Posts Tagged ‘live music’

Stockwell – Chapel, Church, Jazz & Housing

Monday, September 18th, 2023

Stockwell – Chapel, Church, Jazz & Housing: I thought I had completed the pictures from my walk on 4th June 1989, but find there is a chunk I had left out. As those who have followed my various walks know I often wandered in circles. I think these pictures were taken following those in the post More Stockwell Green & Mary Seacole.

Khatme Nubuwwat Centre, 35 Stockwell Green, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-46
Khatme Nubuwwat Centre, 35 Stockwell Green, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-46

The Khatme Nubuwwat Centre was previously known as Aalami Majlise Tahaffuze Khatme Nubuwwat and is also known as Stockwell Green Mosque. It was the subject of an investigation by the Charity Commission in 2016 over its links with Pakistani groups advocating the killing of Ahmadi Muslims. Its name means that Muhammad is the last of the prophets, while Ahmadis are a minority Muslim sect who believe the Prophet Mohammad is not the last and final messenger.

Khatme Nubuwwat Centre, 35 Stockwell Green, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-31
Khatme Nubuwwat Centre, 35 Stockwell Green, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-31

Another picture of Stockwell Green Mosque with the number 35 and its name in 1989, Aalami Majlise Tahaffuze Khatme Nubuwwat, at the side of the door.

Confusingly this building still appears to be Grade II listed as Stockwell Green United Reformed Church, although it was sold to the mosque in 1988, when that church moved to smaller premises. It also gives the address as Union Mews. The listing text says it is a classical chapel dating from around 1830. It was known as Stockwell New Chapel and was where William Booth and Catherine Mumford the founders of The Salvation Army were married on 17th June 1855.

I’m surprised that when it was listed in 1981 a more exact date could not be given as most chapels have foundation stones with names and dates. It was built in 1798, but was extended and given this facade by architect Hames Wilson in 1850.

St Andrew's, Church, CofE, Landor Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-33
St Andrew’s, Church, CofE, Landor Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-33

I went back to Landor Road and made another picture of the Anglican St Andrew’s Church seen from the corner of Stockwell Green, showing the oversize circular window at its east end, doubtless part of H E Roe’s Romanesque rebuilding in 1867.

The house at the left, 22 Stockwell Green is early 19th century and Grade II listed.

Live Music, Stockwell Green, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-34
Live Music, Stockwell Green, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-34

I think this may have been an entrance to the Plough pub, on the corner of Stockwell Green and with the address 90 Stockwell Road, though nothing there resembles this now.

The Plough had been on this site since brewery records began in 1666, but was rebuilt in the 1930s as a Truman pub designed by A E Sewell. It was a well-known jazz venue in the 1960s and 70s with performances by some of Britain’s best jazz musicians and some live recordings were made in the bar.

By the 1990s the audience for live jazz had declined and two letters of its name had fallen from the sign and it was relaunched as a garish bar, the Plug. But this was unsuccessful and closed in 2001. The upper floors are now residential but the ground floor seems to still be empty 22 years later.

King George's House, 40 Stockwell Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-35
King George’s House, 40 Stockwell Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-35

Built as Ingram House, architect Arthur T Bolton, it opened in 1905 as a residential club for young men and later was taken over the the YWCA for young ladies. In 1937 it became King George’s House, a home for working boys aged 14-18 run by the John Benn Boys’ Hostel Association. It is now run by Evolve Housing as “an 87 bed service for single homeless young people from 16 years of age with a range of support needs.

The rather tall gates were firmly locked when I made this picture from the street.

Cassell House, Stockwell Gardens Estate, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-21
Cassell House, Stockwell Gardens Estate, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-21

Cassell House is in Stockwell Gardens West and has flat numbers 1-81. The estate was built by the London County Council from around 1930 on. Cassell House is a large complex with this curved block behind a group of buildings including the Swan pub on the corner of Clapham Road and Stockwell Road more or less opposite the Stockwell Underground Station.

Stockwell’s most famous gardens, the botanical gardens of John Tradescant lay a little to the north.

A few more of the ‘missing’ pictures in a later post.

SOAS Cleaners and Denmark Street Squat

Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Two unconnected events on Thursday 29th January 2015.

SOAS Cleaners demand Dignity & Respect – SOAS, London University

SOAS Cleaners and Denmark Street Squat
‘Justice for Cleaners – Bring us in House – Dignity and Respect’ – Unison Branch Rep Sandy Nicholl

Cleaners working at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies – SOAS – held a rally calling for improved conditions of service and an end to being treated as a second-class workforce. Supported by students and staff they continue their campaign to be employed by the University rather than cleaning contractor ISS.

SOAS Cleaners and Denmark Street Squat

SOAS is a university with an international reputation for its progressive views on political issues around the world and exposing the detrimental effects of neo-liberalism, but its management had failed to acknowledge the beam in its own eye, its disgraceful treatment of cleaners.

SOAS Cleaners and Denmark Street Squat

Most of those who keep the SOAS building clean and working smoothly are immigrants to the UK, mainly with Spanish as their first language. Instead of putting these people on the SOAS payroll and treating them as employees with similar rights to all the others who work in the same building, SOAS contracts out its cleaners. This denies them care and protection and leaves them open to exploitation and abuse by cut-price cleaning contractors.

SOAS Cleaners and Denmark Street Squat

Even worse in June 2009, SOAS management collaborated with the Home Office by calling a 6am “emergency meeting” of the cleaners which was in fact an immigration service raid, resulting in the deportation of nine cleaners. The raid came shortly after the SOAS Justice For Workers (J4W) had a successful campaign to achieve union recognition and the London Living Wage and was widely seen as a spiteful retaliation by the SOAS management following this victory.

The immigration raid is remembered at SOAS every year on its anniversary in June. The J4W campaign led by the SOAS Unison Branch continued and on 29th of January their protest for direct employment under the slogan ‘One Workplace, One Workforce’, supported by students, teaching and administrative staff as well as other trade unionists and organisations.

Eleven long years of protest, as well as work to show SOAS the advantages to the organisation of employing the cleaners directly finally resulted in a victory in 2018, when SOAS sent a letter to all staff, unions and support staff stating, ‘Our current staff in central facilities teams will be directly employed by the university. This means that they will be on equal pay and conditions with existing SOAS employees’.

More pictures at SOAS Cleaners demand Dignity & Respect.

‘Tin Pan Alley’ 12 Bar club faces eviction – Denmark St

Denmark Street is a short street linking St Giles High Street with Charing Cross Road, first developed in the late 17th century and named after Prince George of Denmark. When I first went down it in the 1970s it was a one-way back-street with little or no traffic, and both sides were lined with shops, offices and studios connected with the music industry.

Squatters outside the Royal Courts of Justice on 28th January 2015

This was Britain’s “Tin Pan Alley” where session musicians and artists gathered, meeting each other and looking for work. The Rolling Stones recorded their first album here and David Bowie recruited his first band in a bar. The Sex Pistols lived in the street and recorded their first demos here – and so much more. It became a huge centre for musical instrument sales; I came here to look in windows full of guitars and saxophones I couldn’t afford and later came her to buy a professional Roland keyboard for my sons.

Outside the club in Denmark St, 29 January 2015

But above the mainly early 20th century shop fronts were the houses, some dating from from the original buildings of 1686-9, and others not much later. Eight were Grade II listed, two as early as 1951 and the others in 1974. The street is one of very few, if not the only, one in London with such early facing terraces on both sides.

In the alley at the side of the club was a free musicians noticeboard

Listing ensured that the redevelopment of the street as a part of the Crossrail development around Tottenham Court Road would keep the facades, though much behind them is now new, and most of the old businesses have gone – many moving earlier as the music business changed and rents had rocketed. A petition with 10,000 signatures opposed the redevelopment asking for the street to be given full heritage status.

Redevelopment had already begun behind the bar

The 12 Bar Club had been running as a small live music venue since 1994 at 26 Denmark Street, in a listed building that began life in 1635 as stables but had in the early 18th century become a terraced house. The club closed in January 2015, and was then squatted by a group of musicians and supported opposed to its loss.

Everyone on the music scene at some time played at the 12Bar

I went there on 29th January when the squatters, #Bohemians4Soho had called for a street festival of resistance against their expected eviction the following day, having met and being invited by some of the squatters on the 28th as they demonstrated at the Royal Courst of Justice where a court case over their eviction was taking place.

Live music in the club

Shortly before I arrived to take pictures they had been served with an IPO (interim possession order) giving them 24 hours to leave before they were committing a criminal offence. They left as the bailiffs arrived the following lunch time.

The Ligaments – Nicola ‘Nitro’ Itro, Jake Maxwell & Zel Kaute – had played the last night of the 12Bar and came back to play during the occupation

The listed building was stabilised, then lifted by crane for redevelopment to take place below it, after which it was lowered back into place. The old 12 Bar club room is now a part of a larger venue at the site.

More pictures: ‘Tin Pan Alley’ 12 Bar club faces eviction.