Review by Dan Carrier Camden New Journal March 2012
The history of Belsize Park is laid bare in a simply fascinating documentary by long-term resident, David Percy. The Belsize Story: Volume One, narrated by TV presenter Fiona Bruce, is being screened next week at St Stephen’s Church.
Mr Percy, who grew up in Belsize Park, tells me he was inspired by the fact that the streets of his home patch have every slice of London architectural history on show, and can be seen as a microcosm to consider the gradual development of north London.
The film brings us through the development of the area and the stories of the people who lived in the houses. With Georgian and Victorian homes, Edwardian terracotta Arts and Crafts-style terraces, 1930 villas and Modernist glass and steel structures, Belsize will get the Pevsner inside you drooling.
But, as the film highlights, it is also packed with characters and tales that you would not tribute to the now-respectable streets of the neighbourhood. I am thinking particularly of the raucous goings on at the pleasure gardens, which were deemed so sinful they were frequently closed down, only for fun-loving Park dwellers to get the party started again when the beak's backs were turned.
The Belsize Story: Volume One is now available on DVD. It will be screened on March 27 at St Stephen’s Church, 7.45pm, admission free. The event is sponsored by the Belsize Residents Association and the Admiral Property Partnership.