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Somers Town - Midlands’ Boy Shane Meadows puts part of London on the Map


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Googling has told me about Somers Town, which is a neighbourhood sandwiched between Euston and King’s Cross stations behind Euston Road. It’s easy to miss.

 

Shane Meadows’ film ’Somers Town’ has won the prestigious Michael Power Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and is due for release on August 22. It was funded by by Eurostar, who operate the cross-Channel train service, to coincide with its new multi-million dollar refit of St. Pancras station.

 

London is a new city to both the kids in the film. One is 16-year-old runaway Tomo (played by Thomas Turgoose, the young actor who was pint-sized skinhead Shaun in ‘This is England’). After getting his bag nicked as soon as he steps off the train at King’s Cross (that would never happen in the Midlands :wink: ) he befriends Marek (Piotr Jagiollo) a Polish kid who lives with his dad, a construction worker on the new rail link. The lads bond over a shared crush on a French waitress, as they pursue money-making scams and come of age.

 

Somers Town was named after a seventeenth-century Lord Chancellor and has a rich history. Dickens lived there for a spell, as did William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft (their daughter Mary Shelley, author of ‘Frankenstein’, was born there). Some of Meadows’ film was filmed around the ‘Hardy Tree’ in St Pancras Churchyard, so-called because it was here that Thomas Hardy, at the time a young architecture clerk, apparently oversaw the exhumation of graves and removal of tombstones to make way for the Midlands train line. Protestant Huguenots fleeing France met at the Somers Town Coffee Shop. It’s still there, (on Chalton Street, the area’s hub and home to a Friday market), but now it’s a roomy and relaxed pub-cum-bistro under French ownership. Down the road is the very popular Snazz Sichuan, a Chinese restaurant specialising in, unsurprisingly, food from the Sichuan region. It comes with a recommendation from the film director Mike Leigh, a man who knows his way around the restaurants of London (as Time Out discovered when we took a tour of his filming hotspots). Eccentrically decorated, it’s best to go in a gang to make the most of the pages-long menu.

 

Across on Phoenix Road, folksy types pile into the St Aloysius Social Club on the last Friday of every month for Tapestry, a night of indie church-hall fun with bands playing in front of glittering streamers – ‘a fine monthly club night’ says Time Out. Oh, and as every local knows, Transformation on Eversholt Street is apparently the world's largest shop and centre for transvestites and transsexuals. Apparently it’s a discreet operation, so unless you have the guts to walk it, its services are kept from view by darkened windows, but leeslover will be able to tell us more about it. :gorgeous:

 

Will this film do for Somers Town what the other one did for Notting Hill?

Edited by Diego_Sideburns
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If memory serves, Somers Town is mentioned in the lyrics of "Transmetropolitan" by The Pogues.

 

"From Surrey Docks to Somers Town"

 

I'll have to dig out my copy of the LP to check.

 

Incidentally, in the Empire (online) review of this film it states that Shane Meadows comes from Nottingham. I guess all Midlanders must sound alike to posh southern film critics!!

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If memory serves, Somers Town is mentioned in the lyrics of "Transmetropolitan" by The Pogues.

 

"From Surrey Docks to Somers Town"

 

I'll have to dig out my copy of the LP to check.

 

Incidentally, in the Empire (online) review of this film it states that Shane Meadows comes from Nottingham. I guess all Midlanders must sound alike to posh southern film critics!!

 

You're correct on the lyrics.

 

Not only "posh southern film critics"!

They all sound the same to me...

 

Nottingham/Uttoxeter - all racecourses are the same to film critics! :disappointed:

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Transformation on Eversholt Street is apparently the world's largest shop and centre for transvestites and transsexuals. Apparently it’s a discreet operation, so unless you have the guts to walk it, its services are kept from view by darkened windows, but leeslover will be able to tell us more about it
:biker::gorgeous:
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I live ten minutes from Somers Town. It doesn't look like a great place (although the bit where it backs onto Euston Road and the British Library is quite nice).

 

Eversholt Street has an entertaining mix of shops - cafes, a pretty good curry house (Nepalese I think), the aforementioned Transformations and a table-dancing club. Still better to pass the whole place by though.

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  • 1 month later...

Took advanrage of the fact that a Shane Meadows' film was being shown on his turf last night.

 

It's an amusing look through young teenagers' eyes. There is one bit that really appealed to me. A young Polish lad is advised by one of the Somers Town locals that the ManUre shirt he is wearing will not go down well around there - it had already started to put me off the film! :angry: The local gives the lad a (fake) Arsenal shirt with 'Terry Henry' on the back - I think he's one of Nicky's or Tony's relatives. :lol:

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