Oct – Dec Reports: Rubble from Spitalfields, Battersea and Piccadilly – AGM Dalston at “The Poor Door”

  S.P.A.R Report Spitalfields (December 15)

The Society has been monitoring this demolition since the summer, note the delicate mass of steel rebars to the right.
This development is, as expected, contested ground

Local campaigners have been fighting to stop Spitalfields Market’s 1929 London Fruit Exchange (LFWE) from being redeveloped.
However as this shows it is now nearly completely demolished, only the facade on Brushfield Street opposite the market still remains.
The City and Exemplar Properties have flattened the exchange from the south removing what was a multi-story car park

The new development will be over two blocks, what was Dorset/Duval
Street will be built over, this was where in Miller’s Court, Mary Jane Kelly
was murdered, seen as the final Ripper Murder in 1888
(from our East London history correspondent)

The rear facade is all that remains, the London Fruit Exchange was home to over 80 small businesses,
and is due to be turned into a 32,000 sq ft six-story office block with commercial space
S.P.A.R is insisting they keep some of the rubble visible within the new development

S.P.A.R Report Battersea (November 15)

SparBattersea1-22Nov-15Although Society members were not allowed any further, this site is part of Battersea Power Station Development Corporation’s extensive plans for Battersea’s Nine Elms area. They have stated there will be 839 new homes, with around 15 per cent of them ‘affordable’, they are saying around 370, with 220 below market prices, still likely to be 80%, most likely available to those earning over £50,000! The ‘affordable’ homes will likely be close to the busy Nine Elms railway line, far from the luxury flats found nearest to the Thames and Power Station

This rubble was encountered on one of the Inspiral London Walks
Further details here: http://inspirallondon.com/

Piccadilly in Rubble

SparPiccadilly2-29Nov-15A member caught this fine example of hanging rubble when passing
Piccadilly on the Climate March, 29 November
The Society is always on the look-out for unusual rubble formations.
If you photograph any sightings email them to
preserveadmirablerubble (@) gmail.com

AGM Dalston Report (October 15)

SparDalston1-11Oct-15The Society’s AGM (Annual General Meeting) was
at “The Poor Door” exhibition at A-side B-side Gallery in Hackney from 1 – 11 October
Brian Guest (above) was re-elected General Secretary for another year
and members brought many excellent rubble examples

Here Brian Guest speaks to long-time Hackney residents
On screen the S.P.A.R film shows the demolition of three tower blocks
in Stepney, we had a member visit the AGM who used to
live in one of those blocks, they wrote an account of their time there

Members drew the admirable rubble they had seen in
Hackney and elsewhere over the previous year

Tinsel Edwards (curator of the exhibition) and some of the other artists talked about the
London’s housing crisis at ’The Poor Door’ on 10 October 2015.
Brian Guest was also in attendence

Tinsel has said: The title was inspired by the furore over the development at One Commercial Street in Aldgate, which was built with two separate entrances. Luxury marble floors, chandeliers and concierge for the wealthy city workers, and a side-alley door for the ‘affordable’ housing tenants. The Poor Door is a growing trend in new housing developments in London, this divisive phenomena seems reminiscent of the Victorian era.

S.P.A.R says homes for all, and rubble for all seasons

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September: Annual General Meeting 1-11 October – Rubble in Glasgow – TV Centre Rubble

September: Annual General Meeting 1-11 October 2015 – Rubble in Glasgow – TV Centre Rubble

Demolition in Mile End

S.P.A.R AGM – Annual General Meeting 1-11 October 2015

‘The Poor Door’ Exhibition at the A-Side B-Side Gallery, 1-11 October
Opening Night Thursday 1 October 6-9pm

Gallery opening hours: 12-6pm Weds-Sun
Artlicks Weekend: 2-4 October

Speak to S.P.A.R General Secretary Brian Guest on
Thursday 1 October (6-9pm) and
Saturday 10 October (1-5pm)

A-side B-side Gallery
Amhurst Terrace (Hackney Downs Studios Yard), London E8 2BT
A collective exhibition tackling London’s housing crisis
Curated by Tinsel Edwards

With: Alison Berry, Rebecca Byrne, Tinsel Edwards, Mikey Georgeson,
Mars Gomes, Kin, Lee Maelzer, Reena Makwana,
Society for the Preservation of Admirable Rubble (with Brian Guest),
Tom Rizutto, Julia Russell

We hope to see members and prospective members there!
Invite is below:

The Poor Door - Flyer Final

Rubble in Glasgow – September 2015

Glasgow01A member visiting Glasgow saw this Victorian Building on Lumsden Street in the West End
of the City and correctly suspected there would be rubble found nearby

Glasgow2There had clearly been a serious fire in the past, further research was required

Glasgow3Sadly this Steiner School had a major fire in April 2013 and the school was relocated,
the building is in much the same state as that time

Glasgow5We were surprised by the rare order of the Rubble throughout the site,
this allowed inspection of each material to be conducted easily, here is an impressive stone pile

Glasgow6Here, a profusion of red bricks, there is some fire damage
but considering the serious nature of the fire many of these are remarkably intact

Glasgow7There has been discussion as to if these burnt wooden beams are ‘rubble’, however
in the context of the demolition they could certainly be argued as so

The Steiner School site is now being advertised as a ‘development opportunity’
so it seems anything is possible, ‘offers of over £100,000 are invited’, the Society would
like some of this rubble to be transferred to the new building whatever it becomes

TV Centre Rubble, White City, London

Television CentreA member gained access to the Drama block of the old BBC Television Centre in White City
London and saw this massive rubble creation through a tear in the fabric of the building

This site is being advertised as ‘New homes, offices and television studios, Independent
restaurants and cinema. Hotel and members’ club by Soho House’

It is across the road from Westfield Shopping Centre, White City
There is no mention yet of plans for any affordable or social housing within the development

The Society will be keeping an eye on this rubble, as it is only going to increase!

Become a member by subscribing to the S.P.A.R newsletter (approx one per month)
Click here to subscribe to the S.P.A.R newsletter


July & August: Rubble High and Low Reports plus Members Photos

July & August: Rubble High and Low Reports plus Members Photos

The following reports show different perspectives for viewing admirable rubble in the city

Rubble from the Buses

One of the best vantage points to view rubble is from the top-deck of a double decker bus
This demolition of an office building near Old Street round-a-bout was monitored for
several months, all photos were taken from buses passing by the site

IMG_5758The ubiquitous ‘John F Hunt’ carried out the demolition of this early 1980’s office block – 18 April 15
There was a high fence surrounding, but luckily the no. 76 bus going south stops just opposite

IMG_5922A week later the rubble had grown, concrete, steel and stone fully exposed – 25 April 15
S.P.A.R would like the new development to have at some of this
rubble from the previous office block in its foyer

IMG_7056Two weeks hence and most of the upper floors had been destroyed – 9 May 15

Old St Rubble 290715After several months there was still a prodigious pile – 29 July 15
The hordings advertise ‘The Atlas Building’, a private development reaching over
38 storeys high in an area described on it’s website as ‘urban and achingly cool’
It is also in an area with a great need for social housing

Borough Bus Rubble 030815A similar study was carried out near Borough Station, this development ‘Brandon House’ is  well
hidden, only from the top-deck of a No. 35 bus could the vast banks of rubble and soil be seen
This development promises over 80 homes, all appear to be for private ownership

Rubble from the Roof-Tops

Roof Rubble Hackney 300715Another fine vantage point is from the top of a nearby building
This view is from the window of The Triangle Building, Space Studios off Mare Street, E8

Roof Rubble Hackney 300715-2This site was a petrol station and is being advertised as 139-141 Mare St by Blenheim Bishop
‘with a potential for residential development’. Planning permission had previously been
refused by Hackney Council, it is likely to be a mixed-use commercial and residential development
S.P.A.R would like some of this varied rubble to be retained

Rubble from the Streets

Kingsland Stack RubbleThis curious arrangement of rubble was found on Kingsland Road
unclear whether these were building materials or salvaged from a demolition
members debated its merits, a rare example of rubble standing apart
from a development scheme

Members Reports July / August

We start with a correspondence from JP of Ponders End and his photos of mountainous rubble

Ponders End Rubble

Dear Mr Guest,

I can no longer contain my rage. The rubble at Ponders End has continued to grow unabated. Not only that but the contractor has been ‘losing dust’ by neglecting to use a water hose while dumping said rubble. The result is surely a net gain in profit as thousands of grammes of ‘useless’ dust are carried away by the hot wind, covering residents’ homes and possessions in a fine grey coating. It is impossible to assess the true excesses of the pile from a single vantage point but the attached images give an indication of the enormity of the heap.



JP Ponders Rubble 2Ponders End Rubble by JP

JP Ponders Rubble 1Ponders End Rubble by JP

Mile End Rubble

Enthusiastic member JPL sent photos of this amazingly
rapid demolition of three estate buildings near Mile End Park


Photo by JPL
These are identified as Allonby, Channel and Studland Houses
on the Ocean Estate, west of Aston Street, E3

JPLGoneTomorrow310715Photo by JPL
In less than 24 hours the final section of the building had been demolished

Tower Hamlets Council website says: ‘225 new homes will be built on the site formerly occupied by these three houses. They will be built to a modern and sustainable standard by the East Thames Housing Association. 92 of these will be affordable rented properties, and 29 will be for shared ownership. This means that 54 per cent will be affordable housing.’

This means nearly half will be very much private and unaffordable, S.P.A.R does not feel this justifiable, despite all the admirable rubble created by the works, how affordable will the other 54 per cent be?

JPLHiddenRubble310715‘Hidden Rubble’ – Photo by JPL

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Click here to subscribe to the S.P.A.R newsletter

S.P.A.R at DEN-CITY 1 on 27th June Report

S.P.A.R at DEN-CITY 1 on 27th June Report

SparDen01Den-City 1 curator Rebecca Feiner invited S.P.A.R to set-up on
Saturday 27th June from 2-8pm to discuss the campaign

SparDen02Brian Guest discussing the increasing rubble creation and how the Society
would like rubble from the previous life of a site to remain in any new development

IMG_1855A colourful example of admirable rubble by new member Alina G

SparDen04By the end of the session there were numerous drawings of admirable rubble

IMG_1719There were many alternative artist structures at Den-City 1
and rumours of rubble found behind the artificial beach

Films of S.P.A.R at Den-City 1


Sara Penrhyn Jones – Film of Den-City 1 featuring S.P.A.R


DEN-CITY 1 & May / June Report: Dalston Rubble Updates

S.P.A.R – Society for the Preservation of Admirable Rubble
DEN-CITY 1 Meeting
Saturday 27th June from 2pm until 9pm DEN-City 1 InviteBrian Guest 1

The Society for the Preservation of Admirable Rubble’s
DEN-CITY 1 meeting will convene on Saturday 27th June from 2pm until 9pm.
DEN-CITY 1: Forman’s Fish Island Riviera, H. Forman & Son,
Stour Road, London E3 2NT

It will be an opportunity to meet Brian Guest (above) to discuss the rubble
being created in Hackney Wick and elsewhere in London. He will highlight
the campaign to have any rubble created by demolishing homes and businesses
installed in the foyer or other communal areas of replacement developments.

DEN-CITY 1: Friday June 26th, 6-9pm/ Saturday June 27th , 2-9pm/ Sunday June 29th, 1-4pm
A temporary utopian city of installations, dens and assemblages. Colourfully, re-purposing,
and recycling on the theme ‘Work in Progress’ . DEN- City will be mushrooming on a
prime piece  of land by the Olympic site. Forget Glastonbury, this is a free space,
an art city  and the only place to be in response to the London Festival of Architecture.

Featuring talks, workshops, graffiti art-off, stand up comedy, poetry,
performance special opening night and many other surprises..
.London Festival of Architecture: http://architecturediary.org/london/events/5181
Facebook Invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/1437711189880990/

S.P.A.R look forward to seeing you at DEN-CITY 1 in Hackney Wick
Thank you to the tireless Rebecca Feiner for the opportunity

May / June Report: Dalston Rubble Updates

The sun is setting over Dalston, with the ongoing demolition of the
old ‘Peacocks’ Department store on Kingsland High Street
The new development will feature 83 private apartments
with apparently 15 ‘affordable’ flats/shops.

Developers Taylor Wimpy are demolishing all of the
building before turning the site into ‘FiftySevenEast’
It is a closed site and the Society was lucky to
catch a glimpse of rubble creation taking place.

S.P.A.R have little time left to save this rubble, there is a great
variety here, if not in colour certainly in shape and volume.
The new development is due to finish in 2017 and a
1 bedroom flat will start at nearly half a million (£470,000)!

Red fencing has long adorned this site on Kingsland Road,
as detailed in April’s report. It has recently received a
white fence replacement, revealing behind a single
mound of rubble, could this be a sign of further development?

The Society is investigating the plans for this site.
This neatly stacked pile of concrete and brick would
be wonderful adorning the foyer of the new building/s.

As detailed in our November 14 report, these local businesses
and artist studios in Dalston were torn down with little notice.
Still no aspirational billboards here and ongoing construction
has been slow. The Society are still trying to find out who will
eventually be taking delivery of the admirable rubble.

 Email your pictures of Admirable Rubble to
preserveadmirablerubble @ gmail.com and you
too will become a member of S.P.A.R

You can also become a member by subscribing to the
S.P.A.R newsletter (approx one per month)
Click here to subscribe to the S.P.A.R newsletter

S.P.A.R Report: Behind the Red Fence plus Members Photo (April 15)

S.P.A.R Report: Behind the Red Fence plus Members Photo (April 15)Preserve Admirable Rubble April 2015 These barriers have long been on Kingsland Road, E8
It is hard to recall when there was last a building here
It has recently been used for private car parking

The Society was greatly surprised by the profusion
and variety of rubble found behind the red fence

Bricks and stones of many sizes, an extensive paved area
was being dug-up, perhaps prior to foundation work

Beside the bricks was an almost equally large
configuration of concrete and metal

Kings05There is no entering this site, and not uncommonly
there is no indication of what is to come.
Planning permission had previously been refused on this site

Kings06These three rubble mountains were very distinctive
a few elements of each should be preserved in any new development

Kings07Members of the Society are always ready to document
new rubble configurations, there is so much rubble
to be found in London, and it is spreading

The red fence from the Southern end,
it is not far from the demolished Haggerston Estate
S.P.A.R are opposed to unnecessary fencing
such as at the Aylesbury Estate in South London:

Members Photo April : Deptford

SPARChildersByJPLFascinating elevated photo from JPL in Deptford
Demolition of the SR Building in Childers Street, SE8
They have kept the frontage, will this be entirely
‘luxury apartments’? It seems likely as it is
an Aitch Group / Mura Estates development

Remember: Preserve Admirable Rubble

Members and Non-Members send your photos to
preserveadmirablerubble (@) gmail.com

S.P.A.R on Resonance FM & London Bridge Rubble Report (March 15)

S.P.A.R on Resonance FM & London Bridge Rubble Report (March 15)

SPARresonancefmFrom left to right: The News Agents – Matteo Besana, Andrew Cooper, Brian Guest, Alice Walton

On Saturday 28th February Brian Guest from S.P.A.R was invited by Matteo Basana to
Resonance 104.4 fm’s The News Agents to talk about the
Society’s aim to preserve the rubble of the UK in the foyer of new developments
The News Agents is curated by Jude Cowan Montague, and this programme was
guest curated by Matteo Besana. Listen to the full programme on Mixcloud:

borough1S.P.A.R found a trajectory of rubble from
London Bridge station to Borough
This ‘development’ is close to Borough Station

borough2The Society could not see any rubble
as it was enclosed and alarmed

borough3However, close to the Resonance FM studio was a large
demolition site with plenty of exposed rubble

borough4A plethora of bricks, the red and yellow variety,
with broken concrete and stone abound

borough5You could almost reach these bricks
Will this brick stack stay remain in the new development?

borough6King’s College London are the clients for
127 -143 Borough High Street, Guy’s Hospital is very nearby.
8 retail units and a 100 room hotel are being planned
S.P.A.R could not find any housing provision

borough7It is a great shame to lose all this rubble,
perhaps some could be moved into the
foyer of the Shard?

borough8Gates blocked the site, walk down Borough High Street
you will soon reach Elephant & Castle and
the Aylesbury Estate, Andrew Cooper talked about the
Fight for the Aylesbury Estate on The News Agents

borough9One of our new members added this sticker, denoting it
as a S.P.A.R site of designated interest

borough10Crossing London Bridge and into the City this development
near Monument Station used to be a 1970’s office block
borough11This building at the north end of London Bridge,
will likely be replaced by another
office block – S.P.A.R’s principles remain,
keep a pile of this rubble in the new building