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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.

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