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Thursday, 17 November 2016

Come join our new King's Cross project team!

We're looking for a Participation and Public Engagement Officer to join our team for an exciting new project King’s Cross Story Palace – exploring the heritage of King’s Cross over the past 100 years. 

The two-year heritage engagement project will be delivered in partnership with Historypin, and is supported by the National Lottery, through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The deadline for applications is 9am on Wednesday 30 November, and full details can be found here: Participation and Public Engagement Officer Job Details 

Friday, 2 September 2016

Summer Summary

September is already here and although the summer seems to have flown by, it’s been busy and eventful. Here's a short round up of our activities over the summer months...

Listed Islington 
We've recently launched Our Eyes on Islington – a two-year project in partnership with Historic England and the LB of Islington that will review Islington’s Locally Listed buildings with a team of volunteers and make it publicly accessible through a bespoke website. The existing list has not been reviewed for the last 20 years, and given London’s fast pace of change, the project is timely and hopes to uncover and celebrate the borough’s rich built environment heritage.
Volunteer Induction: Building Surveying

So far we’ve had a very positive response to our call out for volunteers and have hosted a series of training sessions and events including a visit to the Islington Local History Centre and talks from industry professionals from Historic England and the Islington Society.

Volunteers at Islington Local History Centre Archives
With more events scheduled for the autumn, and 1,200 buildings to be surveyed, our volunteers certainly have their work cut out for them! But their enthusiasm and interest is overwhelming and we are looking forward to their findings!

Senior BEEs and LLDC Consultation  
In mid-August, our Senior BEEs were invited for a consultation session at the London Aquatics Centre about the proposals for the new Cultural and Education District masterplan in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Senior BEEs discussing with LLDC and Soundings. Photo courtesy: Soundings
Hosted by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), LDA Design, architects Allies & Morrison and Soundings, the BEEs were given a tour of the temporary exhibition outlining the plans for Stratford Waterfront and UCL East. The session was very informative with discussion topics ranging from building design concepts and public spaces to public transport, pedestrian access, building materials and size.

Senior BEEs talk building heights and public transport with Allies & Morrison
The consultation builds on the Senior BEEs’ long-term interest and engagement with the Olympic site, and group members were keen to voice their views on the planned development, including how the scheme can be designed to meet the needs of older people. The group were particularly inspired and excited about sense of scale of the development and the plans to include new complementary venues for cultural organisations such as the V&A and Sadler’s Wells

Summer Stroll in EC1  
The August sunshine provided perfect conditions for our Summer Stroll in EC1 as part of our ongoing project Our Place Too funded by the People's Health Trust*. Members of the Islington Eyes came together with Age UK Islington service users for an urban exploration, a walking tour focusing on the ever-changing streets around Old Street.

EC1 Strolling through light and shadows at The Bower
Setting off from Ironmonger Row Baths the route took the walkers past contrasting scenes including tranquil gardens, housing estates, building sites, a hospital, commercial developments and two cemeteries. Stopping regularly to take in the buildings and consider the history, those who live in the area shared their memories and knowledge of a neighbourhood in the midst of intensive change

*The project has been made possible with the funding from People's Health Trust using money raised by HealthPromote through The Health Lottery.

Friday, 11 March 2016

New Perspectives on Technology and Drawing for the Senior BEEs and Islington Eyes

This week our Senior BEEs and Islington Eyes groups participated in an iPad drawing workshop at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Guided by Wilson Yau, art teacher and RIBA’s Library Digital Outreach Manager, participants were encouraged to overcome their fears and reservations about their drawing abilities and to embrace new technology in a creative way.

In contrast to arguments that technology can be anti-social, isolating and promotes a sedentary lifestyle, the iPad technology had a positive effect on the groups making members feel more inclined to try and experiment with drawing, an activity they would not otherwise have considered.

Participants  also developed new skills in using technology, while gained a greater appreciation for the environment through closely observing the fabric of the building with its various wall carvings, textures, materials, and levels.

All in all, it was a challenging but rewarding experience, inspiring our group members to interact with the built environment in new ways. Here are some of the drawings that were created:



Monday, 22 February 2016

Spring Term Programmes for the Senior BEEs and Islington Eyes

The Spring term for our older people’s groups is now underway, and we have an exciting programme of activities for each. Full details can be found here in our programme leaflets. 

If you have any questions about the programmes, or would be interested in getting involved in one our groups – either as an older person, a volunteer, or a potential session host, then please get in touch!


Friday, 5 February 2016

Exciting News to Kick-Start the New Year

Happy New Year! ... a little belated perhaps for the UK, but Chinese New Year is just around the corner!

So far 2016 has got off to a busy start... 

Last week we took part in a Living Wandle Landscape Partnership event, which began as a relaxing walk along this unique river. We were reminded just how fantastic the River Wandle is as we stumbled across the Watermeads - a great spot to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Today, the Watermeads is maintained as a nature reserve where you can experience the combination of natural beauty and urban history, while taking in a breath of fresh air!
River Wandle at Watermeads Nature Reserve

Opposite the Watermeads sit three Mill Cottages, commonly referred to as the Fisheries Cottages. The cottages are Grade II listed and include elements dating from the late 18th and 19th Centuries.

Fisheries Cottages during the summer months

The event provided an opportunity for us to preview our Wandle Treasures map and to test the heritage knowledge of workshop participants.

Detail of Wandle Treasures map

We are excited to announce that we will very soon be launching our Wandle Treasures Crowdfunding Campaign. The campaign aims to raise funds to tour the illustrated map by artist StephanieTheobald to community venues along the river. The map captures the rich heritage of the River Wandle depicting historic treasures researched by our team of enthusiastic volunteers during 2015. Funds raised will also support a programme of events including artist-run workshops, talks and river walks. 

Details of the crowdfunding campaign, and how you can get involved, will follow soon! In the meantime, if you would like to hear more about the Wandle Treasures map or you can help in any way, please let us know.

*The Wandle Treasures is a volunteer-led local heritage project where we identified heritage treasures along the course of the River Wandle, which spans four London boroughs (Wandsworth, Merton, Sutton and Croydon). The final selection has been drawn by artist Stephanie Theobald and will be uploaded to a website along with an interactive map on the Living Wandle Digital Archive. The project has been delivered in collaboration with Living Wandle Landscape Partnership Scheme as part of the Industrial Heritage Recording Project.