More about Beecholme

Beecholme is also the first postwar "mixed development" housing scheme in Hackney, with a mixture of houses and flats with the taller block having five storeys and containing one-bedroom and bedsit accommodation. It is featured in Volume 15 of Hackney History and was the site of Beecholme House, the family home of Maj. John André (d. 1780), who was executed as a British spy in the American War of Independence.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Sculpture eg's for estate EIB project + HCVS grant + Dog litter fines

UPDATE March 2010
Tim did come to the estate and took photos to work from.
I think he was quite inspired by the estate and the aspect over the park
but we have not met since - just had the occasional email.
I was unsuccessful with 3 grant applications last year, successful with one we're using with the EIB for planting - ie Phase I. of the grounds project.
The grant I have yet to get is for the sculpture - Phase II.
I will be applying again very soon, with help from Damien at Arts-express.
As soon as we get funds and he has the free time, we'll get Tim back.

In the meantime we may see if another sculptor can help with replacing the benches. We will try and co-ordinate everything so Tim will have an input even if only on paper - with the design.

UPDATE May 2009
Damien from Arts-express and sculptor Tim Norris
(Tim did the curved seating in the photo directly below)
will be coming to the estate as the first stage
of our sculpture/sculptural seating project.

From Tim's website:

Tim specialises in large-scale Sculptural Furniture, his work draws its inspiration
from the surrounding landscape and where possible uses
indigenous natural materials, in combination with recycled or engineered parts.

Tim has a range of experience in both exhibiting and constructing commissioned work in the landscape.

A proven track record of Commissions and Residencies, Including, Artist in Residence at The Irwell Sculpture Trail, The Grizedale Forest, and The National Cycle Network.

Rather than produce solely Furniture or Sculpture he creates inspirational environments
for the public to relax, chat and enjoy.

More updates to come.


Here are 11 sculptures
as examples suitable for an EIB or other
grant funded project on your estate.

Of course, you will almost certainly commission a work that will have a relevance to and sit well with
the style of architecture on your estate.
Many of the examples I've chosen would sit particularly well in a post war, post modern estate.

The full stream of 42 sculptures can be seen at:

...which includes sculptures currently on housing estates in London and elsewhere in the UK

"I hope you will pursue a sculpture project because
it will, I promise, make a huge difference
to your visual environment and affect
your quality of life.

Some residents at Beecholme and some Hackney Homes officers were initially resistant to proposals to paint the galvanized Gerda gates as well as to proposals to
cover the big estate bins with artwork.
Fortunately cllr Linda Kelly had the vision to appreciate the possibilities and supported the project.

(Bin artwork see below or click:

"The projects went through mainly because no-one else had a project for
the 2008
EIB... ...and I was persistent."

The estate signs were due to be replaced after the Decent Homes internals had been done as they were still Hackney council signs instead of Hackney Homes ones. I was luckily in the right place at the right time and managed to jump in and supply the artwork using predominantly Hackney Homes corporate colours but with my own 50's style Beecholme logo.

(Gates & signage see below or click:

Since these projects have been now completed, they are
widely appreciated and commented on.

"I know some officers (and expect some residents) will again
be resistant

to the idea of estate sculpture . . .

. . . I hope I can convince them that a sculpture will be as effective as
the bin artwork, the signage and the gates, perhaps even more so."

As long as the sculptures are made of stainless steel or stone resin (or similar) and are
fixed to the ground by a (an unseen underground) concrete footing they
will be vandal proof and easily cleaned.

Placement is critical to get the full impact.
To ensure that your eyes are drawn towards it, its background needs to be
either a contrasting or visually flat surface. You can use this to make passers look in a certain direction, perhaps away from a less attractive view.
For example, you wouldn't want to place a sculpture within view of bins or someones window.

As all these projects make an impact on the estate and our visual environment
and the overall effect is starting to mount up.
Residents are rightfully becoming more respectful of and care
more for both the estate and themselves.

It's hardly surprising as the estate is now more worth taking care of.
It shows a respect for residents and their environment that is returned in kind.


Need help accessing funds?

If anyone without an estate TRA wants help accessing EIB funds or applying
for grants elsewhere, see the extensive list at: 
(updated for 2010)
or contact me in my position as sec. of the Clapton Panel at

"If and when a Beecholme sculpture project is completed, I'm confident
it will be hailed as a big success.

As a designer and visual media professional who has lived on three continents I have seen
these sorts of measures work all over the world, time and time again."

It's a matter of creating well designed and aesthetically pleasing focal points while at the same time getting rid of any eyesores. The overall impression is then one of coordinated good design that naturally calms and uplifts the viewer.


£5,000 Grass Roots Grant from HCVS

We are currently waiting for to find out if we've got the East End & City Grass Roots grant of £5,000 we (the TRA) applied for some 6 weeks ago to employ the Grass Roof Co to replant and do minor landscaping to all the estates grounds and gardens. You can use the grant for any communal environmental improvement.
We should know within the next fortnight or so.

News about the Grass Roots grants program:

and the HCVS site,the place to apply for a Grass Roots Grant


Fines for dog dirt litter

Last year I suggested that heavy fines should be handed out for dog dirt & littering and noted that Perth in West Australia had the same problem until a few years ago when $2,000 fines were introduced
and bins placed everywhere.

I was told in no uncertain terms "we're not Australian" and "it would never work here".

I am gratified to see that Hackney council is now initiation a £1000 fine for dog dirt littering and that
the by-laws are in place and the signs will be going up in Hackney very soon.

It is nice to be proved right sometimes.


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