Outside in

Whilst sheltering from the harsh wintry weather of recent days it has been possible to prepare for a string of activities and events in March and April 2018.

Mazi partners at Napier University in Edinburgh have scheduled a free hands on workshop ‘hackathon’ during the Datafest 18.

Program Or Be Programmed: Investigates the implications of small data, local context and “Do-It-Yourself” technologies. YT and Mark Gaved of Open University will introduce the Mazi toolkit and co-ordinate with those attending to explore options and experiment with the tools already available.

Please join us at Codebase – 38, Castle Terrace. Edinburgh. EH3 9DZ. View Map Mon 19 March 2018 – 09:30 – 12:30 GMT and stay for the afternoon symposium till cake!

Just as soon as we return, Creeknet resumes weekly Mazi meet-ups and toolkit workshops at a chain of workplaces, homes and street based installations along Deptford Creek. Please check our Activity listing and get involved to find out more about DIY Networking.

Wireless Wednesday Workshops will move to Pepys Community Library on Deptford foreshore storehouse on the ‘odd’ side of the 1870 mansion blocks overlooking the Thames. So please bring over  your sick tech and explore this great space with us at the revised times 12 till 6PM each week.

It was over a decade ago SPC first posted proposals for the rescue and reactivation of PRC. Today the Xchange coalition of local interest groups have been opening and operating the library resource whilst preparing the basement for a broader program of socialisation.

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On the way into two days of meetings with Mazi partners in Brussels, we made a visit to the print department of La Cambre to meet with professor of lettering, Pierre Huyghebaert and colleagues. Their recent investigations into legacy state printing machinery uncovered some of the 1000’s of stone lithographic plates stored on site in Abbaye de la Cambre grounds.

The one pictured here has sparked a chain of interest and excitement as it shows a fractured map of late 19th century Congo territories. Students at the Print school based in the l’Institut Géographique National de la Défense compound discovered broken pavement sized ‘plates’ built into an earth retaining wall during post war period. Thought to present a risk to national security as late as 1950’s, they were broken up and stored in huge underground bunkers.

Belgian colonial history of this period is most widely known as The Heart of Darkness ruled by savagery that resulted in genocide and dismemberment of the enslaved millions in Congo by Leopold II during his quest for international status, power and profit. The fractured plate maps a rip in time and conscience at a moment Belgians seek a better understanding of their history and relationship with Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of the Congo. A student group are planning a trip there to follow the trail along the fault line and report experiences and findings onto a their portable MaziZone.

YT has been meeting with Jean Pierre Muller of La Cambre and Mick Finch, Anthony Davies and Elizabeth Wright of Central St Martins to map out some plans for a collaboration between us all and the Architecture School in Kinshasa to further explore the history with Belgium and collect stories from those in both places.

CSM return to Sao Paolo later in March, to pick up on the Reverso initiative and reassemble all 10 of the project partners for an update, to set out plans for further collaborations and training through the year.

The Mazi toolkit continues to evolve with V2.3.1 now available for download and flashing to micro SD for use with your Raspberry Pi 3. Our SPC toolkit now includes several peripheral add-ons, a Pi Camera, hi power USB battery, 12w solar panel and SenseHAT which can be put to use in response to the needs expressed for add-hock customisation and install.

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Mind blown

Today, YT began gathering together the many computer shells and scratched screens out of Bitspace, ready for recycling at ECO pick-up point in Crofton Library. A car load of relic iMac, TFT and legacy network hardware now awaits dispatch for disassembly, sorting and leaching of precious materials. 

The details of who, how and where all this work actually takes place remains mysterious as it does for all that paper, glass and aluminum supposedly recaptured in the growing collective effort to recycle something from the mass we dispose of so easily.

This wind of change continues to blow us around and about which of course we like, particularly when we are un-installing huge microwave parabolics on slippery rooftops. Redraw collected most of the stack this morning, for redeployment linking rural communities around the UK.

Up in the Deckspace stairwell, the rather larger pile of legacy web servers and more general trash await collection and with that our agreement with Greenwich Dance to clear up for safety’s sake will be complete. As for how much more needs to be done around the building to satisfy the borough insurer we can’t be sure and perhaps these expectations really cant be met.

Our current tack has to be more ‘suck it and see’ than scheming a future path, though recent viewings of alternative premises have gone well so far and we are hopeful of a yet more illustrious address than the Royal Hill we currently HOLD.

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Deckspace sunset

Yesterday when I took this image to send to our Garry of Redraw Internet I had just no idea today we would hear bad news.. After 17 years we got just two days to clear out of Deckspace notice to grab work in progress and decant to Bitspace on the first floor.

Greenwich council have been reviewing all their public buildings in the wake of Grenfell Tower disaster and earlier this week visited us at Borough Hall for the first time in a decade.. Our hosts Greenwich Dance have had a series of nasty shocks and SPC are not the only casualty this week, as most sublets of rooms seem likely to be terminated as well. Will find out more this coming week.

The grade2* listed building has been systematically neglected by RBG and it’s in a terrible state, all flat roofs have been leaking for years, doors are off hinges and most of the toilets failed long ago.. but they were shocked to discover we were up there doing what we do (whatever that is?) and threw a massive fit, threatening to shut the whole building if we didn’t clear the deck immediately!

Seems a bit harsh really but we have always operated on the basis we would yield to such a request – really expected a bit more notice though.

This will have a big impact on community wireless infrastructure and all the local connections that use the fast network provided by connection provider Redraw. We have the weekend to reconfigure what we can before the doors will be locked. So if you think you have something special stored or just want to get a final look out from the roof over Deptford and Greenwich visit this afternoon or Sunday morning until 1pm..

Great response from friends and subscribers, here are some images from the weekend grind.

We will continue with use of Bitspace until we hear different, it’s stacked with the materials and equipment dragged down the stairs. The weekly Wednesday workshops will also continue between 2 and 8pm. See you there!

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This week YT returned from a trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil with staff from CSM 3D, which included a concussion of visits to suburban favelas, occupied houses and the downtown city centre over eight days. Whilst the density of this experience may take a while to digest, the lasting impression of so many new faces, places and situations is intense.

Our aim, minuscule in the city scale, a mission to expose value in the collaborative use of Active Archiving, 3D Photogrammetry and DIY networking we named Reverso.

Utilising the Mazi toolkit beta, we pulled it all together in Portuguese and published to it’s integrated offline webserver then presented for local access over a series of wireless hotspots introduced during workshops. A glimpse of this process is now reflected at the public website where we will continue to integrate insights and ideas that promote positive reaction.

For so many there, a change in fortunes is overdue but despite the growing international call for awareness and action in response to deepening poverty and despair, it’s going to be left to those facing the gravest precariousness to find a way out of their respective difficulties. These seem like the longest odds but the alternatives are less than palatable for those on such fringes.

An emergent architecture, however fragile, spans the ravine around which, communities, families and lives are assembled and lived out. Sunlight rarely makes ground in the most densely stacked favela infrastructures. Power cables and plumbing snake at head height. Faces peer in and out of the windowless spaces as we tread carefully along back alleys and scale stairs. The aged, infant and indolent weave past us and throughout the timeless structures of towering brick and corrugated roofing. Which century are we in again? images

Somewhere there out of reach, something less reasonable lurks unchecked. Stray offline here at considerable risk, for these are hard fought territories and the trust on show is paper thin. Out on the street, police cars speed recklessly between traders, cyclists and residents.

Our visit draws to a close with optimism for community led reconstruction.. rehousing at this scale a formidable challenge, non the less possible for the great humanity evident, the self awareness and determination is irresistible ! [images]


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Imagine a scenario where centralised silos of information from this era have disappeared in a calamity. When future historians uncover records in the widely distributed crypto currency ledgers they reassemble an image of lives lived. A ‘Doomsday Blockchain’.

“It is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. We can now revise that and witness the attempt to imagine capitalism by way of imagining the end of the world”. Fredric Jameson (2013)

As a collective of four; designers, educators, technologists and theorists, we are seeking opportunities to develop and test metaphors for the blockchain that can resonate with the public and present opportunities for public research and improved understanding. 

We applied to the Collusion Commisions for development and support to advance our shared interests and examine how the blockchain has already been utilised and abused, it’s currently not known how many hidden traces are yet to be discovered.  Collusion invited artists to come forward with proposals that situate creativity at the heart of digital culture. “We want to hear from diverse voices with new ideas.” 

Doomchained addresses the theme of ‘data culture’ by exploring and visualising the Bitcoin blockchain as a tangible artefact,  a universal blockchain ‘tuner’ for exhibition and personal use. The current financial value of Bitcoin is currently 95 billion dollars with 14 million wallets in use. Yet, the aim of this project is to engage with the blockchain not as a financial tool but as a social and cultural artefact that is forming the first publically owned supercomputer. It’s patterns and affordances are shaping our political forms of organisation and conforming a lasting record of our daily lives.

As active individuals we each have long term investment in ‘free research’ over a wide range of interests as well as experience with UK, international commercial and academic environments. Together we look forward to an intensification of exchange and wider sharing of knowledge publicly.

Dr. Christian Nold is known for his large-scale participatory mapping projects that have been run in 16 countries and involved thousands of participants, with Bio Mapping and currency activism such as Bijlmer Euro. He is based at UCL and currently managing an EU funded project on participatory and DIY science.

Alexei Blnov is a free researcher working out of Raylab in Haggerston, London. A well known and experienced I/O specialist with a passion for high voltage and radio frequency experimentation. Currently researching electro stimulation of neural feedback and blockchain resourcing.

Daniela Boraschi is an information designer and academic and has worked for a world-leading publisher designing science books for young audiences. She has collaborated with Nold as designer on the Stockport Map and Brentford Biopsy. Today she is today researching the history of evidence in cancer screening and teaches Media Studies at the University of Essex.

James Stevens is the founder member of SPC and lives in Deptford, London. His  enthusiasm for social exchange characterise many aspects of this work, never shy to facilitate the grand ambitions and support embryonic initiative of others with patience, experience and resourcefulness. He continues to interweave these many threads into a self-sustaining infrastructure, supporting domestic and public life in continuity with family, long term collaborators and fresh interactions alike.

Review on going research reports Ice-Scraper and Shards of Sharing.

Contact the collective by email ddbc@spc.org or keep your eyes on the ico’s!

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Subtle ties

‘SPC offers shared access to physical workspaces and networked resources by subscription.’

That’s a line written a decade ago that we believe still explains our offer and invitation to join us as we collaborate to keep the spaces accessible, delegate costs and share resources.

The Minesweeper hull will become a floating nature sanctuary in the creek

This year we have welcomed several new subscribers but it’s taken till now to introduce them and review their work here.

When the Minesweeper burned to the waterline in January 2017, there was almost total losses of equipment resources and materials for those who relied on the print lab access. Despite this tragic loss no person was injured and the collective have recovered their energy one way or another, finding alternative workspace and have picked up on their respective initiatives.

Kevin Seven, Jo , Alex and Alexandra all took up SPC subscription and currently make good use of the Deckspace medialab in Greenwich. It’s been a joy to share the lofty delights of the old projection suite with them and bring them into the mix there.

Kevin managed the screen printing lab and has worked hard to reanimate the workshop program. Thanks to the public generosity of so many, a fund was collected to help facilitate new print lab and equip it for the use of the collective but available space is scarce. Thankfully DIY Space for London were keen to embrace the opportunity and enlisted his energy and expertise to setup a printing facility at their great resource space just off Old Kent Road. go there and join, it’s just £2 !

Alexandra also had a boat moored by The Minesweeper and lost shore access as consequence of the fire. Her boat sits idle on the creek in the interim and perhaps her time on the river is over. She teaches media studies and maintains her research from a desk in the music room of Deckspace.

Alex lives in the squatted spaces locally and co-ordinates poster design, print and campaign initiatives that intervene on public commercial advertising with messages of truth, courting controversy and pressing issues that inspire fresh thinking.

Jo ‘s studio was in the pilots cabin on the deck of the Liftmore boat adjacent to the Minesweeper and suffered badly from the fire. The mass of water poured on the inferno during the attempted rescue, damaged artwork stored there not already scorched. He has been very busy elsewhere since setting up a working desk in Deckspace during the early summer. Where are you Jo?

Vytautas is a film maker and producer who first visited with Tom, Jim and Nathan during their subscription period in 2016. They worked together at that time to record a improvisational dialogue of accentuated relationship interactions, based as it were in real life and use of the space. Great viewing.. you will have to visit to get to see it!

Dave Baker has many online pseudonymous and is known for his Trailer.tv  sessions on Creekside as well as prolific output as musician and media production. We cross paths late at night in Deckspace, his preferred time of day for creative experiment and music mixing.

We aim to cover operational expenses with the subscriptions and keen to sustain access and conviviality than pressing each other for fees. That said, your support and subscription is most welcome so please get in touch if you want to join us at work here or find out more… make@spc.org

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On offline

SELCE is the renewable energy coop based in Greenwich and this year TB joined their board of directors to extend support for their great work promoting energy awareness and action on fuel poverty.

We traveled to MIlton Keynes with the ‘Solar Roller’ and attended the first Offline Festival for two days of camping, a string of fascinating talks and great company. Collecting and storing energy from the sun is a precarious activity as another low pressure weather front clouded over the only source proved!

When the rain stopped from time to time we celebrated the rise in watts available for the powered sound and lighting for the tent and talked with attendees about how to hire the rig for future events.   

The roller also boasts a 4g enabled wireless router for Internet access, so we used the Mazi toolkit to build a custom information point to present promotional documents, report on energy being generated, invite comments and present a photo gallery of it’s use on hire.

Our understanding of these by now mature technologies is limited so to upgrade my own knowledge, enlisted myself and friend Luciana to the Demand Energy Equality workshops held each month at their Ladywell workshops.

We spent a very enjoyable Saturday together in a small but very focused class learning more about the state of energy science and practices of solar panel design and construction.

The sad demise of UK’s only panel manufacturing plant (in Wales) provided materials needed for the construction. Silicon wafers are sliced from torpedo shaped crystals, sandwiched to form card thin biscuits and printed with conductive circuits.

Our task was to connect these cards in a series array so they would release 12v*1 amp=12w when exposed to sunlight. The silicon wafers are surprisingly brittle and hard to work with but with care and and support of tutor Ian Westmoreland, we all managed to assemble the array and generate power!

Here is the final construction in it’s laptop bag, fitted with a regulator that converts the 12v to 5v for charging of batteries and other USB devices, smartphones etc. It was well worth the £95 fee for the excellent instruction and of course a functional solar panel to boot!

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Ready reverso

YT is currently arranging details with Central St Martins 3D department of Fine Arts, for a trip to Sao Paulo early in December and trying to gather together the supporting materials for workshops and publish information about those visiting from the UK as well as those supporting and hosting the initiative, so they are ready for translation to Brazilian Portuguese.

CSM In conversation with representatives of suburban favelas in Sao Paulo.

Our plan is to meet and work with groups from the Occupied Housing movement and suburban favelas to share skills and learn more about the current conditions for people living in this huge city as it undergoes rapid transformation and widening poverty gap.

activist baggage

Work is in progress to bring focus onto the three areas of planned activity; Photogrammetry, DIY networking and Active Archiving.

Mazi networking tech

In our preparation for public workshops, meet-ups and socialising, we have been researching the measures required to translate the technical and academic writing, working notes and tool guides.

Using wordpress plugin Polylang provides a method of blogging in multiple languages which are then filtered in the local language version as set in viewers webrowser. Read up on this progress at Reverso

Using the Mazi toolkit,  CSM staff and students will prepare a custom template disk image to take with us. It will be ready to hold the photogrammetry images and models of social spaces, catalogs of community archives featuring key accounts of resistance and action as well as a set of collective awareness platform tools to support activities underway across the city in the struggle for social housing and respect for human rights of all citizens.

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Tsepelovo test

YT is visiting the Unmonastery test lab in Tsepelovo near Ioannina for a week – 26th Oct till 2nd Nov. A small group of Greek and English speaking unmonks are here to support villagers building a Mazizone for the Platanos, a centre of attention in many mainland village squares.

Today was commemoration of the Greek entry into the second world war and this was acknowledged with a large gathering in the village square of residents and those who live elsewhere but still consider the village home.

The fresh Mazizone presented a message book so visitors can leave the tree a message for others to browse. A poster was pated up in spots around the area in taverna’s and shops inviting everyone to try the process and message the tree! We all had a great day meeting people and helping them find the Platanos wireless network to post messages and images of their day.

It’s the first step toward a more comprehensive interaction and information service for the village square. Our hope is that piece by piece we will be able to introduce some of the other Mazi tool options and stimulate interest in a range of activities around the needs of residents.

Unmonestary  has already made good contacts in the first week here and now they are receiving local publications, maps and other ephemera to bring together into a catalog/report

A new version of the Mazi toolkit is ready for release but it’s still short of the language versioning we had hoped for to help us get a version working in the local languages here in Greece and elsewhere Mazi toolkit is already in use.

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The summer rolled into autumn with a surge of energy and enthusiasm for creative practices and collective interests of many friends in the area. Deptford X offered a reminder of numerous artist  studios and activities of local initiatives that continue to question roles and experiment with ideas.

It was at the Wonky Prong gardens on Deptford Church Street we could see for ourselves how the seasons were changing with crops of corn, greens and beans ready for picking. Terry Edwards is the chief gardener here co-ordinates with other residents of Crossfields estate to tend the allotment for the pleasure of those passing by and living near. His Mazizone is in use as bird table camera which can be remote controlled to catch feeding and drinking activity by motion detection.

Along the Creek at Brookmill Park monthly meetings in the Park Rangers hut, friends agree on plans for spring planting and plan for Redstart Arts exhibition around the park during Deptford X.

Some wonderful paintings and drawings of birds on card boxes by Cash Ashpeeks students, decorated the arbors and fences of the park throughout the festival till rain dissolved them.

FODC have sprung into action following news that yard owner and artist John Cierach is seeking to upturn long term shore access arrangements in order to pursue development ambitions there and and at no3 Creekside. For many here the arrangements to moor and access the land will be tested as adjustments are made over the coming year. At their fortnightly meetings work continues to track conditions and build consensus for improved representation of the needs of mariners on the creek. See the growing collection of boat stories, histories and status reports at their wordpress blog

Veteran mariner Julian Kingston and YT met with staff of CSM 3d to hear their offer to get involve students in a recording initiative using photogrammetry that would capture the physical arrangement of boats along the Theatre Am of the creek using this 2d to 3d image manipulation technique. Similar work is underway in the suburban favelas of Sao Paulo where occupied housing projects are recording their environment and conditions.

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Pearled two

We enjoyed some splendid weather throughout June and July, not least during the two very hot days of the Creekside Symposium held over midsummer in locations along Deptford Creek.

Mazi partners from Greece, Switzerland and Germany met with local artists, campaigners and residents from along Creekside.

Starting at the Hoy Kitchen on Creek Road, we viewed samples from the huge archive of images and film by cinematographer Gordon Cooper who has lived and worked in the area since the 70’s. His personal recollections and period images provided a glimpse onto fading memories of the industrial character and riverside landscape now transformed.

We trouped down the recently cleared Hoy Steps and on to the beach at low tide. A forest of overgrowth and rubbish was sorted and disposed of during community workshops, making them accessible for the first time in 20 years.

Karen Barnes talked about her work with DIY pinhole and camera obscura techniques, featuring local people and public places in the area many shot with a large box camera on wheels. Her mazizone has been attuned for work on the move, with rocket stove to charge the backup battery, integrated HD camera capturing work in progress. Images are automatically published alongside music projects and documentation of working practices.

Many people living on the boats moored at the Theatre Arm of the creek in Lewisham and Brookmarsh Estate in Greenwich face disruption as developer proposals challenge mooring arrangements and stir up anxiety for future security. Veteran mariners aired their concerns and expressed insight into the legal options and tactical steps they have taken to protect themselves.

Rising shore-side land values are driving a scramble for last scraps. Rents continue to speed beyond reach for all but the few.

Some of the planned outside activities were a relief from indoor workshops and talks. The afternoon sessions, one on a CDC lowtide walk in the creek and the other a picnic in the shade of Brookmill Park were welcome shelter from the scorching heat.

The evening was concluded with a bridge crossing walk following the Anchorhold path along the full tidal reach to the Creekmouth. The river path linking Lewisham to Greenwich here is over a pedestrian swing bridge completed in 2015 and opened everyday since to accommodate the gravel boats.

Many thanks again to all those who contributed to these great days of conversation and interaction, for the planning and support of those traveling to UK and for the many who took time out from their normal weekday activities to attend and share their stories.

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The app is now available! Please download and install for Android phones and tablets.

During the recent dash to pretotype the Anchorholds app for Creeknet, we have been chopping up html and processing images to retrofit our fork of Open University project Salsa.

This requires rewriting of the templates to build the first 16 sets of pages with matching images etc. I can’t say it’s been easy collaborative process, even with great services at hand from Sandstorm and Google, so thanks to all concerned for their tireless support and patience.

Overall we were getting on fine with Sandstorm until some gremlins in the Davros share, made the files read only! With time lapping at our heels we made a swtich to Google Drive to complete the task but got into a synchronisation battle with one another. In the end we have resolved to build a staging server from where future versions of the app html will be tested. This could all have been handled better, so lessons learned!

During the last 12 months SPC has been working with individuals and groups based along Deptford Creek who are invested in local, social and technological networks. Some are resolutely off grid, harvesting energy and resisting normalisation pressures. Others take their time to make changes and take on new ideas but almost all have an investment in networks of one sort or another that they strive to build, maintain and protect.

This fantastic pictogram map of Creeknet was drawn by the Minesweeper Collective interns, working out of Deckspace media lab over the summer. It’s their impression of the people and spaces of the area as they have experienced them, where did all those bats come from ?

As a whole it has been a very interesting, complex and sometimes confusing process of exchange that we have been careful to nurture rather than project into, with insensitive and inappropriate energy. Rather we have attempted a participatory engagement in local activities, supporting initiatives and sharing trust, listening to needs of those we meet and working to understand the changing conditions.

It’s also been an opportunity to revisit some of the great relationships established in earlier network projects the most recent of which OWN had fallen out of use in recent years. New mesh network equipment has been installed along the length of the Creek in support of the Mazizones some have already begun cutomising to meet their specific network needs.

The current version of the resulting Anchorholds app will be available for download in time for the first day of Creeknet Symposium 20th June. For now it works only with Android smartphones and tablets. Once installed and running it will push location specific information to your screen when in proximity to a trail of Bluetooth beacon responders along Deptford Creek.

Today there is just sprinkling of information preloaded in the app but it is intended as one mechanism to promote public awareness of DIY networks of Deptford Creek. We hope to extend it’s scope to list local resources and report on collected data that may be critical to future well being of all those who live and work in the area, cross it’s bridges and moor on its shores.

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Creeknet XF Symposium

Its been a very hectic few weeks at SPC as we bring focus onto DIY networks of Deptford Creek at the first Creeknet Symposium on 20th and 21st June.

The poster here for you to print and put up in your window, outlines event details which can be found in full on the SPC event listings and at http://deptfordcreek.net

The Creeknet friends have been meeting regularly at venues up and down the creek. We have been exploring the fast changing environment and revisiting access points onto the river, crossing bridges and improving an understanding of local concerns and ambitions. The last of these before summer takes hold is on Monday 12th June at noon, in the Undercurrents gallery inside the Birdsnest pub on Deptford Church Street. We will be collecting together images and stories to publish at the local network Anchorholds, a trail of information points along the creek, so please do come along to contribute your experiences !

Rapid progress was made by the very energetic Hoy Steps clear-up group on Monday 5th June. The huge overgrowth of Buddleia clogging views, was cut down and disposed of in a flurry of action and enthusiasm. The vigorous roots of this plant have got deep into and have damaged the sea wall and will continue to regrow unless more drastic measures to remove remnants are adopted soon, even then they are likely to return!

Wooden pallets stored at street level have been sorted and stacked ready for re-use or removal and the rubbish sheet materials, plastic wrappers and polystyrene are bagged ready for disposal. We return early on Tuesday 13th to complete the clean-up process in preparation for a public viewing during Creeknet Symposium the following week.

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April swept by without more than a drop of rain, leaving gardens struggling for fuel at a point in the year when plants push out the most growth.. still, the restored Queens orchard in Greenwich Park looking lush!

YT rushed down to the creek just as Wireless Wednesday workshop kicked off, to wave farewell to Aileen Claire the beautiful blue fishing boat that Julian Kingston had spent much time and resources refurbishing but was forced to sell.

Last Friday of each month, Undercurrents gallery refresh their exhibition at the Birdsnest. we added the Creeknet mazizone there in March and have returned to update and refresh the gallery section.  Don’t ‘starve yourself’.. of the new set and pop in before June begins.

On Mayday we tracked the Deptford Foulers as they trouped from Deptford and around Greenwich spinning ‘Deptford Jack in the Green’ from public house to house accompanied by musicians and drummers.  Some great images here!

Now in mid May at last the air has been freshened up and much need drenching of the last couple of days which will go someway toward making up for the long drought.

Giles Lane dropped by to visit last week with Mark Watkins – printwork collaborators and walkshop advocates. They left some great examples of direct to print publications generated from Bookleteer not least the Magna Carta celebratory set of republished liberties and rights texts which are exquisite!

We will be making the best of the hint and including a printed Creeknet guidebook for those attending the upcoming Symposium XF event on 20th and 21st June…


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We visited the Hoy Steps again today to view the condition of the street level area inside the gates and assess the clean up task. After 20 years of restricted access, an accumulation of old wheels, wooden pallets and tangle of Buddleia block the steps. There is also a large amount of scaffolding framing the space which can be used again in any reconstruction plan. High tide at midday prevented us seeing more than half a dozen of the twenty steps that lead down to the muddy shoreline at low tide. A ferry once transported people across the creek to Greenwich at this point. The ‘hoy!’ call out to summon a boat was first heard here hundreds of years ago.

Our previous Creeknet meet-up started out at Laban Dance cafe’ from where we walked down Creekside and over the Ha’penny Hatch footbridge to the fork in the path on the Norman Road side. Thames Tideway are rapidly completing this controversial diversion, whilst setting out their groundwork for an 18m diameter x 60m deep excavation to a 12m diameter 30km sewage overflow tunnel from Ealing on route to Becton.

Waste removal from the Greenwich Pumping station site will add 100 trucks a day to the roads already overloaded with heavy construction services. Earlier suggestions to use huge river barges have been kicked into the long grass in favour of the pre-approved and cheaper option.!

Continuing on our way up to Creek Bridge, we stopped off at the far end of Hiltons Wharf, to step out on to the tiny mooring point in time to catch departure of the Prior’s aggregate ship to Gravesend for a refill. Opposite, the race for construction of two huge towers crashes on, sucking up the entire concrete capacity of Euromix!

After a well deserved coffee at Hoy Kitchen and visit to the steps we were picked up by Camden for a fantastic river trip aboard a motorised lifeboat, which first took us out onto the Thames before returning us to the nest of houseboats at 4 Creekside.

Please take that trip sometime, till then check this video! More photos here.

At the furthest reaches of the tidal creek, Friends of Brookmill Park held their quarterly meeting to map out activities for the rest of spring and early summer. Their re planting program in the formal garden adjacent to Stephen Lawrence centre is proceeding well with fresh lavender beds and new roses. Mariner and beekeeper Julian Kingston will talk about local shipbuilding at a fundraiser event in Brookmill pub on June 7th, space is limited to 30 seats so get your ticket soon!

That’s just a few weeks before the Creeknet Symposium on 20th and 21st June. DIY networks of Deptford Creek host partners from the MAZI project in Germany, Switzerland and Greece to attend this ‘cross pollination event’, all are welcome.

The first day begins at Hoy Kitchen on Creek Road with rolling breakfast welcome, exhibition of local images and stories followed by mass low tide walk at Creekside Discovery Centre at 3pm. The second day starts with project presentations and lunch at Stephen Lawrence Centre, followed by a visit to Redstart Arts and picnic in Brookmill Park. Finally take a walkshop to the Creek Mouth, crossing bridges and exploring the Creeknet trail.

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