About the archive

Front page of Tower Community Newspaper.
Tower Community Newspaper no 1 March 1973.

This is an archive of the printed Fitzrovia community newspapers since 1973.

It is a work-in-progress and is complete from March 1973 (Tower No. 1) to September 1999 (Fitzrovia News No. 86). Work is in progress from then until September 2010.

From December 2010 (FN No. 119) to date is complete and is available to view and download as a .pdf file.

The archive is due to be completed by March 2023 — our 50 year anniversary.

Pete Whyatt photographed all the pages of Tower and most of the pages of Fitzrovia News for the archive, assisted by Linus Rees.

Fitzrovia is a neighbourhood in central London. Tower was first published in March 1973 by a small group of activists as a free community newspaper. It contained information about Fitzrovia and campaigned on many community issues. It was critical of Camden and Westminster councils as well as the Greater London Council. It provided entertaining as well as serious articles.

It was originally distributed in the streets bounded by Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street, Great Portland Street and Euston Road. Later distribution was expanded to cover the streets east of Tottenham Court Road up to Gower Street.

It was funded initially by Camden Council and local advertisers. It was later funded by advertising and donations. This website has a complete modern microfiche of every issue of Tower.

Tower was named after the GPO Tower (now the BT Tower) at the centre of the neighbourhood in central London. The name Towerland was often used in place of Fitzrovia in the paper. Tower was published monthly for several years then every two months, and sometimes quarterly. On occasion it struggled and was only published twice a year. Judith Thomas one of the first editors said it was exhausting writing, publishing and delivering a monthly paper on a voluntary basis.

At the end of 1979 Tower stopped being produced. In November 1980 a new community newspaper, Fitzrovia Neighbourhood News, was born supported by the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, produced at the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Centre in Tottenham Street. In January 1987 its name was shortened to Fitzrovia News and has been published more or less four times a year ever since.

The archive is a project of the Fitzrovia Community Newspaper Group, supported by the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association. From 2009 articles from Fitzrovia News have been published online. Since September 2020 Fitzrovia News has become a “digital first” publication with a much smaller printed newspaper. Currently an email newsletter is published once or twice a month. See fitzrovianews.com for the latest news and how to subscribe.

There is an article about Fitzrovia News and Tower at Wikipedia.