Author Archives: Society for the Preservation of Admirable Rubble (S.P.A.R)

November – December Reports 16: Bow Rubble Day & Night – Lincoln Report: Rubble Proliferation

November – December Reports 16: Bow Rubble Day & Night Lincoln Report: Rubble Proliferation

Bow Rubble Day & Night

The Society found on St Paul’s Way in Mile End, Bow a vast swathe of rubble
generated by Telford Homes for the ‘Bow Garden Square’ development

The overall height and diverse sizes of these rubble stacks is impressive

Telfords are offering ‘a stylish collection of suites, one, two and
three bedroom apartments and villas located around a central courtyard.’
Here you can see elegant multi-layered brick under a sleeping demolition arm

On this crisp winter morning S.P.A.R saw mountains of rubble
being moved from one pile to another, you can ‘register an interest’ in what
is to come but there is no mention yet of prices or ‘affordable homes’
Some of this rubble should be kept in the new development’s atrium as
there is currently little evidence of the housing that went before

With short winter daylight hours it is worth members looking for ‘night rubble’
Here is an evocative view of the ‘Bow Garden Square’ site in Bow

Getting up-close to a rubble mountain, wonderful brick and
concrete stacks, interlaced with rebar and colourful metal strips

Lincoln Report: Rubble Proliferates

S.P.A.R members in Lincoln reported that a ‘master plan’ for the City Centre
meant several locations are subject to demolition, this was once the central bus station
This is to become a 30 million pound’transport hub’, a bus station,
1,000 space multi-storey car park, retail space and a new pedestrian plaza

These photos were taken after most of the bus station structure had been
demolished. However there is still some fine rubble to be seen

A member who grew up in Lincoln has memories of the bus station as a strong
smelling darkened place, where you had to watch carefully for buses arriving in all directions

On closer inspection this pile is predominantly concrete in keeping with the
previous bus station’s structure, it now has a calming grey tone

This vast site greatly affects the traffic flow around Lincoln
Lincoln Council are looking to finish the development by January 2018, many visitors
have found the temporary bus station on Tentercroft St difficult to locate
The Society would like a portion of this rubble to remain in the shiny new structure
Images here:

For many members these signs are a provocation, however
their lenses are long and ingenuity high, some say rubble is
best experienced close-up and without restrictions

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September – October Reports 16: Rubble Findings in Hackney Wick, Orsman Road and Kingsland Road

September – October Reports 16:
Rubble Findings in Hackney Wick, Orsman Road and Kingsland Road

Hackney Wick Report

Our members regularly visit Hackney Wick as it has long been one of
most prodigious areas for Rubble, this is only likely to increase.

For the campaign to Save Hackney Wick, see the external link below

hackneywickfishisle05augS.P.A.R found this prodigious rubble configuration by the A12 in Hackney Wick

hackneywickfishisle04augThis rubble had great variation in scale and consistency

hackneywickfishisle01augOne of the factories being demolished was ‘Sulzer, Dowding & Mills’ on
24-26 White Post Lane, a service provider for brands of rotating equipment such
turbines, pumps, compressors, generators, and motors,
it is now subsumed by the Hackney Wick Action Plan

hackneywickfishisle02augThis site was using a somewhat slower method to move the rubble

hackneywick01augA panorama of rubble can be seen from Hackney Wick Station
Below is a link to Hackney Council’s Area Action Plan

hackneywick02augThis ground rubble had an impressive range of concrete slabs

This part of Fish Island is largely post-rubble,
below are the current plans, they are looking to build ‘neighbourhoods’
but there is already a neighbourhood in Hackney Wick

Orsman Road Report

6orsman01julyaug6 Orsman Road had been empty for several years, but is to become a six-storey
office block, the demolition revealed some fascinating rubble

6orsman02julyaugS.P.A.R members were very excited about this rare example of hanging rubble

6orsman03julyaugThese blocks held up by steel rebar should be hung from the new development

6orsman04julyaugThe rubble was cleared quickly, here is a glimpse of it’s magnificence
According to Maris the developers of the scheme there will be

‘25,226 sq ft of top specification office accommodation developed in
conjunction with a prime residential block, comprising seven residential units’

6orsman05julyaugBy mid-September the demolition was nearly complete,
with the rubble gone our members moved elsewhere

Kingsland Road Report

dalstoncitizensadvice01augustAs austerity hit, the Citizens Advice Bureau closed  on 491-493 Kingland Road,
it was empty for several years but demolition began in the summer of 2016

dalstoncitizensadvice02augustThe Society found much admirable rubble behind the blue and red fencing
The development plan is thus:
Demolition of existing single storey building and erection of a five storey building comprising retail (A1 use)
or financial and professional services (A2 use) unit on the ground floor with 2 x 1 bedroom flats and 1×2 bed flat above

Such a profusion of multi-leveled rubble, but will any of
this remain in the new development?

Summer Report: S.P.A.R at ‘The Blue’ Bermondsey Market, Southwark Park Road, London SE16 – 30th July 2016

Summer Report: S.P.A.R at ‘The Blue’ Bermondsey Market,
Southwark Park Road, London SE16 – 30th July 2016

On Saturday 30th July between 12noon & 4pm Brian Guest
set-up this stall at ‘The Blue’ to talk all things S.P.A.R
with visitors to this popular Bermondsey market

This gentleman was in praise of construction methods in the UK
how some buildings have lasted for over four hundred years
Much of the rubble recently created is of a more recent vintage
as residential blocks from the 1950’s and 60’s are being demolished

At times the numbers swelled as tales of rubble were swapped at ‘The Blue’

Brian Guest invited people to touch the rubble, several obliged

Many new members signed up at ‘The Blue’, this fellow was from
Southwark Council, will they listen to our rubble preservation call?

This gentleman presides over the (unofficial) Canada Water Museum of Rubble

His collection is largely taken from the redevelopment of Rotherhithe in the
late 1980’s, but ‘redevelopment’ is again being mooted
Below: Shock for Rotherhithe Residents as 2Billion Canada Water Plan is Unveiled

During the afternoon these young S.P.A.R members drew their favourite rubble

Brian Guest with fellow rubble enthusiast Frog Morris
He invited the Society to the ‘The Blue’ so thank you Frog

Also thank you to all the Market Traders at ‘The Blue’

See the film taken of S.P.A.R at ‘The Blue’ Bermondsey
Vimeo link to the film of S.P.A.R at ‘The Blue’

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Invite to S.P.A.R at The Blue – Saturday 30 July 2016, 12-4pm, Southwark Park Road, London SE16 3UQ

Invite to S.P.A.R at The Blue
Saturday 30 July 2016 12noon – 4pm
Bermondsey Market Square, Southwark Park Road, London SE16 3UQ


The Blue Market, Southwark Park Road – Photograph by Frog Morris

S.P.A.R – Society for the Preservation Admirable Rubble

Saturday 30th July 2016 12noon – 4pm

Join S.P.A.R’s General Secretary Brian Guest at
The Blue in South-East London to discuss all aspects of the campaign

S.P.A.R fights to preserve admirable rubble:
“Rubble that embodies all the qualities of the demolished building so
meriting a portion being retained as a  reminder of its existence
even after a new building is in its place”

‘The Blue’ is a pedestrianised square close to
Southwark Park Road/St James’s Road junction

Bus – 1, 381, P12, 78
Tube – Bermondsey, ten minute walk from station
Train – South Bermondsey, ten minute walk from station

Curated by Frog Morris with the traders of Bermondsey Market

April & May Reports 16: S.P.A.R Centre Pimlico – St Paul’s – Pennington St – Camberwell Controversy – Find the Rubble

April & May Reports 16
S.P.A.R Centre Pimlico – St Paul’s – Pennington St – Camberwell Controversy – Find the Rubble

The Society met at Tachbrook Market, on the corner of Warwick Way and
Tachbrook Street on Saturday 23rd April, with thanks to Rufus Stone Projects

Here Brian Guest, S.P.A.R General Secretary, shows a
sticker that can be put on any admirable rubble site

There were many visitors to the S.P.A.R stall, here talking about Churchill Gardens,
a local estate, built between 1945 and 1962 and home to over 1500 people
In 2014 there were plans drawn to ‘regenerate’ the estate and demolish many
of the buildings, a campaign began to save the housing, several estate buildings
are protected so demolition plans have stopped, for now

The Society encountered local law enforcement and explained why rubble should
be retained in any new development, they declined to comment

Brian spoke to this gentleman who had worked as a Bricklayer who identified
the brick on display originally found in Hackney Wick as a ‘Fletton Brick’
It is a brick named after a residential district of Peterborough

S.P.A.R Centre Pimlico had stiff competition from other campaigns at
the market not least the Mayoral election and Europe Vote Leavers
barracking President Obama during his unexpected drive past

See the film of S.P.A.R Centre Pimlico

Rubble at St Paul’s

The Society found this magnificant view of rubble being created near
St Paul’s Cathedral. This was an office block but as yet there is no
definitive sign as to what it will become, likely another office block

What can currently be seen of this rubble may sadly go to waste

Moving closer, there are complex twists of rebar, steel bent into wonderful curves

Look even closer and there is an uncommon sight
To the top left, concrete blocks are hanging in mid-air on the rebar,

this rare configuration should be preserved and featured in any new building here

Pennington Street, Wapping

Pennington Street – During the Wapping Dispute in 1986 over 6000 workers
were sacked for striking over the new print works set-up clandestinely by News
International, there were long-running protests and it was the beginning of the
transition of London print media to Docklands

Pennington Street is now largely post-rubble, apart from this impressive pile
A Grade II listed Rum Factory being used as an artist studio building but

 most of the area ‘London Dock’ is being developed by St George of the
Berkeley Group property developers providing over 1800 homes
Only apartments (they are never flats) from £800,000 are currently being marketed
Surely this rubble can be preserved in the atriums of the new buildings?

Camberwell Controversy

There has been much dispute over the refurbishment of
Camberwell Green and controversy over whether this is indeed rubble
The Society can give a definitive answer, this is rubble, but only minor rubble
It is still an admirable sight on the Green

Find the Rubble

Mystery Rubble
If you can correctly identify exactly where this combination of brick and concrete
is located email S.P.A.R at preserveadmirablerubble @ gmail .com
Brian Guest has a special award for the first correct answer

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Invite to S.P.A.R Centre Pimlico – Saturday 23 April 2016, Tachbrook Market, London

You are invited to S.P.A.R Centre Pimlico on Saturday 23 April 2016, Tachbrook Market
Corner of Warwick Way & Tachbrook Street, London SW1V 1SW

Join founder and general secretary Brian Guest at the pitch above
for S.P.A.R Centre Pimlico on Saturday 23rd April from 10.30am to 4pm

The market pitch will become for the day a meeting place for members of
S.P.A.R, Society for the Preservation of Admirable Rubble.

S.P.A.R looks closely at building demolition and rubble creation
how it reflects wider housing concerns.

 Find the Market here:

Supported by Rufus Stone:

Market Pitch provided by Westminster Council – Tachbrook Market

Jan – March Reports 16: Aldgate, Oxford St & Clapham – Spitalfields Update – Members Report Birmingham

Jan – March 16 Reports: Aldgate, Oxford St & Clapham – Spitalfields Update
Members Report Birmingham

Further rubble creation in Aldgate, E1

The rubble in the foreground is created by Barratt Homes and British Land but
Central House, Sir John Cass Art School in the background is also likely to become rubble.
Sold recently for 50 million pounds to Frasers Property UK (FPUK) by London Metropolitan University.
The department is to be moved to the Holloway Road Campus in late 2017

Join Save the Cass –

One of our members said this could be called ‘Urban living at it’s vilest’
But the Society thought it worth taking a closer look at the rubble

We found a great variety of rubble within the prodigious soil distribution,
there are bricks of many hues, steel rebars, and beautiful rough-hewn concrete slabs

There are many  ‘interests’ in Aldgate, here Barratt London
‘stunning’, ‘urban’, ‘penthouses’ – 463 one-bedroom suites, one, two & three-bedroom apartments and luxury penthouses.
From £695,000 to £1,135,500!

S.P.A.R would like the rubble retained in the foyer of this new development

Aldgate Place entrance (Barratt Homes)
Many new developments are defined by how far other places are from
them. S.P.A.R members will not have to travel far to find rubble from here


Metropolitan (Housing Association not the University)
are to provide ‘affordable’  homes for the scheme comprising 105 rented
and 45 shared ownership properties. Hand-over is Dec 2016 – June 17
These will surely be above £400,000 each!

S.P.A.R support truly affordable homes

Oxford Circus: Rubble Report

On Oxford Street there are many demolitions
and not just for Crossrail, here at the corner of Hanway Place
and Oxford St is a facade, is there rubble behind it?

S.P.A.R saw that homes are being built here,
Galliard Homes provide ‘affordable’ homes from £300,000 – £500,000
Surely these are going to be in the ‘luxury’ bracket!

The interior building had been cleared away as construction had begun
but here you can see  the geological substrata of Oxford Street,
showing rubble from the past, there will be more rubble to come

Clapham Report

Clapham Reference
The White House in Clapham, it is managed by Clapham Park Homes (CPH)
there is a fine pile of rubble nearby, it is worth seeking for SW4 members

Clapham Housing01
It was a very even pile of rubble stretched over 20 metres
Clapham Park Homes say
“By the time the masterplan is completed in 2025 there will be well in excess of 3,200
homes on the estate, made up of a combination of
refurbished and new build homes for rent, shared ownership and outright sale.”

Clapham Park Homes are owned by Metropolitan (see Aldgate above…)

Clapham Housing02Clapham Housing03
The Society thought this rubble was a sight to behold, with the colour bled out,
individual shapes and consistency came to the fore.
Here is a list of the demolition plans, useful reference for S.P.A.R members

Spitalfields Update

Local campaigners have been fighting to stop Spitalfields Market’s
1929  London Fruit Exchange (LFWE) from being redeveloped, but now
only the facade here on the left opposite the market remains.
There is some rubble left but new foundations are coming,
there is not long for members to see this

Members Report – Birmingham

LScully Member 01                History in the Making! Photo: Mr L Scully

Mr L. Scully from Bow, London visited Birmingham and noticed that the  Central Library
which opened in 1974 (after five years construction) is
rapidly being demolished to make way for ‘Premier Office Space’
West Midlands members should be able to see some classic 1970’s rubble over the first part of 2016

LScully Member 02
History in the Making! Photo: Mr L Scully

Paradise Circus is being redeveloped by The Argent Group who have owned the site
since 1999, this will be largely office space with  plans to rebuild the square phased
over the next ten years. The Library has moved to nearby Centenery Square,
but rubble from this building should be retained for any new development

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