Tag Archives: community center

Nearly There…

Sorry for the long delay since our last post, I’ve been having an absolute nightmare with uploads and internet connection and one pretty horrific morning where I wasn’t functioning.

Here is a belated update as to what’s been happening with the space and what is still left to do.

Chill out space

Chill out space

We have a nice open social space as you come in that is still filling up with chairs and tables and the decoration and design is still being tweeked, but still rather lovely.DSCN6684

Quirky design from the team and certain members in particular mean our free shop and social space is ready to be revealed.  It has been a super effort from everyone here and every action is more laboured now that we are a month on with very few breaks in there too. Still no court papers have arrived and no more meetings with “owners” have taken place and so we have ploughed on with our plans unhindered, for now.

Free Shop and Chill Out Space

Free Shop and Chill Out Space

We have a wiring workshop today, Monday the 16th, at 2pm if anyone can make it. Sorry for such short notice on the online front, we did have a notice on our board outside 195, though. Sorry again.

Wednesday is the day of our ‘Pre-Opening Day’ at 195 where we want to invite you in. This gives you a chance to speak to organisers, find out about what will be coming from 195 Mare Street and of course a few fun things happening all day. We will be running a donations cafe from 2-6pm where the Free Shop will be open for business (remember, if you have any unwanted ‘stuff’ lying around, we will find it a place where it will be put to good use). Then, from 6 we will be screening a film which will be announced later, after we have had a meeting about what is best suitable for the occasion. Following this we will have live music til 12, Midnight. We have to finish at this time specifically because we’ll all need to get up and crack on with work the following day.

Still to do: The hole in the floor has lived too long and will soon be started on once the last bit of the roof is fixed, the edges. We are nearly waterproof, which will stop the rot that was inflicted on this neglected building for far too long and mean we can open up the amazing space fully, knowing that everything we could have done for the safety of visitors has been done. We want you and the community to utilise this wasted and unique space and we are still always welcome to new ideas.

Roll on Wednesday.

In the mean time, however, if you haven’t all gone to see the @MadePossibleBySquatting exhibition at 15 Dock Street which is a street off of Cable Street towards the Aldgate end and can be easily found on maps. It is there final day of exhibition today and tonight is there closing party, hope to see you there.

Lets keep 195 Mare street open

Right now we’ve got a great vibe going on, everyone sitting outside listening to chill music; the free shop is on display and we’re cooking up vegan burgers. Lots of people have been coming in to see what we’re up to and grabbing some stuff from the free shop – everything for free, they can’t always believe it.

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We’ll be doing the same tomorrow, letting people see that we’re here and that we want to do something positive for the community. So many people are keen to start running their own workshops and start making use of this amazing unused and abandoned space. We can’t wait either.

Join us on Thursday for lots of free food on the BBQ, popcorn, music, bubble show and lots more. We’ll also be having our free shop outside so come and get yourself some freebies.

Earlier on in the day we found 3 men knocking at our door. They told us they were contracted to come on Thursday and knock down the walls of the building, pull out the floor boards and pull out the plaster from the walls.  One guy became the ‘owner’ and said that he was going to knock down the building so he could build luxury apartments. The land registry is yet to be updated with who the new owner is, and if its only just been sold there in no way that they have been granted planning permission to do anything. The building cannot be knocked down or damaged because of this, and there has yet to be an owner who has been willing to invest in restoring this beautiful building.

We’re not sure how they intend on damaging a listed building to build flats without planning permission; there is nothing on the planning register that states any planning works to 195 Mare street at present. While this building is being left to rot away, we intend on making as positive use of this space as possible. Come and join us and make this an amazing space for everyone 🙂

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Lets keep 195 Mare street open by 195 Mare street is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Keeping it moving

Yesterday was pretty eventful. We were first graced by Max and his mushy pancakes 😉 before getting to work. It was a bit of a slow morning, but as the day went on the energy began to pick up and more people began to arrive.  We carried on cleaning up the inside of the building and later on people came over to help with the garden space.

Many people were walking off the streets to come and have a look at the building – people are really interested in the building’s history and it got me probing into doing some research online about the building.  It’s been through a lot of people and the structure of the building has changed dramatically. Jack even gave me short tour this morning of the original wallpaper – its pretty impressive stuff, being inside a building with so much age and energy attached to it.        Click here if you’re interested in the building’s history.

Loulou got inspired and began painting a banner to hang from the building


And it looks pretty awesome..  However this morning the wind got the better of it so it needs some readjusting..


Some worked in the garden and others on cleaning up the theater space. We’ve also managed to make a temporary roof over the toilets of the social center so that rain water doesn’t make its way in anymore. It rained over night, we checked on it this morning and saw that IT WORKED..   yaaaaay

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We also got creative the other day and painted a notice board to put up outside – painting is always fun 🙂


We held a meeting at 7, everyone sitting in a big circle by the stage area. We were hoping to speak to local residents and discover what kind of ideas they had. Already having spoken to so many people during the past few days, we are starting to group ideas together of the kind of things we can do here.

There was a good show of unknown faces, as well as many familiar ones. It soon became clear what kind of things people wanted or expected from the space. The creative energy expressed by people is inspiring and infectious, and receiving criticism always gives us something to think about . Local residents had lots of ideas and suggestions and we also received some good advice from people previously involved in other social centers.

We definitely will have activities happening in the garden, there’s talk of a bike workshop and many people are willing to run their own activities.

We’re hoping to have a small fundraiser for the center on Saturday, so any ideas for that would be amazing.

Thank you to everyone who has been helping us over the past few days 🙂   We still got loads to do but with our energy and enthusiasm, we’ll be able to prepare this space in no time.


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