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Dan Cruickshank In Norton Folgate

March 3, 2015
by the gentle author

On Sunday, Contributing Film-Maker Sebastian Sharples took a walk around Norton Folgate with Architectural Historian and Local Resident Dan Cruickshank, and this film is the result

[youtube UMQBhsJCU7Y nolink]


Click here for a simple guide to HOW TO OBJECT EFFECTIVELY prepared by The Spitalfields Trust

Follow the Campaign at facebook/savenortonfolgate

Follow Spitalfields Trust on twitter @SpitalfieldsT

The Spitalfields Trust’s SAVE NORTON FOLGATE exhibition curated by The Gentle Author is open today at Dennis Severs House and runs until March 15th

Tuesday 3rd March 5 – 7pm
Thursday 5th March 5 – 7pm
Saturday 7th March 3 – 5pm
Sunday 8th March 10 – 12pm
Tuesday 10th March 12 – 2pm
Saturday 14th March 3 – 5pm
Sunday 15th March 10 – 12pm

Admission is free
24 Responses leave one →
  1. ROBERT GREEN permalink
    March 3, 2015

    Few people would dispute that the area of Norton Folgate is in need of refurbishment, improvement and regeneration but the point of objection in my view is not simply to prevent any change at all cost but more to generate the renewal from within the community and the people who live and work there as opposed to the community having the regeneration simply imposed upon it regardless, All around the world the UK is revered for its historical heritage, it’s buildings and it’s unique appeal of which areas like Spitalfields do so much to promote, only in the UK would people even consider tearing down such beautiful buildings with such a rich historical legacy and simply throwing them into a skip, it really is a disgraceful plan, and if it is to succeed it truly will be the ultimate example of corporate GREED being allowed to triumph over humanity.

  2. John Montague permalink
    March 3, 2015

    Excellent short film!!
    The alternative plan proposed by Spitalfields Trust is important on many levels. Preservation of character, preservation of light, preservation of scale are all essential elements of neighborhood appeal. The Trust plan appears to accomplish all of the above. Everyone understands it will entail additional costs, but the benefits will be immense and lasting.

    I live in the United States but travel to the UK whenever possible. London is a city teeming with character. If I wanted to see glass and steel skyscrapers, I wouldn’t waste my time and money in London; we have plenty of them here.

    Thank you for your efforts in saving this important area of a great city.


  3. March 3, 2015

    It would be hard to imagine a more eloquent defense for saving an historical district. What a frustration to think it’s now the second time these building have been in need of saving. Of course the culprit is profit and big money… which seems to hold sway somehow in big cities around the world.

    Often it’s the Arts that come to the rescue, since lifestyle is something that’s hard to put a price on. Here in Seattle the Pike Place Market was saved from developers, most likely because people still come to shop there – because dinner is dinner and it never gets old. Looking at that film I wonder if they oughtn’t to put some more living arts into the buildings somehow. If the structures are empty or underused, then saving them might be more difficult.

    I’d be one of those tourists coming to see London, if I ever got the chance. I still can’t figure out where all that money comes from… but then I’m an artist, so how would I know?

  4. March 3, 2015

    Well done Dan Cruikshank and all involved, onwards!

  5. March 3, 2015

    Great video! Shame on British Land and their insatiable greed – the higher the building, the lower the morals. Valerie

  6. March 3, 2015

    the brief IS wrong and greed is the devil!

  7. Beryl Happe permalink
    March 3, 2015

    Good luck Dan Cruickshank, I will certainly protest.

  8. Susan permalink
    March 3, 2015

    Objection registered! Whether or not it helps remains to be seen but if we all make that small gesture it will turn into something bigger.

  9. Delianne Forget permalink
    March 3, 2015

    I would like to register my objection in regards to your planning application for the Norton Folgate area of Spitalfields.

    I am a London Registered Blue Badge Guide, and conduct walking tours in the East End.

    People come from all over the world to be a part of the vibrant tapestry that makes up an area that is significant in so many ways. Its social history for example, is so rich and important that we should be embarrassed to have such a largesse! My tourists walk down the streets of Spitalfields and their jaws drop. Living, breathing history is imbued in the very cobbles and bricks – yet here you are in 2015, and the past is still there – you can touch it! Is that the lamppost that Mary Kelly leaned on?

    I tell them there was once so much more – but all gone now, alas. . . they look up at the glass buildings and groan, ‘We have no history in our country. How could they do that? How could they destroy so much beauty? ‘

    In the 1970s we lost so much in Spitalfields, but thanks to the efforts of people like Dan Cruickshank, Norton Folgate became a Conservation area and we all bathed a sigh of relief.

    Yet, here we are again!

    Please, please, please, reconsider your plans! Work with the Spitalfields Trust! They’re not all ’stuck in the past’, they realise there must be change and regeneration. Is there no room for ‘people sized’ plans in perfect character with the surrounding milieu?

    How many automobile frying glass buildings do we need? Soon, I predict, Canary Wharf will be a wasteland, because people do not want to live and work in glass boxes! We are humans, not machines! We want human sized buildings, with bricks and trees, with little shops, and dogs and cats and children – all running with history – a community.

    Thank you so much for your kind attention.

    Delianne Forget MITG

  10. March 3, 2015

    Excellent video! Dan’s presentation all makes sense and hits the right emotional buttons. If I didn’t live in Toronto, Canada, I’d be over there standing with you. Toronto has not protected its historical buildings very well. Façade-saving seems to be the way to go these days!
    Friends live on Folgate Street and they are ‘with you.’ (one of the reasons they are our friends??? )
    Well done! Be victorious!

  11. March 3, 2015

    An excellent film: useful especially to see the Spitalfields Trust alternative, human-scale plans. (It’s also (coincidently) brilliantly timed to fit with my own latest post, on the Huguenots:

    More power to all your elbows!

  12. Pauline Taylor permalink
    March 3, 2015

    I have just sent my e-mail objecting very strongly to these appalling planning applications by British Land. How dare these people think that they can ignore the genuine concerns of people who live in the area and how dare they think that they can destroy our heritage which is so important to all right thinking people. This is the sort of desecration that the Luftwaffe failed to achieve and it is being proposed by a company that dares to call itself British Land!! And, as to the height of these proposed buildings, well, words fail me.

    Thank you to Dan Cruickshank and all the other people fighting to get the planning applications rejected, I will be praying that you will be successful. The wilful destruction of the London which tourists flock here to see is shocking to behold and must be stopped before we lose everything that is small-scale and attractive.


  13. Annie permalink
    March 3, 2015

    Greed is the devil here. Greed and ugliness.
    Simple words, simple truth.

    Keep Spitalfields in a human scale, not that of Mammon.

    Cheering you on from my northern fastness!

  14. Michael chambers permalink
    March 4, 2015

    Another case where money talks.I fully support Dan Cruikshanks campaign

  15. March 6, 2015

    Please do not forgive them ( the developers ) for they know exactly what they do. Would they be able to say to their grandchildren they were proud of wiping out a significant and important part of the historic Urban Landscape of London?
    It is incredulous that profit and greed could be allowed to destroy this beautiful site of British cultural heritage, and in this erasure lose sight of the very reason why this place is a pleasant, historic, meaningful and interesting area. This act of vandalism would be a crime not dissimilar to IS destroying the ancient artefacts in Syria and Iraq.
    I say destroy the company British Land. They are intent on making as much money as they can without a concern for history, community or heritage. Hold them to account and let them rot in one of their plastic characterless buildings. Would they be able to say to their grandchildren they were proud of wiping out a part of the British cultural Landscape?
    Well done to Dan Cruickshank and Sebastian Sharples for bringing attention to this cause in such an articulate and forceful way.

  16. Derek Murrell permalink
    March 9, 2015

    It’s so easy to destroy -not so easy to recreate our heritage. I am particularly interested in Old Artillery Ground where my forebears lived. Is it included in the fateful plan?

  17. Neil Angus permalink
    March 10, 2015

    Why not raise a Government epetition so that people can participate in trying to stop this development

  18. Jen Teulon permalink
    March 10, 2015

    Excellent film, thank you! I’m descended from a Hugenot family; enjoyed visiting the area and will give the campaign my support…

  19. m.hardie permalink
    March 15, 2015

    I spent all my youth in Spitalfields (my wife lived in Peabody Buildings) and for it to be turned into an area just like anywhere else is criminal.
    It was a slum area when I was a boy but now it is something beautiful and if it was ruined the people who do it should hang their heads in shame.(As the stuff even more money into the banks)

  20. Keith Styles permalink
    March 22, 2015

    I travel back to Spitalfields as often as i can and am horrified to see the changes to such an historically important and beautiful part of the EastEnd of London. To see the encroachment of the city into this place is shocking. All the old buildings as they are should be preserved for all to see for many years to come. Office blocks, tower blocks, glass and steel monstrosities popping up so quickly. My father’s mum’s family were born and brought in and up around Little Pearl Street (now Jerome Street) in the mid to late Victorian period and my mum, her father and his siblings worked in the furriers in and around Spitalfields and Norton Folgate 1940s onwards. I’m still trying to trace Sid Keye (Furrier) whom they worked for back then. I’d love to know what ever happened to him. Spitalfields to me is part of my family and should be protected from too much change.

  21. Arthur permalink
    April 8, 2015

    I have walked these streets for many years, tracing my family history.
    Many of my forebears walked these streets for 180 years.
    Some of the names have changed, but the buildings remain.
    It’s this connection to people and history that brings people here.
    British Land and greed are doing what the blitz could not.
    Lots of change and “smartening up”has gone around Brick Lane, and Bethenal Green, office space and no community.
    Death of an area. No! No NO!

  22. Roger permalink
    May 28, 2015

    Very Good short film !
    Norton Folgate deserves better than to be destroyed.
    It has been saved once, and its quality was recognised then.
    Tourists enjoy visiting it. Any new plan needs to take these points on board.
    Something better than the latest proposal is needed.

  23. Chris permalink
    August 14, 2015

    Don’t give up the fight! London’s history and heritage is the bedrock not only of its tourist trade but also of the city’s very identity. Yet in the last decade, huge swathes of its old distinctive buildings have been torn down to be replaced with identikit cliches built to a budget rather than an aesthetic.

    All too quickly we could find the goose that has laid the golden egg for decades has not only been killed but stuffed and served up to some transitory City diner. This development might generate a few tens of millions for British Land but it would cost the city very many times that in the damage it would wreak on London’s historic sense of itself and its appeal to foreign visitors.

    Hang in there!

  24. Megan permalink
    January 17, 2016

    Superb video thank you

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