Category Archives: Diary Dates

Events at the Library and BelSoc support

BelSoc held a joint event with the Friends of the Belsize Community Library on 18 April. Local historian and former Chair of this organisation, Averil Nottage, presented an illustrated talk about the development of the Chalcots/Eton College Estate in the first half of the 19th century.

The talk started by introducing us to an Elysian Field of pastures and meadows, which was the portion of Belsize that is now home to England’s Lane, Fellows Road and parts of Primrose Hill. The talk introduced us to Cut Throat Lane and to the proposals for Primrose Hill, including a large pyramid, that were rejected so that it was maintained as an open space as it is today.

The well-attended event ended with drinks and a chance to engage with the presenter and catch up with members.

The Friends have an excellent series of talks for the rest of the year, starting with Dr Bea Lewkowicz speaking about the 85th Anniversary of the Kindertransport, on 16 May 2024, 7.30pm at the Library.

Events at the Library

There is an exciting programme of in-person speaker meetings at the Belsize Community Library, Antrim Road. All on Thursday evenings, 7.30pm and  £5 is suggested for donation and refreshments.

16 May –  Dr Bea Lewkowicz speaking about the 85th Anniversary of the Kindertransport.

19 June – Author Jennie Ensor will talk about how lockdown inspired her fifth novel  “The Bad Neighbour”.

19 September – Finding Nemon by Aurelia  Young. The extraordinary life of the outsider who  sculpted the famous. Aurelia Young tells the remarkable story of her father’s career which brought him close to those who shaped and impacted the 20th century.

17 October – Michelene Wandor will talk about her novel “Orfeo’s Last Act”. Set against the backdrop of seventeenth century Italy, Orfeo’s Last Act brings the magic of Mantua, Florence and Venice to  vivid life.

21 November – Pamela Holmes will give a talk about Elizabeth Blachrie Blackwell (c1700-1758) the first British woman to produce an illustrated book on herbs.

12 December – An illustrated talk by Karin Fernald. Hans Christian Andersen. A question of Imagination. Wit, Traveller and Artist



Bauhaus student, photographer and Soviet spy recruiter

Interested in social housing, photography, spies or local history? This exhibition will be a “must” for you.  Edith Tudor-Hart was called the grandmother of the Cambridge Five but was also a groundbreaking photographer whose images showed the ordinary lives of working class Londoners and – from a Belsize perspective – the construction of the Isokon Building in Lawn Road which opened in 1934.  There is a fascinating video on the Gallery’s website to introduce the life and work of Tudor-Hart; and you can visit the Gallery from 11am–4pm every Saturday and Sunday until the end of October. Free entry.  No booking required.  Further details are available at

Did you know that the Isokon Gallery relies on charitable donations and the proceeds from the shop to care for the collection?  

What’s coming up at Hampstead Theatre?

On the main stage – Visit from an Unknown Woman, 21 June – 27 July. 

Merril is one of Silicon Valley’s leading software engineers, but her life disintegrates when her younger sister Vienna, 1934. Stefan is one of the world’s most successful authors – widely read, universally admired, and translated into every language. His is the life of a wealthy playboy, enjoying only the finest things in life – from luxurious world travel to the company of his most dazzling contemporaries in Europe’s most fashionable restaurants. Only two things cloud his prospects: the rise of the Nazi Party, and the sudden appearance of a woman who he clearly knows… but who he cannot, for the life of him, remember…

Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of the short story by Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) receives its English Language premiere following a triumphant run at Vienna’s Josefstadt Theater. Winner of multiple awards including two Oscars, Hampton’s plays include Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Tales from Hollywood and The Philanthropist, and he is celebrated for his translations of Reza and Zeller. Chelsea Walker returns to Hampstead to direct following her acclaimed productions of Yous Two and This Much I Know.

Downstairs – Grud, 28 June – 3 August

It’s a new term at college and, after losing the election for student president, Aicha is throwing all her energy into the school’s ‘Extended Physics Project’ – or, as she calls it, Space Club. One afternoon, Aicha is surprised by the appearance of the usually introverted and distant Bo, doubling the membership of Space Club. Whilst Aicha is thrilled to have a mysterious new friend, Bo is distracted by the black hole at the heart of her home life. She’s worked so hard to launch herself into bigger and better things – but will Grud eclipse her efforts and pull her off course?

Writer Sarah Power is an alumnus of Hampstead Theatre’s INSPIRE 2022 programme for emerging playwrights. Director Jaz Woodcock-Stewart makes her Hampstead Theatre debut, with previous credits including Paradise Now! (Bush – 2022 Olivier Award nominated), Civilisation (New Diorama, HOME Manchester, Underbelly Edinburgh) and Electric Rosary (Royal Exchange).

For further details, visit or phone The Box Office on 020 7722 9301, or visit Hampstead Theatre, Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage.

What’s coming up at Hampstead Theatre?

On the main stage – Rock ’N’Roll   6 December – 27 January

1968: Russian tanks have rolled into Czechoslovakia, and Syd Barrett has been dumped by Pink Floyd. Jan, a visiting postgrad at Cambridge, breaks with his old professor Max, a Marxist philosopher, and heads home to Prague with his suitcase full of “socially negative music”. Rock ’n’ Roll covers the ensuing 21 years in the lives of three generations of Max’s family while Jan is caught in the spiral of dissidence in a Communist police state. But it’s a love story too – and then there’s the music…

Tom Stoppard returns to Hampstead after the triumphant revival of Hapgood (2015). Director Nina Raine also returns to Hampstead where her directing credits include her own play Tiger Country (2011 & 2014) and William Boyd’s Longing (2013).

Downstairs – Nineteen Gardens    until 9 December 

Nearly two years after the end of their affair, John and Aga meet once more.  Each has filled the void left by the other: he has withdrawn into his world of wealth and privilege; she has found herself working as a chambermaid to support her family.  Both recognise that the spark between them is still there.  Will they rekindle what they had, or is an altogether darker game about to be played out…?

Downstairs – This Much I Know   13 December – 27 January. 

A tenured professor of psychology, Lukesh enjoys a life as organised and logical as his mind.  But then his wife vanishes, sending only a text message by way of explanation and leaving him to re-evaluate their relationship. He discovers she has embarked on an epic odyssey, crossing and recrossing Russia and delving deep into Soviet history on a quest to unravel a family mystery of which he was unaware – one in which Josef Stalin himself may be involved.

Jonathan Spector’s play is at once a love story and a kaleidoscopic primer in psychology, history, and the use and abuse of power. 

To find out more and buy tickets, visit or phone 020 7722 9301. 

Mozart for the Homeless

As in previous years, Matthew Watts is hosting  our carol singing in Belsize Terrace on 16 December. 

Also like previous years, he is conducting the London Classical Choir and Orchestra with the Peterborough Choir in a concert of classical masterpieces with proceeds to C4WS Homeless Charity and others. It takes place at St Mary’s Church, on Sunday 26 November, 7pm. Tickets are £16 on the door with online options at

Belsize Walk: From Elysian Fields to Trains and Villas

Until the 1830s the Eton College estate was covered with hay meadows.  Londoners were attracted to these isolated fields to fight duels, protest and enjoy country walks. Then the railway arrived, cutting through the meadows and soon roads and villas followed as well as dairies, nurseries, market gardens and exotic poultry. Find out about all of this, and much more, on our walk led by local historian, Averil Nottage.

“From Elysian Fields to Trains and Villas” will run twice – at 11.00 and 2.30 – on 24 September starting at the junction of England’s Lane and Chalcot Gardens.  Tea and cakes will be provided following the afternoon walk.  Tickets can be booked on Eventbrite.


To book your place register on Eventbrite, use the link for 11am, 24 Sept and the link for 2.30pm, on the same day.

Belsize Community Choir in 2022

Belsize Community Choir was founded in 2010, and we embrace a blend of eclectic music from secular and sacred traditions worldwide that captures a broad spectrum, with around 30+ members, and is a non-auditioned choir so anyone can join us. We are an inclusive, fun and engaging community that values the playful and relaxed pursuit of choral excellence. 

The Choir rehearses at St Peter’s Church on Thursday evenings from 7 pm – 9 pm. There is a break during rehearsal for a drink (or two) for nibbles and socialising. Concessions to the subscription are available. See for further details.

Here are our Christmas events:

  • Sunday, December 11 at 5 pm (tbc). Christ Church, Hampstead.
  • Sunday, 18th December: St Saviours Chalk Farm at 4.30pm (tbc) and onto St Peter’s Belsize Square at 6.30pm for our annual carol service led by Father Paul Nicholson.

Back In Person In The Library

You may have enjoyed the online events organised by the Friends of Belsize Community Library during the lockdowns. The Friends are now planning an exciting programme, but returning to the in-person format at the Library, The first event is on Thursday 17 November at the Belsize Community Library, Antrim Grove NW3 4XN, at 7.30pm.

Writer and performer Karin Fernald will give an illustrated talk on JANE AUSTEN, CARL LINNAEUS AND THE EMPIRE OF SWEDEN. The talk looks at celebrated Swedes listed by Jane Austen; one who freed the country from Danish rule; one who took on the Holy Roman Empire and brought back many paintings. Please come along and meet your neighbours. Suggested donation £5 to include refreshments.

Belsize Walk: Artists, Refugees and Spies

Between about 1933 and 1939, artists living around Parkhill Road pioneered the British Modernist art movement, whilst spies living around Lawn Road were at the centre of Soviet espionage in Britain.  The political turmoil in Europe, and arrival of exiles escaping Fascism, had a significant impact on both these developments.  You can find out more about local culture and chicanery in those extraordinary times on our walk on Sunday 25 September.  Led by Averil Nottage, it will takes place twice – starting at 11.00 a.m. and 2.30 p.m.

The afternoon walk will be followed by tea and cakes at Belsize Library. The walks will start at the junction of Parkhill Road and Haverstock Hill. We expect a big demand so, to keep everyone safe, we are limiting numbers by operating a ticket system.  For 11am, the booking is through an Eventbrite site at the link. For the 2.30pm, walk, there is a separate link.

What’s coming up at Hampstead Theatre?

Next on the Main Stage – The Snail House

Sir Neil Marriot had a “good pandemic”, becoming familiar to millions from his TV appearances as a government medical advisor, and he is now rewarding himself with a lavish birthday party. But, amidst the oak panelling and the silver service, his family are at one another’s throats again, and he thinks there’s something familiar – and somehow unsettling – about one of the catering staff…

The Snail House is the first completely original play from Richard Eyre, the vastly experienced director of theatre, opera, film and television who was Artistic Director of the National Theatre from 1988 to 1997. His previous productions at Hampstead have included The Last of the Duchess and Mr Foote’s Other Leg.

Next on Downstairs – Ravenscourt

Lydia is a mental-health professional determined to make a difference. She has given up her comfortable job in private practice to become a therapist at Ravenscourt – where society’s most in need can receive treatment. But as Lydia settles into the job, she starts to realise how high the odds are stacked against her being able to really change things. Maybe the cynics are right: the system is broken and nobody cares..

Georgina Burns is an alumnus of Hampstead Theatre’s INSPIRE course for emerging playwrights; Ravenscourt is her first produced full length play. Hampstead Theatre’s Associate Artist Tessa Walker (Big Big Sky, The Glad Game) directs.