Leaf & Groove will take a long-disused shop space in Forest Hill and turn it into something wonderful. A second hand bookshop of distinction, also selling vinyl, donating profits to the community library scheme. Not only that, but also an underground lounge space for secret meetings & speakeasies; robotic engineering & art lessons; a writing group & a gin club; board games & tai chi – unbounded possibilities. This shop has been empty for 6 years, everyone is keen to see it turned into something useful, rather than yet another estate agent or bookies. Libraries are inundated with book donations, not all capable of fitting on their shelves. But from their sale great things can be done: more shelves bought & books to fill them, more events for children, senior citizens and those on the fringes of our society that visit daily.Then there is the lounge, large enough for 30, a new home for cultural activities, creativity and learning new skills.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
We are rejuvenating a disused space and turning it in to a benefit for the community - whats not to like? No want wants grubby old disused buildings just being a waste of valuable space - but this building needs a great deal of love to get it back on its feet. Between us we can create something engaging and vibrant - with events that will reach out to all the community. We have some great people on stand-by - Adam from South East London art rooms with proposals for Blue Harmonica nights; drama workshops; life drawing, and; a speakeasy among other interesting suggestions. Then there is local illustrator Miriam Elgon who has so many ideas they could fill this page and more - art workshops based around making paper theaters; masks; book illustrations; collage etc. Then there is Orlando, a strong example to young people in Lewisham, who is bringing robots into libraries among other enterprises. From fine art to robotics, via drama and books - something for everyone!
Steps to get it done:
Rejuvenation of the town centre. The book shop will not only re-open a space that has not been in use for six years, but it will be staffed by volunteers. We hope to extend paid employment opportunities over time and take on apprentices from the local community.
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Following an early morning meeting today with the builder we can confirm that a plan of action is now in place and work will be re-commencing within the next three weeks. No one will be more glad than us, as moving from one floor to the next down a ladder has been no fun at all! The damp problem from above seems to have been solved and the fire escape to the rear has been cleared. Once we have a staircase then we'll be concentrating on completing phase one to open the book shop. Fingers crossed the book and vinyl shop should be up and open in November. Thanks to everyone for their patience, things never seem to run smoothly!
Dear backers, Firstly we'd like to apologise for not updating you sooner. We've had lots to do and really wanted to have something concrete to update you with first. We have now had the keys to 57 Dartmouth Road for just over a month and in that time sadly not a lot has happened inside the shop. We always knew that the staircase would need replacing, however it turns out that the whole thing needs resiting. This is a considerably bigger job than we had initially planned for so as a result things are going to take longer to get finished. We have also discovered an extensive damp problem in the back room. This is something that we could not possibly have know about until the building work began as it was only found when the builder started to remove the ceiling. Thankfully this issue is not our responsibility but that of the Landlord. We would like to reassure you all that these setbacks will not prevent Leaf and Groove going ahead. It will just mean that it will take us a little longer to get open. Thank you all again for your continued support. Charlotte & Simon
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