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York Way Estate turns 50: ‘Our community has always been tight-knit’

PUBLISHED: 11:19 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:19 02 July 2018

The York Way Estate's 50th anniversary celebrations on Saturday. Picture: Polly Hancock

The York Way Estate's 50th anniversary celebrations on Saturday. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Tenants from the York Way Estate celebrated 50 years in the Cally at the weekend.

Brenda Kyriacou, of the York Way Estate's tenants and residents' association, at the 50th anniversary celebrations on Saturday. Picture: Polly HancockBrenda Kyriacou, of the York Way Estate's tenants and residents' association, at the 50th anniversary celebrations on Saturday. Picture: Polly Hancock

The estate, between North Road and Market Road by Caledonian Park, was built in 1968: a time when Islington was short of social housing.

Only the previous year, the neighbouring 271-flat Market Estate had also been constructed on the former Caledonian Market site.

But unlike the Market Estate, knocked down after 43 years due to a shameful culture of neglect, the 275-flat York Way Estate is still going strong.

“It has changed a lot since 1968,” tenants and residents’ association secretary Brenda Kyriacou told the Gazette at the 50th celebration event on Saturday.

“Many of the people from then have obviously passed away. There are less than a dozen of the original tenants remaning. We have many different nationalities joining us now. It has always been a tight-knit community here.”

Archie Blundell, aged eight, at the York Way Estate's 50th anniversary celebrations on Saturday. Picture: Polly HancockArchie Blundell, aged eight, at the York Way Estate's 50th anniversary celebrations on Saturday. Picture: Polly Hancock

Saturday’s celebration included donkey rides, a petting farm, rodeo bull and a climbing wall after Brenda was able to secure Lottery funding as part of the tenants and residents’ association’s work.

Brenda said: “It was set up to put on events like this, but also because all residents in estates have complaints. They may to go the office, or the Corportation of London [which owns and runs the estate], but perhaps may not always get far. So a few people got together to form the association in 1999 and it has gone on from there.

“I think it’s really important to give people a voice. They will see us passing by and can inform us about what’s going on, or tell us if they have any issues. If they don’t always manage to resolve their issues, they can come to us.

“I think we’ve done a valuable job here, otherwise we would have been disbanded. We are always organising events on the estate. In our hall, we have so many photos from over the years.”

She added: “The sense of community is the best thing about the estate. It’s so diverse and for some people it can be hard to integrate. But we are always inviting people to come down and get involved.”

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