A website & blog for residents (and neighbours) of Dalston Square

Event

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Festive Social

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The Drawing Imaginarium

The Drawing Imaginarium, Anorak’s very own festival of fun, is back!

First launched to celebrate our 10th anniversary, The Drawing Imaginarium is now a travelling festival and will be back in London for a special Autumn edition.  HOORAY!

Held on the 8th and 9th October at Dalston Square (London E8) and kindly supported by Hackney Council, it is a free two day event designed to encourage creativity… and silly fun too!

You are ALL warmly invited to let your imagination go wild with workshops and activities such as a Happy Birthday Life Drawing Class, felt dolls making workshops, Pam & Tom dolls house, Jolly Jellyfish activity, a paper garden complete with bugs and flowers and much more. Our friends, travelling children’s bookshop How Brave is the Wren will host a Phaidon Kids pop-up too.

For more details around the programming, please click here.

We hope that you will ALL come along and/or tell all your friends and family about it. Let us know if you are planning to come along by  here.

Can’t wait to see you there!

Anorak


Tonight’s Hackney Film Club Public Screening Postponed

Please be advised that the public screening of a film in Dalston Square this evening, to celebrate the launch of the Hackney Film Club’s ‘Turkey East Asia Season’, has been postponed. Weather forecasters have warned of the chance of high winds and rain for this evening so the performance has been provisionally rescheduled for May 23rd. That date coincides with the World Food Market’s wish to be in the square so avenues need to be explored to determine if both events can run concurrently. To that end there is a meeting within the council this coming week, and I should be able to get back to you all with an update soon thereafter.


Dalston Square Residents’ Winter Get-together

Not much needed with regard explanation I believe, but just to say that, continuing the tradition of trying to bring Dalston Square’s residents together, the DSRA is pleased to announce it’s Winter/Christmas social event. Check out the poster below (give the thumbnail a click), and soon on your block’s noticeboard. A chance to meet a neighbour or 3, and meet some of the folk that attend meetings as representatives of the DSRA (pursuing causes in the name of all residents). Meeting in the wood-burning-stove heated greenhouse of the Eastern Curve Garden on Dalston Lane, we offer you a chance to meet and say ‘Hi’ to a few of the faces (residents/neighbours ) often seen here in the square. The Garden’s cafe serves tea, coffee, herbal drinks, beer, cider, wine, and their own fresh lemonade and sodas. Thy also sell some food items but Marie from the garden management team has said it is fine to bring along our own snacks and treats, just please use the bar for drinks. There is a chance (no promises here) that freshly made pizza will be available too, but do not rely on it.

See you there?

Poster

 


Meetings And Merriment

The ‘Merriment’ first I think. So you have probably seen posters are now up, on each block’s notice board, for our Christmas social (in case you have missed it you can click the thumbnail at the bottom of this post to check it out). Two things. Firstly, our thanks to resident Stephen for putting together yet another great poster. Secondly, you will see on the poster that it says “Mulled wine and warm apple juice from Eastern Curve at reduced rate on presentation of invitation”. These invitations will be posted to every mailbox in the development the week before the event. Don’t forget to bring it with you.

And now to the ‘Meetings’. A report from Ben Collins, Chair of the DSRA, on last weeks regular 6 weekly meeting with Barratt Homes that turned into a high level meeting with Barratt and Consort.

Representatives of the DSRA met with both Consort and Barratt senior management on Thursday the 5th of December, at their regular 6 weekly ‘Buildings & Maintenance’ meeting, to go over the ‘log’ of issues needing attention. Here is a brief summary of what was discussed, and agreed for action.

1) The 2012-2013 budget: The DSRA Finance Commitee has long been questioning the way in which costs are established. Common electricity (lifts and corridor lighting), water charges, building insurance, cleaning ‘value for money’, and fair Concierge wages, have been some of the key issues we have questioned. After two years of pressing, Consort is getting closer to setting our service charges on the basis of sound cost analysis rather than on estimates. Given the current evidence, it seems that many residents may learn of ‘above inflation’ increases in their service charges next year. Given past experience, this may be especially true of new residents moving in to the Phase 3 buildings.

2) Flooding garage under phase 1 buildings: Barratt are calling in the original sub- contractors who may have to reseal some of the joints in the concrete foundation slab and walls. A separate contractor is looking at the leaking drains. Barratt promises that is will look into basement drainage problems with specialist engineers to ensure all drips and flooding are cured and prevented.

3) Waste air extraction from restaurants below Phase 1 buildings: Residents in Phase 1 buildings have long been complaining about smells from refuse bins, and now restaurant kitchens, permeating into the building from the service tunnel below. Barratt have accepted our concerns and agreed to install a modern extraction system, which will require a new ducting system carrying foul air up to above roof level in Gaumont Tower.

4) Ventilation for the Site Manager’s office: Sean Stone has been operating from a very unhealthy, unventilated ‘storage space’ office. A new ventilation system is being installed and should be operational by January.

5) The playground in the Square: This is holding to its original plan and Barratt says it should be open by Christmas: With Luck

We would like to thank all those residents who have helped with the work of the DSRA thus far: Together we have made an important impact on the way the Square has been built and managed. If you would like to be a part of the team, and help us going forward, please do get in touch. The best way would be via our website email address at DalstonSquareRA@gmail.com.

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Hallowe’en & Christmas Events

So finally here are the details of the Christmas market I promised you, and also details of a local All Hallows’ Eve event too.

Hallowe’en first then as it is nearly upon us. Those of you familiar with the Dalston High Street shopping area will surely know of ‘Fee Fee La Fou HQ‘ (also HERE) on Bradbury Street. What you may not know is that this delightful little shop is the brain-child of the Square’s very own Fiona ‘Fee’ Eastwood. Anyway, the shop turns 2 years old next week so to celebrate Fee has organised a story-telling event, which she has called ‘Baba Yaga Goes GAGA!’, to take place at Mezcal Cantina on Kingsland High Street, that will serve as both a birthday party (complete with a very special cake!), and a Hallowe’en celebration. Full details of the event can be found HERE (tickets can be purchased at that same link). If this sounds like your type of event and you are a resident of the Square, contact Fee beforehand to take advantage of her ‘neighbours discount’ (just £5 instead of £7.50!).

Now to the Christmas market. City Showcase is a not-for-profit organisation that highlights and showcases unique up and coming creative talent, who, after the success of their Soho Flea Market, and working with Hackney Council, will host the inaugural Dalston Christmas Market in Dalston Square on Sunday 1st December. But this will be no traditional Christmas market: Instead it will reflect the ethos of City Showcase and the creative vibrant scene that is Dalston. The 2013 Soho Flea Market (the second year it has run) attracted over 15,000 visitors and was featured in publications such as Time Out, Cosmopolitan, Company, The Lady, Evening Standard, and Harper’s Bazaar, so this is a chance to really put Dalston Square on the London events map. As well as the website above, they also have a site dedicated to their markets HERE. Also click the thumbnail images below to see their full-size flyer, plus the letter that was posted out to all residents a few weeks ago (just in case your flat-mate read it and binned it rather than sharing it with you). As well as the market in the Square, there will be a free ‘Make Your Own Christmas Presents’ workshop in the C.L.R. James Library, and live music from local choirs and musicians.

Dalston Christmas Market 2013 Call out Poster m  Letter to Residents Dalston 2013 - 04Oct


No Need To Dress Up

Really, it is just an informal gathering: Neighbours getting together for a chin-wag over a drink and a nibble from the barbecue. No need to put on the glad-rags. Just a little over 2 hours until (5.30pm) we get things started on the 9th floor roof terrace of Gaumont Tower. Bring a bottle of your favourite tipple and something to throw on the bbq (and/or perhaps something to share). Then at 7.00pm we will all head down into the Square and fire up the fountain (figuratively speaking of course). Bring your friends, bring your family, Let’s Splash!

Autumn Get-tog


Dalston Square’s Cookin’

….Starts here. 😉

With with post, we are asking for your help in the shape of feedback. Over the past month there have been, as I am sure you are all fully aware, 4 film screenings in the Square by The Lost Picture Show, as part of the Dalston Children’s Festival. To accompany the screenings, small-scale barbecue catering was made available, selling beef (half was halal) and veggie burgers. This was basically a test-run to see if this was something that could be rolled out during other screening events, without causing a nuisance to residents. Before getting the go-ahead, a surprising number of factors were looked at: Everything from ensuring the food providers were registered with the council’s food safety department, to hygiene issues, to cooking smells swirling around the Square (not much chance of that with the Square’s wind-tunnel effect), to fire risk.

The grounds for providing catering are fairly clear: To add to the sense of fun and draw extra participants to the event, as a test to see if food provision is even popular, and as a revenue stream to help subsidise these free-to-attend events as the council are keen to provide more involvement with film club members (costumes, activities etc.) which,of course, all costs money.

So please let us know your opinion. Good idea? Was the catering a nuisance to you? Were there any issues that showed themselves after the event? Maybe just a complete success? Let us hear the good and bad (hopefully all good). This is your chance to have a say regarding events planned for ‘your’ Square. If reading this through email, simply click on the blue ‘Comment’ button at the bottom of the email. If reading this on the website, the comment button is in the small print immediately below this post. We look forward to hearing from you.

More news coming very soon.


Community Events In Dalston Square

Hi neighbours. Just wanted to pass on some news I have received from Lucy McMenemy, Cultural Programme Officer from Hackney Council. As you all know by now, the council has plans to make Dalston Square a focal point of the local community by laying on a wide range of events and activities. The news from Lucy comes in 3 parts: Firstly, posted to the forum are the minutes from the latest meeting of the Culture & Community Engagement Forum HERE (scroll down to the last post on the thread).

Secondly, a poster for the community wide project, Dalston Children’s Festival: A summer’s worth of events, to run throughout Dalston. Click on the thumbnail below this message to see it in full. Those of you who follow our Twitter feed (@DalstonSquareRA) will have seen us mentioning this already: If you have kids, get them out there and support this wonderful initiative. Saturday 25th May should be a great community gathering, if the weather is on our side, as it is the launch of the Dalston Children’s Festival and it is also the first night of the Dalston Square Cinema. The square will be temporarily transformed into a cinema by the Lost Picture Show, and the film programme has been been chosen by local teenagers. That night the film programme includes the 70’s hit musical Bugsy Malone.

Thirdly, in order to ensure that residents do not feel left out of the loop of what is going on in what many feel is their Square, Lucy’s team is to produce a newsletter, posted out to every residence in the Square, which will contain a full programme of events. The first edition will be with you shortly. Lucy apologises for the ‘corporate’ feel of this first edition, but assures us future editions will be better. For anyone who loses track of their copy, and for followers of this blog who do not live on the Square itself, I will be posting copies of this newsletter to our discussions forum for all to download. The first edition is available HERE.

One last thing before I leave you in peace: Don’t forget our Twitter feed at @DalstonSquareRA. Although these DSRA posts go out on it, 99% of our tweets are regarding the wider community: Everything from Hackney Council updates to pop-up restaurants to local community events. And if you tweet yourself, and know of something going on we have missed, tweet at us and we will re-tweet you!

That’s it for now folks, have a great weekend.

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Hackney Council Working On Our Behalf

In a sprawling city like London it is easy to forget that politics stays local through the borough councils. And after reading the recent reports regarding absenteeism in our own Hackney Council (see our recent Twitter posts @DalstonSquareRA) how reassuring it is to know that our representatives are listening to, and working for, residents here on the Square. For those not aware, Hackney is a Labour controlled Council, the Square is in Dalston Ward, and we are represented by 3 Labour Councillors: Michelle Gregory, Sophie Linden, and Angus Mulready-Jones (more info HERE if you are interested).

Why am I telling you all this? As many will by now be aware, plans have finally been submitted to the council for the redevelopment of the Holy Trinity School site at the southern end of the Square. As well as a doubling of the school’s capacity, 99 apartments will also be included in the proposed 10/11 storey building that will pretty much fill the whole site. Those directly affected (residents of the south facing end of Labyrinth Tower as well as the 4, soon to be 5, blocks that overlook the site from across Roseberry Place), are understandably upset that their outlooks, and more importantly light, will be seriously impacted if this project goes ahead as planned. Because of this, many have been contacting Cllrs. Gregory and Linden directly, rather than/as well as going the official route: Using the comments page on the Hackney Council Planning Department’s webpage HERE: The deadline for comments is April 15th. Because of this the DSRA (via Ben Collins, Chair) has been contacted directly by Cllr. Gregory. On our behalf she is working to arrange a meeting, in her words “…with the school and developers to which Dalston Sq. and other residents will be invited………. to which Cllr Linden and myself will aim to attend”. Cllr Gregory will be contacting me directly when this has been organised and I will be passing on the details via this website and our forum. Cllr. Gregory will be replying to all those who have contacted her thus far, but asks that residents now cease contacting her directly as all she can do is pass comments on to planning (which is not as efficient or valuable as your comments posted directly through their website). Cllr Gregory has also recommended the website of Planning Aid For London, who provide valuable information and support on planning objections. Watch this space for further details as I receive them.

Also from Hackney Council, I have again been contacted by Lucy McMenemy, Cultural Programme Officer, with an invitation to all residents to the next public event to be held here in the C.L.R. James Library, the public space of the Square, and the Eastern Curve Garden. Hackney Wow! is a new kids’ online guide to all the fun stuff they can get up to in the local area, created by pupils at Rushmore Primary School. The planned events, on Wednesday 27th March, are to publicise the launch of this new website. As part of this, Dalston Square will be taken over by Hoxton Hall’s street performers: Cool. For full details of all that is planned see the flyer below (click on the thumbnail to see the full size image), and check out their website at hackneywow.co.uk.

One last thing before I leave you in peace: The minutes of the latest meeting of the Dalston Lane Community Working Group are now available for download from the Document Depository over at the forum HERE. Of particular interest at the meeting was the latest schedule, from Barrat Homes, for completion of every aspect of Dalston Square: Definitely worth a look. And as I always say with links to that section of the forum (the hidden, DSRA specific section), if it will not let you in you need to read the post titled ‘Please Read this…….’ HERE.

hackneywow


A Bit Of This And…..

Quite a lot to tell you all about so I have used our forum for all the details. I will summarise each topic here and link you through to the forum to get the full story.

First off, some more meeting minutes, this time from the Finance Sub-committee. These from 2 meetings held so far with regard our Consort service charges for 2013/14: HERE and HERE. It is not good news I am afraid. If you have difficulty with those links, see my last website post where this is addressed (HERE, second to last sentence of the first paragraph).

Next up, one for all you Tweeters out there: We have long had a Twitter account but it hasn’t been used in an age and I have been unable to track down whoever controls it. So a new one has been created: @DalstonSquareRA. Christine (Chair of the RA’s Social Sub-Committee, and my better half) created it and will monitor it. Any responsible persons who wish to tweet relevant info in the name of the RA should contact her for the account password. Please do so via the forum.

Next, some good news from Bootstrap, our neighbours over in Ashwin Street (owners of the roof garden over there among other things): They are changing the programme of how the roof garden will be used, and offering us a place to hold our DSRA meetings free of charge (rather than the £50 the library charge. More HERE.

Just 2 more items, and they are loosely connected. The first of the these is regarding a couple of evenings in May/June when The lost Picture Show are hoping to screen a couple of free to attend movies here in the Square. The question is, will there be objections? Details HERE. And last of all, a couple of current licence applications currently with Hackney Council. I do not foresee any issues with one of them (the Council applying to itself to run free events in the Square for the enjoyment of all), the other though could well garner quite a bit of  opposition. Again a forum link, all the details HERE.

That’s it for now. I wish you all a great weekend, and please do pop over to the forum to share your thoughts on all the issues posted.


Lots Of Minutes….. But Not An Hour.

Lots of meeting minutes to share with you, all posted over at the forum. Firstly, from a meeting of the Dalston Lane Community Working Group Ben Collins (DSRA Chair) and I attended back in December HERE. Secondly, from a meeting of the DSRA’s Buildings Maintenance sub-committee meeting with Barrat and Consort on January 10th HERE. Thirdly, from the DSRA general meeting of January 10th HERE. Lastly, sent to me by Lucy McMenemy of Hackney Council, minutes from the meeting of the Culture and Community Engagement Forum meeting for Dalston Square that was held on January 16th HERE (scroll down to my last entry on the page). As always, simply click the highlighted link to save a pdf copy of the document to your computer for your perusal. If you are unable to access the first three links above, read THIS, and, if you qualify, follow it’s instructions HERE. Just a thought (which led to my post title above); If you have minutes from 60 meetings, do you have an hour? 🙂

One last thing before leaving you all in peace. I have been contacted by Nick Griffiths of Land Of Kings (www.landofkings.co.uk) organisers of an annual Dalston music and arts festival. Let me share his email with you:

The fifth Land of Kings (2013) will take place on Sunday May 5th and we will also be debuting a new festival the following day (Monday 6th) aimed at local families, to be called “Land of Kids”.  Both festivals are collaborations with a number of local artistic and cultural venues such as Arcola Theatre, Bootstrap Company (including Print House Gallery, The Bunker and Dalston Roofpark) and Café Oto.  The night time part of the programme also includes venues across the neighbourhood such as Vortex Jazz Club, The Alibi, Servant Jazz Quarters, Rio Cinema, Birthdays, Shacklewell Arms etc.
In previous years the festival has taken place largely in the area’s indoor music and arts venues as well as a few temporary event spaces for which we have applied for Temporary Events Notices (TEN).   We are planning an outdoor element to the festival this year, on Ashwin Street and in Abbot Street car park,  and for that we’re required to apply for a temporary Premises License as the number of people we are expecting is more than 499 (the limit for running an event under a TEN).
As part of the planning for this year’s event we wanted to check in with local residents groups to share our plans as well as what we will be doing to limit the impact on the area and work with local people to make it as successful and smooth running an event as possible for all.  I wondered if you’d be able to share this email and the attached site plan with your respective groups.  The main part of our license application pertains to the car park at the end of Abbot Street where we’re hoping to build a temporary live music stage, to run in the afternoon until 10pm on Sunday 5th May, and until 7pm on Monday 6th May.
The site plan is attached below: click on the thumbnail image to see the full-size version. Is it just me or does this sound really cool? More details will follow when finalised. Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks.
Land of Kings Site Plan

Happy New Year!

First things first. a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013 to you all. I have a bunch of things to mention, some of which you may be aware of but almost certainly not all. So here goes. Firstly, a quick reminder that Thursday 10th January (this coming Thursday) is the date for our next DSRA meeting. As usual the meeting will start at 7pm (likely of 90 minutes duration), but this time it will be held in the C.L.R. James Library (in the meeting room upstairs). As always, the meeting is open to ALL Dalston Square residents, owners and renters alike. Full details, including the agenda, can be found HERE.

Next, dates are now set for the next 2 presentations of the proposed development of the Holy Trinity School site (the school on Roseberry place at the south end of the Square). This will give you the opportunity to see the latest plans of, meet the team behind, and share your thoughts on, the proposed 11 storey development. Both will be held in the school itself (entrance on Beechwood Road) with the first being on Thursday 10th January from 4pm to 8pm, the second on Saturday 12th January from 10am to 2pm. If you did not manage to attend either of the previous events, I suggest all residents try to attend one of these (there is a slight overlap between the Thursday event and the DSRA meeting so why not do one after the after? 😉 ).

Next up, something for all you bicycle owners. Sean Stone (our on-site, Consort, development manager) has arranged for the police to attend the Square on Saturday 19th January to organise a bike security marking session. This will not, of course, stop your bicycle from being stolen, but, if your stolen bicycle is ever recovered by the police (they often break theft rings recovering many stolen bicycles), they will be able to return it to you: Definitely a good thing. This free service will be in the Square from midday until 2pm. It is quick, it is easy, it is free: So take advantage of this opportunity if you can. 😎

Next, I just want to be sure you all have the correct contact details for the on-site Consort staff. To contact the concierge desk (the number changed fairly recently) the old mobile number is no longer valid and the new land-line number is 0207 2547341. To contact Sean Stone (our new development manager) phone 0207 2490896, or email sean.stone@consortpm.co.uk.

One last thing before I leave you in peace: Previously I have mentioned resident Maisie Collin’s ‘Dalston Square Collective’ (a collective for self-employed and freelance people), details HERE on the forum. Well, Maisie has been busy advertising her idea and building support and has now expanded her idea to become ‘The Hackney Collective’ (though it will still be based here in the Square). The local on-line press recently did an article to promote the idea which you can find HERE. If this sounds like something for you, check out the forum post I have linked to to make contact with Maisie.

Okey dokey, that’s it for now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks.


Posters & Flyers

Hi folks, couple of things. Firstly a reminder that our residents winter get-together is this Sunday: From 6pm, 3rd floor roof terrace of Gaumont Tower. Click the thumbnail below to see the full size poster. Secondly, Maisie Collins has asked that I let you all know that she has changed the time and venue of her first meeting for anyone interested in her ‘Dalston Square Collective’ for freelancers and small business owners that reside on the Square. New details are on Maisie’s forum post HERE. Lastly, did we all receive the Holy Trinity Primary School flyer below (click on the thumbnail for the full size image), which I found in my mailbox earlier in the week? I intend to attend the meeting on Monday and will report back with my findings. A forum thread has also been started about this planned development HERE. Have a good weekend all!

PosterFlyer


Two Things……….

Firstly, the minutes from the last general meeting of the DSRA are available for download (.pdf file) in the DSRA specific section over at the forum HERE. If that link does not work for you, please read this forum post HERE, and all should become clear. These minutes are available to all residents (renters and owners alike) of Dalston Square: But only residents of Dalston Square. If anyone has any problems getting the minutes, please feel free to contact me (via the general chat section of the forum is best).

Secondly, hands up if you know Maisie Collins. Keep them up if you knew Maisie started the Residents Association single-handed? Well done if you still have your hand up. Maisie had now decided it is time for her newest project: The Dalston Square Collective. Do you work freelance? Perhaps run your own small business? From home on the Square? If you answered yes to any of those options you must read Maisie’s post at the forum (worth a read if you didn’t answer yes – you never know): HERE.

More soon! Enjoy your weekend.