Wednesday 14 April 2021

A letter from the new house group chair

At the recent house group AGM a new committee was elected, and the committee has elected a new chair.
Here is a message sent by the new chair to all members of the house group:

Dear Members,

I hope you are well, and feel secure and cared for, in your homes in Ben Jonson House. At the House Group's recent committee meeting, the role of Chair was entrusted to me, and I hope to serve you well.

We are living in unusual times. The Barbican Estate has just passed its 50th milestone. Those of us who have lived here for many years have known the best of times, as the City thrived as a financial hub and the Arts Centre grew into a world renowned centre for excellence.

But times they are a-changing!

We needn't fear; we can embrace it, with all the vigour of our predecessors, as they watched our brutalist building rise from the rubble of a ruinous war.

To stand proud for the next 50 years, our great edifice and environment needs care and attention. The Asset Management Working Party strives to do this, as it oversees Major Projects. For example, recent testing of the concrete shows it to be fit for purpose for many years ahead. That's good news, because climate change is having a dramatic effect on so much, all over the world.

Nobody thought of recycling in the '60s; everybody is thinking of it now. As residents, we can't think of everything at once, but our Garchey system takes cartons and tins, glass and potato skins, mixes them all into a gooey dough in a soggy pit, before being sucked out and deposited - heaven knows where. One thing is sure, traces of our detritus are getting into the rivers and oceans and not doing the fish
any favours. Is the Garchey the recyclers friend? Food for thought.

The Barbican Estate Weekly Bulletin is a great source of information for what's going on around the Estate. This week there are a few messages from the Projects Hub, relating to the Podium and Exhibition Halls. The project will impact on us, as Phase One did. I hope you will engage with the Project Team as soon as possible, so that it has the chance to take your views into account from the beginning.

Among many residents throughout the Estate, opinion has strongly been expressed, that the covered walkway to the Exhibition Halls is not an asset, and would enhance the Podium if it were removed. Do you have a view? Please let the Project Team know on or the House Group on

Below you will find the names of the Committee Members and their roles. They are all dedicated to safeguarding our English Heritage site, and making it a safe and enjoyable place to live. To introduce ourselves, and meet as many of you as possible, a social event is being planned for sometime in the summer, pandemic permitting. I look forward to seeing you all on that occasion.

Kind regards,
Chair Ben Jonson House Group Committee

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