Monday, 9 November 2009

Peace House at 50

Housmans Bookshop - one of the main places you can find most Five Leaves' titles on permanent sale - has been going since 1945, but for the last 50 years has been part of a complex of organisations at 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross. These include Peace News, War Resisters International and at one time (I swear it is true) London Action for Peace and Peace Action London, as well as others which have gone on to much bigger premises such as Gay Switchboard, or some that have folded, such as the famed Porcupine Book Cellar.

Housmans is one of the few remaining radical bookshops, with a weird and wonderful selection of stock and customers. And staff too for that matter.

The shop is particularly strong on London writing, and on political magazines from the most obscure corners of left wing thought.

This Saturday (14th November) there is an open day, followed by an assortment of entertainment ranging from Leon Rosselson for the leftist traditionalists (preceded by Ian Saville, the Marxist magician) through to DJs until 2.00 in the morning. The afternoon open house starts at 3.00, the assorted entertainment starts at 6.00 and runs over a couple of nearby venues according to whether you want your ears to ache badly by the end of the night. You can find the full programme on

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