Then and Now: 66-68 Atlantic Rd
Photographic comparisons of old and modern views of Lambeth
Dec 2001 During the seventies, the area around the Railton Road became run-down with poor housing and high unemployment. Tensions were running high between the local community and the police, with the black youth feeling particularly targeted under the oppressive 'SUS' laws.
Tensions finally exploded in 1981 with the first Brixton Riot, which flared up around Atlantic Road. Post-riot, the area became known as a risky, no-go area, earning the nickname, 'The Frontline'. Here you can see the long-abandoned Howes Confectionary Wholesale Store which had lain empty for a decade in Atlantic Road.
Jan 2004 Initially fuelled by Brixton Challenge money (pumped into the area after the second Brixton riot in 1996), new shops and cafes opened up in Atlantic Road and the area became far safer. Although many locals welcomed the improvements, some have expressed concerns that the regeneration is rapidly turning into gentrification.
The old Howes store was first converted into a style bar/restaurant called '66 Atlantic' with upmarket apartments upstairs. The premises are now being used by the rather excellent Kaff cafe/bar (June 2013).
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