ADSL, VOIP and other communication animals

Lawrence Williams looks at alternative telephony and internet access systems which may be of interest to some Barbican residents from a totally non-IT speak standpoint. This article has been prompted by some major difficulties I have been having with telephone and internet systems recently – which have together prompted me to consider ditching my BT line and my Sky broadband internet access altogether in favour of an alternative system.  I hope my experiences with so doing may, if not necessarily the only alternative, suggest other options to Barbican residents to a terrestrial phone system … [Read more...]

Lighting the sails

Barbican artist Mark Maxwell was a part of the team which created a spectacular light show for the VividLIVE Festival in Sydney earlier this year. Lawrence Williams reports.  What has a light show on the other side of the world, however spectacular it may have been, got to do with the Barbican? Well, one of the artistic team responsible for the Lighting the Sails event in Sydney, Australia, was Mark Maxwell, an artist and Barbican resident who appears a number of times in one of the video clips linked below.  Mark was one of the key model makers involved in the conceptual work for the … [Read more...]

Tomorrow’s store

The Prince’s Trust shop is a local retail gem for design-led products and unique gifts. To help celebrate its first birthday, Kate West looks at how Tomorrow’s Store is giving young Prince’s Trust entrepreneurs a place to sell their products in the heart of the City of London. When The Prince’s Trust moved into their new headquarters in Eldon Street EC2, just a stone’s throw from the Barbican, they were delighted to have a retail space on the ground floor below the office. It presented the Trust with an ideal opportunity to open a shop to sell the unique products created by Prince’s … [Read more...]

Sleepless in the Barbican

Novelist Lou Morgan tells us why she has set her latest work – a horror story – in and around the Barbican, reckoning the Estate is as much a character in the book as the main protagonists in the story. When I tell people that I set a Young Adult novel in and around the Barbican, they tend to look at me like I've grown an extra head. "But… why?" usually follows. That's the thing I don't get: I mean… why wouldn't I? The Barbican and I go back a long way. My parents' first flat was in Breton House. I rented a studio in John Trundle for eighteen months, and when my parents moved back to … [Read more...]

Life as a Chorister at St. Paul’s

Dominic Percival (aged 12) tells us what life is like for a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral. It all started when my dad (Rev. James Percival) went to do an evensong at St Paul's Cathedral with the Sanderstead Singers. My sister Eliza and I went up with my mum to hear it. At the end, my sister decided that she needed the loo and one of the canons (Bishop Michael Colclough), who my parents were talking to, invited us round to his house in Amen Court. He was the one who first suggested my being a chorister. I already sang in our church choir and I quite liked the idea of it and therefore … [Read more...]

Discoveries at Two Temple Place

A cracked egg, a Greek god’s foot, a dodo skeleton and a collection of goggles through the ages do not immediately sound like a recipe for a fun day out. But these objects are just some of the weird but wonderful exhibits in the new show at Two Temple Place. Kate West went to see the most curiously compelling exhibition in the area this Spring. Every year Two Temple Place opens its doors for a few months to host an exhibition, with the specific remit to showcase UK regional collections. In 2012, their inaugural year, they held a very successful William Morris exhibition and last year a … [Read more...]

The Pond at the End of our Garden

by Anne Napthine and Paula Tomlinson.  Ever since the Barbican Wildlife Group began working in our Fann Street Garden, we have discussed the need for a pond – to attract more wildlife – provide water for small birds – and a safe haven for our Barbican frogs (yes, there are a good number of them!), and to attract new species. How do we know we have frogs in the garden? When Beth Tilson comes to scythe the meadow, volunteers spend a lot of time chasing and catching frogs (up to 8 during one session) and placing out of the way of the swishing blade. With the materials provided by the … [Read more...]