Elephant and Heygate Regeneration

Last night, we were at a meeting convened by the Elephant Amenity Network to begin discussions on the regeneration plans for the Heygate Estate area and the Elephant & Castle shopping centre.

Regeneration is always a difficult issue, especially where it affects long-standing residents and homeowners. For example, Wansey Street has beautiful Victorian homes and a colourful new apartment block on one side, and the Southwest corner of the estate facing them on the other side.

Residents of this street will put up with a lot over the next 15 or so years…

On a different note, two very interesting things about the meeting…

One is the odd mixture of people attending. There is a lot of social housing in the area, but the location and transport links of Elephant & Castle have attracted more and more professional types over the past few years. The Strata tower is a big shiny example, surrounded by less glamorous buildings.

So at the meeting you could find a young, smartly-dressed couple sharing a table with a man who has been living in a council flat in for the last twenty years.

Secondly, as well as the social mix, it seems that a great number representatives of important community groups in the Walworth area turned up too.

It’s hard to imagine another issue that could get all these groups together in one place. This begs the question:

How can this issue that concerns all people and groups living in the area be used as a vehicle for more co-operation, stronger community and better, more targeted service provision?

The regular meetings are a start. What next?

Mon May 23, 2011 – Surrey Docks Farm

Capital Growth Southwark
Today my community met with all the other food growing groups in Southwark.
A great day starts with a great cake
Can you guess what kind it is?
A fantastic tour of the farm
Michael feeding some new friends
The facilities are top notch

The farm is very family friendly, there were kids everywhere.
My community made many new friends over a delicious lunch.

Sun May 22, 2011 – Windy Weekend

I thought Saturday was windy but, then came Sunday.

A gust got under my growhouse and whooosh!

I imagine for my little ones it was like a ride on Alton Towers’ Oblivion

With a little bit of TLC everything was right as rain.

Wed May 18, 2011 – The 4 Rs

All of my community was quite busy today…


but, the real hero today was Dave

Here he is, too busy to even have a picture taken. Dave went to the garden centre this morning to pick up some emergency supplies. All very last minute, all very fabulous!


In order to aid my watering the community moved me around today.


All of my little ones had outgrown their pots.


You may not know this about me but, I do enjoy a good boogie.

Orange Rock Corps Volunteering Day
Pembroke House
Sat 4th June 2011
 This session will involve between 50-75 volunteers working on the garden and inside the lower hall. In exchange for 4 hours voluntary work, each volunteer will get a ticket to a pop music gig at Wembley.
The work outside will involve building benches, tables, trellises for the wall, a couple of raised beds, archways, a compost heap and some ladder containers. Inside, around 20-30 volunteers will be decorating plant pots and packaging them up with soil and seeds, to give out to at least 100 households in the area, as part of the one pot pledge scheme.
If you would like to participate in this one-off event, please register with the website www.orangerockcorps.co.uk , and inform Kathleen that you have done so.
If you have registered, it is essential that you turn up so that you can claim your concert ticket.
Lunch & Refreshments Provided
Please let me know if you have any further questions regarding this event.
020 7703 3803

kathleen.murray@pembrokehouse. org.uk

Yale Day

On Saturday 14 May, fifteen graduates of Yale University spent the day at Pembroke House. The group is composed of people who have migrated to London to work and get together once a year to do a work on a social project of some nature.

This year their job was to come along to our residency and help to try to transform it from shabby and oddly-coloured to sparkling and tasteful. These photos show some of how it was…

And this is those lovely people at work!

A lot of work was done on the house on the day, and we were very grateful for all the help!

Things in the residency are significantly better and we hope to maintain a relationship with this group of diligent people for the future!

Wed May 6, 2011 – The Blue Boxes

I love how my community makes use of the council’s old and disused “Blue Recycling Boxes”.

And so much care goes into making sure all the plants get along with each other.

Each week I grow bigger and bigger.

Pembroke House as a Third Place

It’s always important for people to have a place outside the home (the first place) where they feel comfortable and can meet new people and share experiences. For many people this can be their place of work (the second place), but these two places don’t allow for the building of a proper community where a more creative interaction can take place. This requires the sharing of simple activities such as eating and exercise. What is needed is a Third Place for these  things that are neither home nor work.

In a densely populated area with few amenities, Pembroke House can help to provide some of this space…