Trib reports fire at historic Keskidee Centre

The Islington Tribune, sister paper of the Camden New Journal together covering the King’s Cross neighbourhood, is reporting a fire last night at the old Keskidee Centre on Gifford Street, once the focus of black art and culture across the UK and venue for Bob Marley’s ‘Is this love?’ video.

About Sophie Talbot

Sophie runs a small business designing websites for small businesses and community groups. http://www.cookiewp.com She also manages King's Cross Community Projects http://www.kccp.org.uk
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6 Responses to Trib reports fire at historic Keskidee Centre

  1. Rob smith says:

    This is a real shame, especially as the Green Plaque was making more people aware of the buildings importance

  2. Diana Shelley says:

    The fire began c.9.30 and it took eight fire engines till 1.30 to extinguish it. http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/LatestIncidentsContainer_8Mar12v.asp The four houses nearest had to be evacuated for the night. I haven’t been out yet to look again at the damage (the church is not visible from my end of Gifford St) but it was comprehensively gutted, with a fear last night that the frontage could collapse into the street (it didn’t, but I guess will need to be demolished). Apparently the church was vacated some weeks ago, and the building was empty. When I left the street at 1.30 the Keskidee plaque was still in place. Fortunately no injuries to firefighters or my neighbours, but it’s a sad morning for us here.

  3. Satta Massagana says:

    Just like the phoenix, the Keskidee should rise again from its own ashes! I grew up “down the cally” and worked at the centre as a youth worker at the same time as Linton Kwesi Johnson and Clive Myers (Iron Fist). I remember Tunde Jegede as a little 7 year old kid. I remember Bob Marleys visit, even Muhamad Ali passed thru… Many many more artist and great people have visited the centre and it is so sad to end up this way. I only hope it was not stared diliberately. RISE AGAIN KESKIDEE, THE DREAM OF OSCAR ABRAMS!

    • Rob smith says:

      Interesting stuff, Id be interested in hearing more of your Keskidee centre memories.

      Any news on how bad the damage is? Im hoping something can be saved and a new community facility built in its place

  4. Diana Shelley says:

    The Keskidee closed more than 20 years ago. It had shut by August 1991 when I moved to Gifford Street. Since then it has been used by various churches, with the last occupants leaving a few weeks ago. Oral historian, Alan Dein, did a programme for the BBC on it: link at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00k4fv9 but sadly no longer available to listen to. There’s also a comment from the last pastor at http://www.london24.com/news/islington_church_used_by_bob_marley_in_music_video_goes_up_in_flames_1_1232620
    It would be wonderful if the building could be rebuilt and used as a community resource, but that seems a bit of a dream in the recession, when we’re losing rather than gaining such resources. My guess is that, given it’s not listed or in a conservation area, whoever owns it will seize the moment to demolish it and apply to build a block of ‘luxury’ flats or some other money-making venture.

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