Thursday, 28 June 2012

A sad end for missing Londoner Patrick Connelly

A major public and police search for Patrick Connelly, aged 83, a south Londoner who went missing for two weeks, ended sadly when his body was found in Peckham Rye Park on the morning of 20 June. 
 His family said in a statement: "Although it is a very sad ending for us, he has been found and we can lay him to rest.
 "As a family, we all want you to know how very grateful we are for the massive support you all gave to us during the last 2 weeks. 
 "We are amazed at the kindness of so many people who either didn't know Dad or us, but were still willing to help in finding him.
 "Good to know that when all we often hear is bad news, that kindness and generosity still remains in people.
 "Thank you once again xx"

Paul Coleman, London, June 2012

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Tottenham, Wards Corner, Seven Sisters, 'Regeneration'

Hundreds of new jobs, homes, shops and millions of pounds of new investment were promised for Tottenham in north London early today (Tuesday, 26 June)
 David Walters of developers Grainger said plans to demolish and redevelop Wards Corner, a landmark building at Seven Sisters, would regenerate the South Tottenham neighbourhood. "We have the opportunity to develop real regeneration for Tottenham," said Walters.
 Walters and colleagues persuaded councillors on Haringey's planning committee to vote 5-4 in favour of  a Grainger plan to build  196 new homes and shops at Wards Corner.  The vote, taken at 12.45am this morning after a five-hour meeting, narrowly accepted a recommendation from council officers to approve Grainger's plan. 
 The decision - the latest twist in a long-running saga - offers Grainger and Haringey hope that their development agreement can change Seven Sisters. Signed in 2007, the agreement was bitterly opposed by residents and Latin American, African, Caribbean and Asian market traders. Alternative plans by the Wards Corner Community Coalition had failed to secure formal Council support.
 Malti Patel, whose family has lived at Wards Corner and run their newsagents downstairs for over 27 years, said angrily: "I will have nothing left if Grainger takes away my home and business."
 Walters said Grainger would do everything possible to help residents, businesses and market traders who might want to temporarily relocate during demolition and return after construction. 
 None of Grainger's proposed new homes will be affordable or social housing. 
Wards Corner sits just south of homes and businesses in Tottenham badly hit by riots last August.

Paul Coleman, London, June 2012

For more details, link to Regeneration at

Friday, 22 June 2012

Reinventing Magazines: Print and Online magazines, Guardian, Alan Rutter, Condé Nast

“The best thing about the web is that anyone can publish anything. And the worst thing about the web is that anyone can publish anything." 
 Alan Rutter, speaking at the Guardian newspaper’s King’s Place HQ (Thursday, 21 June), explained magazine publishers felt compelled to publish iPad magazine editions as the tablet device looked similar in size and shape to a printed mag! “Not the best way to judge a new piece of technology,” said Rutter of Condé Nast publishers. 
 “I thought the iPad was a toy but then my wife started using an iPad for social networking and consuming content," said Rutter. "It’s not like a laptop, it doesn’t feel like work.” 
 In the United States, the iPad is predicted to become a ubiquitous device by 2014. Currently, UK usage lags behind.
 “Tablet devices need to become boring before the content becomes interesting,” added Rutter. UK users still say, 'I can’t do much with my iPad but doesn't it look great!'
 Magazine publishers with tablet editions are beginning to see UK readers opt for tablet editions. Publishers hope tablet devices can add a vital ten per cent to their audited circulations.
 But an intensive Reinventing Magazines event hosted by the bright and  breezy folk at the Guardian ended on a consensual note; don't fret, printed magazines will survive the multiple online platform onslaught. Websites, tablets, smartphones, email newsletters, blogs and apps won't evaporate printed content.
 Why? Well, readers like to immerse themselves in well-designed printed magazines laced with specially commissioned and professionally edited content. They like to curate their mags and stick them in issue order on their shelves.
And, as as one audience member pointed out, an online magazine doesn't smell as sweet as a freshly printed magazine!

Alan Rutter spoke at Reinventing Magazines, a Guardian masterclass on Thursday, 21 June.

Paul Coleman, London, June 2012

Monday, 18 June 2012

Granary Square, The Granary Building, London N1C: All change at King's Cross

The more modern art I see, the less I understand; much like life itself. But creative art is a crunch reason why London enjoys a new public square. 
  Granary Square in King’s Cross comes with its own fountain powered by 1,080 water jets. It's great fun. Understood, no problem.
  The rescue and careful renovation of the huge Grade II-listed Granary Building. typifies how London can change for the better, the many and not just for the usual few. The huge old Victorian grain depository is now a new home for 5,000 creative students and staff at the Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.
  The Granary Building refreshingly bucks a current London tendency to turn Victorian warehouses and railway stations into prohibitively expensive penthouse flats and luxury hotels.
  Wander around King’s Cross and you’ll see 67 acres of one of London’s once most maligned areas undergoing enormous change. The King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership – the development body – is refurbishing 19 historic buildings and structures, including the landmark, listed Gasholders.
  The Partnership also promises “over 40% of this development will be public realm”. Let’s hope enjoyment of one of the city’s newest postcode areas – London N1C – isn't  spoilt by twitchy and tetchy security guards and omnipresent CCTV. 
  So, you’ve already marvelled at the fabulous marriage of conservation and modern architecture at King’s Cross station's Western Concourse. Well, whilst waiting for your train, walk five minutes along King’s Boulevard and gander at Granary Square.
Venture inside the Granary Building too. 
Grain for the brain.
Fun for the heart too.

Photos: Copyright Paul Coleman, London Intelligence, 2012.

Paul Coleman, London, June 2012


Monday, 11 June 2012

Missing: Patrick Connelly, aged 83, from Nunhead: last seen in Waterloo area

Worryingly, Patrick Connelly, aged 83, has been missing since last Thursday, 7 June.
 Patrick, from Nunhead, in south London, is without his heart medication.
According to the London SE1 community website, Patrick may be confused and needing medical help.
 Yesterday, Sunday, 10 June, he was reported seen in the early morning in the Waterloo area - in the very early morning, at 3am.
 Family, friends and the police met at Platform 15 at Waterloo Station yesterday to co-ordinate their search for Patrick.
 They'd appreciate your help in trying to find him.
If you've any information to help find Patrick, please contact 07956 803224.

Paul Coleman, London, June 2012

Shakespeare, Curtain theatre, Shoreditch: The Curtain raises to reveal Shakespeare's London

Museum of London archaeologists have discovered the remains of the Curtain theatre in Shoreditch where William Shakespeare's Henry V and Romeo and Juliet were first performed. 
The Curtain, a forerunner to the Globe Theatre at Bankside, Southwark, was dismantled in the 17th Century and its exact location was lost. Foundation works were unearthed at the Curtain site in east London.

Paul Coleman, London, June 2012

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The London Bridge Incident: a bitter postscript to the Diamond Jubilee

The Queen loves the ‘Sport of Kings’ – horse racing.
I like horses when they’re running too, but prefer to see them frolicking free across a field, not being whipped around Epsom or Ascot by some pint-sized puny wearing pink spotted pyjamas.
I like the Queen too. I reckon we could have a fine old natter over a cup of English Breakfast tea and a jammy dodger…or two (I'm a bit partial to them, see).
Eventually, though, I’d have to stiffen the sinews and ask, “Your Majesty, what did you think about the London Bridge incident?”
The ‘London Bridge incident’ involved some 30 unpaid jobseekers who volunteered as stewards for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee River Thames Pageant last weekend. Bussed to London from Bristol, Bath and Plymouth, they arrived in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Some say they bitterly regret their decision to volunteer. Their coach drivers, well…drove off. They had to camp in the London Bridge cold in the middle of the night and change into security clothing in public. No toilets were provided.
They worked a 14-hour shift in pouring rain on the Thames’ crowded riverbanks.
An outfit called Close Protection UK offered little or no proctection to these young people. CPUK’s managing director, the aptly named, Molly Prince, said: “The London Bridge incident should never have happened. For this, we sincerely apologise.”
The diamond Prince said the unpaid young people volunteered to gain 'work experience'. Princess Molly claimed they would’ve been unable to claim unemployment benefit if CPUK had paid them.
Several of the young people, when interviewed, did not want their identities revealed. They claimed they’d been used and exploited but feared being branded as troublemakers.
Close Protection UK, apparently, is in line for contracts for next month’s London 2012 Olympic Games. The youngsters had hoped volunteering for the Diamond Jubilee might land them paid Olympics work. In 21st Century Britain, with the Windsor royal family on the throne, these are the ‘rock and hard place’ choices facing young Britons trying to cope with soaring unemployment levels.
The postscript to the London Bridge incident takes this shape. We’re told the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant cost £10.5 million, paid for by private donations to the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation.
Perhaps some of that £10.5m ought to have been allocated in some way to the young volunteers who found themselves dumped at London Bridge?
“Your Majesty, are you alright? You seem to be miles away in thought.”

Paul Coleman, London, June 2012

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Queen Elizabeth II, Diamond Jubilee, Thames River Pageant

Despite constant drizzle thousands of people lined the embankments and bridges of the River Thames in London to catch a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth II and celebrate the diamond jubilee of her reign (3 June).
 The Thames River Pageant, involving 1,000 boats on the river, was billed as a 'family day out' for the Queen and her children and grandchildren.
The jubilee marks the 60th anniversary of the accession of Elizabeth as Queen following the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952.
 However, the new Queen was not crowned until 2 June, 1953. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 1977 and Golden Jubilee (50 years) in 2002.
 Elizabeth, now aged 86, was born on 21 April, 1926.

Top photo: Queen Elizabeth II waves to people from the royal launch at Chelsea pier.
Above: People gather on the Millennium Bridge and on the embankment beside Tate Modern.

Paul Coleman, London, June 2012