For avid blog readers, two worlds have collided as our excellent Community Reporter, Stan Moorcroft caught up with Tom Vague, Colville Community History Project, to talk all things North Ken and in particular, Tom’s talk on March 8 on the struggle for voting rights for women. Tickets are free and can be booked online.

At the top end of All Saints Road there is a refuge, an enclave in which a local Bohemian culture retains a foothold, this is the Book & Kitchen, a café/bookshop with adjoining terrace. Here the bustle of the nearby market gives way to conversation, conversation in the presence of images of the recent, and not so recent, past. The past of an area that has contributed so much to the life and culture of the city.

I was there to meet local historian Mr Tom Vague a man intimately familiar with so much of this history. What Tom doesn’t know about the recent history of the area probably is not worth knowing. With Tom’s energy and effort Colville Community Forum, supported by City Living Local Life, recently held a gathering at The Book and Kitchen to celebrate this rich history. February 16 6-9 Pm, with Film Screening and Readings Exhibition February 16-26 2016. Featuring 30 Classic Westway Photographs and Posters. This represents one of a number of initiatives of the City Living Local Life funded, Colville Community History Project, – again step forward Tom Vague.

Tom’s connection to the area dates from the mid 1970’s when the sudden cultural surge that was Punk broke upon the streets of North Kensington to mingle and cross fertilise the vibrant reggae culture of Ladbroke Grove. The dynamism of punk providing an energy every bit as exciting and creative as the hippy ‘counter-culture’ that preceded it. Out of this dynamism multiple projects emerged, infused with other influences such as Situationist psychogeography, all with the emphasis on participation rather than passivity, anyone could make music, write poetry, start a magazine. Tom Vague was at the heart of these developments as a new chapter in Notting Hill’s Bohemian history was written. Engaged in freelance music journalism Tom was always close to the ever changing music scene in the area, from the Clash to Transvision Vamp.

Tom’s interests these days are very much focused on celebrating and preserving the memory of this period of the recent past, as well as the wider cultural and demographic history of the area. Tom is no pessimist and believes that vibrant currents still electrify the streets of this magical area of North London.

Tom will be speaking on March 8, 2016 from 6:30pm to 7:45pm, at North Kensington Library, Ladbroke Grove SUFFRAGETTE CITY, promoted by Colville Community Forum on the struggle for voting rights for women.

For further information on forthcoming talks by Tom contact: