I have to make a mention of the role of the TRA on the estate. Generally they run the Glasshouse. Previously the Miller family primarily ran the Glasshouse and as their business is related to hosting parties, of course the venue was used for many parties with loud amplified music.
A lot of locals liked the venue, I know of marriages, birthdays and all kinds of very happy celebrations taking part. The Millers are expert party hosts but unfortunately, the nature of the Glasshouse is that it is not sound-proof. Ray Miller has his own party company and you can still hire them, look up Ray’s parties, (so I believe) for parties at venues of your choice. Other local locations, which are more sound-proof, are the Tramshed or Cranbrook.
So the Millers left the venue and now we have another TRA. Though, I doubt that TRA is the correct expression, as there are no tenants involved any longer. The current (T)RA is mainly occupied with planting wild flowers, fruit bushes and trees and getting a beehive on one of the roofs. they work a lot togther with Hackney City Farm and increasingly Extinction Rebellion.
The farm is a great and much-loved asset to the area. I started a gardening project on this estate but the garden venue is very small and only very few people get the pleasure of using it, it is not widely appreciated. I just enjoy gardening my balcony and flower box. I do a little maintenance of plants around my flat, but think that landscape gardening should do the bulk of the work. I’ll do my best to post gardening tips for the flower pot gardener here.
A recent email received shows that the (T)RA are very much aware of problems caused by trees too near to buildings but they have done nothing to even complain about any structural issues on the estate. Problems caused by traffic were addressed by me through the Neighbourhood Watch connections. I had gates installed to stop fast bikers racing through the estate especially in mornings and mid-afternoon.
I left the committee of the (T)RA because I do not think it is efficient.
The Glasshouse is an important venue and dearly loved and must stay available for people to use. It started off as a laundry venue for the tenants when the estate was first built.
But, at the moment, the Glasshouse is occupied by a company at the ground-floor, who pay rent to the TRA and then Extinction Rebellion have it quite a lot. The sewing group, helps Extinction Rebellion sew props for their demos and they also meet there regularly.
I think that ordinary people who just want to hold social gathering without any political aim should also be allowed to use the Glasshouse. People just want to use the venue for occasions like birthdays, baby showers, other celebrations. Some clubs also want to use it to provide sports like boxing, dancing etc. Unfortunately I was not able to have enough impact on this, as a member of the committee last year, so I have decided not to be part of the committee any longer.
The increasing use of Extinction Rebellion of the venue was introduced gradually and not many noticed it, they only now advertise themselves as friends of the Glasshouse and advertise the venue for meetings. The (T)RA also advertise climate talk meetings at the Glasshouse, which are in fact hosted by XR.
I think that a TRA, meaning Tenants and Residents Association truly needs to represent all tenants and residents and take up all issues on the estate. Any climate issues, must be addressed by individual change in behaviour and general governmental regulations. In practical terms our estate is mainly powerd by electricity and gas central heating. Perhaps and hopefully at some point that gas central heating will be replaced with more environmentally friendly options.
But, planting a few raspberry bushes and fruit trees, hardly makes up sustainability. It is more work than yield and you can get them easier in the local supermarkets. For the average working person, urban gardening is not the main focus.
If people want me to take up the issue of wanting to use the Glasshouse and they find, they cannot get enough support through the councillors, please get in touch. I have been dealing with issues on the estate since many years. The playground behind Mark House, I supported because when I saw young people climbing up the drain pipes and playing on rubbish chutes, I thought the playground improved the lives of younger people and their families. Traffic is a big issue also and parking.
So, get in touch if you have issues that you feel cannot get addressed otherwise. I am politically neutral.