Monthly Archives: January 2011

Piggybanks and Edvard Munch

The never-much-good branch of Nationwide in Blackheath village is closing. More on 853blog here.

And an excellent Scream-inspired painting of Blackheath station. Sums up just about how I feel when I’m waiting there sometimes…

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Do not cut here

Blackheath Library Read-In Protest
Great poster from the Sydenham Library blog. Come and read extracts from your favourite book in Blackheath Library on 5th Feb, from 2-4pm, as part of the library protests against the cuts.
From the Sydenham Library blog:

We are holding the read-in in conjunction with other libraries across the country. We feel it’s wrong to close essential front line services like this which benefit the whole community.

If you feel the same way please let people know. We hope to see you there.

More info on the Blackheath Village Library Users Group site.

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Libraries beginning with B

Somewhere in Blackbird Leys, somewhere in Berinsfield, somewhere in Botley, somewhere in Benson or in Bampton, to name only the communities beginning with B whose libraries are going to be abolished, somewhere in each of them there is a child right now, there are children, just like me at that age in Battersea, children who only need to make that discovery to learn that they too are citizens of the republic of reading. Only the public library can give them that gift.

Phillip Pullman on public libraries. Please read it Mayor Bullock, before you destroy our library beginning with B.

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Minutes from the pop festival licensing meeting

It is the same guy. Quite a detailed report of what they intend to do. Would love to know how they plan to restrict sound from moving through the air. Thanks to Lewisham Council for responding so quickly to my request!

Minutes of the meeting (Google Docs).

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NIMBY Events – connected with school chairs?

“Don’t Lean Back”, a company that sells school chairs that (you’ve guessed it) don’t lean back, is registered to the same address as Nimby events.  Interestingly, the founder of the chair company was also a school teacher.  Guess where?  In Blackheath.

Chair that keeps its feet on the ground – The Times Feb 18th 2008

Tom Wates has taken orders from 18 schools since launching his product three weeks ago. “I’ve had orders from Glasgow to Belfast, Cornwall to London,” he said. “It seems that it’s a problem that touches everyone.”

Mr Wates, who gave up his job teaching maths and PE in Blackheath, southeast London, last year, said that he was “driven mad” by his students rocking back and forth, and often falling off their chairs. “It was something I was saying as much as I was asking children to be quiet. I couldn’t do anything about them talking, but I figured that I could stop this.”

Coincidence? Maybe he’ll get his (almost) namesake to play at the festival…

UPDATE: Photo of Tom Wates and the chair here.

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Pop Festival – the anti NIMBY nimby leaflet

Leaflet from the Blackheath Society - Two Day Pop Festival on Blackheath
Here’s the leaflet from the Blackheath Society about the proposed pop festival on the heath. I didn’t get one – maybe they were only distributed along the edges of the heath?

Text shown below – not because I necessarily agree with the sentiment!

TWO DAY POP FESTIVAL ON BLACKHEATH
SEPTEMBER 2011
A MESSAGE FROM THE BLACKHEATH SOCIETY

Are you aware that Lewisham Council has granted a licence for a company called NIMBY Events to put on a major Pop Festival on the Heath? It will be in the same location as the 2009 Climate Camp, but will occupy much more of the Heath. It has been fixed for 10/11th September 2011.

  • Major features [aside from loud music] include:
  • A start at midday each day and finish at 11.00 pm (10.30 pm on Sunday)
  • An audience of up to 25,000 on each day
  • Fully licensed bars until 30 minutes before the finish
  • Road closures
  • Licence granted in perpetuity

The Blackheath Society is concerned that the grant of this licence, with minimal conditions, will result in a major nuisance to local residents during the event as well as crime and disorder when the festival goers leave.

The Society is not against events on the Heath in principle, but expects them to be carefully planned and regulated. In this case, very little detail has been provided. If NIMBY is allowed to go ahead in this way, it will set a dangerous precedent.

We are therefore appealing the decision to the Magistrates Court in early March. This is a costly exercise, and we are looking for support beyond our existing membership.

lf you share our concern, and would like to support us or would like more information or give us your views – you can contact the Society on 020 8297 1937 (leave a message out of hours) or blackheath.soc@lineone.net Further details are also on our website: www.blackheath.org

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NIMBY Pop Festival on the Heath?

During the Blackheath Climate Camp, photo by Indymedia
After the Blackheath Climate Camp, photo by Indymedia

The mysterious NIMBY Events Ltd are planning a two day pop festival to be held every year in approximately the same place as the Climate Camp (but bigger). The first one is due to take place on September 10th-11th. Lewisham Council have approved the alcohol license (PDF should be here, but has disappeared). Glendale, the contractors who manage the park for Lewisham Council also approve of the deal. The Blackheath Joint Working Party have considered – and rejected the idea twice, but NIMBY continued with the application to the council despite this.

The Blackheath Society are now planning to fight this in the courts, and seem very opposed to it – as can be seen on the front page of their website.

There is another meeting of the Blackheath Joint Working Party on Thursday 3rd February, 7.30pm, in St Michael’s Church Hall, Blackheath Park, 1 Pond Road, SE3 9JL, where the plans will be discussed further.

I can’t help thinking that Twitter user ladywormhill could have a point:

The Climate Camp was unquestionably a successful event held on the heath. These would be paying punters, who wouldn’t tidy up after themselves, but the organisers would have to deal with this. The heath is a big place, and many smaller parks hold similar festivals occasionally without the sky falling on their heads. Opposing it outright seems to summon up images of a rather stuffy form of Nimbyism (unfortunate choice of name by the promoters)… Maybe the solution would be to grant a single license for one year, on the understanding that any additional year would also have to be approved.

Or I suppose the mysterious NIMBY events group could just do what the protesters did, and turn up without permission, assuming they wanted a free rave on the heath, not a profitable enterprise. I’m sure either outcome would be great for local businesses, and is arguably similar to what used to happen on the heath regularly a few centuries ago. UPDATE: Come to think of it, part of the heath was closed for a day recently to allow a golf tournament.

Photos showing before and after the Climate Camp, by Indymedia. If anyone knows anything more about the mysterious Nimby Events, please let me know.

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