When the music stopped... - Roundhouse - Celebrating 50 Years


Children playing in caravan site by the Roundhouse circa 1983
In pictures: Normski, a walk through the wasteland

Photographer Norman Anderson (aka Normski) is a Camden local and he’d go exploring around the area with his camera as a teenager. These photos show how he found the Roundhouse in 1984 and the surrounding caravan site next to it.

“I always remember the Roundhouse as the landmark of Chalk Farm. I moved to Primrose Hill in 1976 aged 10 and was taking photographs and learning darkroom skills by the time I was 13-years-old. I think these photographs of the caravan site around the Roundhouse were taken in 1984. The Roundhouse was in disrepair and it wasn’t until I went around to the grand stairs that I realised it had been billed as the first Black Arts Centre under the GLC scheme. These are some of my earliest reportage photographs. I used to walk around my area looking for interesting things to photograph. These kids from the caravan site were partly shocked, intrigued and excited to have a stranger on their site and after a bit of bartering I gave them 50p so they would leave me alone. It was a sad sight to see how rough the grounds were and the condition of the Roundhouse, which was actually closed for quite a while in this period.”