Wed, 09:36

Holloway Road’s Northern Polytechnic – now London Metropolitan University – had to be evacuated because of an IRA bomb scare.

February is LGBT history month. To mark it, Clerkenwell and Islington tour guide Karen Lansdown talks the Gazette through some snapshots of the borough’s rich – but often hard to spot – gay history ahead of two public tours.

There are dozens of ghost signs – huge faded adverts from yesteryear painted on the side of buildings – across Islington. But have you actually noticed any of them?

A Holloway street trader tried to get away with not paying National Insurance because “business wasn’t very good”.

Islington’s pageant master Peter McCafferty is also part of Islington Veterans Assocation. He tells the Gazette about his latest plan to get veterans talking – over a full English.

Neighbours and campaigners say the new Highbury Leisure Centre extension is an eyesore – and doesn’t match the plans that were originally agreed with the council.

Cops set up a drugs hotline for Holloway, urging called to “squeal” on dealer neighbours.

Islington Survivors Network has received donations totalling £320 since the Gazette’s front page appeal, but it desperately needs more.

As we mark the 100th anniversary of the first women winning the right to vote, specialist Islington tour guide Jen Pedler tells the Gazette the stories of four key figures from the borough’s history.

Islington North MP Wilfred Fienburgh died in a car crash aged 38.

If the Gazette’s pages 100 years ago are anything to go by, Islington’s first women voters were treated as something of a spectacle at the 1918 General Election.

Housing, hate crime and public health. Just some of the issues that disproportionately affect women.

Caretakers on Islington’s estates warned tenants to expect “chaos” after the council hit them with an overtime ban.

Much-loved artist, film director and LGBT activist Derek Jarman has been commemorated at his old flat in 60, Liverpool Road.

Two hero firefighters from Clerkenwell Fire Station died in the Smithfield Market disaster.

“We have to keep reminding ourselves of history – otherwise brutality will be able to continue.”

Last weekend, Brian Heywood opened the Brickworks community centre next to Ilex House in the Holly Park Estate. He, and late wife Marie, are impeccable examples of people who give to their community. Brian chatted to the Gazette.

Two teenage cowards were chased by the same umbrella-wielding pensioner whose bag they had tried to steal.

Islington’s council chief is to step in and try and rescue the historic Archway Tavern, which has been left empty for four years.

A drunk bus conductor illegally got behind the wheel of a double decker bus and crashed it on a bomb site after driving several miles.

Labour rebels accused colleagues of abandoning the party’s traditional supporters on Islington’s council estates, after they pushed through a £6 a week rent increase.

Ron Granger is a third generation Chapel Market trader, and has been there himself for 40 years. He tells the Gazette how they can fight the ‘big boys’.

Islington Boxing Club’s future in the borough is guaranteed after it agreed a long-term lease with the council.

A bookkeeper managed to steal the equivalent of £92,000 from her employers over two and a half years before they realised anything was amiss.

If you supported Arsenal or had an N5 postcode in 1988, it’s almost certain you’ll remember the “Battle of Highbury”.

A brave six-year-old girl foiled a kidnapper who tried to snatch her friends.

There are no pets in Islington’s newest library, despite its name. Islington Museum curator Roz Currie tells Rhiannon Long where the Cat and Mouse Library got the title – and how some Suffragettes got the upper hand using martial arts

A Newington Green shopkeeper was left fighting for his life after being knifed by robbers.

This year marks 30 years since construction of the Old Royal Free Square estate in Liverpool Road. Previously one of Islington’s main hospitals, the Gazette tells the site’s story, starting from its origins as an infirmary “for the very poor”.

Cheeky councillors from Hackney were trying to grab a bit of Islington.

A traumatised veteran who was once tortured in a Japanese prison camp had to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court for kicking a police cadet in the face.

Islington hate crime victims were suffering in silence – because they were afraid of the police.

Controversial work to stack another 12 storeys on top of Finsbury Tower will start in April.

A 54-year-old woman was jailed for two months – for stealing biscuits.

A mass eviction of squatters sparked an angry demonstration in Upper Holloway.

A man bleeding from a huge wound in the chest approached a police officer in King’s Cross Road and said: “Could I speak to you for a minute?”

An 88-year-old pensioner was praying to be released from “prison” – after being shut off from the world in her council flat for almost a year.

A Clerkenwell factory was fined £20 (equivalent of £440 today) after one of its workers lost the fingers and thumb on his right hand.

A soldier from Highbury has been honoured 100 years after winning the Victoria Cross for “bravery under heavy fire” in the First World War.

A Holloway couple’s romance ended in heartbreak – at the Old Bailey.

The Queen this afternoon made her first ever visit to St Mary’s Church in Upper Street.

It’s been a long time coming but the Union Chapel clock has been repaired just in time for the venue’s 140th birthday.

Islington Council chiefs planning a New Year package of rent rises and service cuts were asking tenants: “How shall we share out the misery?”

A new exhibition at Islington Museum celebrates the borough’s rich art heritage. Curator Mark Aston tells the Gazette that without these paintings, there would be massive gaps in our history.


“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

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