Hackney Film Club And The World Food Market
Further to my last post, the meeting I mentioned went ahead as scheduled and we now have new dates for the public film screening, as well as for the market. Starting with the market, this will run from Wednesday 20th to Saturday 23rd May, with opening times of Wednesday to Friday 10am to 3pm, and Saturday from 10am to 6pm. The film screening will also be on Saturday 23rd May, running from 9pm until 11pm, with some of the food stalls from the World Food Market remaining in the square to become part of the film screening event. The PA system that will be used for the film screening has been specially calibrated for use in the square, and the council have assured us that they are confident that volume levels will be well-managed, despite the late finishing time of the movie. Fingers crossed the weather plays ball.
Dalston’s Heritage Buildings
Further to the recent meeting of Councillor Peter Snell’s Dalston Ward Forum on March 25th, Peter has organised 2 further meetings to look specifically at the issue of Dalston’s conservation area. Full details of the meetings can be found posted at our discussion forum HERE.
Bicycle Stores Fob Resetting
As you should of all seen (after notices were posted to every mailbox in the development), after the recent resetting of all fobs for building entrance doors, a similar process will not run to reset all bicycle storage area fobs. All fob access to bicycle stores will be disabled on Friday 15 May at midday. If you require access to a bicycle store from that date onwards, please note the name or number of the store you wish to use, and take your fob to the concierge desk where you will be asked to sign a disclaimer form and your fob can be re-programmed for that particular one. PLEASE DO NOT ASK FOR YOUR FOB TO BE RE-PROGRAMMED PRIOR TO FRIDAY 15 MAY. Please also note that the bicycle store in Sledge Tower closest to Dalston Junction station (No. 7), will no longer be available after Friday 15 May as it is being removed to create a proper thoroughfare. If this is the one you currently use, please choose an alternative. If you have any queries prior to this operation, please do not hesitate to contact Development Manager Gerald Bernard (his contact details can be found in the right hand column of the DSRA website homepage.
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.
The Dalston Square Playground
After a number of recent queries regarding the status of the playground I have been in touch with Dalston Town Centre Manager Cory Defoe for an update. There has been some delay in getting confirmation that the pieces residents voted for are suitable for the constraints of the site, and a quote for their supply and installation (apologies from the supplier), but Cory is on the case and will keep us informed of progress.
Those of you who follow local politics may be interested to know that our 2 elected ward councillors (Peter Snell & Soraya Adejare of the Labour party were the winners of last May’s local elections), are holding their September Forum in the Eastern Curve Garden greenhouse this coming Monday (29th September). Planned to run from 6.30pm to 8.30pm this Forum is local residents’ chance to hear what is happening, and to hold the council to account. The agenda for this meeting will cover i) Work in progress on pre-election pledges ii) An update on other major developments in Dalston iii) The Dalston Conservations Area (members of the Conservation Area Advisory Committee will report on progress, their concerns, and how you can support their work to protect historic buildings in central Dalston). Forum meetings are open to all members of the public. The 2 pages of Hackney Matters, a publication produced by Peter Snell, can be found at the foot of this posting: Simply click on each thumbnail for the full-size image.
Speaking of historic buildings and the Eastern Curve Garden, how fabulous is the newly renovated Hackney Peace Carnival Mural? To celebrate the completion of the work and removal of the scaffold the Eastern Curve Garden are holding a free party this coming Sunday (28th September) from 2pm to 10pm. There will be music from local musicians, talks with the mural artists, a children’s art workshop, and food from the People’s Kitchen. The thumbnails below include their party advertising poster plus my own photo of the beautifully renovated mural.
And whilst on the subject of art, look out for the new window graphics that will be going up at Smooth You (the beauty and health spa here in the square) later today. The existing advertising graphics have not been loved by Dalston Square residents and were never meant to be long-term: They were only ever a brash, eye catching advertising statement to promote a new business. Smooth You founder/owner Patrick and Managing Director Katie were looking for something that both better represented the company image and gave something to the community so, working with Dalston Square resident and graphic designer & artist Stephen Humphries (who has recently started his own business so if you are in need of such services….), and illustrator Christina K., they have created a bespoke piece of art to ‘tell a story’. Katie tells me the plan is to renew the graphic each year to keep it ‘fresh’ so if you like what they are doing, why not pop your head in the door when passing and let them know what you think.
Free Ticket Draw Result
Thanks to everyone who sent in their ‘Yes Please’ email to claim the 2 tickets for tomorrow’s ‘Brunch With The Guide’ event (and, of course, again to Judith for sharing them in the first place). The lucky winner was Dalston Square resident Louise (Louise, please check your email). For fellow geeks who may be interested, I used an online, range definable, RNG to select the recipient. Unlike many such generators that use pseudo-random number algorithms, THESE guys use atmospheric noise to create randomness: Very cool.
….. But not a series of over 55s events held in the playground obviously. 😉
Firstly a quick reminder to those who wish to have a say in the selection of the replacement playground equipment who have not yet cast their vote. Voting will close at midnight Sunday night so have your say now (see my last post for full details or head over to my forum post HERE).
Secondly, are you over 55 and interested in taking part in a street-theatre piece that will be presented here in the Square in a few weeks time? Or do you know someone living locally that may be interested? You would need to be available from the 13th to the 16th August in order to participate (from 10am to 1.30pm the first 3 mornings for rehearsals at Forest Road Youth Centre, with the actual show on the 16th at 1pm here in the Square). Click on the first of the thumbnail pictures below for full details.
Next, a copy of the summer programme of the free events being held here in the square throughout July and August (starting tomorrow). You should of received a copy of this in your letterbox but here is a copy just in case. Click the 2nd thumbnail below to view it.
Lastly, a list of events for children and young people being put on by the library (and not just our own CLR James Library: All Hackney libraries are getting involved). Again these are all free: All your kids need to do is turn up. Click the 3rd and last of the thumbnail images below to see the list.
This past Wednesday saw the latest meeting of Hackney Council’s ‘Dalston Square Culture & Community Engagement Forum’. And very interesting it was too: We learnt that there will be plenty happening this year, now that the square is finished, including a public event every weekend from early July through to the end of August. The council’s website will soon be updated to give full details of all of these events but until then here are a few teasers for you (do not take this list and it’s dates as gospel: Always check the council website beforehand to confirm the event is going ahead):
- June 22nd (the first event) – 12 noon until 5pm – Tulin Dance School Annual Picnic & Students’ End Of Year Performances. A stage and p.a. system will be installed for the performances. Other activities throughout the day including bouncy castle, clown show, outdoor games, face painting, and arts & crafts.
- Every Saturday from and including 12 July to and including 2nd August – The Square of Stoies. A series of story-based events, for children and adults alike, that celebrate the presence of the new Dalston CLR James Library. All events are scheduled to take place under the pop-up tent with a capacity of 70 people (with room outside for plenty more of course)
- July, to be decided – The previously advertised public opening and launch of Dalston Square.
- August 9th & 23rd – Visits from the Hackney Playbus, a double decker bus that has been converted into a fully self-contained play facility for the under fives.
- August 16th – Watching The World Go By by Mimbre. Mimbre, a hackney based charity supported by the Arts Council England, have created a nuanced, breathtaking, and highly skilled acrobatic theatre production using circus and dance innovatively as a physical language to illuminate human connections. The production will feature 8-12 year olds from Mimbre’s children’s workshops, along with a, still to be found, group of 50+ year old local residents. This older group will need to participate in a group of 3 workshops running each of 3 days prior to the big event, to learn and practice the routine. If you are local, over 50, and interested in taking part, contact Lina (of Mimbre) at email@example.com.
- October 6th to November 28th – The Expert View (a light-box exhibition). This is a stunning all-weather installation of 10 illuminated light-boxes displaying an exhibition of ‘Diary Drawing’ artworks by artist Bobby Baker, alongside selected work produced by others in response. The presentation was created by Daily Life Ltd., an arts and mental health charity, again funded by the Arts Council England, who aim to investigate and celebrate daily life and it’s limitations, promoting the abilities of people who have experienced mental distress in some form.
One last thing to say on this subject is that a call has been put out for volunteers to help get the square ready for these public events (like erecting the pop-up tent for example). If you live in the square or the surrounding area and can lend a little muscle on the occasional weekend during the summer, please do let me know by email at DalstonSquareRA@gmail.com. All I need is your name and a means of contact (an email address and phone number would be ideal) and I will compile a list to send on to Lucy McMenemy at the council. Thanks in advance if you can help out.
Before I finish up this post, two quick mentions for posts over at our discussions forum. The first is regarding fire safety within the Dalston Square development (also relevant to residents of other purpose-built blocks of flats) and what to do in the event of fire, which can be found HERE. The other is concerning the route of the proposed rail link Crossrail 2. After last year’s public consultations the route has changed: It will now pass through EITHER Dalston Square OR Hackney Central, not both. For full details of the proposals, access to TFl’s online survey, and details of the next round of public consultations, visit THIS thread.
Further to my last post our short, anonymous survey for residents of Dalston Square is now ready. Currently being printed it should be in letterboxes by the end of the working day tomorrow (Friday). Comprised of just 11 multiple choice questions (with options to add extra comments if you wish) it really will take just a minute or 2 to complete. This is your home, and this is your chance to voice your opinion on how it is being managed. I am aware that this website has many followers that reside in the local community but not in the Square itself, and on this occasion I ask you please ignore this posting: Our survey is for Dalston Square residents only please. I should also mention that the closing date for responses is April 15th, so there is plenty of time to respond. Please return your completed survey to the DSRA letterbox in the foyer of Gaumont Tower: It is immediately beneath box number 69.
And for those who prefer ‘electronic’, the survey can be completed right here on the website. Simply click the link below to have the survey open for you. And of course if you complete the survey here, please ignore the paper version when you receive it. Many thanks in advance to you all for your time.
Billed as ‘the largest public space created in London since the war’, Dalston Square was, right from it’s inception, planned as a space for the whole community to use and enjoy. To this end Hackney Council created the Dalston Square Culture & Community Forum, which has now been running for nearly 2 years. Under the leadership of LBH Cultural Programme Officer Lucy McMenemy the Forum’s brief was clear:
- To ensure that residents in the vicinity of Dalston Square are consulted about the cultural programming of the square.
- To ensure a shared sense of ownership of the square from all sections of Hackney’s community.
- To create an opportunity for other key stakeholders, representing cultural venues in the Dalston area, to participate in the shaping of the programme.
- To identify opportunities for linking Dalston Square’s programme with cultural activities taking place in other public spaces in Dalston, in order to ensure a complementary approach.
- To develop opportunities for Dalston Square to become a vibrant and healthy area that promotes a variety of well-being initiatives.
The Forum meets every 3 months and is comprised of: Lucy McMenemy, LBH Dalston Town Centre Manager Cory Defoe, Dalston ward councillors Sophie Linden and Michelle Gregory, and finally 7 ‘local resident’ representatives. These 7 are comprised of 2 reps each from Dalston Square and Rhodes Estate, and one each from Mayfield Close & Forest Grove Estates, Forest Road, Acer Street & Holly Street Estates, and finally Keswick Lodge & Panton Lodge.
The DSRA have had representatives on the the Forum right from the first meeting back in May of 2012, and I have been publishing the meeting minutes to our own discussions forum for everyone to peruse (minutes from all 8 meetings so far, including the latest one on March 12th, can be found HERE). And hopefully everyone has enjoyed at least some of the many events that have already been staged here in the Square over the last couple of years. Probably the most ambitious of these was the one day Christmas market held here last December.
With the Square now all but finished, and after the success of previous events, thoughts are turning to the possibility of bigger, grander events. Though still early days, a 2014 Christmas market could be one such event: If a small one day event can be a success, how about a 3 day market with double the amount of stalls including food & drink, and a sound stage for performances by local school choirs and performers (the market would also need at least a second day to make it commercially viable)? At the bottom of this post you can see the proposal document of just such an event (click the thumbnail to see it full size). Because of it’s size though, the Culture & Community Forum are looking for opinions from the wider Dalston Square residency. The DSRA have expressed concern that any such event would need to be well planned and run (with marshaling and policing if it will truly ‘fill’ the Square). Sound stage volumes would have to be monitored to ensure they do not become a nuisance to residents overlooking the Square (as several hundred residents do), and after the failings following last year’s market, cleaning up after the event would also need to be swift and thorough (and probably necessary both during and after each day rather than just at the end). If these concerns were alleviated though, we feel such an event could really put some life in to the place, drawing in visitors (along with their wallets) from across London. Surely this could only be a good thing for the local community as a whole.
By all means feel free to leave your comments here but in order to gauge opinion on this and a few other issues, the DSRA will soon be sending out a very brief (a dozen questions at most) multiple-choice questionnaire to every apartment in the development. Yes, Dalston Square is a public space, but it is also home to very nearly 600 apartments with well over 1000 residents. This is acknowledged by the council who have given us a ‘voice’ on this issue. If you have an opinion, please do share it. As I say, the questionnaires will be going out shortly, and I will be posting an electronic version here on the website for those who prefer mouse & keyboard over pen & paper.
On a completely different note, the Clowns Gallery, London’s unique show business museum and archive, currently housed in Holy Trinity Church (also known as ‘The Clowns Church) in Beechwood Road, is appealing for help. the second thumbnail below is their press release with all the details, so rather than me repeating their words, please click on that thumbnail to view it full size.
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.
Hello neighbours. Just a quick post to point out some recent FORUM postings. Firstly a couple of things from Lucy McMenemy, Cultural Programme Officer at Hackney Council and the lady who organises the free events the council lays on in the Square. The first of these is the minutes of the latest meeting of the cultural forum HERE (scroll to the bottom of the thread), the second is the electronic version of their newsletter, NUMBER 2, that has been mailed out to all Dalston Square residents recently. One thing to add: The printed version has a note in red about the junior cricket sessions being postponed until the barriers are removed from around the fountains. Well, as you will have noticed, these are now gone and so the cricket is back on, every other Monday, until August 19th (it was back today but I was unable to get this post out until it was too late. My sincere apologies). And talking of the fountains, you may have already heard that an event may be planned to celebrate the official switching on. This was proposed by a Dalston Square resident and Lucy agrees this is a great idea. Once dates are confirmed, we will announce the details.
The other FORUM posts I want to bring to your attention are the latest notices from Consort. The first of these is partly relevant to all residents (and partly just to Phase 2) and can be found HERE, the other is only relevant to Phase 2 residents (Thomas through to Ocean), covering several topics, and can be found HERE.
And that’s your lot for now. I will be creating a forum post very soon to bring everyone up to date on the many developments we are aware of that are in planning for Dalston, and will advertise said post here when it is complete. Until then, take care, and enjoy the summer (while it lasts).
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.
Hi all, hope this post finds you well. The first item is not so much an update as a reiteration. You may have noticed Sean Stone’s note on the notice boards, and should of received your letter from Consort, regarding next week’s meeting, called by Consort, to explain to us all the reasons for the rises in the coming year’s service charges. (Regarding the letter, please note there is a mistake contained therein: Charges will rise from the current range of £900-£3800, depending on block and size, to a range of £1000-£4000. Not, as it is poorly written, an increase of £1000-£4000). Those of you registered with the DSRA (via the forum or by attending our regular meetings) will have today received my email but I will again publish here a note from Ben Collins, Chair of the DSRA, regarding this meeting:
Service Charge increases 2013- 2014Consort MeetingTuesday March 19th6.30 pmCLR James LibrarySome of you will be aware that our Service Charges are due to increase again this April.In some cases, we the Residents Association believe, these could be very significant. (From our estimates this could possibly be more than 25% in the case of some buildings)Leaseholders received a letter this week from Consort Property Management (dated March 12th), which is somewhat confusing. It describes ‘an increase of between £1000 and £4000 per apartment… dependent on the block’.If these figures are correct, they are alarming. They do not reflect the provisional figures the DSRA committee was given in a recent budget review meeting with Consort, but they do confirm the need to attend the meeting next Tuesday, to ask questions.For the past three years the Residents’ Association has asked for greater transparency in budgeting and more accurate predictive information for Service Charges for each apartment, to be sent out well in advance of the new financial year. This is to avoid the surprises many of us have had in past years from late notices of increases, based on unexplained or questionable cost increases in running our buildings.The increase in Service Charges will impact on ALL residents including tenants.We are very concerned about the confused message from Consort and hope that as many residents as possible will attend the meeting on Tuesday March 19th, at 6:30 in the library. We need a strong showing to impress upon Consort that we expect better from their financial management, and better value for money for their Service Charges. If you can, please come to the meeting to make your case.Ben CollinsChairDalston Square Residents’ Association