Archive for March, 2012

A large stained-glass window has been unveiled in the Palace of Westminster to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

The piece, designed by a chap who is considered to be extraordinarily  brilliant  –  An SW 8 British artist John Reyntiens –  Is utterly wonderful  according to those fortunate to have seen his work.  His brilliant glasswork Image will go on permanent display above the North Door of Westminster Hall later this year.

Featuring her Royal Arms, it is a gift to the Queen from both Houses of Parliament.

The unveiling came ahead of a speech to peers and MPs.

The Conservative MP Michael Ellis, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, suggested the gift.

The design and installation are being funded by personal contributions from members of both Houses.

Mr Reyntiens worked with draftsmen, painters and technicians to create the window, which consists of up to 1,500 pieces of glass and is inspired by 17th Century heraldic art.

‘Time consuming’

The window features images of a golden lion and white unicorn on either side of the Royal coat of arms.

The designer told the BBC it was a “very time consuming” process, with some of the pieces being “fired” in the kiln six times.

“I just wanted it to be full of life, exciting and not just like a standard studio production,” he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One.

While demand for stained glass windows was not as great as in past centuries, he said he continued to get commissions for modern buildings and designers had to “diversify”.

He added: “I really wanted this job and I felt I would do it well if I got the opportunity.”

The north window of Westminster Hall has been fitted with plain glass since the Reformation, which was replaced after damage in 1974.

The south window features the arms or initials of members and staff of both Houses who were killed in the Second World War, set around the centrepiece of the Royal Arms of the Queen’s father, King George VI.


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DIGITAL BAZAAR SAT 24th MARCH 2012 from 10 to 12



come along to  THE DIGITAL BAZAAR

at Tate South Lambeth Library, 180 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1QP

Here is the list of subjects from our last session on 21st January.  The menu for 24th March will be posted nearer to the date, as it depends on which of our neighbourhood trainers is available on the day.

Learn to get the best from your mobile phone

Find out how to search the internet and use email

Set up a blog, use Facebook and/or Twitter

Discover how to make free calls with Skype

Make your photos look great with Photoshop

Find out about the great e-book and online resources from Lambeth libraries

Learn foreign languages using free online programmes

Add music and soundtracks to your home movies

Try an iPad or Kindle eReader

Use Excel spreadsheets to manage your money

Learn more about Microsoft Office Word, Powerpoint and Access

These are the kind of subjects you can find at the DIGITAL BAZAAR TM, where local people share what they know in a friendly, informal exchange of skills and experience.

Perfect for beginners – but also for the very experienced who want to learn some new tricks.   Some who come to learn  have never touched a computer or used the internet, others have high level computer science qualifications, but want to try out a new programme like music editing software or Photoshop, or a new device.  Everyone is welcome!

Come and ask questions, see a demonstration, or try things out for yourself.  And if you own an item of digital equipment you would like to learn to use better, bring it with you and we will try to help.

All very relaxed, friendly, fun and FREE.  Come for the whole two hours or just drop in.

Dedicated support available so those with visual impairment can take part

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For those unable to attend the SPD exhibition the display boards are now online at the Lambeth Planning Policy website.


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What will make Vauxhall A Lovelier Place?

It could be argued that a great deal of development has got through  planning without a proper or engaged debate about the needs of the existing communities around  the Vauxhall Nine Elms development area (VNEB).

The VNEB development is 195 hectares- a colossal area- larger than Hyde Park and it is proposed that more than 16,000 homes will be built.

There will not be many more opportunities to  input into  the  overall planning picture  and this should be considered a last chance to really influence Lambeth to get the best solutions for Vauxhall.Image

 WHERE ? : The council is holding open days on Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 March (3pm to 8pm) at Unit 13A, St George Wharf, Vauxhall SW8 2LL. All are welcome to share their views.

WHY ? : The council is currently preparing a supplementary planning document (SPD) for Vauxhall area that will guide development in that area for the next few years and it wants to hear people’s views about what the priorities should be.


The council is putting forward a number of ideas that will make it clear what kind of development will be welcome.

This includes the creation of a new public square that would provide a focus for the area, and the potential for replacing Vauxhall bus station with bus stops along a new high street lined with shops.

“We are determined that any future development in the area brings improvements and benefits for the local community,” says Cllr Steve Reed, leader of Lambeth Council

“We want to create a proper town centre in Vauxhall and remove the physical barriers, like the gyratory, that make this difficult.

“The SPD will set out what improvements local people and the council want, making it clear to developers what will be acceptable and how they will be expected to contribute.”

The council says it wants to wants to consider ambitious plans to remove the gyratory and reintroduce two-way to get a better balance between cars, walking and cycling.

Last year the Mayor of London Boris Johnson told the London Assembly that abolishing the one-way system would cost “in excess of £20 million”.

Last month Mr Johnson said: “TfL is continuing to work closely with the London Borough of Lambeth and the GLA to develop short and long term proposals to improve Vauxhall gyratory for all road users.

“There are currently a number of options that are being considered and discussions are continuing between the public bodies, landowners and other stakeholders, although no agreement on a preferred solution has been reached as yet.

“TfL hopes to be in a position to provide a further update by the middle of this year.

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