornings to Chapel Market has been operating successfully for quite a few weeks now.

The market that used to be under the canopy opposite the large Waitrose by Granary Square has now relocated to Coal Drops Yard. While there, there is also a photography exhibition between the German Gym and Granary Square.


6. Nature Walks and Wellness Events at Kings Cross

A number of walks and walking events (including a drawing walk and a wild urban wander) are taking place at Kings Cross - for more details please click on the following link:


7. Insights from the Past - A Gem!

And finally, we thought you would all be interested to see this wonderful and quite emotional video which gives a real insight into Islington living conditions in the 1950s. This post WW2 documentary about Milner Square (the hole in the wall being the same one we walk through to get to Almeida St today!) - men and women remembering life in the 1950s, during which period several generations of a family lived in the Square with loads of children in awful poverty and filth. They all knew each other and despite the incredibly difficult living conditions, were supportive of each other with abiding memories of 'happy times'! Please do take a look: 

Through the hole video

Through The Hole In The Wall on Vimeo
Through The Hole In The Wall Milner Square 1935-75. Produced and Narrated by Susan Oudot Directed by Chiara Messineo Edited by Dan Jobar. When Islington Council took over their slum tenements in the 1970s, Milner Square’s residents were dispersed to estates and New Towns.



If you are aware of any event, consultation or news item that you would like us to include in our next newsletter, please let us know.

As ever, if you know of any neighbour who is not on the Cloudesley Association e mail distribution list, please pass this e mail on and/or ask them to provide me with their contact details (to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) so that they can be kept in the loop.

Amanda and Florence
On behalf of
The Cloudesley Association

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.