What is King’s Cross Story Palace?
King’s Cross Story Palace is a two year project that tells some of the stories that have been important to the people that have lived, worked and played in Kings Cross, London, over the last 100 years. It’s run by Historypin, the community archiving venture set up by Shift.
The project showcases social history and personal memories from the mile radius around King’s Cross station on the online archive and in a series of exhibitions and walking tours.
What does it aim to do?
At one level, the aim of the project is to gather and interpret a community history about the people and places in the neighbourhoods of King’s Cross. At another level, the team are measuring success by the impact they have on local communities, people and organisations through story telling and sharing.
What’s been happening?
Over the last two years, the dedicated project team has been working within the local community interviewing people, gathering archival material, organising events, engaging volunteers and working with local partners to develop what has become a rich repository of stories and impressions about the area.
The team have also helped develop a story gathering methodology and set of community storytelling tools in the form of Historypin’s Storybox – story sharing events which bring diverse, local communities closer, increasing understanding, empathy and respect. This has been incorporated into project activities and will be a key part of the legacy community toolkit.
What has been achieved?
Over the last two years the team has engaged over 400 people in a variety of ways. This has included a volunteering programme with 60 individuals learning skills in everything from interview techniques, archival research methods, documentary photography and digital skills.
The team has gathered stories from nearly 200 people, including individual anecdotes, such as this one from Steve Lake, and theme-based pieces about significant places or historical events in the area, such as this podcast piece about people passing through King’s Cross Station.
The team also worked with over 40 local organisations, business and groups including faith based institutions, community groups, housing associations, local schools and older adult services. These partnerships have been key to help them reach people, connect to the community and develop storytelling tools that reflect their needs.
Explore the website showcasing 100 of the best stories.
Visit the pop-up exhibition at The Priory Green housing estate from 20th – 26th September – “Living in King’s Cross”. Best time to visit is Saturday 22nd September for the day of Open House activities.
In mid November look out for a larger scale exhibition in a central King’s Cross location.
Over September, October and November there will be a series of six walks focusing on particular themes and areas. Keep an eye on on the website for dates and details.
All this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the HLF as well as local sponsors Lyndales Solicitors, based in Tavistock Square, and Google who have both a local and global presence in the area.