Many Kings Cross Residents not invited to KX festival?

Kings Cross has opened its new old front  square and already the space appears to have mastered its first debacle by apparently inviting only the residents on the Islington side of Kings Cross who received invites with lanyards and vouchers in advance.  Volunteers at Kings Cross spoke of quite a few Camden residents of Kings Cross contacting them and complaining of not having received the same invites as residents in Islington.

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Others said there was presumably a radius taken around Kings Cross with both sides receiving a few invites.  But for example residents in streets as close as Acton Street WC1X seem to have been too far, by virtue of lacking advanced invites.  Who made these decisions on inclusion and exclusion? Will the new old square finally end the inequities of the two sides and who belongs to Kings Cross and who not?  It appears the answer is no.

About Daniel Zylbersztajn

Daniel Zylbersztajn, is since 2012 correspondent to the German independent left of centre daily newspaper taz, die Tageszeitung and Jüdische Allgemeine, and a Pilates Teacher. Born in Germany but also raised in Holland and Israel, he is a long term resident of London Kings Cross (first in 1991), involved parent, local and social activist, and positive lifestyle advocate. He also held posts in research, and conflict work, a.o. for the Palestinian - Israeli peace village Wahat al Salam ~ Neve Shalom. He holds a BA in history and politics from SOAS and two Master degrees, in Urban Sociology (Goldsmiths) and Sports Coaching (Brunel). He is founding and committee member of Coram's Fields User Group, the parent and community voice of Central London's biggest and oldest children playground and was its first spokesperson and chair. Daniel tweets under @zylbersztajn
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15 Responses to Many Kings Cross Residents not invited to KX festival?

  1. Cabe says:

    I live on the Islington side, closer than Acton St (Balfe Street N1 9EG) and didn’t get an invitation either – anyone who lives nearby knows they were working furiously, late and early, to get the square finished in time. I am inclined to cut them some slack rather than spend the first weekend looking for things to complain about.

  2. Jana says:

    That’s terrible! We live in Killick Street, a stone’s throw from the station yet we also didn’t receive invites. If I knew who to complain to I would…

  3. Lynne says:

    I live 2 minutes’ walk from King’s Cross Square – in Islington. I have not received an invitation. Until reading this post, I wasn’t even aware that such invitations existed.

  4. Daniel Zylbersztajn says:

    We also received another response by email from A. V. (full name taken out) she says:

    “We received an invite and we live in Thornhill Bridge Wharf at the junction of the canal and Calodonian Road posted to Dear Resident. As for inequities we now have to walk further To enter the Tube station and this is favouring Camden residents! You win some and you loose some in all situation. It will be more efficient to organise a campaign to keep the new square clean and safe”.

  5. Daniel Zylbersztajn says:

    Lynne, the green lanyards they handed out directly to addresses around Kings Cross allowed up to four people to go on any ride or activity that required payment, free of charge. This was meant as a “thank you” I understand, “for enduring the building works,” over the years. Anyone else could of course come and still enjoy the event, but the Kings Cross residents were supposed to get a special treat.

  6. Andrew says:

    Great day out there today. Didn’t get an lanyard through the mail but the lovely staff were giving them away there, so didn’t pay (except for the extra bags of popcorn for the kids!). Well done to the team who organised this, and to all the hard work so many trades have been putting in to get this done.

  7. Daniel Zylbersztajn says:

    Dear Andrew, I think it is crucial that much work is done to ensure that oversights like these, even though you may think it was nominal as you got some vouchers on the ground, are not repeated. Neither the residents of many years, nor the new residents to be can have an interest in patchy advanced invites, and feelings of resentment by not being counted as a resident. Is it not better to invite and inform more than less in this regard so that all feel included?

    • Cabe says:

      Daniel you’ve made your point of view clear in the post – not sure what is to be gained trying to whip people who are happy into a froth. The fact seems to be that some were disturbed by your account of what happened, and some of us (even those who didn’t receive lanyards) are just not that bothered. The chance of their getting the lanyards to 100% of the people you think should have gotten them is zero – they’re not mind readers, Royal Mail isn’t perfect, etc. It appears some of us are still glad they put on a nice public event and had systems in place to make sure local residents could get their perks/thanks.

  8. Daniel Zylbersztajn says:

    At Cabe: If I take you by your word that it would have been impossible to distribute to all, than it would have been better in this case not to send or distribute any invites at all and proceed with plan B of distributing on site, on evidence of a person living locally. On the first notion, there are many local groups that could have given simple guidance on who to invite and who not, from the Kings Cross Development Forum, the Kings Cross Neighbourhood Forum, to the Kings Cross Area Forum. I am relatively sure that none of these gatherings of active locals would have advised on patchy or limited leafleting or posting. Do not forget that if you did receive an invite you also knew this festival was happening, if not, well you could live one street away and not know there is a show laid out for you to enjoy around the corner. But I do agree with you, that there is a limit as to how far this should be debated and discussed, without becoming mediocre. In deed I agree the show was a quite charming and sweet reminder of a bygone age that brought Kings Cross to life as a Railway Station.

  9. Andrew says:

    I think the bandstand should be a regular feature for end of day rush hour and weekend afternoons. It does put a smile on my face when I surface from the station after commuting from work and there are passionate musicians entertaining (or trying to entertain) hurried commuters shuffling past.

    Need to consider noise / neighbours etc. etc.

  10. A says:

    I also live extremely close on the Islington side (Southern Street) and never received anything. I don’t mind, just a bit confusing. Glad that the work is done though.

  11. mclm says:

    Came through tonight and the downlighters on the seats were’nt working.

  12. tobiaskx says:

    I live in Argyle Square. I got an invite to the opening of the square several days after the event had finished.

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