Readers and contributors

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2021. Please be aware that there are Covid-19 restrictions in London and these are likely to change. Follow the latest NHS advice, and the latest Government advice. Visit Camden Council's coronavirus web page or Westminster Council's coronavirus web page for the latest local information.

Please stay safe, and keep your distance from others when you are out. And remember to wear a face covering when you are visiting shops and other public places. Please be kind to and respectful of those who are working to serve the public during this difficult time.

The centre of London is very quiet so, if you are able to, get out to enjoy a walk or a cycle ride, and explore our beautiful and historic city. Take hand sanitiser and keep a face covering handy. Otherwise, stay at home.

We hope 2021 eventually brings everyone peace, good health, and happiness.

The first six months of 2021 — and quite possibly longer — will be a very difficult time for everyone, and production of a printed newspaper will be challenging.

Producing a 16 page paper is a team effort and requires a lot of communication between our editors, proofreaders, and contributors, who are all volunteers. Which is obviously not easy under the current circumstances.

The last two printed, quarterly issues of Fitzrovia News have been a paltry two-sides of an A4 sheet in black and white. But that didn’t stop our small group of dedicated volunteer contributors from continuing to submit news reports, features, and photographs for publication on our website.

We hope to produce our usual full colour paper for our March edition (deadline 6pm, 5 February) which will be available, along with the Camden New Journal and Westminster Extra, from outside the Fitzrovia Centre at 2 Foley Street. Wish us luck.

Please join us for an editorial and social meeting on Zoom at 7pm, Tuesday 5 January 2021 07:00 PM (London time)

Meeting ID: 861 8909 2103 ; Passcode: 2f4c5B

Our team of volunteer contributors will continue to bring you news reports and features, and this email newsletter will be published at least once a month. Please email us at if you want to get in touch. In the meantime, please find the latest news, features, and planning and licensing applications below.

Volunteer group plant over a hundred trees in local park

This winter the Friends of Crabtree Fields have been busy planting native trees to increase the amount of greenery, biodiversity, and habitat for birds, in one of the few truly green public open spaces in Fitzrovia.

Camden appeals to ‘well intentioned’ but naughty anti-graffiti artist to stop

Camden Council’s West End Project team have appealed to a fast-moving mystery volunteer who has been covering up graffiti with a roller and black paint, to stop what they are doing and give the council’s own workers time to clean it off. So they are telling us…

Camden to start work on redesign of Tottenham Court Road cycle lane

Camden Council is to redesign and then re-open the Tottenham Court Road cycle lane which has been closed for over 18 months due to problems with its safe operation.

The Dining Detective: Kibele restaurant and bar

Front of restaurant.

In 1951 Carson McCullers wrote a novella called The Ballad of the Sad Café. As I walked today along Great Titchfield Street (I write this in the middle of the second lockdown) that title came into my mind. We have been so lucky with our local restaurants and cafes (and with the weather) over the early autumn: outside eating and drinking, cheery staff, safety measures in place everywhere.

Meeting the goddess Hygeia on Hallam Street

Greek gods on stone building facade.

Just stepping out into the street can seem pretty dangerous nowadays. So when I leave the safety of my own flat I crave some kind of reward — something that will make my journey through Fitzrovia feel worthwhile. A few weeks ago, meeting the goddess Hygeia on Hallam Street was one of those rewards.

‘Spy Waiters’ in 21st Century US and 20th Century Britain: Nightmares of Nationalism

Union flag and gas lamps.

Fitzrovia has always been known for its busy eating places owned and staffed by immigrant waiters and chefs from all over Western Europe. At some points in history, waiters like these have been given an unwanted spotlight, wrongly suspected of being spies.

Licensing applications

Sixes, 170 Great Portland Street.

Bellaria Restaurant, 71 Great Titchfield Street.

Ground Floor, 20 Hanway Street.

Restaurant, 48 Grafton Way.

Restaurant, 102 Great Portland Street.

Planning applications

There were 19 planning applications in Bloomsbury ward registered by Camden Council in December 2020.

There were 15 planning applications in Fitzrovia validated by Westminster Council during December 2020.

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