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Greening Project a Success!

Posted: May 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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Thanks for all your help!

On Saturday 26th April, a team of volunteers made up of local residents, Hillingdon Play Association and Hillingdon Community Trust took up spades and trowels in a group effort to green Hayes Austin Estate. Austin Road Estate is a large area of housing made up of high rise flats looming over concreted playgrounds and 18 neglected raised beds. Hillingdon Play Association had been working with the community through group activities, and Grow Heathrow residents joined them and residents to beautify the raised beds together.

Starting at 9.30am, armed with trowels and compost and fueled on cups of hot chocolate and sandwiches we began preparing the beds, clearing away rubbish and weeds and pruning back overgrown shrubs. A planting plan to include shade tolerant, low maintenance perennials was put together, and local children were enthusiastically digging holes for a mixture of fragrant herbs, shrubs and flowers. We were also joined by a few volunteers from People and Planet who sped us to the finish line. Resident volunteers have taken over looking after each section of raised beds outside their flat, ensuring they’ll be watered and weeded.

Grow Heathrow and Hillingdon Play Association will be organising a follow up greening day in September where we’ll be doing some winter planting and maintaining the beds. Watch this space if you’d like to get involved!


Grow Heathrows Herbs in the Post Office

Posted: April 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Growing Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

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Parsley, Sage and Chives, fresh from the Grow Heathrow meadow, given in away in the local post office on a donations basis.

Move to Heathrow?


Housing Weekender

Posted: April 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Cool Projects, Events | Tags: | No Comments »

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As part of the Radical Housing Network, we’re pleased to announce…

The Housing Weekender, 2014

The Weekender is on the 26th and 27th April. It’s a collaboration among groups from across London, who work on a whole range of housing issues including private renting, access to welfare, squatting, co-operatives and social housing.

Please Note: All events are FREE and no booking required

DAY ONE: Saturday 26th April

Events happening across London.Click here for FULL SCHEDULE

NORTH WEST LONDON

INEQUALITY BUS TOUR

The Housing Inequality Bus Tour is coming to you! OUR CITY IS FOR LIVING IN A HOME IS YOUR RIGHT We are bringing: Music////Refreshments/// Useful information that can help with your housing problems///// Hop on the bus to find out more about what is causing London’s housing crisis and what we are doing about it.  The Google Map route of the Bus Tour.

NORTH LONDON

Haringey Housing Action Group (HHAG) will be hosting their monthly meeting Sat 26th April ///// 10am-12 midday ///// North London Community House, N17

Our Tottenham and Haringey Private Tenants Action Group (HPTAG) will be holding an info stall in Tottenham (opposite Bruce Grove Station, on the high road) between 1pm-2pm to give out information about the Our Tottenham Network and all campaigns to improve housing and support people to set up action groups in threatened estates in the area.

EAST LONDON

Saturday 26th April///// 12-1pm ////Hackney Town Hall

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Join Digs and tell the council the private rented sector needs to change.

We will be sharing and listening to stories, playing renter bingo and presenting our dossier of stories to the council – come and meet councillors and tell them your story.

Over the last months Digs has been collecting tales of renting in Hackney. We will be presenting these stories to the council so they can’t claim ignorance on these issues, and we’ll be demanding longer tenancies and council action on profiteering landlords.

SOUTHWEST LONDON

A night of films celebrating the struggle for decent housing in our communities

7.30pm til late, Saturday 26 April ///// St. Matthew’s Tenants Hall, 10 St. Matthew’s Rd, SW2 1NH/////Drinks and other refreshments will be available

We’ll be showing a series of short films which give an insight into housing activism, past and present, and provide acknowledgment and encouragement both to those who are precariously housed and those fighting to combat this social ill. They will include contemporary projects, such as the campaign to save and expand social housing in Cressingham Gardens, and inspirational examples from recent history, such as the co-operative living spaces established by the Brixton Faeries in the 1970s.

Facebook event

Organised by Lambeth Housing Activists and Lambeth Renters.

SOUTHEAST LONDON

Happening in New Cross, Southeast London. For full programme click through to New Cross Programme page

Library: New Cross Learning, 283 – 285 New Cross Road, SE14 6AS

  • 2pm – 3pm: Various Housing Shorts [FILM]
  • 3pm – 4pm: Despite the City (1988) [FILM]
  • 4pm – 5pm: SE London Co-ops Forum Presents: How Can Local Politicians Help Co-operatives Solve the Housing Crisis? [DEBATE]
  • 6pm – 9pm: Grasp the Nettle (2013) [FILM]

Cafe: Café Crema, 306 New Cross Rd, London SE14 6AF

  • 1pm – 2pm: Jon Glackin: Street Homelessness [SPEAKER]
  • 2pm – 3pm: Owen Hatherley – Urban Blight [SPEAKER]
  • 3pm – 4pm: Jon Broome – Self-Build [SPEAKER]
  • 4pm – 6pm: Give Us Space (2014) [FILM]
  • 6pm – 8pm: Housing Hangout Space, light entertainment and drinks

DAY TWO: Sunday 27th April

For FULL PROGRAMME click here

11AM-6PM

33-37 MORELAND STREET, EC1V 8BB

11-12.15: Media Training

Lots of groups find that engagement with the mainstream media is a useful way to further their aims, but not everyone is confident in dealing with journalists to get the best results. It would be great to see more housing groups getting their voices heard. This practical training session will be led by Joe and Theo, who have been part of various grassroots campaigns including the Plane Stupid campaign against aviation expansion, and the Squash campaign against the criminalisation of squatting.

11-12.15: MIPIM

MIPIM is the world’s biggest property fair, where our cities and communities are bought and sold. It brings together developers, speculators and politicians for a week of back-scratching and champagne. The Radical Housing Network is part of a cross-European network organising opposition to MIPIM. In October, a special UK event will take place in London. Come along to find out more, and plan for action in the coming year.

12.30: Alternatives

Ever thought about setting up a housing co-op? Or maybe building your own home? Or perhaps you would like to know more about Community Land Trusts and other means of community engagement with local planning and property ownership? This session will look at ways that people are working within and outside the broken housing system to find alternative ways of gaining control over their housing and getting the homes they want and need.

We will be joined by Jon Broome, a leading self-build architect who worked with Walter Segal; Rob Morris, co-founder of the Drive co-op in North London and active member of Radical Routes; and London Community Neighbourhood Co-op, an ambitious a live/work/community space in Westminster based on sustainability, affordability and accessibility.

12.30-4.45: Action planning and preparation

Throughout the afternoon, we will be planning and preparing for a housing action in the near future. Come with ideas, energy, cardboard boxes, and maybe some for sale signs?

2.15: Understanding the Crisis

Danny Dorling is Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford. His recent book, All That Is Solid (2014), argues that the solution to the housing crisis lies not in the construction of more homes, but in addressing the root cause: inequality.

Liz Davies is a housing lawyer and Chair of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers. She is particularly interested in homelessness and social housing allocations, and is co-author of Housing Allocation and Homelessness (2012).

Join us to look at the causes of the housing crisis and start thinking about some of the solutions.

2.30-4.30: Law surgery and advice training

The first part of this session will be a workshop on homelessness and eviction, looking and where and how to seek legal help when facing these issues. It will be equally useful for people who would like to be able to give advice and support, and those actually facing these problems right now.

The second part of the session will be an open law surgery – so if you have questions around housing and homelessness that need a lawyer’s thoughts, come along.

3.45: Organising and Action

Defend Council Housing, London Renters, Squatters Legal Network and Lambeth Housing Activists will discuss their diverse tactics and experiences of organising in the face of the housing crisis. Together with the other groups in attendance we will think about how we can better organise across tenure and locality to develop a join-up opposition to housing injustice, and what kinds of organising and action work best for us.

5.00 Plenary

This will provide an opportunity to share the events of the weekend, including the Saturday events in Hackney, Haringey, Lambeth, New Cross, and Barnet, as well as the sessions throughout the day on Sunday. In particular, we we hear the plans and proposals for action, and feedback on how we can move forward together.

In New Cross:

Little Homes////Children and families event Time: 2-6 pm//// Location: Sanford Housing Coop (House Zero), Sanford Walk, SE14 6 NB Creative workshop for children and families exploring alternative housing solutions. Children will build and decorate their own houses using cardboard and colours. The workshop is run by some of the Sanford Housing-Coop members and members of We Love Cardboard.

 


Help us green Austin Estate!

Posted: April 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Cool Projects, Growing Group, Uncategorized | No Comments »

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If you’d like to get involved in helping your local community bloom and beautify, grab your trowels because now is your chance. On Saturday the 26th April at 9.30am, we’ll be joining volunteers and locals on Austin Estate to re-vamp their neglected raised beds and add a splash of colour to the estate.

We’ll be pruning and clearing up the beds, re-conditioning the soil, and then planting a mixture of woodland perennial shrubs and herbs. We’ll also be skill sharing on shade tolerant, low maintenance perennials for easy gardening.

There will be food and drinks provided for green fingered volunteers.

Any age or skill level is welcome and there will be lots to learn and do. Please bring tools such as secateurs and gloves if you have them. We need your help to make it happen!

We’ll be starting at 9.30am and working throughout the day, so feel free to drop in for all or just a bit of it and help us green the Austin Estate. For more information please contact info(at)transitionheathrow.com or call 07890751568


Spring at Cranford Park

Posted: April 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Gardening Club, Growing Group | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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If you have thought of volunteering in the park, now is the time! Just turn up at one of Cranford Park Friends’ monthly sessions, meeting at the Secret Garden beside the Stables, on the second Sunday of each month… the next session is this coming Sunday April 13 at 10am (see below). No experience or tools are required.

Some other event highlights for the coming months are listed below. Other news in brief:

Repairs to the Stable Block roof, weatherproofing and ivy removal have been completed by the London Borough of Hillingdon’s contractor. So the building is weatherproof at last. Unfortunately there was a break-in in the early hours of March 9, the doors were damaged and some of our tools stolen. If you have spare garden tools you could donate to fill the gap, please contact the Secretary.

Towards a Lottery bid. LB Hillingdon has shown great faith in our group’s achievements by ring-fencing £25k to fund a Feasibility Study, the first step towards a Heritage Lottery Fund grant application. It has been declared a Hillingdon Improvement Project, for the buildings and park. Winning a Lottery grant will be a long and complicated job but success could mean wonderful enhancements, of benefit to the whole community. A Steering Group has been set up and the Friends are well represented on it. We hope you will be able to help us – more details in due course.

CRANFORD PARK EVENTS 2014 All events except *are free. Address: The Parkway (A312), Hounslow, TW5 9RZ.

Sunday 13 April, 10am – 12 noon. Secret Garden Opening & Volunteering. Help us prepare the garden for summer. Refreshments will be served to volunteers. The garden will open at the same time on the second Sunday of each month (11 May, 8 June etc.). The entrance is adjacent to the stable courtyard.

Saturday 26 April, 11am. Bluebell Walk. Join Countryside & Conservation Officer Alison Shipley for a guided walk through the bluebell woods. Meet at information centre.

Sunday May 11, 10am -12 noon. *Secret Garden Opening & Volunteering. *See above.

Saturday May 17, 11am. ‘Knights, Earls & Ghosts’ History Tour. A 90-minute guided history walk around Cranford Park. Meet at information centre.

Thursday May 22, 7.30pm. Cranford Park Friends’ Quarterly Meeting. Crane Community Centre, Fuller Way, Harlington (off Cranford Drive, bus E6). All welcome.

Sunday June 8, 10am -12 noon. *Secret Garden Opening & Volunteering/Balsam Bash. *See above. On the river we join the River Crane-wide event removing Himalayan Balsam, a highly invasive plant along the river. Please wear long trousers and long sleeve shirts.

Sunday June 22, 11am – 4pm. Grand Union Canal Boat Trip on the Elsdale. *(Members of *Cranford Park Friends and families only; booking essential). Departs from and returns to Packet Boat Marina, Packet Boat Lane, Cowley UB8 2JJ. A leisurely cruise and social event for members and their families. Free (donation of £3 suggested). Please bring a packed lunch. Licensed bar also serving hot and soft drinks. On-board toilets. Includes short talk on canal history, and local wildlife. Places limited, please book with Dhush Selvarajah, tel. 077180 43105, email dhush.selvarajah@groundwork.org.uk.

Saturday June 28, 11am. Butterfly Walk. Join the Countryside & Conservation Officer for a guided walk looking at the many species of butterfly found in Cranford Park. Meet at information centre.

Saturday August 2. Cranford Park Remembers. A friendly day for all the family with a medieval encampment, a memory wall where you can leave your park memories, activities for kiddies and more. The 18th century Stables and St. Dunstan’s Church will be open; tea garden refreshments. Details to follow nearer the date. Volunteers will be needed well in advance.

Saturday/Sunday September 20 and 21.* Open House London 2014.* Cranford Stables & Secret Garden and St Dunstan’s Church open. Members of the Friends’ History & Conservation working party will be in attendance.

Saturday/Sunday September 27 and 28, 3pm. *W*heat to War 1780-1918.*Celebrate local life in this hour-long outdoor spectacular for the whole family. Outline Theatre performs popular songs, dance and drama. A moving tribute to our local Great War Heroes, marking the centenary of World War I. Tickets £4 or 4 for £14, Under 5′s free; book online at www.outlinetheatre.co.uk. Box Office, tel. 01895 851936.


Bike workshop

Posted: April 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Cool Projects, Events | Tags: | No Comments »

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Join us at Grow Heathrow on the third Saturday of every month to learn basic maintenance and repair skills with tools and friendly support.

When:

Every third Saturday of every month, 12-4pm

Where:

Grow Heathrow, Vineries Close, Sipson, West Drayton UB7 0JG

For more info, contact us at info@transitionheathrow.com or 07890751568


Local Community Music Workshop

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Cool Projects, music, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

COMMUNITY MUSIC WORKSHOP

Every 2nd& 4th Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm to 9pm

Our first Workshop is on Tues 11th March at 7.30pm

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Venue: St Peter & St Paul’s Church Hall, St Peter’s Way, Harlington

Come along and learn to sing as part of our new community choir and play various percussion instruments. You will also have the opportunity to learn the piano, keyboard, flute, guitar & ukulele.

        People of all ages are welcome – we promise lots of fun!

For more details please call 07900 340 556


Media training

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Media | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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We recently had some media training and wanted to share some of the resources we used. Speaking out, sometimes through the press, can’t be left to a professional elite. People need to hear the truth of your story and experiences.

There’s a really well written 10-step guide to a hard-hitting action media team.

And also suggestions for Grow Heathrow’s key messages and statistics: pdf file to view and odt file to edit. These are not official or agreed by the group, but hopefully a useful tool to consider in the workshop.


Wild and free salads: Fri 18 April, 1-3pm

Posted: March 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Foraging | 4 Comments »

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Well hello foragers. 2014 is on us and we’re partying hard with an ID walk and salad making stroll from 1-3pm on Fri 18th April.

This year, if for some embarrassing reason you haven’t heard, weekly Foraging Fridays are mutating into bigger workshops around once a month from February till September. Maybe we’ll go for an appley extravganza in October too, if you’re good.

Salad plants we’ll find:

  • Hoary cress (lepidium draba)
  • Chickweed (stellaria media)
  • Smooth sow thistle (sonchus oleraceus)
  • Cow parsley (anthriscus sylvestris) – and its poisonous almost identical lookalike, hemlock (conium maculatum)
  • Cress, unfairly branded ‘hairy bittercress’ (cardamine hirsuta)
  • nipplewort (lapsana communis)
  • borage (borago officinalis)

blah blah blah. And possible ones nearby:

  • three cornered garlic (allium triquetrum)
  • horseradish (armoracia rusticana)

Bring your party clothes


50,000 mobilised against Nantes expansion

Posted: March 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Action | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Peasant mobilization was strong in Nantes, where the procession was attended by 530 tractors.

A huge protest took place in Nantes on 22nd February, against the planned new replacement airport to be built at Notre Dame des Landes, some miles to the north. The organisers estimated some 50,000 protesters, who came in from supportive groups from regions all across France. There are reported to have been 65 coach loads of protesters who travelled to Nantes to take part, and 520 tractors, brought by supportive farmers from surrounding areas. The protests were put down with considerable force by the police, using water canon, rubber bullets and tear gas.

The full report is at Airport Watch, including an article from Le Monde, video of police response, and a blog from John Stewart of HACAN about the origins of the resistance to the airport.

John Stewart’s blog from 24 February begins:

In a blog about the huge demonstration, part of which turned in to rioting, at Nantes against the proposed  new airport, John Stewart looks at how this protest came about – and its relevance to other large infrastructure projects in Europe. The Nantes protest organisers say as many as 50,000 people attended, from supportive protest committees from areas across France. The politics of this airport project have taken on national interest and significance, and also linked into opposition to “Les Grands Projets Inutiles Imposes” (useless, imposed mega-projects).  The people passionately fighting plans for a new airport in unspoiled French farming countryside are linked to those opposing HS2 and other schemes like a high-speed rail in Northern Italy and cyanide-mined gold extraction project in Romania. All these projects have managed to get support from very disparate sections of society. They all have real doubts about the economics or the necessity of the project; also they have land, homes, countryside or communities to defend; there is significant local opposition; and they also attract in outside opposition, from people with a variety of  perspective as well as environmental.