Tag Archives: squat

We’re still open, still moving, still going

Following our rude awakening the other day, we have gone about undoing the damage that took the builders 25 minutes and will take us more than a few days. Destruction is easy and regeneration harder . We just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you who turned up to help us over the past few days, It was so nice to see such positive support from everyone and it made the whole stress here a lot easier to deal with.

Two of the gaping holes in the building are now covered and protecting us from the elements although it still needs a good clean up everywhere. We also have one major problem that we had to sleep by during the night as even with the man power, we weren’t able to properly secure one of the breaches in the facade. On the plus side, we have restored basic amenities.

Sorry for those who may have come to the centre over the last few days and have found the gates to be closed. We’ve been so busy doing repairs that we haven’t had the man power to run the free shop at the same time. The free shop and workshops will continue running as normal from Monday 🙂

So with your continued support, we can finish securing the building and start the clean up operation in time for the opening this Friday (tomorrow).. Come along and enjoy our good vibes 😉

We now have a new email address::    195mare@squat.net                            

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @195marestreet and on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/195-Mare-Street/411285862323869


Newly squatted community centre open in North Finchley

The bohemian pub on Finchely High road has been squatted and is on its way to becoming a thriving community centre. It was opened by the same crew from that reopened Friern Barnet Library last year library last year.

They want to open it up as a ‘community hub’ and there going to use the space for games nights, cinema nights and other things. I’m really excited to see the space get going. It looks like a fantastic building that they can start hosting events and workshops in straight away.

The Bohemia wide shot

Bohemia occupied web 1

There’s already a few articles out on them already http://wwwbrokenbarnet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/antic-bohemia-occupied-and-about-to-re.html

http://www.times-series.co.uk/news/10703093.Library_squatters_take_over_The_Bohemia_pub/

They are holding an public meeting today at 7pm. Get down there and share your ideas.

It’ so fantastic that the community social centres are coming back north of the river. its exciting that we’re working on these projects and we hope that others will begin to see the value our communities centres have. Tell your friends, get everyone you know involved – talk to a random person on the street and in the back alleys, let them know whats happening.

Share your ideas, get involved, express yourself. 

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Open

Hello everyone,

Well yesterday went really well. We finally had the front gate and door open to allow people into 195 Mare Street. Visitors were treated to our free shop (some local fashionistas probably had a bit too much fun), all day long food (salad, veggies, curry, barley…yum yum!), a Chilean film and then later live performances on kazoo and guitar.

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Dozens came in – mostly just off of the street – and it was lovely having people stop as walking by, taking a look at our boards by the gate and then coming in for more. Plenty of folks came in with their children and this including a beautiful moment when one of our all-in-one baby outfits from the free shop found a new home. We attracted friends, of course, but also a lot of people we had never met before. People gave us gifts, told us about what they wanted from the social centre, how the could contribute and a good few told us about housing struggles. Others sat in our pretty cafe area, eating and enjoying the surroundings and watching those exploring the free shop or sneaking a quick peak at other parts of the building.

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By the evening our downstairs was pretty packed. Folksy songs filled our ears as we enjoyed the rest of the night. A variety of performers arrived in advance but they were also kind enough to offer out their guitars to others for a jamming session. People sang and danced and stomped their feet.

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We’re excited for our next event which will be this Friday and every Friday thereafter and is an all-afternoon bicycle workshop. If you need your bike fixed – or want to fix others – then come and join us. We’ve got tools and bicycle parts by the dozen and all are free. As usual, donations welcome.

We should also be able to post a regular events list in the coming days so that you know the days that we’re open, what we’re doing and what we aren’t.

 

See you soon.


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.


Check out our space

Everyone woke up super enthusiastic this morning ready to start the day. Downstairs free shop area looks almost unrecognisable – its suddenly viable again how much space there really is. We’ve going to have a great area to do some workshops while we continue to work on the rest of the building.

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The roof is almost done now, just another coat to waterproof it and we’ll be free of rain leaking in downstairs. We’ve been filling in the cracks and making sure we get every little one. It’ll help keep the building in the condition its in without falling into more damage. Seeing this place come together is getting more and more exciting. The hard work is starting to pay off with visible results.

Very very very soon we will be running some events and activities so keep posted 🙂 DSCN6655 DSCN6657

Don’t forget to get down to Made Possible By Squatting – an exhibition that celebrates how squatting has positively affected the lives of individuals and communities in London. Get down to 15 Dock street, E1 8JN. They have different activities on this week up to the 16th September. Don;’t miss it.

 

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We need lots of hangers for the free shop

Every day here at 195 Mare street we seem to be getting more and more productive. Our free shop is beginning to come together, shelves have been made and clothes have been sorted. We’re really short of hangers though so if anyone has them going spare, they would mean so much to us. We’ll be able to hang up all the clothes then. We’ve only got about 20 at the moment..DSCN6651

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We’ve also made a lovely chill out area at the front of the building so anyone who comes in has somewhere cosy to hang out.

We’re got lots of people coming round every day to help out, but we welcome as many as possible to come and get stuck it. Now we’ve got the chill out space it’s so much more comfortable to get to work knowing you’ve got a place to sit down and have a cuppa tea.

Check out what the Hackney Citizen has to say about us in this week’s paper : )

We’re also keeping a look out to get some free first aid training for all community centre crew, so if you have any useful information or contacts, please get in touch.

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @195 mare street.

Keep posted


Such a productive day

Wow what productive day!!!  The soil has been toiled, the roof has been sealed, we’ve got over a van full of stuff for the free shop and an abundance of bike parts.

During the day a group of people worked together to start repairing the roof. We bought some sealant and the cracks have all been filled up – got to wait for it to dry before moving on to the next part. We hired out a man with a man for the evening and crammed in as much as we could into a four hour slot. Simultaneously our kitchen team were working hard at cooking up a delicious meal for all the hard workers.

We had some crew over at south London, filled up the van full of bike parts; frames, chains, wheels, and had a whole team on the other end emptying out the van at full speed. Now we just need to set up the space with some tools and soon the bike workshop will be good to go.

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The van then made its way up to north London to where more crew we waiting to pack up a huge donation of stuff for our free shop. Downstairs is now pilled up with clothes, desks, computer screens and all sorts of great stuff we can give away.

We then met up with the Good Gym; two of us went to meet half the gym at Dalston Eastern Curve and the rest of the gym came straight to 195. The Good gym had run as a group from London fields to get to their destinations. At Dalston Eastern curve, a group grabbed some shovels and bagged up 21 big bags of compost in no time before jogging over to 195. While this was happening the other half of the Good Gym were toiling away at the soil in the front garden of 195.  It was amazing to see how a group of people coming together could complete a task in such a short amount of time. The energy and enthusiasm was contagious.

Once the compost had been dropped off, the van went off again to pick up more bike parts.

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At the perfect moment, the kitchen team brought down the amazing food that they cooked for everyone.  We all tucked into food and praised ourselves at how much had been done.

Thank you to the Dalston Eastern Curve for their donation of compost, and thank you so much to the Good gym for all digging they did. Having so many hands on one patch of soil really made all the difference.

Its been a really productive day, the crew are all well fed but exhausted. We’ve now got enough materials to begin our bike workshop and to start on the gardening workshop. It all so exciting.

Tomorrow we’re having an open work day. We’ve got the compost for the garden so can being working with it and start planning for planting the winter veggies. There will be people in the kitchen all day making sure there’s enough food for everyone and we’ll all be having a great time.

Wednesday 4th September—  Come and join us from 9am and lend a hand to give a space to the Hackney community.  Get your hands dirty in the garden or help us clean out the basement so we can begin our wonderful bike workshop.

Hope to see you all tomorrow 🙂

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Updates on upcoming events

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1st September – One year anniversary 

On 1st September, it’ll be one year since the ban of residential squatting. Commercial buildings are still legal to squat and we can celebrate what we have here in the Elizabeth Fry building.  To commemorate the ban, we will be having a one year birthday party – yaaay! We’ve been putting together an installation to share with everyone.

Join us for BBQ and music, our infamous bubble shows and a fantastic free shop. So come down on the 1st September from 2pm and join us for a great afternoon.

3rd September

The Dalston Eastern curve is kindly donating compost to us and we have got the super fit people from the Good gym to run there and collect the compost to bring here share with our front garden. What an awesome way to work out as a team. On the same day we will be receiving a van full of bicycle parts so we can get the bike shop up and running, as well as lots of stuff for our free shop.

4th September – Open work day

We will be having an Open work day and everyone is invited to come along and help us make this space function.

What we will be doing on the 4th

  • Gardening workshop  We’ll be starting to plant seeds in the front garden and planning for winter vegetables.
  • Making the place safe      Repairing anything on the ground floor that may considered unsafe (so that we can begin having workshops inside)
  • Painting and decorating (permitted we get the paint on time)
  • General cleaning
  • Cooking lots of food for everyone to share and eat

If you have your own tools, please bring them as we really don’t have that much. We will use this day to do as much as possible to have 195 up and running in the coming weeksPlease come and join us for a day of communal fun and productivity. . Get involved and show your support.

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A beautiful sunny day and no show from the ‘owners’

We had a good turn out of people to sleepover on Wednesday night. We had a great night with more barbeque food and music. We also had the long awaited arrival of one of our crew who had been away for the month so we all had a great time catching up.

I was up at 7am on Thursday morning, ready to sit outside and wait for these ‘owners’. Our neighbor came over at 8 with his coffee pot and some coffee to awaken everyone else in the house. I think it did a pretty good job. There was a great buzz of energy from everyone. A few of us enjoyed the morning sun out in the front garden for some hours before beginning to over heat and continuously splash ourselves down to cool off. We soon began to feel that the ‘owner’ wasn’t going to turn up, but no reason we couldn’t party anyway 🙂

The music played out the windows and we danced around and looked around for ingredients to make some veg burgers. We also received a pretty big bag of clothes donations on Wednesday so we had lots of new things to put out for the free shop. There were lots of great things in there and everyone had some fun trying on different outfits

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As the second batch of burgers came out, some of the guys put on a bubble show with lots of popping bubbles from the kids around. Lots of people enjoyed the free shop, and we also got a generous donations of baby stuff from one lovely lady.

Everyone had a great day enjoying the sunshine and our beautiful space, and there was no show from the ‘owners’. This was a real shame as we wanted to speak with them and tell them about everything we’re doing and come to some negotiation or agreement with them. Its so important to been on good terms with them. According to the Hackney Council website, they would like to refurbish the building. That would be great if that’s really what they want to do, as this building holds too much value to simply be left to rot away, like it has been the past ten years.

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter – search for @195 Mare street

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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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