Thursday, May 27, 2010

Unfinished Histories: Recording the History of the Alternative Theatre Movement

The alternative theatre movement grew up primarily between 1968 and 1988 and saw a huge upsurge of theatre that sought out new audiences, experimented with new forms, artistically and organisationally, and began to represent the experiences of many groups marginalised in mainstream theatre. It saw the start of most of the first women's, Black and Asian, gay and lesbian, Disabled and community theatre companies and an upsurge in politicak, new writing, physical and visual and Theatre-in-Education work. Over 700 companies were formed from Cunning Stunts to Lumiere and Son to Black Theatre Co-op to Belt and Braces.
Unfinished Histories is a project that seeks to record oral history interviews with individuals, document the movement and ensure that archives are preserved. The project has a special releveance to Hackney, given the long-standing history of the borough as a home for artists and a home of dissent.
If you are interested in the project and would like to know more or get involved, come along to Celebrate Hackney or see our web site at
Susan Croft (Hackney-based Co-Director, Unfinished Histories)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Haggerston Pool Camapaign

While we congratulated Haggerston Pool campaigners for their success in our tabloid newspaper, Hackney Unites would like to make it clear that the camppaign is far from over. Here Liz Hughes from Haggerston Pool Community Trust explains the current situation.

Work starts on 2.5 year project to re-open Haggerston Pool

Work has started on the re-opening of Haggerston Pool following a 10 year community campaign.

Haggerston Pool closed in February 2000 for Heath and Safety reasons when inspectors identified £300,000 worth of work needed to keep the pool safe. The council was in financial chaos, there was an overspend on Clissold Leisure Centre of many millions, and this funding request was denied.

The plan now is to re-open Haggerston Pool as part of a new Health and Wellbeing Centre, very much in line with the vision set out by users of the pool at the time that it closed. As well as the swimming pool and a hydrotherapy pool, likely facilities are a GP practice, dentists surgery, community kitchen, gym, youth space, computer suite, dance studio/sports hall and rentable units for community groups organisations.

Architects BDP have been appointed to the project and the estimated timescale is 28 - 30 months for design and construction. More time will be needed for the fit-out.

The Department of Children Schools and Families has awarded Hackney Council a £5.1 million “co-location” grant towards re-opening of Haggerston Pool as a project bringing health, education and children's services together under one roof.

The total cost estimate is £21million.

Work is being overseen by a Project Board led by the council’s Community Services Directorate liaising with GLL who hold the main leisure contract for Hackney. We have requested that there be a local community representative on this board.

Liz Hughes will be speaking about the campaign at Celebrate Hackney! on 5th June. To book your place visit:

Friday, May 14, 2010

DRUG Awareness & Intervention event - this Saturday 15th May

The Black Parent Community Forum (BPCF) is hosting a Drugs awareness event this Saturday as part of the Adult Learners' Week:

DRUG Awareness & Intervention

Remember, "The people perish through lack of knowledge" so come and join us, bring a friend and update your awareness on the dangerous drugs that are destroying the lives of our children, dividing family's and increase crime in our communities.

The event is absolutely free and refreshments will be provided.

Date: Saturday 15th May 2010

Address: Adeline Centre

20 Belsham Street Hackney London E9 6LG

Time: 11am - 2pm

"We all are affected one way or another".

Reverend Daley

The publicity is out, the banner is up..June 5th is going to be a great day...

Book your place here for Celebrate Hackney! Saturday June 5th:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Celebrate Hackney: Tabloid

If you click on the images on this and successive posts you will see the fabulous 8 page tabloid paper we have published to promote the Celebrate Hackney event on 5 June. Just click on the image and it will enlarge.

We have had 50,000 printed and we now need your help to distribute these.

If you can help deliver these door to door in and around the streets where you live, or if you are a member of an organisation that will take and display them, please drop us an email ( telling us how many papers you need and where you can deliver them.

The paper is packed with news and information about local groups and organisations who are going to be involved in Celebrate Hackney. However, in the end we could not fit everything in so apologies if your group gets little more than a small mention.

Thanks to everyone who has made both Celebrate Hackney and this paper possible.

Page 2

Page two features an article about Day-Mer a Turkish/Kurdish organisation that has been supporting people from their communities for over 20 years. It promotes a cultural festival to be held later in the year. The page also talks about fundraising for Hackney Unites (we are asking people to make a regular donation of £1 a month). Finally, it features the ‘city of sanctuary’ movement and encourages us to make Hackney a safe and welcoming place for those fleeing persecution.

Page 3

Page three leads on the story of the Hackney Empire and former artistic director Roland Muldoon's blistering attack on the theatre board who have closed the beloved Hackney Empire 'for a period of reflection. It also features an article about Hackney's older residents. The article reminds us that we will all grow older in time and describes as a scandal the fact that older people in Hackney die on average 8 years earlier than their counterparts in Kensington and Chelsea.

Page 4

Page four features the children's party organiser Sue Forrester-Brown of 'Birthday Dreams' who will be providing children's entertainment at Celebrate Hackney. It also reports on the Workers Advice Project' and invites people to get involved in both Hackney Unites and the HOPE not hate campaign.

Page 5

The majority of page 5 is taken up with a full list of the speakers at the conference and the 15 separate workshops we will be holding. Everything from a question time of local politicians to a discussion of war and peace!

Page 6

Page six previews the Changing Lives exhibition which will be a feature of the Celebrate Hackney event, celebrates the HOPE not hate campaign (and thanks those from Hackney who 'twinned' with Barking and Dagenham to defeat the BNP) and features a project interested in Hackney Routes.

Page 7

Page seven features the Sam Hallam, Yum Yum restaurant, congratulates the Haggerston pool campaigners (we will be publishing a fuller article on this website) and announces that Celia Stubbs from the Blair Peach campaign will be speaking at the miscarraige of justice session.

Page 8

Page 8 lists the stall holders and provides small features on a number of the participants.

Help needed with tabloid distribution

With just over three weeks to go before the 5 June Celebrate Hackney event, we are eagerly awaiting the return of our 8 page tabloid newspaper which we hope to distribute to 50,000 homes in the borough (see front page on the right).

The event has speakers from 50 different groups, including Roland Muldoon from the Hackney Empire, and Cellia Stubbs from the Blair Peach Campaign. We have trade unionists, community activists and faith groups. We have children's activities from professional party organisers, 'Birthday Dreams', massage, a question time of local politicians, a choir from the Pedro Club, our own Hackney film festival, plus food from Cafe z, Lillys, Yum Yum and Vegan Peasant.

It is going to be a fantastic event, however we need your help to publicise it. Will you take a couple of hundred of these papers and distribute them to the neighbours in your street or block?

If you can help, please drop an email to, tell us where you live and where you can post these papers.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Pedro Club are coming to Celebrate Hackney!

The Pedro Club is one of the oldest functioning youth clubs in London. They offer a wide variety of activities including boxing, singing with the Pedro Choir, fashion, music, dance and Art. They’ll be bringing their choir, dancers, salsa group and band to Celebrate Hackney! on 5th June – find out more about them here:

..and don't forget to reserve your palce for June 5th: