Major revamp for Sex Pistols squat
Camden's oldest housing estate and a former home to Sid Vicious and Jonny Rotten has undergone a makeover. New Court, in the heart of Hampstead, was declared back in use last Friday at a launch party with MP Glenda Jackson. The 150-year-old building, Grad
Camden's oldest housing estate and a former home to Sid Vicious and Jonny Rotten has undergone a makeover.
New Court, in the heart of Hampstead, was declared back in use last Friday at a launch party with MP Glenda Jackson.
The 150-year-old building, Grade II-listed, was unveiled by Genesis Housing Group, the project welcomed as restoring life to the homes that are part of punk history.
Steve Coleman, director of development at Genesis, said: "We are delighted with [the developer] Durkans' renovation work on the New Court flats. Neglected until now, this development sees two of the UK's earliest-surviving tenement blocks built for the working classes successfully translated into prestigious 21st century homes."
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The 40 flats, hidden in an alley off Flask Walk, were built in 1854. They had fallen into disrepair and become unpopular with tenants after years of neglect, but in 2005 residents were delighted when Camden Council agreed to the revamp.
The properities were even shortlisted for a national RICS award earlier this year.
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A spokeswoman for the company said: "Genesis and Durkan worked closely with heritage and conservation officers to save as many original features as possible. These included doors, windows, cantilevered staircases with iron balusters and open fireplaces
"The Grade II-listed buildings had never been fully refurbished before and were nearly demolished twice due to their poor condition.
"As each apartment was stripped back to its original walls, some were found to still include Victorian-style kitchen-bathrooms with kitchen worktops, unhygienically placed over baths and toilets."
The Sex Pistols stars lived there in 1975 after Sid Vicious was thrown out by his mum. Vicious lived at number 39 and punk campaigners have called for a blue plaque in his memory.
That campaign is even being supported by some Heath and Hampstead Society members, who recognise the musician's contribution to the area's cultural history. The group even discussed Vicious for their own plaque scheme.
The society's blogger John Weston said: "With the gentrification of Hampstead it is quite nice to remember that not that long ago the Sex Pistols lived here in a squat.
"We rightly remember Sir Harry Vane with a plaque on Rosslyn Hill opposite Willoughby Road, who was executed for treason in 1662.
"So why shouldn't we remember the place where Johnny Rotten and the Pistols composed God Save the Queen?" English Heritage has also indicated Vicious could qualify for one of their plaques.
"We've never actually received a request for a blue plaque for Sid Vicious but on the basic criteria he would come under consideration," said a spokeswoman.