Friday, 3 September 2010

Don't miss this OPEN public event at St Barnabas: 16th September at 7.30pm

An OPEN public event will take place on Thursday 16 September beginning at 7.30pm in the evening. It will feature music, literature, history, satire and local news.

It will take place in Dalston at the St Barnabas Church and Hall, Shacklewell Row E8. Although partly in a church, the event is not religious and is open to people of all beliefs and none.

The church is Grade II* listed built in 1910 in the Romanesque style. A secret gem of a building and only now being brought back into full use .

David Garrard, from English Heritage, will give a short talk about the building and its history.

The writer, poet and film-maker Iain Sinclair will read from his new, yet to be published, book and may range freely across issues of local and national interest.

Michael Rosen, poet and broadcaster, will perform Regeneration Blues and other work - accompanied by The DulceTones ( Dalston musicians, including some of international repute and local notoriety).

OPEN’s Patron, Lord Low of Dalston and Lady Jill also hope to attend the event.

The building will be lit by Arcola Theatre - using a low carbon portable fuel cell - an invention of one of its Directors, Dr Ben Todd. Arcola will also present plans for their forthcoming move to The Colourworks in Ashwin Street, Dalston, and plans for an new carbon-neutral theatre in Dalston.

Another highlight of the evening will be to hear Steve Butters describe the fierce competition to win the Ceausescu Golden Spoon Award which has been won by the Dalston Square development - a public/private partnership scheme between Hackney Council, the Greater London Authority and volume house-builder Barratt. Phase2 of Dalston Square is now being built on The Slab.
A night time view of the City with The Slab in the foreground - a huge 1 hectre, three metres deep concrete raft spanning over the Dalston Junction station railway cutting. Photo © EXYZT

This architect's model shows Dalston Square completed.Phase 2 of the development at Dalston Junction is now under construction by Barratt and, like Phase 1, is being marketed for off-plan sales in the Far East.

The main cheerleaders, and financiers, of the Dalston Square scheme were the Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, and the ex-Mayor of the Greater London Authority, Ken Livingstone, who has since been replaced by Boris Johnson. Boris Johnson and Jules Pipe have both been invited to receive the award (although the presentation may have to proceed in their absence).

Boris Johnson who succeeded Ken Livingstone as Mayor of the Greater London Authority

The authorities argued that The Slab was necessary to build a bus/rail Transport Interchange above the station - but now TfL say that only one bus will in fact use it. The cost of the Slab has risen from £18m to £26m to £39m and is now estimated to cost £63 million. Following the presentation Michael Rosen will hold a public auction of Dalston's £63million Bus Stop.
Barratt Homes has now begun constructing Phase 2 of Dalston Square - a further nine blocks on The Slab, rising up to 20 storeys and comprising 330 flats. All for private sale. What will local people be prepared to bid for Dalston's £63millon Bus Stop? (Well... they wont be able to afford the flats. Ed.)

An artist's impression of Phase 2 of Dalston Square - 330 private flats and national brand stores. What the authorities' consultants, Drivers Jonas, described as a necessarily "high revenue generating scheme" to pay for The Slab.

Throughout the evening there will be opportunities for discussion, heckling and other forms of dissent.

Various items will be available to buy including the authors' books and a DVD “Save our Heritage” (a 35 minute film by Winstan Whittar documenting OPEN's battle to save Dalston 's Theatre and Georgian houses - now demolished)

The event is a fundraiser and there will be a £5.00 admission charge, £2.00 for unemployed, OAPs & students showing ID.


  1. Were any of the talks at this event recorded? If they were, will podcasts be made available in due course?

  2. Yes. All the music and the talks were recorded. Can anyone help us set up a podcast account and upload the recordings - please contact


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