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Once upon a time children used to play in the street. Then came the invention of the car, and with that the powerful motoring lobby (cars were expensive, so by definition their drivers had influence) and playing in the street was made a criminal offence. Children would find themselves in the dock if they caused cars inconvenience. The book London Born http://www.londonborn.co.uk/, a memoir of life growing up in Highgate Newtown, paints a picture of what has been lost.
But more recently there has been a pushback against this approach with the establishment of Play Streets. This involves closing a residential street to through traffic for two or three hours, generally once a month, and stewards making sure that the space is safe for children to meet and play. And of course the adults get to meet as well, so the whole thing increases local community.
If you would like a Play Street where you live, the people to help you are London Play. Funded by the Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities programme, London Play is working with residents and councils in 12 London boroughs (including Islington and Camden) with a particular focus on disadvantaged areas, to reactivate a culture of children playing out in the streets near where they live, and to embed this in local policy. Its work on play streets in other boroughs is funded by the Department of Health which is interested in Play Streets as way to achieve a positive impact on activity levels in children and on childhood obesity. London Play can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local examples of Play Streets include Fairbridge Road N19 email@example.com 11am-1pm first Sunday of the month plus
- Highwood Road N19 1-4pm first Sunday of the month
- St George’s Avenue N7 1-4pm first Sunday of the month
- Dresden Road N19 1-4pm first Sunday of the month
- Ryland Road NW5 2-5pm last Sunday of the month
I managed to utterly destroy my laptop in a fit of solar flares and bad luck. The battery had died, so I bought a new one and it wouldn’t charge properly – result being that the constant sudden power-downs killed the hard drive. While trying to find the corrupted Windows DLLs, I then discovered the DVD drive was dying too, and during an attempt to open and close the DVD drive, I then accidentally knocked a cup of tea over the keyboard.
To replace it, I was torn between buying a waterproof laptop and a green laptop.
Common sense prevailed. I vowed not to drink tea near computers, and ordered a new machine from Very PC who got awards in 2009 for building the most sustainable computers available in the UK and recently moved into BREEAM certified premises in Sheffield.
I managed to keep my last laptop going for over 6 years. If I hadn’t killed it accidentally I probably would have got another year out of it. I’m aiming for the same life span for this next one.
Slight downside: I won’t get it until Monday next week.
Mon 26th Sept 7pm (film starts at 7.30)
Transition Crouch End’s Green on the Screen presents ‘ How to Change the World’ Greenpeace film followed by Q&A with John Sauven, Exec Director of Greenpeace. Chronicling the untold story behind the modern environmental movement, thrilling dramatic footage illustrates the story of Greenpeace and their jaw dropping feats.
The film’s website is here: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/what-you-can-do/how-change-world
Free entry. Donations welcomed.
Venue Earl Haig Hall, Elder Ave N8 Crouch End
Impressive stuff, wouldn’t it be great if everything worked like this: Clean Islington reports
We need more people using this app!
It also seems to work seamlessly with Haringey BC across the other side of Stroud Green Road.
susan640 is discussing. Toggle Comments
Merchants of Doubt Film
Tues 20th Sept:
Venue: Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution (HLSI) Pond Sq Highgate N6 .
Film: Based on the book of the same name by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway. The documentary interprets the book to expose the techniques adopted by a small number of Americans, backed by commercial interests and free maker and libertarian mindsets to spread misinformation and pseudo science regarding tobacco smoke, DDT, acid rain and now Global Warming. The book is a shocking expose, well written, possibly a little heavy going in places, but essential reading for anyone concerned with human health and environmental security. The film should be a short-cut to understanding the book.
Time: 8pm Free Admission
HLSI Science Group and Yransition Highgate together with the Highgate Film Society
30 September is the (official) deadline for comments on the future of our green spaces – PLEASE RESPOND.
Reminder: 30 September is the (official) deadline for comments on the future of our green spaces. Responses can be submitted via link below. As recent local press coverage demonstrates, we’re already seeing the effects of budget cut-backs on our local parks as these are used for commercial money-making activities. The row over the future of Barnard Park is partly about this. Meantime Spa Fields was recently closed for filming without warning to local residents, while no date has yet been fixed for the planning application for a market inside Mary Magdalene Gardens (which will net little, if any income for the council after the church/applicant have taken their cuts). Again, in the LB Islington, Paradise Park was closed twice during the hot summer weather for deeply unrestful and unquiet funfair.
Just a pity it’s not at the weekend – I guess there’d be too much risk of scythe-related injuries to the general public.
It’s just daft that everyone puts their rubbish out on the streets in plastic bags, which seems to be council-backed policy. Here’s one on Oxford Street that is ready to unleash a whole load of polystyrene packing noodles down the street as soon as a car hits it.
And here’s another one on my street that just got hit:
I know the lady who runs that shop in the background and she takes care that it looks nice, so I didn’t stop by for fear of hearing a tirade about it.
LB Islington have brought out a smartphone app for reporting this kind of thing. It uses GPS to grab your location and allows you to upload photos.
I’m going to be using it on a daily basis and hopefully I’ll be able to report back positively.
For non-smartphone owners, there is also the possibility to make reports via the LB Islington website ‘myAccount’ page.
Things to do backlog includes finding out which councillor to hassle about their policy. I know in other places people can’t just leave stuff to be taken away – especially firms, shops and restaurants – they actually have to be there when the collection lorry arrives and then bring it all out. I can’t see that being popular, but there must be other alternatives.