Here we are going to publish the material and financial resources that help to keep this exploration going.
The Field is an experiment in collectively creating and sustaining a neighbourhood resource in New Cross: a place to come together, to meet each other, to share ideas, to talk about concerns, to organise, to act; a place to make small experiments that could turn into bigger things; a place for different people and groups in the area to think critically about life in this neighbourhood; to share our experiences, knowledge, resources, skills, ideas, needs, desires and struggles, and to think together of other ways of living and sustaining ourselves in New Cross.
Poetry Workshop This workshop is a fantastic place for New Cross commoners to meet on a weekly basis, relax (no need to produce, be pro-active or hyper-active…), and get to know amazing people living in the neighborhood. The workshop used to be hosted by the New Cross Learning and it is now at the “Madisons Express” Coffee Shop at 2 Lewisham Way 4pm – 6pm Every Thursday. We are entering our 3rd year of existence and weather permitting we will be hosting the workshop in Madisons Square Garden, behind the Cafe, if not inside drinking coffee and eating cakes.
Sanford Housing Coop hosted the New Cross Commoners’ gathering on housing and the commons, in its garden and its cabin / communal space. Sanford is the oldest purpose-built housing cooperative in London, it was founded in 1973. Sanford has invested part of its surplus in loanstock (loans given to incorporated housing co-operatives) in other housing co-operatives, both start-ups and existing. The Sanford community sometimes uses its cabin / communal space to organize and host events that see the involvement of locals.
A very useful organization to understand cooperatives and to get advice to open one is Radical Roots http://www.radicalroutes.org.uk/
Ceramics Studio Co-op a commoner set up this artist run co-op and this is a great space to meet and also for us to understand more about workers co-ops and about the development (gentrification) of the surrey canal area.
New Cross Gate Cutting / Brockley Nature Reserve is a space along the New Cross Gate Railway where a forest is taken care of by a group of volunteers. Cuts for the Cutting: in this case as well the government is cutting the funding, and this amazing forest in the middle of New Cross opens just a few hours a month, thanks to people volunteering their time: it is open every second Saturday of the month from 10.30am to 3pm.
The forest might give the impression of growing “naturally” but in fact it necessitates a great deal of care to live as a balanced microsystem rich of many varieties of plants, trees, animals – as the fantastic tour given by Steve explained us.
The main part of the reserve is covered in trees and plants, with the exception of a few meadows, perfect for picnics and outdoor discussions. We discussed the possibilities of making the space more accessible without threatening the wildlife and abusing the natural resources.