News & Blogs Featured Bitter to better: Squatters transforming a derelict pub (1 Viewer)

MolotovMocktail

Subverting from within
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 15, 2013
Messages
873
Age
24
Current Location
Bellingham, WA
Interesting story about some folks squatting in London!

_101015785_mld-25130_r_e-jpg.43384_Bitter to better: Squatters transforming a derelict pub_Squatting_Squat the Planet_6:34 PM


Activists and squatters have moved in to a derelict Romford pub, The Bitter End, with the aim of transforming it into an independent environmental and cultural space. In April, photographer Ed Gold spent three weeks living alongside them, documenting their lives as they worked to regenerate the building into the newly named The Better End.

"The history of the building goes back as far as 1426, when a timber framed pub stood here, which burnt down in Victorian times," says Gold.

"It was rebuilt. And the 40-room building became a brewery, sauna, gym, snooker hall and then a pub again.

"When the squatters moved in, it was in collaboration with ReSpace Projects, a not-for-profit organisation who have regenerated other empty urban buildings.

"After consulting with the owner, more than 20 'caretakers on rotation' from the UK, Germany, Eastern Europe, South Africa, Jordan and Australia have been renovating the premises for community use, such as an art gallery, market, workshop space, independent cinema and a community fair that encourages local productivity.

"The caretakers here aren't told what to do but take it upon themselves to renovate areas daily in the fields they are good at, like electrics, carpentry and plumbing."


_101015789_p3290056_e-jpg.43385_Bitter to better: Squatters transforming a derelict pub_Squatting_Squat the Planet_6:34 PM

Ned, 53
"I've been here a month in this particular project.

"But I have 30 years' experience in community projects.

"The basement is flooded so I'm clearing the floor to gain access to the sump pump, which has stopped working, to drain the basement.

"The water is a combination of a small number of leaks in the building.

"We have health and safety requirements to meet.

"They want to make sure we are safe."

_101036845_p3290131_e-jpg.43386_Bitter to better: Squatters transforming a derelict pub_Squatting_Squat the Planet_6:34 PM


"We are setting up schools in these types of buildings to teach people how to be self-empowered.

"We're teaching everything that people can bring home and use in their own lives.

"The younger members can then take these skills to other communities they might find themselves a part of and also have the confidence to teach.

"The ethos of the building being to invite craftsmen in to share their skills and empower others."


_101033244_p4080319_e-jpg.43387_Bitter to better: Squatters transforming a derelict pub_Squatting_Squat the Planet_6:34 PM

Kasia, 35
"I'm from Poland. I came over almost 14 years ago for friendship reasons rather than economic reasons. I didn't squat in Poland.

"I was living in London for so long on my own, working, studying.

"I used to be a carer. And it was fulfilling to do something useful even if on a small scale. I became disillusioned when I realised that I was unable to sustain myself financially.

"The less I have, the better I feel. I am very comfortable without having to stress about gathering things.

"I have no problems with detaching myself. It's more important to have good relationships with people and yourself.

"When we first got here, there was only four of us and we lived outside under shelter on the ground floor.

"When we got here we found excrement and a lot syringes. The building was in a derelict state. Random people had come here and were destroying it."


_101020421_p4070168_e-jpg.43388_Bitter to better: Squatters transforming a derelict pub_Squatting_Squat the Planet_6:34 PM

Tyrone, 28
"I've been homeless before, but I never squatted.

"My other half and me decided it was actually cheaper me moving out than me living there with her and my daughter.

"With what I was earning, it was cheaper to move out. So, we decided I'd come here but we'd stay together and live separately.

"I'm a handyman here, anything with a drill. I'm redoing the toilets, a lot of concreting, floorboards, painting and decorating. Probably everything in the house, I've done it, hung doors, stuff like that.

"I like the idea of something that is not being used and breathing life into it, as too many places are being wasted."


_101020425_p4100398_e-jpg.43389_Bitter to better: Squatters transforming a derelict pub_Squatting_Squat the Planet_6:34 PM

Emily, 25
"I'd moved to London in 2010 to study geography at LSE. In the first two years, I was in student accommodation and it was eating up all my money. I looked into other options and researched squatting in London.

"I want to be nomadic because there is so much of the world to see and I'd like to settle for months at a time in different places, to get involved in community projects."

_101036851_p4160903_e-jpg.43390_Bitter to better: Squatters transforming a derelict pub_Squatting_Squat the Planet_6:34 PM


"I've been here about a year and a half on and off. It's been hard. The conditions the first time we got here were very challenging. I've enjoyed fire safety, which has been a major concern. And I've got into plastering, taking out rubbish and recycling, gardening, making the outside space look nice, and decorating.

"I like the beautiful historic building itself, which is in need of a lot of love and attention, the creativity with it, and knowing the people very well who I have lived with for many years in various places, as well as meeting new people locally and from other projects."


_101041591_p3300265_e-jpg.43391_Bitter to better: Squatters transforming a derelict pub_Squatting_Squat the Planet_6:34 PM

Ceilidh, 20
"I came to squatting since moving out of the woods, where I went straight from home.

"I left home when I was 19. I was living in a two-bedroom flat with my two little sisters. So, I shared a room and never had my own space - five people in a two-bedroom flat: my mum, her partner, my two half-sisters and me.

"There is a 10-year and seven-year age gap. So, it was hell living with them, especially when I was turning 13 and coming into puberty."

_101033236_p4040024_e-jpg.43392_Bitter to better: Squatters transforming a derelict pub_Squatting_Squat the Planet_6:34 PM


"I absolutely adore it here, this way of living. The one thing I didn't have at my mum's was much conversation as she was always at work and my sisters were at school.

"Squatting means if you want something you have to go and do it, like if you want to go and get water you have to go get it, and the community aspect, helping each other out, building up your skills and learning from each other.

"I want to be the person that people come and ask me how to do stuff rather than me ask what to do next."


_101033240_p4020054_e-jpg.43393_Bitter to better: Squatters transforming a derelict pub_Squatting_Squat the Planet_6:34 PM

Big Charlie, 28
"I couldn't get housing benefit as I was in the wrong age bracket. They told me to go share. And that was already what I was doing. I wasn't getting enough hours in my job to pay rent. So, I packed a backpack and just left. I went from a pub upbringing to losing a job in a pub. So, now is like getting a second shot.

"There was a fire after the pub closed because of trouble and drugs. And the company didn't want to pay for security for the building so agreed to let us stay here. They liked the idea that we come in and clean the place up.

"I want it to be about the local people that have lost their local venue and a place to go.

"I want a place for people to come and do yoga, to converse, to do mechanics, for all the people that don't have a creative place to feel that they can come to this place and use here."


_101034294_p4120593_e-jpg.43394_Bitter to better: Squatters transforming a derelict pub_Squatting_Squat the Planet_6:34 PM


"I have kind of known people and social groups that have been involved in squatting for ages, but I have never squatted myself until now.

"I don't think that anybody anywhere in the world should be homeless, especially as there are so many empty homes.

"I know it's not as easy as just putting people in homes. It's more about the way the government treat people with mental health issues."

_101041595_p4010111_e-jpg.43395_Bitter to better: Squatters transforming a derelict pub_Squatting_Squat the Planet_6:34 PM


"I'd been trying to manifest a life where I could utilise my carpentry skills and incorporate music into that as well and have a good balance of the two.

"The less stressed in life you are, the more creative you are going to feel."

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-43880743
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Click here to buy the Anarchist's Guide to Travel!

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount
$15.00
Goal
$100.00

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $15.00 of $50.00
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $15.00 of $75.00
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $15.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $15.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.

Latest Status Updates

You ever look back and kind of wonder even if you wanted to try to fix things... How you even begin to apologise for Fucking up someone's life??
The self defense group is going so far so great!
Three years of loving and caring, down the backed up toilet.
I feel uncomfortable with all of the transphobic micro-aggressions being thrown around here lately. I also feel uncomfortable standing up in defense of trans folk, me included, in fear of developing discourse without the consequence of proper accountability.
Barf wrote on Brodiesel710's profile.
There's a fish in the percolator
I'm in NYC. What's good? Anyone wanna kick it? Where can I camp without getting hassled?
Roof vent is installed, fixed the side mirror, mounted the solar panels and ran the wires into the van. Currently working on putting in the floor. It's a lot but I'm making steady progress.
Anyone is Portland wanna kick it for a night and get motey'd up?!
Wowzers I'm glad I was off the site for the duration of The Pronoun Thread, as it's been titled. Holy shit. I know for a fact I would have gotten sucked into it and I'm not sure if that would've been a good thing lol
48 hours from HELL, lost thirteen hundred dollars, thats a fuckload on a pension! lost two ducks to the heat, the key for teh vespa is goign to cost an unbelievable amount says the cheerful vespa mechanic,and i need two new tyres, a new belt and rollersaswell! the generator died, wake up, the dogs cold and dead besides me and for the icing on the cake, lost my fucking bankcard and the bank tellers was a twat to me!!!ANYONE nearby bring booze and cigs and cheer!!!!FARRRKKKKKKK

Staff online

Members online