Polly Hancock’s North London in Pictures 2021

Published:
6:30 December 30, 2021



Despite the fact that 2021 started in lockdown, there was still the well-known urgency to get Ham & High on the newsstands.

With the lack of organized events, image scattering had to be picked up out of the fact that not much was happening. So like everyone else I went.

I searched for historical remains in both Hampstead and Highgate to photograph. I went to Camden Town, where among the closed shops was great street art, and of course I went to Heath.


Many events, such as the opening of Oriel Place, were marked by social distancing

Many events, such as the opening of Oriel Place, were marked by social distancing
– Credit: Polly Hancock

Of course, things still happened, but due to the virus-themed circumstances, they tended not to make a press release.

However, it became clear that the ongoing Covid crisis also served as a springboard to a swift action from some of the amazing, determined and organized women I had previously met at more public events. Women like Sue Measures of the Sidings Community Center in West Hampstead and Lindsay Wylie of the Highgate-based charity Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation, both moved up to expand their respective food banks and coordinated important supplies for the hardest hit.


Pearly Kings and Queens arrived at the Highgate Festival in style in June

Pearly Kings and Queens arrived at the Highgate Festival in style in June
– Credit: Polly Hancock

A mention also for Katherine Ives, at the helm of Lauderdale House, who managed the historic house and art education charity through lockdowns almost on her own by firing staff and holding events online.

Then there was our local brigade of unstoppable volunteers; people like April Cameron and Fiona Murphy from Friends of Waterlow Park along with members of Heath Hands who all continued to add their care, skills and green fingers to our open spaces.


Meet the man and his cat exploring London on a bicycle

Meet the man and his cat exploring London on a bicycle
– Credit: Polly Hancock

I probably would never have met any of these people, or even known what a huge difference they make to our community if it had not been for Him & High.

This newspaper has been a part of the community for over 100 years, but in the last 21 months there has been a whole new set of challenges for its journalists.

During these strange times, they have had to operate from isolation by working from home and chasing almost all news by phone or other remote means. So mentions of the year would not be complete without a nod to the Ham & High team: editor André, editor Bridget and journalists Michael, Sam, Nathalie and Sally.


Residents of the Mary Feilding Guild Nursing Home in Highgate were given less than three months' notice to leave

There was outrage when residents of the Mary Feilding Guild Nursing Home in Highgate were given less than three months notice to leave
– Credit: Polly Hancock


In April, the pub opened Brendan the Navigator in Highgate

In April, the pub opened Brendan the Navigator in Highgate
– Credit: Polly Hancock


Household Cavalry visited Whitestone Pond as the 150th anniversary of the Hampstead Heath Act was marked

Household Cavalry visited Whitestone Pond as the 150th anniversary of the Hampstead Heath Act was marked
– Credit: Polly Hancock


In April, non-essential retail and pubs reopened after lockdown

In April, non-essential retail and pubs reopened after lockdown
– Credit: Polly Hancock


The much missed Magdala pub reopened in May

The much missed Magdala pub reopened in May
– Credit: Polly Hancock


The return of live music was welcomed by fans, including this crowd at the All Points East Festival in Victoria Park

The return of live music in the summer was welcomed by fans, including this crowd at the All Points East Festival in Victoria Park
– Credit: Polly Hancock


Protests continued against North London's incinerator

Protests continued against North London’s incinerator
– Credit: Polly Hancock


Mitzvah Day in November, including volunteers from Golders Green Synagogue and Friends of Childs Hill Park

Thousands were involved in Mitzvah Day in November, including these volunteers from Golders Green Synagogue and Friends of Childs Hill Park
– Credit: Polly Hancock


Richard and Gabriella's tireless campaign to bring Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe home unfortunately had to continue

Richard and Gabriella’s tireless campaign to bring Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe home unfortunately had to continue
– Credit: Polly Hancock


Christmas at Kenwood was a great addition to the Christmas season

Christmas at Kenwood was a great addition to the Christmas season
– Credit: Polly Hancock

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