Gazette letters: Green space, fashion manufacturing, upcoming gala and LGBT life

Sivill House in Columbia Road (Picture: Reading Tom/Flickr/Creative Commons licence CC BY 2.0)

Sivill House in Columbia Road (Picture: Reading Tom/Flickr/Creative Commons licence CC BY 2.0) - Credit: Archant

Another year, another Open House London, writes Will McCallum, Hackney Wick.

A weekend spent charging around exploring the finest of London’s hidden gems.

This year, [Georgia-born British architect] Berthold Lubetkin was flavour of the month, with the Open House team picking his brightly coloured Bevin Court, in Cruikshank Street, Finsbury, as a must-see.

His work can be found across London from Bevin Court and Priory Green in Islington to the penguin enclosure in London Zoo and the towering Sivill House off Hackney Road.

It’s modernist idealism forging new models for social housing.

Central to his estates are the communal areas, places to play and relax.

It’s not revolutionary to recognise the necessity for all people to have green spaces where they can enjoy being outside.

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In fact, it’s an idea that many of the best contemporary architects also fully support.

Another property that we went to see was Adelaide Wharf in Hackney, where just like Lubetkin’s designs the apartments are set around a green courtyard.

Too often in a crowded city such niceties are ignored, such is the pressure to fit everyone in.

And yet in doing so the real benefits of having a natural space on your doorstep, shared with others, are not taken into account.

Social cohesion, better air quality and calming against stress are all documented benefits of shared green spaces.

We are lucky in Islington and Hackney to have so many parks to enjoy.

Others across the city, and even more so elsewhere in the UK, are not so fortunate.

It is a wonderful thing to be able to look up and see the sky from the middle of a high rise estate, to be calmed by passing clouds.

Following on from your fantastic profiling of Ray at Norris Raymond, I would like to thank you for highlighting one of the manufacturing fashion survivors in Hackney, writes Doreen Adusei MBE, Fashionworks, Kingsland Road, Dalston.

Through 18 years of working with Norris and supporting other fashion manufacturers in Hackney, it has been really exciting to see the changes the local industry has gone through.

Through all the changes of big garment factory closures locally, the remaining factories and manufacturers have adapted with local designers to become the quality creative and craft manufacturing we are now seeing.

Where Hackney goes and innovates, we believe will be the future of the fashion industry in the UK.

Producing exquisitely made crafts and high-end designer products for not just local but global markets, Hackney is developing the next wave of designer craft manufacturing, which is bringing in international customers directly.

The East End factories have now changed to where they are now very close to their customers. As quantities have now reduced, anyone can come into places like Norris Raymond’s and become their own designer.

I am an ex-Hackney Gazette reporter from what seems like 100 years ago when it was Potters Press in Kingsland Road, writes Jackie Ambrosini, Gazette reporter 1987 to 1990.

(Though Russ Lawrence was chief reporter and I hear he’s only just left!)

The offices in Kingsland Road were brill – really felt part of the community.

We had a tealady called Peggy who used to go round with a massive pot on a trolley, in her slippers and nylon overall, and the printers and typesetters were on the premises.

Very satisfying when the presses rolled on a Thursday evening.

In the spirit of old hacks’ camaraderie, I would be grateful for any publicity you could give this event – it’s all for good local causes!

We’re putting on a gala choir and orchestral concert on October 15 featuring music from around the world at the town hall including an Argentinian piece called Theatre of Tango, plus dancers. Comedian John Hegley is donating a performance at the post-concert party where we’re serving Syrian supper. All proceeds go to Hackney Migrant Centre and its social offshoot Akwaaba, who are enormously grateful for the help. Tickets:

In 2017 the BBC is marking 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, writes Joseph Ingham, 7 Wonder Productions.

We are crowdsourcing photos, film, documents, flyers, outfits, banners, posters, music, diary entries and more to help tell the story of LGBT+ life in Britain from 1967 to 2016. Do you have photos of the Gay Days in Vicky Park in the 1970s? Posters or wristbands from east London venues?

Is there something that has defined your life as an LGBT+ person over the last 50 years? Let us know: