Let us know what you think about Lambeth plans to invest GBP750K by 2018 for public space improvements in Loughborough Junction. Excited ? Frustrated ? No clue ? Let us know !!!
This month has seen Lambeth’s first Heritage Festival take place – with all kinds of events and talks taking place across the borough. Taking their theme as 1913 it’s included speakers on the suffragettes, ‘Black Edwardians’ and local Edwardian architecture.
With just under two weeks to go there’s still lots to do – anything from a talk organised by the Norwood Society about’ letters to the editor’ from between 1888 and 1918 to a walk ‘in the shoes of Vincent Van Gogh’ on Saturday, 21 September.
On Friday, 27 September you can tour the Black Cultural Archives – but you must book ahead by emailing email@example.com or ringing 020 7582 8516 or on Saturday, 28 September pop into the Lambeth Archives for a day-long programme of talks, stalls and activities.
Let me be perfectly clear and openly state: I am a life-long user of libraries and I have no intention of stopping.
As a Lambeth resident I use both Brixton and Minet Libraries, one because it’s central and has a bigger selection, the other because it’s closer to home and has a good selection of books, DVDs and comics.
The staff members are really approachable and helpful in both libraries too.
I find it odd and worrying that so many people seem to have forgotten about libraries – never popping in on the off-chance of getting out something new or an old classic, or just browsing and coming across some obscure treasure.
Even many friends – up to date in the fights against cuts in public services – seem not to remember that libraries offer books, computer usage, DVDs and CDs for very little and a whole wealth of knowledge.
You can get Series 1 and 2 of Borgen and all three series of The Killing for a tiny pittance for goodness sake!
And every Lambeth library except West Norwood offers free, unlimited Wi-Fi access.
So Lambeth’s libraries are in Brixton, Herne Hill (Carnegie Library), Clapham, Kennington (Durning Library), Streatham, Tate South Lambeth, Upper Norwood, Waterloo and West Norwood.
And don’t forget the irreplaceable Lambeth Archives and Minet Library.
It’s not just the service for old fogeys, youngsters flock into Lambeth’s libraries to catch up with friends on the computers, do homework and even get books out.
The staff are going all out to entice people back to the libraries – under threat from council cuts – with anything from reading competitions to film evenings – at Minet library on the first Tuesday of every month (or the last Wednesday at 2pm) you can sip a glass of wine and watch some fascinating old classics like Ida Lupino’s 1953 The Hitch-Hiker and Orson Welles’ 1958 Touch Of Evil.
PS did you know that Ida Lupino was born and raised in Herne Hill? No, neither did I, but the library staff did.
Yeah, yeah – you can get Netflix and LoveFilm etc etc but this is about more than ease of hire, it’s about bringing a disparate community together for an evening watching a film and then discussing it. People from all walks of life and ages come along to the library and you see dads and mums reading to their kids, old people catching up with the news and youngsters doing their homework at the tables.
They are not as S-I-L-E-N-T as they used to be ‘back in the day’ of far off times but who cares. There’s a buzz and a joy of people all doing something they enjoy – together.
Brixton offers a great reference and information service and a good, quiet place to study or work and you can find out all about Lambeth and its history at the Lambeth Archives at Minet Library.
Or head to www.lambethlandmark.com for a history of the borough in pictures.
The borough’s diverse and the libraries stock books in 19 languages and offer all kinds of activities including literacy classes and silver surfers and computer workshops.
Hire a few DVDs, read some library books, go along to a classic film evening – it’s not much of an effort but it might be the difference the libraries need for when the debate about closing them comes around again.
And I gather that the debate has only been postponed.
So go to www.lambeth.gov.uk/libraries and visit its online catalogue and pop into your local and join now.
I am NOT a librarian secretly trying to muster up support, I AM a library lover and do not want to see our local libraries replaced by yet another chain or another **^%&^&^^*&* estate agent.
Let’s keep it real local!
And if you are concerned about losing our libraries and services why not visit www.lambethsaveourservices.org and see what others are doing.
Always wanted to take part in the Notting Hill Carnival?
Then head to the Sunshine International Arts C.A.F.E at Studio 5, 209 A
Coldharbour Lane SW9 8RU
Opposite Loughborough Junction Railway Station
Make your own costume, get involved and get ready to party
You can join the Children’s Day on 25 August with your kids or the Adult
day on 26 August.
Simply phone Ray on 07881571743 for more details
I recently interviewed Kate Burt, editor of south London’s new daily online magazine, the great belowtheriver.co.uk She told me a bit about herself, the magazine, what’s great about south London living and why Londoners CAN move around the capital!
Londoners always seem quite tribal about being from north or south of the river. Do you think that still applies?
Yes and no. There’s a hard core who will always feel that way, but it saddens me. What it really comes down to is not superior places, but familiarity – and where your friends live. I’m in south London because I was born here and my best primary school and secondary school friends still live within walking distance. But my boyfriend is from north London – and I have loved being given the tourist tour of all his favourite places, ditto with Below the River’s sister site, Kentishtowner: through them I’ve discovered heaps of north London gems I’d never have known about and enjoyed. (I should point out however that my boyfriend and I recently moved in together… in south London… ha ha.)
Are people more willing to migrate either way?
See above. Though I do think that was an unusual exception. That said, I know of various people who have recently made leaps both ways. I think there’s actually something lovely about moving somewhere that people feel tribal about – because they will generally be gentle with you as they know how big a move it would be the other way. Ultimately, though, London – until you hit the suburbs – is pretty small and everywhere is accessible. We should all make more use of that as well as the stuff in our community and on our doorsteps. It is a great city – north, south and east (I would falter at west, however… that does feel like a different city in places – just me?)
As you say in your intro to the magazine, south of the river used to get a fairly bad press. What do you think marked the change in attitudes and when do you think the change began?
It’s cheaper. Eventually all things come to what they can afford – and decide to love it.
South of the river is a huge area to cover – how do you try and make sure you’re covering all the areas?
It’s hard! But the area we’ve naturally decided to cover – broadly the blob that spreads downwards along the curves of the Thames beneath London Bridge/the tip of Southwark – feels like a natural trail in a way. I live in SW9 but spend lots of time in SW2, Herne Hill, Loughborough Junction, Peckham, Camberwell, London Bridge, Deptford, Waterloo, the South Bank… And I think other south Londoners will have equivalent orbits. And I have stringers in the most far flung spots! That said – we are after new writers and reviewers – so please email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
What have been the main challenges in setting up belowtheriver?
To do it well you need to have more hours than the ones available. Other than that, I’m quite astounded at how smooth it’s been to go from a blank website (in Feb 2013) to launching in March, to gaining 20,000 monthly readers during the subsequent four months… and SO much positive feedback. It feels like we are part of a family that was there waiting to welcome us. People seem to really like what we do.
Have there been any stand-out highs and lows so far?
I’ve lived in south London all my life. Starting this website I have seen it almost as a tourist and discovered so much great stuff and fantastic people doing amazing things locally that I just didn’t know about. Knowing I’m now in a position to share all this great stuff to other people who didn’t know about it is pretty exciting too. Lows? Gah. Time versus money, the usual. But mainly we (as in me and the little publishing company behind Below the River and the award-winning Kentishtowner.co.uk) are just excited about the plans we have and how we are doing the best jobs we could ever have imagined doing.
As a born south Londoner are there any particular features you especially love about the vibe of south London and how do you think it’s changed?
I love that it’s got a bit more respect these days. And that taxis don’t flinch when you tell them where you want to go. I love that – in my bit of south London, and – pretty much – Below the River’s patch – it is a hugely varied, vibrant place. I fear for the bland, over-priced homogenisation of certain corners however…
Brixton Village and a lot of privately funded housing is going up in and around south London – obviously we need a lot more housing – what is your opinion on the gentrification debate. Ie development being good for an area but sometimes leading to locals being priced out?
I get very emotional about gentrification. It’s great that Brixton Market is now full of life again – but do the people flocking to eat from delicious menus ever do their shopping from the greengrocers and butchers there? I think the problem with it is that there’s no Gentrification Monitor to say when enough is enough – there’s always a tipping point, though I like to think people have learnt from Spitalfields. Change – and young, independent businesses – arriving: amazing. Lack of integration: saddening. Hiked prices, ditto. It’s about balance and that is something that is often lacking. It’s extremely complex – and I wish I was the Gentrification Monitor. I would be totally fascist about using the arrival of good new stuff to support the good old stuff and make everyone appreciate each other. But that would probably never work.
If I said ‘south London’ to you – what six buildings/communities/events would spring to mind immediately?
The Michael Faraday Memorial (aka, as I thought for much of the 1990s, the Aphex Twin’s House. I loved the idea of that)
The House in the Junction (a new addition – they really make me feel warm inside)
How much interaction are you finding with local writers, photographers and creative?
We’d like more! But there’s so much talent – they’re all really busy. So interaction in terms of people to write ABOUT has been amazing.
And lastly how important is social media to the magazine – and do you see a print version of belowtheriver in the future?
There are plans for some interesting print collaborations afoot… And as for social media – it is absolutely vital to us.
I popped into the Angell Delight Community Project on Angell Town Estate to meet London Creative Labs (LCL) graduate Lynnette Sebuwufu who is been running a ‘Silver Surfers’ project – teaching over 50s (and anyone else) how to use computers and the internet.
The Project centre is an ideal venue for the class as it has four computers for use by residents and other amenities too.
With a Masters in IT and a strong interest in community engagement, Lynnette has enjoyed running the course on Wednesday mornings from 10am to 1pm.
When the project began in November last year it was funded, but that has now ended and Lynnette is looking for more financial support but is managing to keep the lessons going at the moment as she has committed to the project for two years.
“I am able to contribute to community cohesion and also get to engage with others as we have a discussion group before each tutorial,” she says.
With a small class who are keen to grow their online skills, the sessions have also provided a chance for neighbours and Angell Town residents to meet and have some amazing chats.
Class member Doreen said she had gained in confidence after attending the classes and was considering building up her Facebook page.
“Although I am not so sure about the time people spend on social media,” she laughs
A dedicated teacher, Lynnette pops in on other mornings too, to check if residents need help on the Angell Delight Community Project computers or have technical questions for her.
“I think it is better for people to work out their computer problems in this kind of community space where we can help them and not when they are at home alone,” she says.
Inspired by her attendance at courses run by Social Business (LCL), Lynnette is keen to keep building on the community structures already in place in Angell Town.
She’s inspired by LCL’s Sofia Bustamante who “still pops in when she can” and the organisation’s ethos of: creating the jobs and kind of work that we would want our children to have, discovering better business/other models to generate the jobs and work and helping more people participate in the process.
Angell Delight Centre co-ordinator Mary Ekenachi arrived mid-session. A seasoned organiser of numerous community events, she had been one of the key players in identifying residents who would benefit from and be interested in the project.
If you can suggest possible funding for Lynnette’s project, provide funding, want to find out more about it or would like to chat to her about it email her at email@example.com or pop into the centre at Unit B, Fairfax House, Overton Road
Classes started today from 10am and the first class was £4.
And then on Wednesdays from 10-11.30am at the Hillington Youth Centre in Comber Grove (off New Camberwell Road) SE5 0LD
There will be another class from Saturday, 6 July from 9.30-11am at 1 Addington Square, Camberwell Road (opposite BP petrol station) SE5 0HF
For more info take a look here