The Barbican Association was founded in 1969 as the residents’ association for the Barbican Estate which comprises approximately 2,000 homes. About 60% of residents are members. Its work is managed by volunteers through the Association’s General Council which consists of 9 elected members and one representative from each affiliated House Group.
As the recognized tenants’ association we seek to represent residents’ views to the freeholder and manager of the Estate, the City of London. There are sub-committees covering specific areas such as planning, communications and security. The Association produces two quarterly publications, the BA Newsletter and Barbican Life, both of which are delivered free of charge across the Estate.
There are many great reasons to be a member of the Barbican Association. Membership provides access to an exclusive discount scheme at local restaurants and service providers. To find out more on how to become a member, visit the Membership section of our site.
As the City of London begins to reopen, over the coming months Culture Mile is sharing in-person and online events, exhibitions and projects from museums, venues, friends and neighbouring areas. Plan safe days out to local attractions, places to eat and open spaces. Discover what’s just #AroundTheCorner
This month’s highlights
Culture Mile Play Packs
Culture Mile have created a series of Play Packs for families to play together creatively over the summer. From making your own Roman Temple in your living room to recreating the River Thames out of all the blue things in your house, the packs are about having fun together, with minimal equipment needed! 5000 packs are being distributed to community centres and food banks across the Citry of London and neighbouring boroughs, but can also be downloaded at www.culturemile.london/playpacks
The Barbican reopened its Art Gallery and Conservatory on Monday 13 July, with the critically acclaimed exhibition Masculinities: Liberation through Photography, now extended until 23 August 2020. The reopening programme also includes an epic new installation A Countervailing Theory, exploring an imagined ancient myth, conceived by artist Toyin Ojih Odutola in the Curve Gallery, opening on Tuesday 11 August and a chance to explore the Barbican Conservatory. In line with government guidelines, new safety measures will include reduced capacity and timed entry slots, booked online in advance.
A digital programme of podcasts, playlists, films, videos, talks and articles is available alongside, including an online exhibition tour of Masculinities: Liberation through Photography and archive recording of the critically acclaimed 2013 production Barbican Britten: Curlew River. Walthamstow Garden Party In The Air is a free community-powered programme developed by the Barbican and local artists and organisations to encourage residents to get creative at home and channel the spirit of the festival.
London Symphony Orchestra (LSO)
Live music returns to the concert hall this month as London Symphony Orchestra musicians play together in Summer Shorts. This new series of 30-minute, socially-distanced chamber concerts will be livestreamed from LSO St Luke’s on Old Street, with opportunities to ask the musicians questions on social media and on YouTube. www.lso.co.uk/summershorts
Guildhall School of Music & Drama
We Are Guildhall is a new section of Guildhall School’s website offering audiences the chance to enjoy performances, discussions and ideas from the School’s community and archives, all from home – from highlight concerts to inspiring conversations and outputs from students, staff and alumni.
This summer, Guildhall School of Music & Drama’s opera double bill was transformed from the physical to the digital stage, with the creative team and artists from across the School bringing the productions to life from their homes using digital technology.
A 20th-century reimagining of one of the earliest English operas Dido and Aeneas – Purcell’s tragic love story featuring the famous aria Dido’s Lament – was contrasted with Respighi’s La bella dormente nel bosco, a witty take on the Sleeping Beauty story.
All students, staff and guest artists worked from wherever they have been living during the lockdown, across at least 14 countries and four continents.
Museum of London
The Museum of London will reopen its doors on Thursday 6 August with The Clash: London Calling display extended until 6 September 2020, giving visitors an extra chance to celebrate the making of the band’s groundbreaking album and view over 150 items from The Clash’s personal archive, including notes, clothing, images and music, many of which are previously unseen. A new, exclusive audio tour of the display will also be live on the Smartify app, for those unable to see the exhibition in person. Using a selection of key objects from the band’s personal archive, this fascinating, 15-minute audio experience takes you behind-the-scenes of how the album was made. Full details around new opening times, free timed tickets and other safety measures that have been introduced can be found here.
With the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, the decision has been taken to mail all the membership cards out to everyone. In recent years we’ve delivered them all ourselves, but this year, for the safety of the deliverers, we’re just going to stick stamps to on the whole lot and post them out.
I’ve just posted Andrews House’s membership cards so, if you live in Andrews House you should be getting them on Monday or Tuesday. We’ll be doing the rest of the cards over the weekend, and into early next week, so you should be getting yours soon.
I have no idea if there is any way that you can redeem any discounts from anywhere. However, when the lockdown is over, please go out and fill you boots at all the local conveyances, discounts or no. I expect that they’ll sorely need our money to stay afloat, so you can go out spending, knowing that you’re also doing your bit to protect the future viability of local businesses.
This booklet, produced by Haringey Council contains 10 strength building exercises, which can be done in small spaces at home, so ideal for anyone who’s struggling to get enough activity into their days at the moment.
The good people of the Barbican Estate have been very, very busy setting up a Mutual Assistance support network. Neighbours in each block have shared contact numbers and leafleted to reach out to those self-isolating and there is also a central volunteer phone you can call for help if you can’t reach your neighbours:
Volunteer Phone – 07376 068137
Barbican Estate Office Bulletin
The Barbican Estate Office send out a weekly email bulletin and recently have been sending out more frequent messages with updates related to the Coronavirus outbreak. If you’re not already signed up to receive this emails you can do so here.
The BA issued the following statement in response to the City of London School for Girls announcing that it has decided not to take its expansion plan forward in its current form.
“The Barbican Association welcomes the decision by the governors of the City of London School for Girls to drop the current plans for the school’s expansion. The proposed development, the length of a football pitch, would have represented an extraordinarily large intrusion into the unique, grade II* listed landscape of the Barbican Estate and the governors appear to have recognised that it was unlikely to be granted planning permission or listed building consent in the face of determined opposition by residents and others who care about the estate and its architecture.
“We note that the school’s statement says “the need for an expansion remains”. The school has already expanded several times on its present site and we do not believe it can expand any further within the Barbican Estate without doing irreparable damage to its environment. The school has clearly outgrown its present location and while we would be very happy to see the existing school remaining as part of the Barbican community, we believe that any further expansion must necessarily take place in an alternative location.We believe there are opportunities for expansion very close to the estate.
In the event that any changes within the estate are proposed, we hope to see the school and the City working with residents and their representatives in a more open and collaborative way.”
The City has now posted on the Barbican Estate part of its website the reports of fire risk assessments for each block that were done before the Grenfell Tower fire and they have commissioned further assessments. This is a Residents Consultation Committee matter and I’m sure it will be discussed at its next meeting in September.
At the AGM, we welcomed three new elected members to the Barbican Association – David Kirkby, Christopher Makin, and Mark Mallindine – but were subsequently sad to lose the services of Robert Barker as honorary secretary and Tim Macer as deputy chair. Continue reading →