News & Issues

Time for a new TYCT 20/2/2024

So please get busy with email or pen and form, to send us your new tradesmen ‘finds’, plus re-recommendations for existing entries. All this input is for members, by fellow members – so mutually beneficial!

Our thanks to all who have already contributed. As a reminder to those who intend to do so, please use the form enclosed with this Newsletter, or download the same form from, or just email full details, including your own, to by 29 March 2024.

Volunteering for the Society 20/2/2024

As the new year begins, perhaps your wearable is suggesting you walk more, or your gifts of recipe books are encouraging cake making. Whatever your new year resolution, perhaps it can translate into helping the Society. The range of Society activities means a selection of ways to help, such as helping at events, delivering newsletters, creating posters, baking cakes.

We have a few gaps on the Committee which urgently need filling. The Committee is a great place to help the Society, in that you both hear about what is happening in Belsize, and then lead some aspect of the Society’s involvement. The Committee meets each month, except August, at members’ homes and there is team of people looking at planning matters, the various publications, Society events and engaging with Camden Council about the policies that are being pursued in the Borough.

We are always looking for new Committee members, but we would particularly welcome help in two areas:

  • Events organisation. The Society holds about four main events a year, having a party in the summer, organising an annual walk, the AGM, and bringing the community together at Christmas for carol singing. Organising this involves a small number of set-up tasks, and then working with others to make an event a success. Also, there is scope to update the calendar with new activities.
  • Editing the Newsletter. A Committee member is needed to bring together the materials for the Newsletter each quarter, gathering an array of interesting writing drawn from the pen of our members or news articles about what is happening in BelSoc or the area. It would suit someone who enjoys commissioning and then compiling pieces, with IT used to produce the Newsletter being undertaken by others. Again, there is scope to update how the Newsletter is presented, such as adopting online tools. If joining the Committee is of interest or you would like to volunteer some time to help the Society, then please do contact  if you can help.

Do you have a garage to store BelSoc equipment?

 The photo indicates the scale of the storage needed: around five boxes of BelSoc’s plates and tea making equipment. It would be great if someone with space in a garage or ground level store could look after these. They are used each year for two or three events, for which access that allows transfer to a car would be ideal. 

Contact if you can help.

Scratchcard parking permits 20/2/2024

Scratchcards are safe, for the moment at least. The controversial subject came up before the latest Town Hall meeting of Camden Council.

Following a strong defence to councillors of the hourly paper parking permits from Camden’s community groups including the Belsize Society, the Council agreed to look again at the future of the cards.

Key to the final decision will be a review of the number of users with no online access to the permits. The Council may consider whether a special dispensation for the digitally excluded is feasible.

Community groups will be meeting to discuss the next steps.  Meanwhile, the campaign to save Scratchcards goes on.

Help Save Scratchcards

If you use a Scratchcard and are over 75, and/or have a disability not yet registered with Camden Council, could you please email the Belsize Society at or call Peter Wallace on 07551 686 668.

Thank you.

Society Carols and New Camden Local Plan 20/2/2024

Have your say on Draft New Camden Local Plan

Camden is consulting on their draft new Local Plan from Wednesday 17 January to Wednesday 13 March 2024.

The draft new Camden Local Plan sets out the Council’s vision for future development in Camden for the next 15 years and includes the planning policies and site allocations to help achieve this. It identifies how many new homes and jobs are needed to support Camden’s population, and where and how they should be provided. The Local Plan also has an important role in shaping how Camden’s places look and feel, promoting inclusion, reducing inequality, enhancing the environment, tackling climate change, and securing sustainable neighbourhoods.

To read and comment on the draft new Local Plan please visit

Belsize Carol Singing

The Society’s Christmas Carol Singing was well-attended with over fifty singing along with Matthew Watts at Belsize Terrace. We were joined by the Primrose Hill Community Choir and rattled through some old favourites as well as many carols and songs with our youngest singers leading. Also, over £225 was raised for the Marie Curie hospice, a good local cause. Thanks to all who contributed.

Martin Sheppard speaks at Belsize Library 20/2/2024

The Society supported a recent Friends of Belsize Library talk at Belsize Community Library. Martin Sheppard spoke on The War in Belsize Park. The event was very well attended, with the Library fully crammed as Martin presented a picture of a wartime London. He described where and when bombs landed on the Belsize area presenting material from the archive of bomb maps and showing us photos of the effects on local buildings. 

His talk also covered the suburban lives people led as they sheltered from the bombings, inhabiting both purpose-built shelters and the Underground stations. Martin explained how Swiss Cottage tube proved a vibrant location, with its own magazine associated with the shelter there.

Most delightful was that Martin was joined by another Martin (Nelson) who sang for us, starting with an 1860s music hall classic about perambulators on Primrose Hill, and ending with a song made famous by “Cheeky” Charlie Chester.

Next events at the library include an illustrated talk by Tudor Allen drawing from the collections of Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre (15 February, 7.30pm). 

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