Gallery: Remembering north London's 2021 in pictures

At a time of lockdown, heavy January snowfall provided a welcome relief at Parliament Hill

At a time of lockdown, heavy January snowfall provided a welcome relief at Parliament Hill - Credit: Polly Hancock

Despite starting 2021 in lockdown, there was still that familiar urgency to get the Ham&High onto the newsstands.

With a lack of organised events, picture spreads had to be gleaned from not much happening. So like everyone else, I walked.

I sought out historic remnants in both Hampstead and Highgate to photograph. I went to Camden Town where amongst the closed down shops there was amazing street art, and of course I went to the Heath.  

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

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

There were still things happening of course, but due to the virus themed circumstances, they tended not to come with a press release.

However it became apparent that the on-going Covid crisis was also serving as a springboard to urgent action by some of the amazing, determined and organised women that I’d previously encountered at more public events. Women like Sue Measures, from Sidings Community Centre in West Hampstead, and Lindsay Wylie of the Highgate based charity Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation, both stepped up to expand their respective food banks and co-ordinated essential supplies for those 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 too for Katherine Ives, at the helm of Lauderdale House, who steered the historic house and arts education charity through the lockdowns almost single-handedly by furloughing staff and holding events online.

Then there was our local brigade of unstoppable volunteers; people like April Cameron and Fiona Murphy of Friends of Waterlow Park, alongside members of Heath Hands who all continued to add their care, skills and green-fingered touches 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

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I would probably have never encountered any of these people, or even known what a massive difference they make to our community had it not been for the Ham&High.

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

Throughout these strange times, they’ve had to operate from the isolation of working from home and chase almost every news story by phone or other remote means. So mentions of the year wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the Ham&High crew: editor André, features editor Bridget and reporters Michael, Sam, Nathalie and Sally.

Residents of the Mary Feilding Guild care home in Highgate were given less than three months notice to leave

There was outrage as residents of the Mary Feilding Guild care home in Highgate were given less than three months notice to leave - Credit: Polly Hancock

April saw the opening of the Brendan the Navigator pub in Highgate

April saw the opening of the Brendan the Navigator pub in Highgate - Credit: Polly Hancock

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

The 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 All Points East festival in Victoria Park

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

Protests continued against the north London incinerator

Protests continued against the north London incinerator - Credit: Polly Hancock

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

Thousands got 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 campaigning to bring Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe home had to continue, sadly

Richard and Gabriella's tireless campaigning to bring Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe home had to continue, sadly - Credit: Polly Hancock

Christmas at Kenwood was a stunning addition to the festive season

Christmas at Kenwood was a stunning addition to the festive season - Credit: Polly Hancock


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