Background

King’s Cross: A Sense of Place is Angela Inglis’s second book about the King’s Cross area. In 2007 she published Railway Lands, Catching St Pancras and King’s Cross, a photographic record of the changing landscape around St Pancras Station before and during the building of the International Station. The station was opened on November 14th, 2007, the date of the book’s publication.

In 2009 she set out to make another photographic record of how the plan to build the international railway station at King’s Cross was thrown out in favour of St Pancras. It occurred to her that the local people’s campaigns against the previous proposal at King’s Cross was something to be investigated. As she began her research and met some of the prime movers in this fiercely fought battle she became aware of two other adjacent areas where campaigns were successfully fought one after the other. Balfe Street and the lower part of Caledonian Road (‘South Cally’) featured in all three. Her research expanded, leading her to key people who had been involved. Thus the book became a collaborative effort, with contributions from a wide range of people including many involved at first hand. It was a story with photographs, many of them contributed by other people.

Tony Rees, a local resident, wrote to Angela Inglis after the launch, ‘I’ve often thought that someone should put together the story of our local campaigns before the memory has faded. The local population has changed so much, and is now more transient, that the knowledge we take for granted is actually very fragile.’ And Anthony Delarue, a local architect wrote to Angela, ‘You have wrought a triumph, the perfect moment, when it is on the cusp of history, yet people are still around and young enough to record what happened. Living history, and an archive resource for which future generations will thank you.’

The first three chapters are about the campaigns, while the last three chapters are about the history of the area. This includes a chapter on Kings Place which Peter Millican decided to build when he saw how the area had been transformed over three decades, i.e. 1973 to the early 2000’s.

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