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And a repository of information from the home page 
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  ► DBA Newsletter Archive 2005 onwards
Planning Matters
► De Beaver -the newsletter of the DBA 1971-1984


Free face painting and bouncy castle were among the highlights of the De Beauvoir Association Party in the Park on Saturday, 7 July. The annual event, run by local people with sponsorship and help from a range of organisations and businesses, took place in the beautiful gardens of De Beauvoir Square.
Our picture gallery is 

The group bought dozens of new footballs, skipping ropes and other fitness toys to give away to youngsters along with second hand children's books. A drumming workshop and mini-Olympics with prizes were popular too. A fantastic brass band from the Royal College of Music played during the afternoon. A magician had an audience all afternoon.

Some 25 local people baked cakes and savouries, which sold out, and a tombola was very popular. De Beauvoir resident Gwyn Williams, 103, won a bottle of fine wine and one of champagne in a presentation case in the raffle. 

Hackney South and Shoreditch MP Meg Hillier toured the event and Hackney Council Deputy Speaker Michael Desmond came along to make the closing speech and draw the raffle. Gloomy skies and tennis on the TV did not put hundreds of people off coming and the sun even shone from time to time.

It was fantastic to see people enjoying a free event for kids where no one needs to spend a penny if they don't want to. Lots of people worked very hard in the run up to the party and on the day to make it all go with a swing.

We know the people of De Beauvoir look forward to the party every year and we try to make it better each time because it is important to build community cohesion with occasions like this. We were very lucky with the weather.

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Details in the latest Neighbourhood Watch bulletin.
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Crowds throng the towpath near the Towpath Cafe and across the canal, a pop-up weekend festival  on vacant land in aid of charity. (Sunday Oct 10, 2010)



An unofficial blue plaque has been fixed to the former home in Mortimer Road of "Mole man" WIlliam Lyttle, who died earlier this year. It was put up by local resident Dave Buonaguidi of creative agency Karmarama, who told us: "After talking to him and watching him acquire huge amounts of stuff from all parts of the area and then put it in his own yard while also digging huge pits and tunnels [he] fascinated me, and I liked him, he was always pleasant and polite with me."

Moleman plaque

Built on December 18, 2010 by David Whitehouse, Wesley Thirkell and Natasha Wray

Aid debate

St Peter's Church was packed for a debate on Friday, 29 October, on international aid. BBC TV's George Alagiah chaired the discussion between Gideon Rabinowitz of the UK Aid Network (l) and author Giles Bolton (r), along with questions and points made by members of the audience.

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De Beauvoir in the snow 2010


By Hilary Mandleberg, January 4, 2010

7 6

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Here is a snap of our local cricket side, the Mighty De Beauvoir Warriors.      


Party 2009 General ViewOur Children's Party in the Park 2009 was a great success on Saturday July 11 despite a couple of showers. The sun even shone briefly. The brass band was marvellous, the cakes fantastic and all the other activities from the bouncy castle to Chris Nicholson the magician to face painting were enjoyed by lots of youngsters. The free goody bags and toys and games were snapped up. Some designed their own t-shirts while others enjoyed the FitKid activities and meeting the Canine Partners dog. And there was still lots more. Many thanks to all who helped set up, run things, supply products, and to take it all down afterwards. And to our supporters Murphy Group and the Benyon Estate as well as Typhoon CP for publicity. Special thanks to Kathryn Moore who led the organisation. If you have any comments, let us know.  

Click the logo to read about us in the 

Click here for lots of pictures from the party

YouTube video (5 mins)

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Rev Julia Porter's new post as Dean of Hackney has been reported in the 

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About 40 people enjoyed Vietnamese snacks and a talk by one of the community leaders, Vu Khanh Thanh. Mr Vu mixed his natural modesty with a fascinating tale of how Hackney became home to so many asylum-seekers and their descendants, and thus came to have such a concentration of Vietnamese restaurants and, over time, other businesses including nail parlours.

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BBC journalist George Alagiah launched a debate on food supply and food security at St Peter's Church on Friday June 5, 2009. Around 300 people packed the church for a lively discussion. A panel from local groups concerned with food joined George in the discussion and answered questions from the audience.






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ISLINGTON CASHES IN: Read the story about a new traffic measure that has caught lots of De Beauvoir people


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Our Family Atlantica concert in St Peter's Church on April 24, 2009 was a triumph. The band, starring Luzmira Zerpa, played a variety of styles from lively latin to gentle guitar pieces.







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De Beauvoir filming

A film crew making the ITV crime drama "The Fixer" used the Boris warehouse in Hertford Road as a set on November 17. One day's filming produced about two minutes of screen time. (Picture: Oliver Shah). The previous week, housing charity Shelter used St Peter's way for a stills shoot, erecting floodlights in De Beauvoir Square and hosing the roadway to simulate rain.

 5  Shelter ad

TfL in 2009 used De Beauvoir Square to shoot stills for a cycling promotion

Cycling ad

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Mystery head

This carved stone head sits forlornly on muddy ground by the south bank of the canal next to De Beauvoir Road. Does anyone know why?
   mystery head

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The De Beauvoir Association Annual General Meeting 
minutes of the meeting on October 14, 2008 
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Edith Cavell site
The Council has told us what happened to the money the developers paid under Section 106 (ie sweeteners in return for planning permission). Their reply is here.
Our enquiries alerted Hackney Council to the fact that some of the £370,000 was meant for reinstatement of the pavements in Enfield Road and Hertford Road, which were left in a shabby state. The council has thanked us and got the work done by Christmas.

The council has now released the agreement to us: it appears that there is £80,000 left for community works, which means play facilities for children up to 16, improvement of local community facilities and/or local environmental improvements. There is also £12,000 for public art and trees and "improvement of the Kingsland Conservation Area" as well as £40,000 for two apprentices or other employment training.

If you have ideas on how this can be spent feel free to let us know, or contact the council and/or councillors direct.
Section 106 Document
Works letter (pdfs)

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Everyone had a great time at our Party in the Park in the square on July 12 and the weather was kind to us. We have to thank Kathryn Moore, who was the lead organiser, as well as lots of other people who helped make the day a success. It is worth remembering that this is entirely a local initiative that is able to provide free fun and gifts for children with no admission charge for anyone. The sponsorship and the donations and takings from food and drink go towards the fees we paid for the entertainment, like the fabulous Majestic Brass band from the Royal College of Music, Lucia and Rachel, the face painters, Chris Nicholson, the magician and other things like licensing, insurance and buying the gazebos. It costs about £2,500 to
stage the event.
Lots of organisations helped make it a fun day, like Quicksilver Theatre, St
Peter's Church, De Beauvoir Gardeners and Beavers Playgroup. Kingsland Fire
Station sent an engine so that children could learn about the work of
firefighters. Local businesses gave generous raffle prizes. The Council's
Speaker, the civic mayor, Councillor Ian Rathbone, attended and made a short
speech praising the organisers.
 4   8
We are very grateful to the Benyon Estate for substantial financial

Other thanks go to:
- Hackney Parks department for making the gardens look so beautiful, the
refuse department for helping us keep the place tidy and Murphy Group for
those invaluable accessible conveniences.
- Canine Partners and their assistance dog.
- St John Ambulance, who showed resuscitation techniques and helped an
elderly lady who fell over. We wish her a speedy recovery.
- The core volunteers: David, Gi, Jane, Carol, Hilary, Peter, Kirsty, Paul,
Jenny and Marc, Maggie.

We have loads of photos  at

Planning begins months beforehand and on the day we start erecting the
gazebos and shifting tables and chairs at 9 am. It is great to see so many
happy faces, but we would welcome more volunteers; the same team will have
been doing this for 5 years next year and we need fresh blood. We listen to
what you tell us after these parties and the brass band was one of the
results. Let us know if you would like to see anything different next time.
We NEED your feedback, positive or negative, for next time because funders
want to know.
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Plans to surround the Lockner Estate with security gates ar on hold.
Hackney Homes are talking to the council Planning Department to see what is acceptable and plan to consult later. Watch this space.

If you want more information, you can contact James Roache of Hackney Homes
at 020 8356 1635 or email mpdebeauvoir@hackneyhomes.org.uk 
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We have launched a De Beauvoir trade directory. Click on the link at the left. Let us know if you wish to be included.Time Out has reviewed the Scolt Head (formerly the Sussex)
The Daily Telegraph has published a feature on De Beauvoir (well,
Northchurch Road, anyway). There is a copy here  
Marks and Spencers to come back to Dalston? The Times, in a piece about East London property, says it might. The story is here;
Evening Standard report of super-fast sale of 1 De Beauvoir Square
A newspaper-style blog called Hackney Post has also done a property piece

Traffic Nuisance - Hackney's proposals for De Beauvoir
20 mph zone - people's reactions are here
Dalston redevelopment 
Phone Mast - Orange wins
Ufton Grove
Boris latest: plans turned down on appeal (with link to decision)
Kingsland Wharves
Moleman in the Guardian
Hackney on Channel Four - Time Out story
Hackney Gazette report on the lorry problem
MOLEMAN - The council is on the case


Our Spring into Jazz Concert was a triumph. Thanks to all involved, especially Oliver Schofield for the organisation and Peter Werth and his fellow musicians. We filled the crypt of St Peter's and everyone had a marvellous time. Peter donated a huge selection of his company's clothing for a raffle as did other local businesses.
Oliver writes: "The Crypt at St. Peter's Church was transformed into a jazz cafe for the
DBA's "Spring into Jazz" evening on 25th April as 65 local residents were
wonderfully entertained by the generously inflated Peter Werth Quintet -
made up of six passionate jazz musicians.
The DBA clared a profit of £378.38 and your Committee has decided to donate
£100 to St. Peter's Church, a further £50 to the Peter Werth Quintet (for
an additional musician) and the remaining £228 to the DBA Summer Party in
the Park (14th July, De Beauvoir Square).
The DBA are very grateful to all of the donors for the fantastic raffle
prizes - a full review of the evening will appear in the next newsletter."


De Beauvoir resident David Kingsley has been awarded an OBE for charitable services in the recent Birthday Honours. Among his many activities,  David has been chairman of Children's Radio and the Children's Discovery Centre East London. He was a governor of the London School of Economics from 1965 to 2005.


Thanks to Kathryn Moore and everyone who helped make our Summer Party a great success. The official thank-you letter is here. if (document.getElementById) document.getElementById('zg_whatdiv').style.display = 'none';  

The party pictures are here. They can also be seen on a Bonusprint website where you can order prints. If you want to add yours, send them to info@debeauvoir.org.uk .
We have added to the De Beauvoir history section a scan from a book on the villages of London. It is a solid history of De Beauvoir, much of it post-war. It is here (large pdf file). There is also a scan of a nice piece on the early history of the area from the last issue of De Beaver in 1984 here and the piece on the history of the area by Charles Posner from the Millennium Scrapbook.
We have some other information on the history of De Beauvoir including notes about the area by Charles Booth

Police text service
The Met police has a free service that will text you if there is a "critical incident". It now cover all of London but later will be tailored by borough. Go to www.police.uk and use the button marked Police Message Broadcast - Register Here  or text your postcode to 88588. Have you used this? Let us know if it works.
Cricket - see the report on the mighty DB team's exploits on the local events page

March 2006

Rat runs: the council has replied to complaints here

February 2006

Shooting of the film "Penelope" (Christina Ricci, Reese Witherspoon, Richard E. Grant) has been taking place in Mortimer Road and De Beauvoir Square. The producers paid  £1000 for the inconvenience.