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 | No Comments »
* 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.
Posted: October 14th, 2013 | Author: Holly | Filed under: Events, Uncategorized | Tags: cranford park, friends of cranford park, Residents | No Comments »
Message from Cranford Park:
Book now for one of the highlights of our year, the HALLOWE’EN SPOOKY SPECTACULAR on Thursday 31 October at Cranford Countryside Park. As this is a popular (and free) event, booking is essential (see below or poster attached for details).Join a group of actors for a ghostly walk around the park. There are three ‘showings’, one for children and two for adults – please specify which when you book.
3.30pm: For accompanied children. Make Hallowe’en lanterns followed by a spooky talk and ghostly walk at 5pm.
7pm & 8pm: For adults. Ghostly walk and terrifying talk for adults.
How to book: Booking is essential, please do NOT reply to this email but reserve spaces with Countryside & Conservation Officer Alison Shipley. Email: email@example.com or tel. 01895 250647.
HEALTHY WALK. Thursday 17 October 11am. A brisk 2-3 mile walk around the park in good company. No need to book.
AUTUMN COLOURS WALK. Saturday 9 November, 11am. Guided walk around the park enjoying the beautiful autumn colours in good company. No need to book.
Advance notice: Cranford Park Friends AGM - Thursday 21 November, 7.30pm Crane Community Centre, Fuller Way off Cranford Drive, Harlington UB3 4LW. All welcome.
For all events except the AGM please meet at Information Centre, Cranford Park, The Parkway (A312) Harlington/Hounslow, TW5 9RZ
Thank you all VOLUNTEERS who have been busy around the park, especially the Woods, in the Secret Garden and clearing ivy from the Ha-Ha wall, an 18th century historic feature near the Information Centre. To see photos of this and the park’s amazing variety of wildlife – including kingfishers, owls and weasels – read member Wendy Marks’ fascinating October blog here:
Calling all CYCLISTS and JAZZ MUSICIANS. A group interested in doing easy, level and (mainly) traffic-free cycling around Cranford Park, Minet Park, Heathrow Villages and West Drayton areas is being started. It will go at the pace of the slowest rider. We are also looking for trad jazz musicians/ skiffle players who might like to help stage an event next year remembering Ken Colyer’s Crane River Jazz Band which began around Cranford Park in the 1950s. For either of these please reply to this email.
We hope to see you in the park again soon.
Posted: August 31st, 2013 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Events, Gardening Club | Tags: community, Festival, growing, Harlington, harmondsworth, harvest, Hayes, Residents, sipson | 1 Comment »
The Community Food Growers’ Network summer harvest jamboree is coming up on Sunday the 15th September at Grow Heathrow.
Full information is copied in below so tell your friends and come along for an afternoon of gardening fun. The day will include horticultural games, workshops of many shapes and sizes, an allotment produce competition, a shared dinner and plenty of dancing.
Outline of the Day:
11:30 – 12 Arrive and have tea.
12 – 1 Site Tour of Grow Heathrow and practical Horticulture session. This is a chance to have a tour of the garden with one of the growers and learn more about the site. There will also be a parallel workshop on saving your own seed: an introduction to the politics, poetics and practices of seed saving in community gardens.
1 – 2 Lunch: Bring a contribution to share.
2 – 3 Workshops: ‘Growing to sell in a community food setting’ and ‘An introduction to the Landworkers Alliance and La Via Campesina in the UK’.
3 – 5:45 Horticultural games and allotment produce competition: The famous horticultural games will be held to include salad tossing, potato and knife race and sack race. Prizes and prestige to be won. Taste based allotment produce competition – entrants to bring 2 pieces of their best leaf, root and fruit, which will be judged on taste by a panel of experts.
6 -7 Closing CFGN plenary.
7 – 9 Shared Feast, Music and Dancing: Please bring along a contribution of your produce for the shared dinner, which will be prepared in the afternoon, or a contribution in kind. There will be music and dancing too.
Face painting and crafts alongside the events all day!
Allotment produce competition: Gardeners from all over London will be taking part in the great taste based produce competition. Anyone wishing to enter should bring along 2 pieces of their best root, fruit and leaf. Remember we are using botanical terms here so your tomatoes and cucumbers will be considered fruit.
Sharing Food: Bring along some of your harvest, or a donation to cover costs. Produce will be cooked up into a shared lunch and dinner with some special pizza from the clay oven.
Thanks to Jonathan Goldberg for putting together the awesome photo montage of our third birthday party: jongoldberg.co.uk
Posted: July 26th, 2013 | Author: Lizzie | Filed under: Events, Residents | Tags: community, food, Residents | No Comments »
Everyone is welcome to our weekly Sunday potluck, beginning July 28th. Come ’round at 6:30pm, after our all-age Growing Club from 2 till 6.
Posted: July 22nd, 2013 | Author: Holly | Filed under: Events, Residents | Tags: activism, community, food, Residents | No Comments »
You are invited to a picnic and public meeting to discuss the future of Transition Heathrow.
Join us tomorrow, Tuesday 23 July at 6.30pm at Grow Heathrow.
Bring food and drink to share, plus your thoughts on the future of the project in light of our recent Court of Appeal verdict and the airport’s new proposals for expansion.
For how to find us, follow this link.
See you in the meadow!
Posted: July 6th, 2013 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Events, Residents | Tags: Carnival, community, Hayes, hillingdon, Residents | No Comments »
One week today.
We’ll be there in pirate badger costumes (well, at least one of us is; I’m dressing like a superhero bee), with pots of nasturtiums, marigolds, yarrow, the obscenely rich bass of our bike-powered sound system (because the only good system is a bike-powered sound system), marmalade, wild food workshops, face paints, dancing, singing and if you’re lucky, maybe even buckets of delirious joy.
All without burning a single fossil fuel. We love Hayes Carnival!
Posted: June 24th, 2013 | Author: Tree | Filed under: Art, Cool Projects, Events, Residents | Tags: art, Carnival, Festival, Hayes, Residents | No Comments »
Come to Grow Heathrow on Saturday 6th of July from 2pm – 6pm to make your very own costume for the Hayes Carnival procession.
Exploring ways to recycle textiles and clothes creatively, the theme of this year’s carnival is Hayes, past, present and future.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07890751568.
Posted: May 20th, 2013 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Events, Foraging, Gardening Club, Growing Group, Residents | Tags: community, conservation, cranford park, Harlington, Hayes, Residents, sustainability | No Comments »
Cranford Park has loads of brilliant events coming up, from balsam bashing to a bat walk and even an invitation into the secret garden.
This is a reminder that the next Quarterly Meeting of the Friends Group is this Thursday (May 23) at 7.30pm. It will be held at Crane Community Centre, Fuller Way (off Cranford Drive) and all are welcome. Bus E6 passes close by. I hope you will be able to join us to hear the latest about your park and contribute your views. The agenda and previous Minutes were sent to members on May 5.
This Sunday, May 26, the SECRET GARDEN (next to the Stable Block) will be open from 10-12 noon. Come and see how this is growing, thanks to our volunteers, and maybe lend a hand! There are always jobs to do: no experience is required, tools and refreshments are provided.
More Cranford Park dates for your diary – no booking needed unless stated. Meet at park information centre unless stated.
Sundays May 26, June 23, July 14, August 11, September 8, 10am -12 noon all dates. Friends Group SECRET GARDEN OPENINGS. Come to help with some light gardening or just to have a look at this special place (normally closed to the public) beside the stables. Tools and refreshments provided. Meet in the small walled garden, adjacent to Stable Block. (Friends & Macmillan Cancer Support).
Saturday June 1, 11am. BUTTERFLY WALK. Join the Countryside & Conservation Officer on the park’s ‘butterfly transect route’ identifying a wide variety of species.
Sunday June 9, 10.30am – 1pm. Friends Group with Thames 21 RIVER CRANE BALSAM BASH. Volunteers required! Himalayan balsam is an invasive plant, taking over large swathes of riverbank, yet it’s easy to remove at this time of year. Volunteers will be gathering all along the River Crane and Yeading Brook – help us include Cranford Park in the campaign! Refreshments provided.
Wed. 12 June, 7pm. RIVERSIDE HABITATS & SPECIES. A wildlife walk and talk around the River Crane. Bring wellingtons if you wish to enter the river, nets provided. Please book with Alison Shipley email@example.com. Tel. 01895 250647.
Wed. 19 June 8.30pm BAT WALK. Evening twilight stroll looking for bats, using bat detectors. Please book with Alison Shipley (as above).
Sat. June 29, 11am. ‘Knights, Earls & Ghosts’, FREE HISTORY TOUR. Follow in the footsteps of some interesting characters from the past as we show you the park’s historical highlights.
Sun. 14 July, 2pm FORAGING WALK & TALK. Looking for free edible produce our doorstep. Includes cooking tips. With Sam from the Grow Heathrow project.
Sat. 27 July, 10.30am – 1pm. Friends Volunteer session with Thames 21 CLEARING VEGETATION NEAR RIVER BRIDGE. Volunteers wanted to help open up views of this important historical feature. Tools & refreshments provided.