Archive for October, 2009


Get into the Christmas spirit with a bit of local carol singing.
We need enthusiastic singers and musicians. At the end of the evening we will convene to have a drink and chat at a local pub.

If very few are interested in doing this then the traditional evening will not go ahead.

All queries to Rosemary Ellis
Albert Square 0207 793 9538

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You cannot help but be aware of the noise from aircraft arriving at Heathrow and City. Many of us would agree that it has got worse over the past few years.  The number of arrivals seems to have increased and in particular the number of planes arriving before 6am.

They now say that in excess of 700,000 people  (of whom some 200,000 live in the vicinity of the airport) suffer an Lden of 55 db a day.  An Lden of 55 is in excess of World Health Organization guidelines, and it is the direct result of a narrowing of the arrivals flight path on which increasing numbers of planes are now concentrated.

ASSA recently responded to the BAA Heathrow Noise Action Plan Consultation. The Action Plan unfortunately focuses almost solely on the area around the airport and does nothing to address the increasing traffic over Stockwell.

For more info see this great video of people locally (Fentiman Road and Vauxhall Park).

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Jason Cobb, a consistently interesting Stockwell blogger, has started a new oral history project for Stockwell, with its own site, Stockwell Stories.  So far, there are two interviews available to listen to:

Bill has lived in Stockwell for most of his life. He has worked locally for the Royal Mail, giving him a unique perspective on the area as it has grown and changed over the years. In this interview, we discuss the changing industrial landscape of Stockwell, and look ahead as to where the local economy might be heading.

Kay has been a resident of Stockwell for almost fifty years. During this time, she has raised a family and worked locally for most of her life. In this interview, we talk about family life in Stockwell, and how the retail opportunities in the area have gone from boom to bust.

There is an opportunity to contribute as well as to learn:

Maybe you were born in Stockwell and have strong memories of the area whilst growing up; or perhaps you moved to Stockwell and feel a strong affinity with the location and the community. Or perhaps you want to share your observations as to how Stockwell has changed over the years.

The Stockwell oral history project would be interested in hearing from you to help share your story. We aren’t limited to just oral histories either; we are keen to uncover any old photographs of Stockwell that you may be willing to share.

If you are interested, details on how to make contact can be found here.

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Eagle-eyed readers will note that the list of local planning applications which used to be in the right-hand column has disappeared.  Our local planning alerts came from a service called PlanningAlerts.com, a small and simple site, run by volunteers, which simply took planning applications from the cumbersome systems run by local authorities and made them available in a much more usable form.  Critically, they did this by using postcode data mapped in rather a clever way to location information.  The postcode data needed to make it all work came from another small volunteer site called ernestmarples.comErnest Marples being the Postmaster General at the time postcodes were first introduced.

Royal Mail is now threatening legal action against ernestmarples.com, on the grounds that they are using Royal Mail intellectual property without paying for it.  Nobody involved has the legal resources to take on Royal Mail, so the postcode service has been closed down, with the result that a number of sites, including PlanningAlerts.com have stopped working.  There’s not  a lot we can do about that, beyond signing a petition on the No10 website if anybody feels so moved, so it’s even more important than usual to keep an eye out for planning applications affecting our area.

There are two current applications under consideration.  The more important of the two is yet another attempt  to redevelop the DiLieto bakery site on the corner of South Lambeth Road – details of the application are here.  This is the fifth attempt in eighteen months on my count, with permission now sought for seven flats and a one- to two-storey extension.  That’s an improvement on the original application for nine flats and a four-storey extension, but is still a lot to crowd into a small space.  The deadline for comments is 5 November.

On a much smaller scale, there is also a current application to replace windows and french doors at 37 Albert Square. The deadline for that one is 6 November.

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I think everyone involved in the street sale on Saturday agreed that it was a great success. I’d like to quote one resident who I think put it far better than I could:

“this neighbourhood event… was so much better than I expected:
· Cleared out lots of our own stuff
· Provided a site for lots of other stuff from neighbours to clear their stuff out

·Picked up a couple of bargains
· Felt  proud to have found homes for so many highly unlikely objects (absolutely “trash as treasure!”)
· Met lots of neighbours and passers by
· And made… [almost £70 for our] charity”

Which I think kind of sums it up. We also had lots of people ask if was a weekly thing or will it be (no!) and a resident of over 20 years came up to me and said it was the best thing that this community had ever done!

Personally I thought the best aspect was seeing so many neighbours and locals out on the street talking to each other.

After 1pm, Rosemary and I managed to fill up two estate cars of clothes, books, CDs and electronics which we gave to the MIND charity shop on Wandsworth Road. Lambeth eventually came round on Sunday to pick up the rest.

See the photos on the flikr page (scroll to the bottom on the left of this page for photos)

Plan is to do the same next year, hopefully a few more people, perhaps a some food and drinks (supplied by the Royal Albert?). Any thoughts, advice etc more than welcomed either as comments here or mailed to Chris assacan@assa.org.uk

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