I recall a young law student, later trainee solicitor, who lived in a “dodgy” flat in Highbury (actually next to Canonbury, then British Rail now Overground, Station), with about 52,000 other people…
OK I exaggerate, but it felt like that on occasion. In 2000 I was looking for a place to live and hooked up with a bunch of people from the year below me in college* that I knew (I had spent the year prior doing a post grad diploma in law in Chester College of Law) plus one person from home in Wales. We found a five bedroom flat above a corner shop in Highbury on Grosvenor Avenue.
The one person from home left after about 6 months, together with about £1k of my money (which I acknowledge was later repaid, about 3 months late, following increasingly desperate requests from me). *1
We ended up living there until about 2003, with a revolving cast of tenants. I seem to recall the only ones who were constant tenants through the period were Cassy and I. Simon B, Maddy, Colin, Louise, Madthav and Doug lived there at various times, together with a selection of friends and partners who stayed from overnight to a month or two. I recall a massive high ceilinged living room, a linotastic kitchen with bins outside the kitchen window on the roof of the flat below, barbecues on the roof of the flat below, pine furniture and knackered sofas, paper lampshades, arguments, a “huge” 20 inch CRT TV I brought with me from Chester, lots of girly videos on VHS and DVD for the girls, excessive playstation use, beers and takeaways for the boys, lots of fun and great parties. And mice, lots of mice…
Anyway, this week, I found myself getting the overground to Highbury and my train terminated at Canonbury Station (in a quirk of fate).
I decided to walk on to Highbury, but thought I would take a few photos of my old stomping ground.
It’s odd what sticks in your mind. I remembered our landlord Rajesh “Roger” Patel, a chap with some slightly old school views but who had his heart firmly in the right place. The butcher where we bought the Christmas turkey and the pub across the way (the Snooty Fox above, originally the Grosvenor Arms) that for some reason we never went to much except on New Year’s Day one year, where we were all a wee bit inebriated playing pool after the mighty party the night before…
Walking back down to Highbury & Islington, I noticed the Hen & Chickens Theatre bar as I reached Highbury Corner – I think I only went in there a couple of times a year most of the time but we went in quite a bit shortly after we moved in so it made an impression.
Just before I reached Highbury I found myself with a big grin looking at the famous cock tavern (some have said I have a smutty mind)…
Finally I found myself at Highbury Station, which looked much like it had been the last time I saw it. This brought to mind a time when a certain flatmate was somewhat inebriated and ordered a taxi back to our flat from there (must have been the easiest £5 that taxi driver earned). 😀
All taken with my X-Pro1 and 18-55mm lens.
*1 I would like to make it clear this was not the (much loved) Lou in a million years. I won’t name the relevant flatmate (but others are free to say what they like though the comments)….