Monday, July 30, 2012

Kings Cross St Pancras Olympic travel update 30th July

This is a follow-up to our Olympic travel page.

The verdict: so far so good, mostly

Although the biggest test - the start of the athletics - is still to come, the two main fears of huge queues for the Javelin trains and of commuters waiting 30 minutes to get on the tube have proved unfounded. In fact people have been joking on Twitter about “travel chaos”:

  • empty.png

There are, however, two things that need sorting:

Many of the signs at St Pancras for the Javelin trains point the wrong way


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  • This Javelin sign leads to the taxi rank on Midland Road

When these signs (which are mostly in the “Arcade” shopping area) first appeared, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and thought they were for a queuing system that had yet to be put in place. But the queuing system is elsewhere - on Pancras Road and inside near the escalators for the Javelin platforms.

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  • Queuing pens on Pancras Road, not where a lot of signs point to

A few signs are actually less wrong than they look because of an alternative route (which may prove quite useful if things do get busy) to the platforms accessed from near The Betjeman Arms’ indoor terrace on the station’s upper level.

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  • This sign looks wrong…
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  • …but leads to a sneaky back route to Javelin trains from upper level

However, many signs are still wrong, and others have had their arrows covered up, which is worse than useless.

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  • Signs with covered-up arrows are no help!

On the plus side, there are loads of extra staff around to help, so if you get confused the best advice is to ask.

But seeing as the games have still got nearly two weeks to run and then there are the paralympics, St Pancras and Southeastern please can you sort these signs out and stop confusing our visitors!

There are traffic jams being cause by road restrictions that shouldn’t be there

The roads have not fared as well as the railways, with jams on the Euston Road twice over the weekend and serious gridlock for a while on Monday morning. Congestion isn’t unusual in King’s Cross, but the frustrating thing is that the roads were clear in all directions outside our area, so the congestion shouldn’t have happened.

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  • GAOTG map for 30th July showing no restrictions in King’s Cross

The problem seems to have been caused by two mistakes:

1. Signs incorrectly designating Euston Road bus lanes as Games Lanes.
This is only meant to happen between Euston and King’s Cross on 7 days during the games (due to road events), but signs have been displayed permanently since Friday, although someone armed with spraypaint has noticed the problem and taken matters into their own hands:

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  • Spray-painted Olympic rings

Despite the inclusion of the word “taxis” on the sign, the situation has understandably confused black cabs, many of whom I saw sitting in traffic next to empty lanes this morning.

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  • Cabbies confused about which lanes they’re allowed to use

2. No left-turn signs from Euston Road into Upper Woburn Place.
Again this restriction has been in place all the time but on the GAOTG website is only shown on road event days.

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  • No left turn from Euston Road (westbound) into Upper Woburn Place

It is from this junction that westbound traffic has been backing up to King’s Cross and causing the jams.

I have tweeted @GAOTG twice about these issues and not had a reply. King’s Cross traffic needs to run as smoothly as possible, and not have extra and unnecessary restrictions applied when traffic elsewhere is running smoothly.
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Olympic Torch comes to Kings Cross

There was a big crowd and great community spirit as the torch changed hands outside the London Canal Museum in New Wharf Road.

A group of young singers and dancers from Sadlers Wells theatre entertained the crowd and welcomed the torch.

Monday, June 25, 2012

LFA 2012: Events in Kings Cross

The 2012 London Festival of Architecture includes King’s Cross as one of its “hubs” which are areas where there’s a concentration of activity over certain weekends, in our case 7th-8th July. Maybe I was being dim but I found the LFA 2012 website a little confusing, so here’s a summary (taken from what I could find) of what’s happening in King’s Cross. Sadly the planned screening of Ladykillers in Argyle Square - a genius idea - isn’t going ahead.


In some cases locations and times on that site are a little unclear, especially for the free exhibitions/installations. But if you head for Central Saint Martins/Granary Square there should be help on hand to point you in the right direction.

Timed/ticketed events

Thu 28 Jun
[CANCELLED] ‘The LadyKillers’ an open-air public screening
What: Open air film screening
How much: [CANCELLED]
Where: Argyle Square [info] [map]
Fri 29 Jun
9am - 6pm
Unlocking the public realm: how arts and design transform urban space
What: Conference on city regeneration and arts
How much: £50, £20 concessions, UAL students/staff free. Register here
Where: Central Saint Martins [info] [map]
Thu 5 Jul
12 - 1pm
Playful Practice: Honey Club lunchtime talk
What: Lunchtime bee-keeping talk
How much: Free, lunch available to buy
Where: The Filling Station [info] [map]
Thu 5 Jul
6.30 - 8.30pm
Artangel and Living Architecture presents: A Room for London at LFA 2012
What: Architecture talk
How much: Free, registration required. Register here.
Where: The Hub Kings Cross [info] [map]
Fri 6 Jul
12 - 1pm
Playful Practice: lunchtime talk with Squire & Partners
What: Lunchtime architecture talk
How much: Free, lunch available to buy
Where: The Filling Station [info] [map]
Fri 6 Jul
1 - 2pm
Heatherwick Studio - Talk
What: Architecture talk
How much: [FULLY BOOKED] Free, registration required. Please rsvp to Jacqueline Townsend, Communications Support, Heatherwick studio:
Where: Heatherwick Studio [info] [map]
Fri 6 Jul
Istanbul On the Way of ‘Londonisation’ by Emre Arolat
What: Urbanisation talk
How much: Free, registration required. Register here.
Where: The Hub Kings Cross [info] [map]
Fri 6 Jul
6.30 - 9pm
After hours, lights of the city cycle tour
What: Guided cycle ride
How much: £20. Register here.
Where: Central Saint Martins [info] [map]
Sat 7 Jul
12 - 1pm
Carmody Groarke on The King’s Cross Filling Station
What: Lunchtime architecture talk
How much: Free, lunch available to buy
Where: The Filling Station [info] [map]
Sat 7 Jul
5 - 7.30pm
Henry Moore and Architecture in Conversation
What: Gallery private view
How much: Free, registration required. Register here or email
Where: Gagosian Gallery [info] [map]
Sat 7 Jul
1 - 5pm (tbc)
Rooftop make day
What: Constructing a Mongol tent on an office roof
How much: [FULLY BOOKED] Free, registration required. Register here.
Where: Wolff Olins [info] [map]

Guided walks

NLA (New London Architecture) Walking Tour
What: Tour of King’s Cross development by Blue Badge Guides
How much: £12
Meet: Corner of Euston/Pancras Roads [map]
Sat 7 Jul, 11am [info] [register]
Sat 7 Jul, 2pm [info] [register]
Sun 8 Jul, 11am [info] [register]
Wed 11 Jul, 6pm [info] [register]
Fri 13 Jul, 11am [info] [register]
Transforming King’s Cross
What: Tours of new King’s Cross station from architect JohnMcAslan+Partners
How much: Free
Meet: Information desk, King’s Cross Station Western Concourse [map]
Sat 7 Jul [info] 2pm [register]
2.30pm [register]
3pm [register]
3.30pm [register]
4pm [register]
4.30pm [register]
Sun 8 Jul [info] 10am [register]
10.30am [register]
11am [register]
11.30am [register]

Free/all day events

Thu 28 Jun
9am - 5pm
What: Installation inside a carousel
Where: Granary Square [info] [map]
Fri 29 Jun
6.30am - 6pm
Soundbridge 2025
What: Sound installation
Where: Goods Way [info] [map]
Thu 5 - Sun 8 Jul
12 - 6pm
The Scattered Playground
What: Canalside exhibition from Central Saint Martins students
Where: Regents Canal [info] [map]
Fri 6 - Sun 8 Jul
9am - 6pm
Cross Stitch
What: Installation from Central Saint Martins students
Where: Granary Square [info] [map]
Fri 6 - Sun 8 Jul
10am - 9pm
Ping! the City
What: Table tennis for all
Where: Pancras Road (near German Gymnasium) [info] [map]
Fri 6 - Sun 8 Jul
10am - 5pm
Sculpture Trail
What: Sculptures in nature park
Where: Camley Street Natural Park [info] [map]
Fri 6 - Sun 8 Jul
10am - 5pm
Sustainable Acoustics
What: Acoustics demonstrations
Where: Pancras Road (near German Gymnasium) [info] [map]
Fri 6 - Sun 8 Jul
10.30am - 8pm
Drink, Shop & Do
What: Mini sculpture making/installing
Where: Drink, Shop & Do [info] [map]
Fri 6 - Sun 8 Jul
12 - 6pm
High Hopes
What: Helium balloons in the Goods Way birdcage
Where: Goods Way [info] [map]
Fri 6 - Sun 8 Jul
12 - 5.30pm
King’s Cross WORKshop Extravaganza
What: Kids’ activities
Where: WORK Gallery [info] [map]
Sat 7 Jul
9am - 5pm
Skip Garden
What: Garden open day
Where: Handyside Street (off Granary Square) [info] [map]
Sat 7 Jul
11am - 9pm
Dancing in the Square
What: Open air dance performances
Where: Granary Square [info] [map]
Sat 7 - Sun 8 Jul
11am - 5pm
King’s Cross Picnic
What: Open space with stalls, games and performances
Where: 6 St Chad’s Place [info] [map]
Sat 7 - Sun 8 Jul
11am - 11.30pm
Coming to the City
What: Nando’s mosaic on public display
Where: Nando’s [info] [map]
Sat 7 - Sun 8 Jul
Sat: 12 - 4.30pm
Sun: 12 - 6pm
Somers Town Open House
What: Community activities
Where: The Nursery, 4th Floor, St Christopher’s House, Bridgeway Street [info] [map]
Sat 7 - Sun 8 Jul
12 - 5pm
Imagination Playground
What: Children’s playspace
Where: Central Saint Martins [info] [map]
Sat 7 - Sun 8 Jul
Sat: 12 - 4pm
Sun: 1 - 3pm
Pop Up Dance Performances
What: Open air dance performances
Where: 6 St Chad’s Place [info] [map]
Sat 7 - Sun 8 Jul
Sat: 12 - 7pm
Sun: 12 - 4pm
Urban Actions Field Guide and Urban Actions Protest Banner Workshop
What: Information point and banner workshop
Where: Granary Building [info] [map]
Sat 7 - Sun 8 Jul
all day (times not stated)
Transformation from Grain Store to University (+ Start of LFA Trail around King’s Cross)
What: Installations and more
Where: Granary Building [info] [map]
25 Jun - 03 Aug
all day (times not stated)
Minimal Complexity
What: Prize-winning sculpture
Where: Granary Building [info] [map]

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Olympic torch in Kings Cross on 26 July

27th July update: you can now watch our video of part of the torch’s journey through King’s Cross, as it changed hands outside the London Canal Museum.

Unlike most of its journey, the precise route of the Olympic torch on its second last day - when it visits King’s Cross - has been kept secret until now. Here’s a quick summary of the details:

Thursday 26th July - Olympic Torch Relay, Day 69 of 70


Please note that all times are approximate.

The Roundhouse, Camden


Final Torch Relay day launches with a mass choir singing out the Olympic Torch.

St Pancras Gardens


The torch arrives at St Pancras Gardens, the graveyard and grounds of the historic St Pancras Old Church.

Entertainment: 7 - 10am, Fun-filled community breakfast celebration with lots of activities.

Granary Square


At 7.19am the torch boards a canal boat at St Pancras lock and travels along the Regents Canal to reach Granary Square - King’s Cross’ brand new open space, the size of Trafalgar Square.

Entertainment: 7 – 9.45am, Performances from Camden’s young emerging artists.

St Pancras International


The torch travels down King’s Boulevard, home of Eat St to reach St Pancras Station.

Entertainment: 7 – 9.45am, a top viewing spot and music extravaganza featuring established, internationally known Camden artists.

London Canal Museum


The torch then heads along Euston Road and up York Way (hurrah - the roadworks will have to be finished!) where it passes into the borough of Islington on Wharfdale Road at around 7.55am. It goes up New Wharf Road, passing The London Canal Museum before leaving our area via Caledonian Road on its journey through Islington, the City and beyond.

Entertainment: 7.30am - 1pm, free family fun day at the London Canal Museum kicking off at 7.30am to coincide with the Olympic torch first entering the borough. Activities will continue at the museum until 1pm.

If you want to go for breakfast after watching the Olympic torch, try our guide 16 places to have breakfast and brunch in King’s Cross.


For more information see the links below. I’ll add any new information if I find it.
Love Camden’s torch relay blog article
Camden council’s torch relay information page
Camden council’s torch relay colour PDF with event details
List of Camden torch bearers

19th July Camden New Journal article

Islington council’s torch relay blog article
Islington council’s London Canal Museum torch relay information page
List of Islington torch bearers

London 2012 torch relay route

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Goose update: nest reclaimed

A few weeks ago I posted the sad story of the geese whose nest was no longer available because it had been boarded up, along with pics and a video containing some loud goose-honking.


On March 23rd I noticed that the previously covered wooden barrel had had its lid removed, and took this pic of the geese inspecting the site:


They then disappeared for a few days, so it was hard to know what was going on.

Yesterday after returning from weekend away I was pleased to see a sight that has become familiar over the last few years - that of a contented goose sitting on the nest:


I haven’t bumped into the boat owners to find out their side of the story, but am assuming they either had a change of heart or found the noisy protest by the determined fowl even more disruptive than having them nesting on the end of the boat.

I will post again if there’s more news - hopefully involving the arrival of this year’s goslings.