Start Your Engines

Welcome to our first issue of the year and a chance to sweep away the cobwebs, have a jolly good spring clean and try something new.  We’ve tried to trim down this issue a little, but our ever-growing Barbican Association Discount Scheme members were a little cramped up squeezed into only two pages.  We’ve given them all some breathing space with an extra page so you can read about all the marvellous shops and services offering you discounts at your leisure (and without you having to squint once)!  Please remember to take your Barbican Association Membership Card with you so you have it to … [Read more...]

2020 Vision

Our last magazine each year is always in December.  This issue is dropping into your mailbox slightly earlier than usual, however, so that we can remind you about the Designer Jewellers Group Exhibition which begins on Tuesday December 10th at midday.  The exhibition is being hosted very close by at Salters’ Hall (which is the large white building nestled in St Alphage Gardens facing Andrewes House).  The original home for the show (which started in 1984) was the Barbican Centre  and it ran here for several years.  For me, it triggered joy; I was working too hard to notice flyers of its … [Read more...]

2020 Vision

Our last magazine each year is always in December.  This issue is dropping into your mailbox slightly earlier than usual, however, so that we can remind you about the Designer Jewellers Group Exhibition which begins on Tuesday December 10th at midday.  The exhibition is being hosted very close by at Salters’ Hall (which is the large white building nestled in St Alphage Gardens facing Andrewes House).  The original home for the show (which started in 1984) was the Barbican Centre  and it ran here for several years.  For me, it triggered joy; I was working too hard to notice flyers of its … [Read more...]

Barbicania

Our third magazine each year is always in September and the celebration continues in this issue for the 50th birthday of the first Residents moving onto the Estate.  Thank you to everyone who sent us updates to - and feedback from - the June issue; it warms the cockles to know that you all enjoyed it, and sets my bar high for future issues.  I’m excited to let you know that one of our Residents is in touch with someone who worked on the original construction of the Estate.  I’m planning to  interview him before our December issue, so here’s hoping for more revealing background stories for us … [Read more...]

Barbicania

Our second issue each year is always in June and this summer we are celebrating the 50th birthday of the first Residents moving onto the Estate, but before I start with all that – a toast - here’s to a Goldilocks summer; not too hot to scorch the lawns again, but just the right amount of heat to make autumn something that we start looking forward to. We began prepping this special 50th birthday celebration issue at the end of last year so that we allowed enough time to interview our longer-term Residents.  Thanks to my trusty recorder (which we purchased in order to quantify tube rumble for … [Read more...]

Perspectives

Our first issue each year is this one we produce in March so although it’s a little late, may I wish you all the best for the remainder of 2019. Here at Barbican Life base camp, as your new editor, I am in at the deep end and enjoying every minute of it. I’ve made a few tweaks this issue; feedback greatly appreciated either way. Fortunately, Lawrence (who is looking healthier than ever) is also watching over me. I tell myself that I’m keeping him active by requesting that he continues with a couple of the regular parts of the magazine for now, but really I’m using him because I know he doesn’t … [Read more...]

The Time is Nigh

Just over a year ago in a Barbicania article entitled Mortality and Succession (those with internet access can read this by entering the following link into their web browser - https://wp.me/p4Ev7N-Ww ) I broached the inevitability of my handing over Barbican Life to a new editor. This after 15 years from my devising, designing and producing the magazine and the editing of every single issue through thick and thin. Over that period of time I have managed to get this quarterly magazine out, always on time, around a quadruple heart bypass operation, two strokes – the second of which kept me … [Read more...]

Well Connected

Well Connected: One very specific attribute of living on the Barbican Estate is that it has to be already one of the best connected residential complexes in the country with respect to transport links.  It has both east-west and north-south underground lines at Moorgate, not to forget the Great Northern commuter lines out of the same station; the Liverpool Street rail terminus only a short walk away giving access to the east of the country, Bank and the Docklands Light Railway and the Waterloo and City line, with its direct connection to Waterloo serving the south and the southwest, while … [Read more...]

Encroachment and Solidarity

What gets the residents of the Barbican up in arms – or perhaps those of any other similar urban village?  In one word – Encroachment.  In the Barbican it is the constant sense of being in some kind of fishbowl as new office, and residential construction is built around us, sometimes interfering with long established pedestrian and road accesses, and occasionally with an adverse impact on light!  But when the proposed change is actually within the complex, hackles rise, perhaps disproportionately. The latest such bête noire for Barbican residents is the proposal by the City of London School … [Read more...]

Coming of Age

The Barbican Estate was primarily constructed between 1965 and 1976 and most of us owner-occupiers have leases which have between 85 and 90 years to run before the properties are reclaimed by the freeholder, in nearly all cases the City of London.  While that timescale is presumably more than adequate to see most of us out, the shorter the lease life remaining, the more difficult a property becomes to sell, and the lower the price it is likely to command.  Generally 80 years on one’s lease is the tipping point at which values tend to start to decline sharply, or the freeholder can be entitled … [Read more...]