Saturday 20 December 2008

The 12 days of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me......

Twelve legends dining

This image from Winstan Whitter's new film shows some of the stars associated with the 1886 Dalston Theatre buildings including Sir Robert Fossett (circus owner), Marie Lloyd, Stevie Wonder, Desmond Decker, Bob Marley, the Sex Pistols and The Prodigy. Hackney Council demolished the historic buildings in 2007 to make way New Dalston's tower blocks, brand name shops and a £40million bus station.

Eleven Pipers piping

Hackney Mayor Pipe's Cabinet , embarrassed by recent junketing, is becoming anxious that our much trumpeted Olympic legacy - the media centre intended to attract thousands of new jobs - may never be built in Hackney.

Ten floors and rising

Barratt's development of 10 to 20 storey residential towers on Hackney Council's Dalston Square site where Dalston's historic buildings once stood. Only 28 flats will be for rented social housing - the rest are to be sold to help pay for New Dalston's £40million concrete slab over Transport for London's railway station next door. News of Barratt's credit crunch crash caused fears that we'd be left with half-finished concrete stumps.

Nine members voting

Five Labour Party members outvoted four opposition members in two seperate boroughs to approve anti-social developments. Planning permission was granted by Tower Hamlets Council for this 25 storey tower in Shoreditch and, by Haringey Council, to demolish the Wards Corner community market.

Eight buildings burning

We had seen eight buildings burnt out in Dalston - all on sites identified as development opportunities - then this one in Ashwin Street became the latest casualty. It had been left derelict by the Council for decades which now says that the District Surveyor has declared the whole terrace a dangerous structure.

Seven bailiff's waiting

In November we saw Court Bailiffs abandon plans to take possession of Spirit's home and shop after a rally of local people gathered on Broadway Market to show their support for one of the street's best loved characters . Shortly afterwards, to avoid confrontation, Spirit gave up his keys and his home which Hackney had chosen to sell out to an off-shore company for less than Spirit had offered

Six heart breakers

Five... tower blocks

Hackney Council's visionary rhetoric for Dalston didn't seem to fit with The London Development Agency's plans for more tower blocks on TfL's £40million concrete slab over the railway.But the problem was soon solved when the Rosebery Place cottages shown here were acquired and demolished. Hackney now plan to take money from Shoreditch and cram some affordable housing onto the site which presently has none. On Hackney Podcast Mayor Pipe describes the £40million concrete slab as "a useful bit of (development) land" and as "a good result" for Hackney

Four Aces Club

Winstan's Whitter's brilliant documentary "Legacy in the dust" tells the story of Dalston's legendary reggae club, its relationship with the Council and the police, how it went on to become the Labyrinth and the eventual demolition of its home in Dalston's historic buildings.You can hear Winstan talk about the history on Hackney Podcast

Three charges dropped
Hackney Council has announced that it is dropping the outstanding prosecutions of stallholder Janet Devers for selling in pounds and ounces and by the bowl. But Ridley Road traders are still fighting for survival. Watch the video - Neneh Cherry and Andi Oliver buy some bunches of callaloo from Janet in Ridley Road Market - the home of the bargain!

Two writers speak

Despite being banned from speaking on Council premises Iain Sinclair joined Children's Laureate Michael Rosen to address a packed house for the OPEN event "Our Olympic Legacy". The intrepid journalists of Hackney Citizen and Games Moniter have since uncovered evidence of political censorship with Orwellian implications. You can hear Iain talk about Hackney, that rose red empire, on Hackney Podcast.

And a retail opportunity

The authorities plans for the "regeneration" of Dalston involves paying for the £40million concrete slab above the railway station by selling the flats and attracting national chain stores to make Dalston a shopping destination. The Council's Dalston Masterplan, to be unveiled for public consultation in January, follows this approach by proposing a massive redevelopment of Dalston Cross Shopping Centre as a shopping and residential complex of up to 10 storeys.

Friday 7 November 2008

"Our Olympic Legacy" - an OPEN event on Monday 17 November

On Monday evening 17th November at 7.30pm OPEN will hold a free public event at Cafe Oto, Ashwin Street, Dalston on the theme of "Our Olympic Legacy

Click on images to enlarge
The programme includes the premier of Winstan Whitter's new documentary film "Save our Heritage"(some of you may have seen his brilliant film "A legacy in the dust"). The writer Iain Sinclair will describe his strange experience of being banned from Hackney Council's libraries and he will be reading from his forthcoming book "Hackney. That rose-red empire". There will be performances of poetry by Dalston's very own Michael Rosen childrens' laureate, writer and broadcaster.
Further details about the event can be found here.

Our Olympic Legacy
Followers of OPEN's campaign in Dalston will recall that, on appealing to the Secretary of State to call in the authorities plans for the demolition and redevelopment of Dalston, we received the reply that "the proposed transport interchange between the East London line northern extension, the North London Line and London Buses, is an essential part of the transport improvements required for the London Olympics 2012."

Barratt's development of 10 to 20 storey residential towers on Hackney Council's Dalston Lane (South) site. Only 28 flats will be for social housing.

These photos are of the Dalston transport interchange now under construction and the towerblocks with 550 flats and shops being built for sale to pay for it.

TfL's £39 million concrete slab development for a bus turnaround above the Dalston Junction East London Line station where Barratt's are to build further residential towers of up to 20 storeys for private sale.

The evening will conclude with information about the authorities plans for the demolition and redevelopment of over 20 more buildings in Dalston and a discussion about our Olympic legacy.

Monday 3 November 2008

Bailffs withdraw from evicting Spirit

Bailiffs abandoned plans to take possession of Spirit's home and shop today after a rally of local people gathered on Broadway Market to show their support for one of the street's best loved characters.The eviction was due to take place at 9:20am but, after discussions with police, the bailiffs left . Spirit's supporters are now expecting them to rearrange the appointment to collect the keys for another time.

Background to the story can be read here and here

Today Spirit (Lowell Grant) was not at his home of the past 14 years and issued the following statement:

" Although there is still an enduring determination in me to continue my fight for justice, it has become aware to me that my physical and financial strength will no longer allow me to actively participate in this final act of defiance to keep my beloved property.

From the time I acquired this property back in 1993, it has been a long, hard struggle.

The first six years were extremely difficult, mostly physically, building this home of mine. The succeeding seven years, I was subjected to what amounts to all of the experiences that life could ever confront a human being with. At times I have felt completely discriminated against, robbed of my self-worth and dignity and feel as though I am being whipped!

I would like to let you all know that if it was not for the support and strength of the people like yourselves, who have actually given me the determination to physically last until now, particularly the people of Hackney, especially the people of the Broadway Market community who I know are the true defenders of humanity. To you all I give much thanks.

We have tried to keep my home and my shop, however corrupted forces have prevailed by way of taking it from us for now. My situation at this moment in time is that I have no home and my possessions are scattered all over the city but I still have life and where there is life there is hope. I am very sorry that I am not able to be with you today in person to join in this last act of defiance against this eviction. I feel that this is just too much emotionally for me to witness. I am continually thankful for the support during this distressing time but I ask that your support should only be of peace, love and unity and not to be of any form of violence or intimidation toward the authority….

"the same tongue that says no, is the same tongue that says yes!"

I have asked that the keys are to be handed to the bailiffs on my behalf, to prevent any unnecessary damage to the property because I believe that one day to come, the same keys may be handed back to me, for I am confident in my convictions. It is not over until it is over, don't think that I am running, if you believe I am running, hear this…

"A man that fights and runs away at most times he will live to fight another day"

I am still fighting the Battle of Broadway along with your continual and much needed support and together we can show the whole of London that we care about our communities and each other and it is what makes us unique and real.

Spirit of Broadway.

Jules Pipe is Mayor of Hackney and leader of the local Labour Party. The Council's policies gave rise to a £70million budget deficit in 2001 which led to the auctioning of its assets to avoid bankruptcy and government intervention. The Council's Standing Orders required it to give its tenants first option to purchase their properties before offering them for sale elsewhere. Although its decision to auction was made in July, Spirit was not informed or invited to purchase until 28 days before the auction in December 2001.

Friday 24 October 2008

Dalston's market traders told to get out

Electric to the Ridley Road market traders' coldstore is about to be disconnected. The Council has told traders to vacate the Birkbeck Road building within 14 days. The power is about to be cut off. It comes at a time when the building has been identified as a "development opportunity" site.

The Council says that, following a fire, the building is a "potential health and safety hazard". Building Control are said to have declared it a "dangerous structure". Management have said that the building is "uneconomic to repair", "should be demolished" and that the Council has "no obligation to provide a market store". The Council has offered the displaced traders some containers for rent in the car park next door for the time being.

This latest shutdown of electrics follows the disconnection of the Council supply to all market stalls last May. That supply is still not restored. The traders have been relying on generators and local shops for lighting. Ridley Road Market Traders Association (RRMTA) made a Freedom of Information Act request for the reports which, the Council said in May, justified the electric shutdown on health and safety grounds. The Council now say there weren't any reports. The Council also alleged at the time that traders had vandalised the facilities. The RRMTA has appointed an independent electrical engineer.

All these photos are from the 1970s and 80s when Ridley Road market had proper lighting. But today there is none. The nights are drawing in and very soon the clocks will go back.

The displacement of Ridley Road's market traders is a torturous tale. At one time the market storage yard and sheds were where Sainsburys is now.

But the Dalston Cross shopping centre development displaced the market traders who were moved to a new store in Birkbeck Road.

Birkbeck Road has had a troubled history of its own. This photo shows the fire in the mews in 1979. The new market store was built on the land cleared after the fire. But 5 years ago the new store itself caught fire and is now to be demolished - a commonplace event in Dalston these days. The Council left it unrepaired ever since the fire and has refused to accept traders' rents and has denied their tenancies.

Now, once again, Birkbeck Road has been identified as a "development opportunity" site. Along with the whole of Ridley Road market. Hackney's Mayor Pipe has denied any intention to sell off market land for redevelopment but more recently the Council has opened talks with RRMTA regarding redevelopment of the market.

With the loss of the Birkbeck Road store for perishable goods, the lack of secure lighting and power to the stalls, the wave of Council prosecutions and licence revocations and with new market Regulations planned, which will stretch to 17 pages, it is becoming impossible for the Ridley Road stallholders to sustain their businesses. The supermarkets and developers must be delighted.

All the photos here have been taken over the years by Alan Denney. You can see collections of his work here.

Tuesday 21 October 2008

Dalston author, Iain Sinclair, banned from speaking on Hackney premises

Hackney Council has banned Dalston's best selling author, Iain Sinclair, from discussing his forthcoming book in its libraries and other Council premises. A long-standing invitation to discuss the book, which chronicles his 40 years living in Hackney, has been withdrawn on the instruction of the Council's Corporate Director of Community Services. The book is not due to be published until February but Hackney sought to justify its decision because the author has expressed opinions which are critical of the Olympics and the authorities regeneration schemes. You can read what Iain Sinclair has to say here and hear him speak:

From the Today Programme - Radio 4, Tuesday 21 October 2008

This is what a Hackney Council spokesperson said: "Ian Sinclair is well known as an author who has expressed controversial opinions on local issues, such as regeneration and the 2012 Olympic legacy. A decision was taken that it would be inappropriate to launch this book about Hackney in a Council owned facility, as we do not wish it to appear that the Council condones or shares opinions expressed within the book. The same decision would be taken about launching any book expressing controversial or political opinions from a Council owned facility. The Council is happy to advise Mr Sinclair's publishers on more suitable venues in the borough, such as independent bookstores."

Saturday 18 October 2008

Hackney's prosecutions policy goes pear shaped

Such howls of derision greeted the news last week, that Hackney has been prosecuting Dalston's Ridley Road market trader Janet Devers, that the government has stepped in. Stepped in what? You might ask.

Janet defended herself at her sixth appearance before the Courts last week on charges of not displaying kilos when selling fresh salad and veg in pounds and ounces or by the bowl or the bunch. Like the other "metric martyrs" before her, she was convicted. Janet was given a conditional discharge - the minimum possible punishment. Four further charges still await a jury trial.

Hackney's prosecutors, despite being ridiculed in the national press as "jobsworths" and "petty bureaucrats", expressed satisfaction with the outcome. Perhaps their satisfaction was with the order that Janet must pay them £4,800 in legal costs. Hackney has lost tens of thousands of pounds of public money pursuing Janet and other market traders through the Courts.

It seemed as though the Hackney disease had become contagious. In Doncaster the local Council is threatening to prosecute a Polish restauranteur because draught beer imported in litres is not being sold in pint glasses. The European Vice-President has been quick to confirm that it's not the EU's knickers that are in a twist.

Hackney has been going bananas in Ridley Road market. But it's prosecutions policy has now gone pear shaped. Announcing new guidance, which will effectively restore imperial measurements, the Government's Minister for Innovation (sic) has declared Hackney's prosecutions to be "not in the public interest". Janet said she was pleased with this development and that "Hackney got more than they bargained for when they came to my stall that day."

Latest News: Hackney Council has still not restored the electric lighting to Ridley Road market stalls which it cut off last May. Traders are relying on generators and local shops for power. Now Hackney has given traders 14 days to get out of the market's coldstore (recently identified as a "development opportunity site") which, it says, has to be demolished.

For more about Ridley Road market click here

Watch the video
Neneh Cherry and Andi Oliver buy some bunches of callaloo from Janet Devers in Ridley Road. It's the home of the bargain!

Sunday 12 October 2008

Hackney Streets is an auditory extravaganza where four choruses surround the audience and take them on a journey though time and Hackney. The cast of characters includes: Shakespeare, James Burbage, Parkes – the inventor of plastic, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, Anna Swell, Morris Beckman and the street cries of Ridley Road market. Poetry highlights are: “Evening falls between the trees”, The Turkish Baber and the much loved “Number 38 Bus”.

At the Rosemary Branch Theatre
2 Shepperton Road London N1 3DT
Tues 28 Oct – Sat 1 Nov @ 7.30pm Sun 2 Nov @ 4.00pm
Tickets £6.50 (concs £5)
24-hour Box Office 020 7704 6665

Dalston resident Michael Rosen is a writer and broadcaster, poet and performer, best known as a prolific writer of children’s books. He is currently children’s laureate.

Find more info on Michael here

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Hackney Council to "redevelop" Ridley Road market

Hackney Council has opened talks with Ridley Road Market Traders Association (RRMTA) about its plans to redevelop Dalston's market within 2 years. In Hackney Beancounters Go Bananas we reported how the Council had previously denied the existence of any plans.

The redevelopment plans have been revealed in the context of a continuing wave of Hackney Council prosecutions of Ridley Road traders and attempts to revoke their licences. We questioned Hackney Council's motives for this punitive approach in "A spectre of corporate malice is said to stalk Ridley Road".

Hackney Council have now admitted that, because it's redevelopment plans will require moving traders off their pitches, there could be difficulties implementing its plans if traders had permanent rather than "casual" licences. Permanent licensees have legal safeguards including rights of appeal to the Courts in cases of injustice.

Hackney's Mayor Pipe has stated that it is "absolute nonsense" that there are plans to sell off market land for redevelopment and that the Council's enforcement officers are using their "Regulations" to get rid of Ridley Road's traders. But the Council is currently revising it's market Rules and Regulations - from 6 to 17 pages! Traders have voiced concerns regarding their ability to trade if such draconian rules are implemented.

Market redevelopment schemes have given rise to controversy all over the county - you can read about some of them here and here.

Larry Julian, long time Chair of Ridley Road Market Traders Association, said "We'd be very happy to see much needed repairs and improvements to the market. We would also expect to participate as partners with the Council in any plans for the redevelopment of the market. But the Council's present policies are causing untold misery and there is huge public expense from Court cases which it should have avoided"

Hackney's Mayor Pipe also stated (on the Hackney Podcast) that the traders' electricity supplies are being paid for from the public purse and he even implied that traders have been stealing electricity. The RRMTA still await Mayor Pipe's apology for this untrue and defamatory statement. Council documents have been mysteriously overlooked which appear to show that electricity costs have been included in the service charges paid by traders for over a decade. But despite already paying for the service, Ridley Road traders' electricity supplies have still not been reinstated. Their businesses will suffer even more now as the nights are drawing in.

In the face of the Council's punitive campaign some Ridley traders have been tempted by offers of "casual" licences rather than face the risk of losing their livelihoods permanently. But most traders are not prepared to be bullied or bribed by bureaucrats. One such trader who has stood up for his rights is Leslie "Bonner" Ware.

Bonner's story
Bonner was born in Dalston. He attended Colvestone Primary and William Ellis schools. He played for Hackney Schools football team which reached the All England finals at White Hart Lane. Some of his team mates turned professional - George Adams went on to play for Manchester City and Brian Brown for Chelsea. Bonner's is one of Dalston's oldest families of market traders - so old that his great-grandparents stall was moved off Kingsland Road into the more secluded Ridley Road when cars were invented.

A tank sold off by the army to Bonner's great grandfather, Mr Julian, after the Great War.

Bonner joined the family business aged 17 and, like his parents and grandparents before him, has traded in Ridley all his working life.

This newspaper cutting from the Hackney Gazette shows traders lining Ridley Road to pay their respects to Bonner's mother who had suddenly passed away. It describes her family as being Dalston market traders for over a century.

For over 45 years Bonner has served the public at his stall without any problems from Hackney Council. He also served the Ridley Road Market Traders' Association as its Honorary Secretary for many years but he had to give up that post a while ago to focus on his family - his wife had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Bonner himself is now approaching retirement age.

Since the Council took away his bulk storage facilities in Birkbeck Road, Bonner, like other traders, had to spend more time away from the stall buying the stock to sell on a daily basis. He was also frequently called away to care for his wife. But the stall kept trading and the customers were served throughout the market trading hours with the help of Bonner's trusted assistant, Andrew.

Hackney Council officers knew all of this when they recommended that Bonner's licence be revoked. They said that, contrary to "Regulations", he had "no reasonable excuse" for not personally being on the stall for 51% of the licensed trading hours. His licence was then summarily revoked by Hackney Council's Market Licensing Panel. The Panel claims to be made up of "independent" Council officers -"independent" in the sense that one officer on the Panel is the immediate boss of the officer recommending revocation of the licences and, in turn, her boss is the Chair of the Panel.

Bonner lodged an appeal to the Magistrates Court but in the meantime Hackney Council refused his application for a new license to trade until the appeal was decided. So Bonner and Andrew were out of work and without an income.

Hackney Council quickly dropped relying on its regulations when faced with Bonner's Court appeal. The Council realised it couldn't produce evidence that it had consulted anyone, let alone the traders, before introducing the regulations last year. Thames Magistrates were not impressed. After three court appearances and a whole day's trial, it upheld Bonner's appeal. It found that, provided the stall was trading, there was no requirement for the licensee to be personally present on the stall at all! All of Hackney Council's legal costs will be paid by Council Tax payers.

Bonner said afterwards "Hackney Council seems to think it is the law. It treats us market traders like serfs. It's degrading and intolerable"

Dalston Area Action Plan
The planned redevelopment of Ridley Road Market is part of the authorities Dalston Area Action Plan to redevelop Dalston town centre. Two years ago in The story that was never told we concluded that, with the announcement to extend Dalston Junction rail link to the Overground at Highbury, the authorities had already started work planning Dalston Lane North. Traders' negotiations for new leases of the market's storage yards were suspended. The market's foodstore in Birkbeck Road was not repaired following a fire and vandalism. Many of the properties on Kingsland Road and Ashwin Street have now been boarded up or made derelict and ready for demolition.

The extent of the authorities plans for Dalston are shortly to be revealed. The writing is on the wall.

Dalston needs you.
What can you do?


Sunday 28 September 2008

Spirit of Broadway Market

The Nutritious Food Galley in Broadway Market was built by Spirit from a derelict shop 15 years ago. It has since been his home and his business. He has worked hard with others to create a thriving market.

But in 2001 Hackney Council was facing bankruptcy and auctioning off all saleable assets. Out of the blue Spirit received a letter saying that, unless within 4 weeks he purchased the property for £100,000, it would be auctioned.

Yet despite paying the £10,000 deposit, and signing a contract, the property was sold at auction for £85,000 to an offshore company. Spirit's cheque was returned without explanation.

Some time after the auction the new landlords took steps under the lease to increase the rent - by 800% - which they then backdated. In October 2005 a Court possession order was made for rent arrears and £7,000 legal costs. Spirit appealed and further costs of £5,000 were incurred. Spirit was without legal representation at these Court hearings. Eventually the Court of Appeal upheld the possession order and the landlords have now issued a warrant for possession.

Over the last three years Spirit has managed to pay off over £50,000 in rent and arrears and is now completely up to date. But the landlord is now evicting him for the outstanding £7,000 legal costs and is also sending bailiff's to seize goods to satisfy the further £5,000 legal costs. Spirit's plea to the Court for further time to pay was finally rejected last week.

Spirit has made the following statement.

"I am deeply distressed at the way I have been treated by Hackney Council and my current landlords.

When I first came to Broadway Market the area was affected by widespread dereliction, and 71 Broadway Market was just a shell.

I worked hard to restore the building and to start my business, and I contributed to the improvement of the area in general.

My shop is the only one on Broadway Market representing and servicing the day-to-day needs of the Caribbean community by way of fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and West Indian produce, and I also have many other local customers who enjoy my food.

Prices have gone up very much in this area, but I have kept my prices low so my customers can continue to afford to eat fresh, healthy food.

It is a bitter irony that Hackney Council denied me the right to buy my property after contributing so much to Broadway Market and the local community while they allow someone who I believe is a speculator to profit from all the improvements I've made.

Why does the Council not recognise the people who invest into their local area from inside the community - why do they let outsiders take their livelihood from them and chance the character of the community?

I've been working all my life, 6-7 days a week, sometimes 16 hours a day, and I thought that by having a business I would provide a good role model for the youth in this area, and provide for the future of my family, but the message everyone has been getting - and I've been undergoing this plight for 7 years now - is not a positive one.
It doesn't surprise me that I'm having the support of the entire local community, who want me to keep my shop and home, because of the character of the business I have portrayed in this statement."

OPEN has reported the consequences of similar Council auction sales of a historic terrace in Dalston Lane, also sold to an off-shore company having the same managing agent, and the threat to local family businesses of predatory developers and "regeneration" schemes.

If you feel you can help, follow this link

Friday 5 September 2008

Legacy in the dust - the film about Dalston's Four Aces Club

At 7.30pm on Friday 19 September at Cafe Oto, Ashwin Street, E8 you have the chance to watch "Legacy In The Dust" (click on Trailer). Dalston legend Newton Dunbar, who ran the Fours Aces club for 33 years, and Dalston's brilliant young film maker Winstan Whitter will be there too for a Q&A session. And there'll be a mega music session to follow starting at 10.30pm featuring Winston Reedy, Delroy Pinnock and Freetown plus surprise guests.The details are here and more here.

The Four Aces Club had a controversial history. In one period of frequent raids the Metropolitan Police, with the Daily Mail in tow, sought to vilify the Club (the headlines screamed about drug dens, Yardies etc). But, whilst the authorities sought to expel black music from Dalston, dozens of police officers were transferred away from Stoke Newington Police Station amid allegations that some were dealing crack cocaine on Dalston's "front line" - Sandringham Road, E8. Police officers were convicted in the criminal courts but Newton Dunbar's reputation was, and remains, unblemished.

Newton triumphed in the face of adversity and harassment until the Council's compulsory purchase orders finally claimed Dalston's historic buildings for redevelopment purposes in 1999. They remained derelict and on death row until finally demolished in 2007.

The first act of demolition occurred suddenly when Hackney cut down the trees which Newton and Charles Collins had planted in the Club's garden to commemorate the young people who had perished in the New Cross fire - widely believed to have been a racist arson attack.

The demolitions proceeded without any opportunity for the community to celebrate the 120 years of service to popular culture and performing arts which the historic buildings had performed. The buildings had reinvented themselves over the years to meet the public's changing demands - from the times of Sir Robert Fossett's circus in 1886, through the period as a Victorian variety theatre with Hackney's own international star of the music hall Marie Lloyd, then its makeover and re-opening by Hackney's Mayor Herbert Morrison in 1920 as "the greatest cinema in the Britsh Empire", then in the 1960s & '70s as a home for international stars of black music and finally giving birth to the drum 'n bass & acid-house as part of the rave scene of the 1990s.

click image to enlarge

Newton worked with OPEN to challenge Hackney Council's moves to demolish Dalston's character and history and replace it with towerblocks. He filed an affidavit in OPEN's High Court proceedings describing the history of the Club, the eviction of the community from the buildings and, with historic photographs, how part of the roofs of the Theatre building were removed contributing to the destruction by rainwater of Dalston's jewel in the crown - the magnificent 1920's interiors of what had become known as the Labyrinth.

Winstan Whitter's documentary film details the history of the buildings and the Four Aces Club, its people, its music and Newton's 33 years as its Director. Not to be missed.


How did it happen? A ten year plan to destroy 185 years of culture."The story that was never told"