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Tonight At Shoreditch Church

April 18, 2016
by the gentle author

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.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR TONIGHT. Those who are unable to attend can click here to donate directly.

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


Follow the Campaign at facebook/savenortonfolgate

Follow Spitalfields Trust on twitter @SpitalfieldsT

Please use hashtag #savenortonfolgate

You may also like to take a look at

A Letter to the Times

An Offer to Buy Norton Folgate

Standing up to the Mayor of London

An New Scheme For Norton Folgate

Joining Hands to Save Norton Folgate

Dan Cruickshank in Norton Folgate

Taking Liberties in Norton Folgate

Inside the Nicholls & Clarke Buildings

Stories of Norton Folgate

Save Norton Folgate

6 Responses leave one →
  1. Melvyn Brooks permalink
    April 18, 2016

    I wish you every success. You are all to be congratulated. Unfortunately I will not be present tonight at Shoreditch Church but my thoughts will be with you from the Holy Land.
    Melvyn Brooks Karkur. Israel

  2. Jasmin Leuthold permalink
    April 18, 2016

    Wish I could be there ! To all those who helped with the campaign sending you a resounding “bravo” all the way from Switzerland.

  3. Jane B permalink
    April 18, 2016

    GA, can tickets be bought on the door?

    Wonderful to note “Our concert is produced by Frances Mayhew who saved Wilton’s Music Hall”

  4. Shawdian permalink
    April 18, 2016

    I am so proud of you all for sticking to your guns about the importance of Norton Folgate.
    Wishing you all the very best for a “Winner” next week in the High Courts. Boris, save yourself a wopping big bout of embarrassment and settle out of court the gentlemanly way. May the concert be a huge success.

  5. April 18, 2016

    Good luck, I am sure it will be a great success, sorry I can’t be there. Valerie

  6. pauline taylor permalink
    April 18, 2016

    Well done to all those working so hard to save Norton Folgate; we know, from our own battle to save a part of our local countryside on the edge of the Dedham Vale National Park, from the most appalling development, just how hard this is … but … all our efforts paid off in the end, and we won. I am looking forward so much to hearing that you too have won and that Boris has got his just desserts!! Our developers ended up in bankruptcy, is that too much to hope for for Boris and his friends?

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