Seeds are sown for Common Growth

Following a constructive meeting with Lewisham Council, Bold Vision now has a “Tenancy at Will “agreement with the council which allows access to the Sandbourne Road site for soil testing, groundwork, planning etc prior to the signing of the lease agreement early in 2011.

We have also discussed the longer term possibility of a Community Asset Transfer which would give us permission to use the land for 25 years. We will talk further to the council later in 2011 about this.

Meanwhile the Common Growth team are forging ahead with their plans. If you would like to get involved please contact Kat Drake

(this photo is from not us… yet!)

Community creativity on the menu

Now that the Hill Station building is open (though still another phase of building work to come), and now that the cafe is up and running successfully, our attention is turning to the ‘what else?’ The Hill Station has always been seen as much more than a cafe. It’s about creating a space that is really accessible and attractive for anyone to walk in, to meet and to use it in ways that will help Telegraph Hill be a sustainable community, for example:

I was really chuffed to see nearly 60 people turn up to the meeting about the Bold Vision Common Growth project, which aims to liberate underused spaces to create abundance, including food that can be cooked or sold in the Hill Station.

Stephen Carrick-Davies is working on a plan for regular days that the Hill Station will be used for events, debates, music-making, book groups, food sharing, or whatever you want to do.

Patricio Forrester is curating the art space, which changes regularly, and invites your proposals. (Next up from October 17th is my own display of photography from a memorial walk, where I was thinking about the Leysdown Tragedy when 9 sea scouts drowned off the Isle of Sheppey. Hope you don’t mind the plug. If you want your own Hill Station event or exhibition plugged here, feel free to ask us or to become an editor.)

If you’ve been involved in making the Hill Station, then I’ll probably see you at the celebration party on Friday 15th Oct. I think it promises to be a creative encounter…

Bridget McKenzie

Bold Vision Common Growth

Over 40 hardy people made it through the rain to join us for our consultation meeting on community food production on Telegraph Hill. The organisers will be circulating information about the event and the next steps but here are a few personal highlights:

  • strong will to work together on this rather than chopping the land up into individual plots. More company, more teamwork, more skill sharing, more food
  • lots of interest in food production, soil improvement, rainwater conservation, bee keeping, composting, skip gardens…
  • support for the idea of a dispersed community garden – centred on the Sandbourne Road but with pieces all over the hill – unused scraps of land and currently underused gardens
  • some excellent sources of inspiration and learning – Green Shoots on our doorstep and many other projects around the country

All in, an excellent example of our Bold Vision values in action (living with openness, mutuality, potentialising and courage)

Sainsbury and RSA support

Well after much correspondence, today I am eventually picking up the £500 cheque from Sainsburys. Not quite the £10k they originally promised but, as another supermarket says, every little helps! We will put that towards our toilet plans so you can look forward to experiencing the results in a month or two.

Next, this Thursday sees a public consultation meeting on the great community gardening project which Kat Drake and others are getting going. This Bold Vision sponsored project speaks to everything we believe in. People getting together to learn new skills, eat more healthily and make new connections on Telegraph Hill. Together we can put the garlic back in Plow’d Garlick Hill.

We have been working hard at getting charitable status for Bold Vision and it looks like we are almost there. That means we’ll be able to claim Gift Aid back from the government for Bold Backer money and look for funding from trusts and foundations.

Lastly, I met this morning with Tom Neumark who is at the RSA running the Connected Communities projects. They have been working in New Cross Gate, he’s eaten at the Hill Station and he was very interested in what Bold Vision is trying to achieve. He’s going to think up some ways they can help achieve our aims and also how his network mapping can help our social inclusion objectives.