Posted: May 26th, 2015 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Action, Art, Cool Projects, Education | Tags: activism, art, climate change, community, Residents, resistance, sustainability, transition | No Comments »
HARTS (Heathrow arts project) is launching a series of community murals on Friday 29th May as the last stop on the ‘Flag it Up’ parade’. The parade will begin at 11am in Harmondsworth; the village which faces almost complete demolition should a 3rd runway at Heathrow Airport be granted by the Government.
Hundreds of children living in the Heathrow villages have made flags based around the theme of ‘home’, that will be displayed on the lamp-posts, to combat the physical and social blight from the airport and the threat of its expansions and demonstrate the future that is strived for by the people of Heathrow.
The flag parade will start by St Mary’s church in Harmondsworth with activities 11am-12pm, walking to Sipson between 12-1pm, lunch at Grow Heathrow 1-2pm, (UB7 0JH), walking to Harlington between 2-3pm and finishing under the mural at Saint Peter and Saint Paul’s Church Hall with tea, music and activities, 3-4pm.
The date coincides with the final day of consultation of Airports Commissions air quality assessment and the mass action camp ‘Reclaim the Power’, where people are highlighting the need, from many different angles, for the UK to cut emissions, reduce reliance on dirty energy and create a more just society.
The ‘Flag it Up!’ parade and the community murals are part of a series of community-led arts projects in the Heathrow villages. Other projects involve landscape art, film and social sculpture. Harts is looking for artists to come to the Heathrow villages to develop projects with the community over 2015, so if you can help get in touch at:
day time phone: o7512 320856
For more info, also see the Community HARTS website: communityharts.org
Posted: March 27th, 2015 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Neighbourhood plan | Tags: access to land, community, Residents | No Comments »
Since the first Neighbourhood Forum meeting, the Heathrow villages neighbourhood planning committee have been working steadily behind the scenes. Have a look at some of the updates below.
- The picture above shows the boundary decided by the neighbourhood forum. The idea was to focus on the three villages of Sipson, Harmondsworth and Harlington, with the knowledge that it is more realistic to start small as a local neighbourhood plan is a big endeavourer, requiring lots of volunteered time and energy. The villages of Cranford and Longford can also get involved in neighbourhood planning at any point further down the line.
We are now planning to get this formally designated by the council.
Looking for roles
- Since our first neighbourhood forum meeting, we have decided to add another issue ‘health and wellbeing’ to our list of priorities for the area.
(Other issues are housing, transport, enterprise, community spaces, green spaces and heritage.)
* The Forum is missing representatives for two of our issues – enterprise and health/wellbeing.
Do you know someone who could fit either of these roles?
They would need to come to some NP meetings and have knowledge of how the issue is present within the Heathrow villages.
* We also need people to help with online media such as website updates and social media – do you have the skills and could you help?
The year ahead
After piloting our community consultation questionaire at Grow Heathrow’s 5th Birthday on the 28th March we are planning community consultation activities for the Spring ahead. If you know of community events or activities where you feel this would be relevant, please let us know.
We will also be attending and organising other meetings and events, so we hope to see you soon.
Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about any of the above.
We now have a mailing list – if you want to sign up, please email us, or sign up on the website
Heathrow Neighbourhood Planning committee
Posted: February 5th, 2015 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Cool Projects | Tags: art, community, Residents, sustainability, transition | No Comments »
There’s a new project starting in the Heathrow villages, called Harts, using community led arts of different mediums to combat the blight from the airport, encourage a more cohesive community, and cultivate a happy, healthy and sustainable community, for the long term.
Get involved at this launch project planning event!
Posted: December 12th, 2014 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Events | Tags: community, harmondsworth, Residents | No Comments »
On Saturday 29th November, Harmondsworth held its annual Victorian Christmas Fair at St Mary’s Church. This was a great chance for the local community to get together, with a variety of different stalls and events.
Grow Heathrow, in collaboration with the local Scouts group, organised a Conker-tition. This was a knock-out tournament of conker smashing, but with a twist. The winner of each round was encouraged to graciously make a pedal powered smoothie for the loser. Loads of local kids got involved with the games and everyone had a cracking time, whilst enjoying healthy eco-friendly treats at the same time.
After the main day’s activities were done, we all moved down to the village green for carol singing followed by the turning on of the Christmas lights by local MP John McDonnell. Grow Heathrow were really pleased to be out and about in the community and be a part of such a wonderful day.
Posted: May 26th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Education, Energy, Residents | Tags: com.cafe, community, food, Residents, sustainability, wild food | No Comments »
Yet another amazing day of making homemade smoothies on the bicycle powered blender with Transition Heathrow the Com.Cafe!
Com.Cafe come to Grow Heathrow for seed sewing Thursday 29th May
Posted: April 30th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Growing Group | Tags: access to land, community, food, garden, growing, Residents, sipson, sustainability, transition | No Comments »
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?
Posted: April 3rd, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Cool Projects, music, Uncategorized | Tags: art, community, Harlington, Residents, transition | 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
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
Posted: February 25th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Education, Events | Tags: community, Residents, resistance, sustainability, transition | No Comments »
Last week the local community cafe, ‘Com.cafe’ came to Grow Heathrow for a fun day out.
There were games, foraging leaves, arts, music, lots of muddy shoes and learning lots of new things.
Have a look at the pictures and watch this space for future events
Posted: January 11th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Events | Tags: access to land, activism, art, community, direct action, Festival, Residents, resistance, Squatting, sustainability, transition | 1 Comment »
* SAVE THE DATE: 4TH BIRTHDAY PARTY, Saturday 1st March *
The past year has been filled with more growing, renewable energy, sustainable building, and much more. 2014 will see us in to our 4th Birthday celebration at Grow Heathrow… (Yes, get ready)
Saturday 1st March from 1pm at Grow Heathrow. Plus Pre-Birthday performance, ‘Three Acres and a Cow’ Land Rights Performance, Friday 28th February from 5pm at Grow Heathrow
We’re breaking last year’s record of over 100 pizzas in our wood-fired clay oven, with a bigger feast, more face painting, seed sowing, arts, more live music and of course the famous bike-powered sound system. Bring your friends and family, and come on down…
Plus, check out our legal update here and come down to site to check out some of our 2013 additions such as the finished straw bale house, artistic totem pole, the new gasifying wood burner and help us kick off our 5th year with a bang.
See you there!
More info and address/directions here:
Posted: November 3rd, 2013 | Author: Holly | Filed under: Residents | Tags: activism, community, Residents, Squatting, transition | No Comments »
I’m currently staying/participating at a squatted site called Grow Heathrow. It is proving to be quite an important time for me. Politically affirming. I came here to learn skills, connect with others who have similar ideas about how we provide for ourselves, and give my support to a cause/project I’m passionate about. The squat originated from a need to confront the proposed plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. The government in the UK has been looking at airport expansion for a while now – there’s still talk as to where this expansion will take place. If they opt for Heathrow, they’ll have to remove the squatters from this land and tarmac over the village of Sipson; one of the principle aims of the project is to instil community resistance in Sipson against Heathrow Airport Holdings (formerly British Airports Authority), if they come knocking.
The attitude here is great. People are focused. It’s a working squat. People arrive for many reasons. I’m here to work. That’s where my head is at the moment – I want to be productive, to be useful. Other visitors are here to enjoy themselves, relax and talk with others. This is a haven for free thought – a space to breathe for those disillusioned with materialism.
Here there’s no room for the workings of capital – no pressure to work the 9 to 5. It is a kind of political expression that directly challenges labour, the 9 to 5 grind. It is this kind of political expression that interests me at the moment, as opposed to attending the monthly anti-war protest/demonstration. Protest is important, but we must also set the agenda. ‘If all we do is oppose what they are trying to do, then we simply follow in their footsteps’. We need to carry on with our activity that isn’t determined by money. We must dedicate ourselves to what we consider necessary or desirable. We must live the world we want to create. Besides, protesting wipes me out (as I recently experienced at the protest against Fracking at Balcome). Not sure I want to devote my time and energy to protests, where we shout, confront police etc. It’s not in my nature to use physical force against other humans. Probably too middle class. It’s not in my nature to shout about things, sing chants etc. Perhaps if it’s a cause that really riles me up, then I might reconsider.
At the squat there is a non-hierarchical, anarchistic set up. No one is instructed to work. People work when they feel ready to. There are always tasks to be done. People wake up, a group gets together, starts talking – momentum starts to build and we work on a project. And we work hard. But it doesn’t feel like work. Because we’re there at our own will, because it’s a cause we believe in, there’s such comradery in our collective work. It’s fun and social. What great conversations emerge during work. Working together on something, where there’s a common goal, an objective, sometimes sparks more interesting conversations than assembling with the intention to socialise. During the summer there seems to be a huge flux of international travellers who have heard about the project. The squat reminds me of travelling in hostels – spaces to socialise, unwind and talk idealistically.
A working mind is a healthy mind. People are happy when they’re productive, when they’re being useful. Their self-esteem grows, their self-confidence and sense of value to the group benefits. During this first month, I have easily forgiven those who have not managed to work and contribute fully. There will be a long history of reasons as to why some are able to contribute more than others. Those that don’t, we should have sympathy for and try to understand why, rather than resent them. I guess I am just grateful I have this working mind, this motivation. I’ve only been here for a month, and my feelings on this may change. Without special resolve and grit, I imagine it is easy to lose patience over time.
The experience thus far is fulfilling a personal need to experiment with new forms of social relations outside capitalism. Grow Heathrow is an open project with plenty space for people to join the site. Contrary to other squats, it is the project that brings the inhabitants of the site together, rather than a group of friends. This kind of experiment in communal living has its rewards and challenges. There are those that use this space as some kind of refuge from some torment in their lives outside the squat. Although they are often unable to contribute to the collective in a variety of ways, the space must try to accommodate their distress. The community must do its upmost to prevent looking inwards. One older lady, who was previously in a mental institution, has benefitted immensely from gardening, working outdoors and being with people. She tells me how lonely she gets in the evenings on her own in her flat. Living communally trumps any discomfort from sleeping without a mattress.
The squat relies on solar panels and a wind turbine for its electricity, has no running hot water from the tap (although an impressive warm shower wood burner has been built) and there’s a compost toilet on site, minimising water usage. Almost all the food consumed is either grown on site, taken from bins outside supermarkets, or from food wholesalers giving away waste food. I must say, I do get a sense of gladness as I walk about doing my daily activity without barely any ecological footprint.
After 5 months in Salzburg (or rather a lifetime) of talking about the problems of the world, and what needs to be done, I am finally in a living and working arrangement that satisfies my political need to get to grips with the ‘doing’. When I wake up in the morning I feel as though I’m in the right place. At least for now. We’ll see how it goes this autumn.
The land that the community is occupying is up for eviction. So there is that added insecurity that for some residents makes long term-commitment/planning difficult. Indeed, their innate instability and transitory nature is a key criticism of squatted social centres. I seem to forget that bailiffs could start breaking through the gate any minute. Part of me doesn’t believe it will happen: Who would break-up such a peaceful, well-meaning, environmental project? I come across as naïve to some of the old-time squatters, who tell me I’ll soon understand what we’re fighting against when I see the State use its might to destroy any dissenting activity. Property is king. I wonder where I’ll be, what I’ll do when we’re being evicted. I probably won’t know how I’ll react until it’s happening. Can physical force ever be successful against the State? History shows that violence and aggression is what it often does best. Why play them at their own game? But if someone is evicting you from your home – if I develop some emotional attachment to this place – there’s no knowing how one might react.
Holloway, J. 2010. Crack Capitalism
. London: Pluto Press, p.3.
Holloway, J. 2010. Crack Capitalism.
London: Pluto Press, pp.3-4.