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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The news of Haringey’s successful bid for the title was announced by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, at a ceremony at City Hall on Monday.

Created by the Mayor of London in 2017, the Borough of Culture programme awards grants of up to £1.35 million to London councils to invest in unique cultural events, projects and activities providing a wide range of constructive opportunities for young people.

As well as utilising high-profile cultural spaces in the borough – including Alexandra Palace, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Jacksons Lane and Bruce Castle Museum – Haringey’s London Borough of Culture programme will bring arts and culture to the heart of local communities, with community-curated events taking place in all 21 wards in the borough.

The council estimates that the award will involve around 600 local artists and partners and see around 300,000 people participating in cultural activities.

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Does anyone know if someone has done some independent evaluation on these annual events? Preferably something written in understandable lively English rather than PR-speak or bureau-babble

Why independent? Because I'd expect the official line to be that events in each borough have been a series of splendid successes which led on to bigger and better things.
I'd hope that over several years the sample of different London 'Boroughs of Culture' should now be large enough to enable lessons - good, bad, and indifferent - to be learned more widely.

Good point, yes - councils should be learning from previous borough's experiences.

Thanks, Roslyn Byfield. We agree.
And, I assume you'd also be in agreement that not only councils should be learning - which includes councillors as well as staff  - but Londoners attending, enjoying and participating.

If you know of, or come across online material which is especially helpful please post a link. I've had a look and found lots of upbeat stuff but rather samey and glossy. 

Alan, incidentally the council have been trying to be a culture Borough since at least 2018 (would it be churlish to say it's now Buggin's turn?).

The council's response to your FoI Request (linked below) discloses that the council maintain a Culture Department.

It would be nice if some of today's culture cash found its way into maintaining library services. The council leader recently suggested that Haringey's library opening hours are among the best in the country (up until now, that is).


Whose 'culture' are we celebrating?

Yours, mine, everyone's, Gordon Farcas. Not an island but part of the main. It can be life-enhancing. Helping us teach our children well,

I'm sure that somewhere in your heart, in your memories, photos, or on your shelves are poems, plays or words of songs that give us a clue of the best of our neighbour Gordon.

But it won't be will it Alan Stanton. There will be no Maypole, no Morris dancing, no historc cricket matches, no picnics or Vaughan Williams or Elgar concerts at Ally Pally, no classic British car or bike shows, no English folk music or even Brit-pop, no recognition of traditional arts and crafts or trades and definitely no celebration of Empire. There won't be any mention of the Jewish communities in Stamford Hill. There won't be any mention of the rich culture of the Greek, Russian or Polish communities and of course no mention of Traveller people.

But you do ask a relevant question earlier in this thread. Will there be a return on investment?  Will there be publication of the list of sustainable real jobs created as a result of this year of 'culture'? 

You're too subtle for me, Gordon.

So is the Council's Propaganda Unit - at least the online version. It describes this event as "Haringey the Rebel Borough".

I wonder, was this cleared by Starmer? As we know, a word or two out of place or the wrong punchline to an old joke and Sir Keir may show Peray Ahmet the door.

Meanwhile. I've emailed the GLA requesting a copy of the successful Haringey 2027 bid for the London Borough of Culture.
Also, the Full Report conducted by BOP Consulting and called: “Imagining the outcomes of London Borough of Culture: What the evidence tells us”

Also links for downloading any independent research & evaluation on the successful bids - and their outcomes where available.

I'll let you know, Gordon, what reply I get and especially what it says about the Number #1 priority in your list: Maypole Dancing. Obviously I do appreciate that Maypole Dancing is part of a rich and revered Fertility Ritual dance family across the globe. As is waving kerchiefs.

REAL rebels don't need permission:

In the run-up to the year of culture in Haringey, the Borough's "rebels" may need to be pre-approved by the leader before they are given a voice by the council. Any residents who rebel against the council are unlikely to be provided with a council megaphone.

Rebels given "a voice" by the Local Authority are likely to fall under the suspicion of being used as a sock puppet.

Real rebels, rather than synthetic rebels, have never needed their voices amplified by the Local Authority.

An example of a group of organised rebels who have neither needed nor asked for any official stamp of approval, is XR's Red Rebels.

These rebels are unlikely to be endorsed by local officials and still less by Steer Calmer's New Conservatives.

As you have pointed out, Clive, YouGov polling shows all leading politicians as unpopular. In other words all have a minus popularity rating.The uninspiring wooden Steer Calmer polled as the "least unpopular political figure in the UK". Hardly a ringing endorsement.

In two years we'll have newly elected Councillors to take us into the Borough of Culture. If we truly want rebels maybe it's time to leave the couch and consider Extinction Rebellion?

It can be those things if you want Gordon.  Suggest them or get involved with what is being planned.  I have.

I'm inclined to agree Michael. If you don't ask for them you won't get them.

As current chair at Railway Fields, I'm happy to talk to people about hosting some classical, pastoral or English folk culture. We might even have room for some Morris dancers if you know any! Contact details here

Equally if there are other cultural activities with a nature slant from Ireland, Greece, Poland etc we'd be delighted to talk to you about how we could help. You don't even have to wait for 2027. Let's be rebellious and do it now!  

Incidentally I notice that the North London Symphony Orchestra frequently play English classical music. Take a look at their programme here



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