Arrest made in Bognor Regis re Vasilaki Kakko murder off North Road

sy signThe police said last night that:

>Detectives investigating the murder of 17-year-old Vasilaki Kakko in Holloway have made an arrest.

The man, believed aged 20, was arrested on Monday, 30 November in Bognor Regis, West Sussex on suspicion murder by officers from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, assisted by Sussex Police.

The man was taken into custody at a Sussex police station and will be transferred to a south London police station.


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Parents and carers voices wanted on the largest playground in the area!

Parents and Careres of different backgrounds and across the region, who have come together in a grass roots drive to improve central London’s biggest playground, Coram’s Fields, call all other parents, carers and young people, who the grounds, to an open meeting on the question of improving the largest children’s play-ground in the area, Coram’s Fields.

Coram’s Fields which is the main play ground for many children living around Kings Cross, and exists due to land reserved by Thomas Coram for children some 250 years ago.

The meeting takes place on Sunday the 29th of November between 15.00 and 17.00 at Blemundsbury Hall in Dombey Street, London WC1N 3PF.

The independent group of  parents and carers  can be contacted via e-mail here





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Do you have any information on the murder of 17 year old Vaso Kakko near North Road, Monday night?

Another day, another senseless killing of a local teenager, this time in Yoke Close off North Road last night (Monday night).  I’m lost for words really.

The police have said

‘A murder investigation has been launched following the death of a male in Holloway.

Police were called at approximately 20:50hrs on Monday, 23 November to reports of a male stabbed in Yoke Close, off North Road, N7.

London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance also attended. The male – aged 17 – was pronounced dead at the scene at 21:22hrs.

Officers believe they know the identity of the deceased and next of kin have been informed.’

The Evening Standard has covered it here and the BBC here.

At this early stage, anyone with information is asked to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

This terrible crime took place only a few hundred metres or so from where Ben Kinsella was killed and about three quarters of a mile from where Alan Cartwright was killed.  I’ll update my piece documenting broad Kings Cross area murders where there still seems to be no solution in sight.



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It’s been a long time coming, but we know changes to the King’s Cross gyratory are gonna come

King's Cross road systemFor many, many years local campaigners have doggedly pushed for the dangerous, dirty and unfriendly traffic gyratory system to be removed and replaced with quality public space and safer, healthier roads for all. Their impressive unfailing commitment to achieve a seemingly impossible dream takes a massive step forward this coming February showing that remaining focussed on achieving real progress maybe no quick win but does move mountains.

The mountain in question is Transport for London. TfL and the current mayor have stuck to ‘traffic smoothing’ as their priority. Traffic smoothing, aka keeping the cars and lorries moving, results in ever increasing motor traffic loads. Designing the London traffic system to be motor traffic friendly as its top priority has made the gyratory system what it is today. Local people in our densely populated neighbourhoods suffer massive levels of pollution, cyclists and pedestrians are routinely put at risk, roads divide our community and our public realm is left filthy and unloved.

In 2011, after continual pressure from the community, TfL’s position shifted slightly and they held a series of public events to gather views about the gyratory. However, campaigners have had to push TfL every step of the way and the promised consultation on design options that was to have happened in 2013 was pushed back several times eventually being promised for winter 2016.

When TfL said they would work with Islington and Camden councils to produce new design options they were taken at their word. It appears TfL were surprised by the commitment to gyratory removal our councils brought to the table, hence the delays.

Bowing to local pressure TfL have announced they will unveil design options for public consultation, devised in partnership with Islington and Camden, in February 2016. This is a great result, the first time TfL’s hand has been forced to bring a gyratory removal deadline forward.

The local campaigners have asked local people to keep the pressure up and clearly focussed on TfL:

“We’ve got a big opportunity next year with a new Mayor coming in. Let’s make sure London’s Transport Committee is in no doubt we need a really good new design for our roads and public realm and we need it NOW!”

They ask people to write to the Transport Committee chair Valerie Shawcross now. Ask her to press TfL for a firm timetable for redeveloping the gyratory, one that recognises that their delays continue to kill people, damage our health and destroy our sense of community.

Extract from TfL’s website taken on 28 October 2015:

Phase 3 – King’s Cross gyratory
Feasibility study

Work has started on a feasibility study in partnership with the London Boroughs of Camden and Islington, which will focus on the following roads:

A201 Penton Rise, King’s Cross Road
A501 Pentonville Road, Gray’s Inn Road, Acton Street, Swinton Street
A5202 Pancras Road, Midland Road, Goods Way
A5203 Caledonian Road, Wharfdale Road
A5200 York Way
We held focus groups with representatives from cycling and pedestrian groups, as well as local resident and business groups, in 2011.

The feedback is being considered as part of the feasibility study. We are developing design options which meet the aims above and plan to hold a public consultation in February 2016.

Posted in Bad Gyrations KX Campaign, Road Safety in Kings Cross, Transport | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pro refugee demonstration at St Pancras Station 24 October #noborders

There was a disturbance at St Pancras last night as scuffles erupted around a demonstration.  It was widely covered on social media and in mainstream media – here are some excerpts, I’ll try to cover both points of view.  If you are new to this site and want to comment be aware that we moderate comments heavily here to maintain a civil discourse:

Some people think the police behaviours were appropriate

Others don’t

Some thought the methods of some demonstrators were counter productive

Others felt that a point had been made

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From sex to shopping, a Kings Cross journey

Kings Cross used to be synonymous with its seedy sex industry – street workers, dodgy hotels and a Michael Porter-type cluster of  sex shops and the like.  The street workers seem to have gone (hopefully to somewhere safer) the hotels are slightly less dodgy now but what happened to the shops?   The shops had in some cases been there for what felt like decades, were unmissable as the only brightly lit shop fronts at night and became local landmarks, but not always in a good way.  Better council enforcement, regeneration leading to rising rents and increased footfall has meant the shops have been replaced with new forms of mammon.  This is undoubtedly a good thing and we have written many times on this site about some of the establishments.  But history takes many forms so I thought it worth recording what had replaced the sex establishments of yore as a marker for regeneration.

It’s important to point out that none of the current businesses have any connection at all with their location’s former use.

The infamous Pirate Books in a prime Kings Cross ‘gateway’ location on York Way was finally driven out by determined Islington council action.  The site first became a coffee shop and is now a noodle bar.

chozen noodle pirate books

Pleasure Island was in my opinion essentially a brothel on a prime corner location practically opposite my former flat on the Cally Road.  The site is now occupied by an estate agent.

Trio Pleasure Island

And almost oppostite the former site of Pleasure Island is another estate agent.  That site was also a sex shop for a few years, then became a carpet shop.

Unmemorable Letting Homes

Breathless was a rubber fetish shop on Kings Cross Road – the unit is now empty but hasn’t been re-let it seems.


At the bottom of the Cally Road was the Bleu Danube and DVD Xtra adult video store, another prime corner location.  Now on that site is the Backpacker pub.

Backpackers Bleu Danube

Opposite Bleu Danube was several incarnations of shops like Soho Books that moved between premises now occupied by Drink Shop Do (an early flag bearer of grass roots regeneration) and Dash.

Soho Books

And along the side of St Pancras station before that was regenerated were a series of low key shops that for a while included Fettered Pleasures a specialist S&M supplier.  I can’t quite recall which unit it was in but it may have been the one in the photo, which is now the Eurostar First Class Lounge – do let me know if i have this wrong.

Eurostar Fettered Pleasures

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Another tree killed on towpath

imageLast year two trees were killed on the Regent’s Canal towpath by vandals. The first at Thornhill Bridge Community Gardens and the second behind Copenhagen School. The Copenhagen School tree was replaced in May by a semi mature cherry tree that would have been filled with blossom next spring. On Friday or early Saturday last week the tree was left to slowly die after the bark on its trunk was ringed.

Semi mature trees come at some expense, so local people were grateful to the national charity the Canal and Rivers Trust, who are responsible for the canal and the towpath, for the new cherry tree. One resident’s young son had enjoyed watering the tree to help it bed in.

It could be that someone with a grudge towards local tree planting has taken this action. It’s certainly someone that knows how to kill a tree and maybe someone that knew the cctv for that spot had recently been removed.

imageA Canal & River Trust spokesperson, said: “Why anyone would want to do this to the tree is beyond us. Trees are vital to our environment and on the Regent’s Canal they are so important to ensuring the waterway remains a green artery going through the centre of the city. It takes time and money to deal with damage like this, and when it appears to be caused by conscious vandalism, it is even more frustrating.”

if you do see anyone harming the trees on the towpath please let the Canal and Rivers Trust know.

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Our wild towpath

The towpath of the Regent’s Canal behind the station between York Way (Maiden Lane), Caledonian Road and the Islington tunnel is rich in naturally growing wildflowers. Here’s just a small selection of those seen this year. Many thanks to the Wildflowers of Britain and Ireland Facebook page for identifications, although any errors are purely my own!

I’ll update this page to include more details for each plant including their contribution to wildlife generally and their uses. Hover over or click on the images for text.

The verge where these grow was strimmed last week by the Canal and Rivers Trust for maintenance reasons. However, as more plants spring up keep your eyes peeled for wildflowers – there’s still a little time before winter kicks in!

Posted in New, Wildlife and Nature | Tagged , , | 2 Comments