Tonight At Shoreditch Church
We gather at 7:30pm for a lively concert and party to celebrate the Spitalfields Trust’s SAVE NORTON FOLGATE campaign. The past twelve months have seen many joyous cultural events, including lectures on Christopher Marlowe and Charles Dickens, a reading of Marlowe’s Edward II, the exhibition of the history of Norton Folgate at Dennis Severs House and – of course – five hundred people joining hands around Norton Folgate last summer.
More than seven hundred letters of objection were written before Tower Hamlets Council unanimously rejected British Land’s plan to obliterate Norton Folgate under a hideous corporate plaza. Then the Mayor of London overturned this decision in a move recently described as ‘bypassing democracy to keep developers happy.’
Next week on 26th April, for the only time his eight year tenure, Boris Johnson will be called to the High Court for a Judicial Review of his mishandling of this application which could see his decision overturned. The Spitalfields Trust is determined to pursue this through the courts to save an historic corner of Spitalfields from destruction and tonight’s concert is a benefit for their Fighting Fund.
Compered by Griff Rhys Jones, performers include Tom Carradine, Jonathan Pryce, Katherine Rhodes, Stick In The Wheel, Suggs McPherson & Drew Wortley, accompanied with passages from John Betjeman read by Stephen Fewell, Charles Dickens read by Debbie Chazen, Christopher Marlowe read by Nick Malinowski & William Shakespeare read by Sean McCann.
Norton Folgate is an historic neighbourhood that has evolved into a complex web of streets, alleyways, courtyards and warehouses which tell the story of our capital. Developers British Land, backed by the City of London, want to destroy Norton Folgate with wholesale demolition, constructing tall office blocks up to 14 stories with large floor plates – all within a designated Conservation Area. Founded in 1977 to fight the destruction of Spitalfields, the Spitalfields Trust has taken on both British Land and the City of London to stop this wanton destruction, and is offering instead to repair the old buildings in a Conservation-led Scheme. Taking on the big boys with bottomless pockets has cost a small building preservation charity hard, but we need to raise £30,000 to pursue this fight to its successful conclusion through the courts. If we do not succeed, a terrible precedent is set for the future protection of all Conservation Areas throughout the country.
Christopher Marlowe lived in Norton Folgate
Norton Folgate as it is today
What British Land want to do to Norton Folgate
Massing of the proposed British Land development of corporate blocks
The Spitalfields Trust scheme by John Burrell of Burrell Foley Fisher which sets out to repair the historic fabric and let buildings to small businesses
Spitalfields Trust scheme looking from Norton Folgate – drawn by Lucinda Rogers
Spitalfields Trust Scheme, looking along Fleur de Lis St – drawn by Lucinda Rogers
Catering at the concert by Leila’s Shop Photograph by Patricia Niven
Our concert is produced by Frances Mayhew who saved Wilton’s Music Hall and made it the success it is today Photograph by Sarah Ainslie
Please use hashtag #savenortonfolgate
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