From Aktivix
Jump to: navigation, search

This wiki is a dumping ground for rampART related collaborative docs... including those relating to RAMpart2 (Cavell Street, now evicted) and RAMpart2.2 (Bowl Court, also now evicted) These pages have not been updated since the eviction of Rampart Street.

You need to register and login to edit. See http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:Wikitext_examples for help editing.


RAMpart 2

A photo essay on indymedia... http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/london/2008/02/392529.html

RAMpart 2.2

The address is 5 and 6 Bowl Court off Plough Yard which is next to the Drunken Monkey at the junctions of Shoreditch High Street and Great Eastern Street.

Please let people know you are planning on going round rather than just turning up and banging on the door.

What's in a name ?

two point two shoreditch social centre the bowl the plough the plough and bowl ploughshare bowl court frontline ramplough gamma city social centre yard art bowl plough ramp art yard GAY RUDOLPH PRAM RAT BOP THE PIG ASS

Organising Info

Occupation Rota





FRI 11

Wish List

  • Thick wide planks (like scaffold planks) for 2nd flight of stairs, length around 90 cm min (anyone got exact measure?)
  • A roofer to patch the hole in the roof. We have a roll of roofing felt. Will need bitumen sealant, adhesive and clout nails.
  • Somebody who knows about plumbing. We have a roll of Polypipe. Need t'pieces, stop cock, hose clips, taps, sink etc.
  • Perspex, glass or windows to repair windows. We can glue perspex or glass over the holes and/or use double sided carpet tape to fix plastic sheets over the window frames as double glazing.
  • White paint, emulsion not gloss, to prep walls for art exhibition.
  • Floor boards. 1 inch thick and 16 cm wide.

Carry over list

Some things we have at rampART that need to go to the new place sooner rather than later.

Paint, especially any white paint.

Plus brushes and rollers.

Power extension leads. Lamps and low energy bulbs.

Kitchen tat


Timber for stairs and banisters

Toilet bowl, another toilet.

Sink, another sink.


To Do List

(try to list in order of priority and strike out completed items)

First wave

Create sleeping area for rota crew

Set up basic kitchen facilities

Set up light with battery and inverter

Dedicate an area for tools

Clear the entrance area

Fit extra bolts on front door

Blackout/cover ground floor windows to prevent light spillage

Put curtains/sheets/cardboard over first floor curtains so we can work without being seen.

Put bathtub under hole in roof to catch leaks .

Photograph everything so we have a record of how it was before we started. TOP FLOOR!!! (has this been done?)

Short term (by 11th April)

Check status of electricity supply (electricity is present)

Find where the water comes into the building and where the stop cock is located. (water present)

Investigate fitting a toilet. (waste pipes work ok)

Fit a toilet on the ground floor (bucket to flush) (will need bolting down)

Provide some kind of access to running water.

Fix the first flight of stairs.

Refit the floor boards on first floor

Refit floor boards on 2nd floor.

Replace remaining missing floor boards.

Paint over old graffiti in time for art exhibition (oh the irony).

Funnel rain into bathtub and try to run a waste pipe out of building.

Do proper repair to roof to stop leaks.

Run hose/pipe to ground floor toilet then into kitchen area and fit sink with tap.

Plumb in cistern and hand basin for ground floor toilet.

Fit a toilet on the first floor. Needs short piece of waste pipe and cement to hold base stable.

Fit and plumb in cistern and hand basin for 1st floor toilet.

Fix second flight of stairs. (a few more planks needed)

Patch up broken windows to reduce draft and keep cold out.

Remove dividing wall from sound proofed area and patch resulting gap. (ceiling will need supporting from above).

Move temporary crash space from ground floor and settle on 2nd floor instead.

Move workshop/tool area to 1st or 2nd floor.

Medium Term

Arrange some kind of ladder system to access top floor.

Rehang front door so it opens without blocking corridor.

Remove breeze blocks from blocked front door.

Fit code locks.

Draft proof the big exterior doors, probably by attaching carpet to doors with big overlap

Cover holes in ceilings/walls with plaster board.

Complete the soundproofing of ground floor.

Install partition walls on top floor for bedrooms.

Rain water harvesting and grey water flushing.

Fit cold shower on 2nd floor.

Establish cafe kitchen facilities on 1st floor.

Long term

Solar hot water.

Stairs up to top floor.

Project Documentation

Texts and Articles

See http://april2008.squat.net/wiki/London%27s_New_Social_Centre#preview

And http://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/04/395638.html


March 12

At least two groups of people went put to check out empties today and met up earlier in the evening to compare notes. Later, a small groups went out after dark and climbed through an open window on he first floor of a warehouse in shoreditch.

The three found the building to be somewhat drafty due to many of the windows being smashed or removed and also found that the stairs were missing. Fortunately they found a ladder on the first floor which allowed them to explore the rest of the building. It was clear it had been squatted before due to the grafitti inside. Some of the floors were holed with floor boards pulled up and pipes missing. There were no toilet bowls in the rooms which were obviously toilets but the waste pipes are not concreted up which is good. The electric didn't look like it was just a mater of flicking a switch and there was a small hole in the roof and signs of subsidence causing cracks in the wall but despite all of these bad points the people checking it out all felt good about the space.

It's four floors, a nice mix of large and small rooms. It got residential properties to one side only and has parking for offloading when we move. It also has a piece of land which may or may not be part of the property but could provide outside space, gardening, composting etc. Perhaps most exciting is that there is already sound proofing! Inside the ground floor is a 'room within a room' professionally soundproofed dual room area which looks like it was probably a recording studio. If the dividing wall was removed you have a pretty amazing gig space (a bit narrow rather than square but a reasonable size). I guess the rest of that floor could be converted to kitchen/bar/free shop.

The first floor has a nice large bright room which would be a great meeting space and there are aprox two smaller rooms of this which could be office space/library/computer room/radio studio etc. The third floor is very similar. It could perhaps be workshop space, guest space or residential. The top floor is kind of a loft space and most suitable for residential if divided up. There are spaces for toilets (missing) on all floors and even shower trays and a bath on the top floor. There is no sign of an existing kitchen anywhere.

There is a lot of development in the area with a construction begining on one 11 storey and one 16-32 storey block, plus a massive 51 tower gone during the last year. However there is no sign of a current planing consent or application regarding the warehouse. There was an application ade in 1998 which was turned down in 1999. The proposal involved the bit of land (then a building) plus the warehouse and would have seen them both demolished and replace them with a 12 unit live/work four storey complex with parking. The permission was refused as it is a conservation zone and demolition not justified. However, they did manage to get permission to knock one property down three years later which is now the waste land next to the warehouse, demolished sometime a few years ago after permission was granted in 2002.

Personally I think it's perfect. The location is good, fairly central with good transport and yet it is a little out of the way down a back alley. The plus points are the yard, the ability to park the van and off load (although it is just inside the congestion zone which is a bugger), and the sound proofing already in place. The bad points are the hole in the roof and floors, the broken windows and the missing stairs. However, there is no mess to clear up apart from some stuff on the ground floor (office furniture, computer monitors etc etc). The first flight of stair should be easy to replace with cut down scaffolding planks and the other floors can utilize ladders for the time being. Floor boards just need relaying where they have been pulled up (I doubt many if any are actually missing). Windows can be fixed rampART style by gluing glass over holes where possible. The roof has an access hatch so accessible for repairing the small hole which was probably caused by the owner removing some kind of vent or skylight. In all, I'm convinced it sounds worse than it is. The biggest jobs would be the stairs (top floor looks a challenge), plumbing and new partition walls for residential floors.

We've left the building unsecured so have to go back wednesday to fit a new lock. It would be a good time for other people to check it out.

March 23

So it's finally happened, we moved into the new space this evening at about 6.30pm !!

We got off to a good if rather nerve racking start. There is now a sleeping area for three and very basic kitchen facilities, light, an area for tools and even a meeting room already sorted out. We cleared the enterance area substancially, fitted extra sliding bolts on the door and put out some blackout cloth to try to prevent light spilling out of the windows and giving the game away.

For some reason the police turned up, but it seems they weren't called out to check out the building but for some other reason. There is a lot of construction worker activity in the area despite being sunday evening and we expect it to be the same tomorrow. They seem to be taking advantage of the holiday weekend to do more not less work. We have therefore decided not to take the van there tomorrow as we don't need anything from the van yet. We'll off load the van into the back of number 7 early tomorrow morning and bring over what we need next weekend or whenever we need it.

I tested the electric and it is available. We have not yet found where the water comes in and that should be high on the list of priorities.

Also on the list for the next few days:

Fix the first flight of stairs (need 13 planks 104cm long)
Put curtains up on the first floor so we can work without being seen
Replace the floor boards (using screws rather than nails to keep the noise down at this stage)
Patch up broken windows to reduce draft and keep cold out.

Other stuff. Fit a secret door bell and provide the squat with a dedicate mobile phone so there is good communication and no need for people to get stuck outside shouting to get let in. We are also keen to sort out internet access ASAP so that the status of the occupation rota and wish list is accessible by everyone.

Which brings us to the rota! There are currently two people sleeping over and no rota of people to replace them tomorrow. Step forward now and let us know when you can be there.

We'll put out a call out for help in the newsletter this week (perhaps try to get it out earlier than usual, on monday soon after the meeting?).


The address should not be publicised yet. Do encourge friends to pitch in but make sure they know this stuff...

Don't take bikes to the building yet. Lock them up on the railings by the trafic lights.

Ideally, dress as a builder not a squatter.

Take a mobile and call before you arrive to ensure somebody opens the door for you.

Don't just turn up and stand outside banging, shouting or whistling to get let in.

There is no running water yet and very substandard toilet facilities. Best find a toilet to use before you get there,

Try to co-ordinate, group up, to keep comings and goings to a minimum.

Keep the noise down inside as much as possible for now and remember people outside could hear you talking.

March 24

James found the water--it's on the right hand side, near the front door. The floor is very damp, which could either be the result of a roof leak or an ongoing leak.

The curtains are up on the ground floor.

There is generally a lot of activity in the area and we need to be careful about keeping a low profile. The building site next door is owned by the same company who owns the warehouse and so putting up FOR SALE signs is not a good idea.

March 26

First floor now has all it's floor boards (all but one actually as it seems to be a different size to the rest).

There is water. The pipe james found has a tap (which is leaking) and terminates in a short length of 22mm copper pipe. We need a plumber as it would be great to get some water going ASAP even if it's just a tap to fill buckets / bottles from.

On a similar note, the waste pipe from the missing toilet on the ground floor seems to work fine. We've poured stuff down it and it goes away so we should be able to fit a toilet there real soon, perhaps taking the one undamaged one from upstairs.

All windows now boarded up, curtained or otherwise covered.

Started work removing the dividing wall between the sound proofed rooms. There is currently no material for making stairs as otherwise this job is low priority. However, some of the plywood that has come off could be doubled up to make a few stairs.

March 27

The first flight of stairs in complete. Once the materials were available it took just a couple of hours to complete. There is a little finishing off to do (nothing is nailed down) but basically complete. With more timber available we might actually have the second flight of stairs in before the april 11/12th.

Additional good news is that there is now a toilet. It doesn't flush yet but if we had running water it would be possible to flush it with a bucket - in the meantime you have to flush with a bucket of your own pee ;-)

A couple of bad things....

The gas bottle is empty so no tea. The battery has run out as well so candles only until we get another battery round there.

March 30

All floors are now fully boarded (well, almost. There's a plank missing on the first stairwell landing, one next to a wall on the first floor and several deliberately removed on the top floor).

The cannibalising of a few floorboards from the top floor has had the added advantage of allowing us to provide ladder access to that floor without the scary climbing in the stair well.

There's running water with a tap and bucket so it's possible to flush the one toilet that's been set up.

A second toilet it ready to fit on the first floor. It just needs a couple of inches of waste pipe to complete and then needs fixing to the ground with a big lump of cement to make it stable (the base is broken but we can live with it).

A roll of polypipe has be donated which should mean we can pip the water where we want it.

The rain over the last few days has demonstrated that there is plenty of water we don't want all over the building and the roof is clearly leaking in multiply places. Our visits to the top floor for floor boards resulted in a closer examination of the roof and the damage. The roof consists of felt and bitumen over planks. Around the hole describe in previous emails there is a fairly large area where the felt is missing, perhaps 5ft by 10ft. However there are many other places where water is coming in and taking a peek through the access hatch we saw that the roof is badly aged with many cracks which would allow in water.

The large area of damage is probably the easiest to fix. Fortunately somebody kindly left a roll of roofing felt on the top floor for us which saves us 20-35 quid. We now need roof felt adhesive which will cost about 15 quid. Access will be the hardest part of the repair.

The smaller leaks are easy to fix but hard to find. We'll need to buy a big bucket of sealant and apply it liberally over cracks in the vicinity of any leaks. It's a bit hit and mix as leaks travel from the point they enter and drip down inside somewhere else.

While we were checking out the roof we also took a look at the state of the floor boards below the main leak,.It is clear that the boards have started to rot and some may require replacing but it seems like mostly surface rot and doesn't seem to be particularly dangerous.

April 2nd

Police turned up at new place yesterday afternoon. They knocked on the door and only S***** was there so she ignored them and they went away. It might have had something to do with a load of broken glass on the floor outside cause by wind damage to a window that had blown open on the top floor.

Inside, plumbing has progressed with water now piped to the toilet. I'll split it off here and supply the kitchen next before thinking about getting it upstairs,

A wall on the first floor has been painted black (no turning back from that, hope the artists are happy). Some work has begun on patching up windows.

No progress on second flight of stairs as it need materials. No progress on the roof as it was way to windy yesterday.

April 5th

Work has begun on the second flight of stairs and there is no reason to suppose that it wont have been completed by the 11th. The diagonal support is in place and it just needs the six steps to be attached and some arrangement for a banister to stop people falling off.

The roof has been patched, at least the big hole but until it rains we wont know how successful the repair has been. Those who did the work noted the condition of the rest of the roof and made some additional repairs. It is clear that there will be an ongoing problem to address.

The original front door has been opened and it is planned to knock out the breeze blocks on the 11th so that the door can be used over that weekend. The door can be fitted with a yale or code lock so will be much more convenient than the big doors.

The work on the plumbing has progressed well. There is now one flushing toilet on the ground floor along with a tap in the toilet and a sink and tap in the kitchen. So far there the waste pipe has not been connected in the kitchen so a bucket is placed under the sink and must be emptied into the toilet before it fills (primitive grey water flushing system ;-)

The first step towards running water upstairs has been made with the water supply splitting off and now simply awaiting a hose pipe to take the water onto the next floor. We have yet to agree whether to have a cafe/kitchen on the first floor and if we do we also need to decide the location of that kitchen before too much work with the plumbing is done.

The electrical system has also been looked at and the invertor is now hooked up to supply power through parts of the existing wiring. This means that the downstairs toilet and kitchen have normally functioning lights and sockets. The rest of the building remains unpowered at this time.

Work patching up the broken windows has begun, prioritising the smaller rooms rather than the big halls. There has been a mixture of approaches. One quick patch methods has been the use of PVA glue and paper to simply reinforce the glass where smashed and cover the hole to prevent drafts. Where visibility or light is more important, this type of repair has been made with bits of glass or perspex. In some cases, the broken glass has been completely removed and the window reglazed with perspex. There are many more to do so we need more perspex.

Local Info

Transport Links

It's a 20 min walk from rampART (1 mile) and about five to ten minutes walk from both Liverpool Street and Old Street stations.

There is currently no East London line but it's very well connected for buses (including night buses).

Bus routes
  • 8 (from bow to victoria)
  • 26 (waterloo to hackney)
  • 42 (denmark hill, camberwell via tower bridge)
  • 47 (from catford, lewisham etc)
  • 48, 149 (London Bridge - Edmonton)
  • 67 (from aldgate to woodgreen)
  • 78 (from peckham)
  • 242 (tottenham court road to homerton)
  • 243 (waterloo to wood green)
  • 344 (Clapham)
  • 388 (blackfriars to hackney wick)
  • N55 (Trafalgar to Woodford)
  • N35 (Clapham, Camberwell etc to Trafalgar)
  • N26 (Trafalgar Sq - Chingford)
  • N8 (Victoria to Hainault)

Local Campaigns

Open Shoreditch Campaign http://www.openshoreditch.net/

Campaign to 'stop the block' http://www.saveshoreditch.com/ and their campaign video on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeQU22OTq0w

The Light Pub also has a campaign to save it from Hammersons 650 million pound multi tower block development. http://www.savethelight.co.uk/

An article in the Evening Standard here http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23430365-details/Campaign+to+save+bar+on+historic+site+from+developer%27s+bulldozers/article.do

Property Week article http://www.propertyweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=39&storycode=3104486&featurecode=12137

More press here http://www.savethelight.co.uk/Press.aspx

Galloway adds voice to the fight http://respectuk.blogspot.com/2008/04/george-galloway-steps-up-to-save-light.html

Planning application details on Hackney Website http://www.hackney.gov.uk/servapps/MVM/Online/Generic/StdDetails.aspx?PT=Planning%20Applications%20On-Line&TYPE=PL/PlanningTechAppraisalPK.xml&PARAM0=75864&XSLT=/servapps/MVM/SiteFiles/Skins/hackney/xslt/PL/PLTechAppraisalDetails.xslt&FT=Planning%20Application%20Details&PUBLIC=Y&XMLSIDE=/servapps/MVM/SiteFiles/Skins/hackney/Menus/PL.xml&DAURI=PLANNING

Development Plans Summary

Demolition of part of the viaduct structure across Plough Yard; erection of a decking structure; and development for mixed use purposes comprising of the erection of;

  • one 11 storey and
  • one 16-32 storey B1 office block (87,754 sq.m).
  • One 51 storey mixed use Tower comprising of Class C1 Hotel and private residential (239 units),
  • one 14 storey block providing 39 intermediate housing units and
  • one 6 storey block providing 11 affordable rental units.

Other proposed uses include Class A1-A4 Retail, Financial Services, Restaurants and Drinking Establishments (2420 sq.m) and Class D2 Leisure (452 sq.m), together with the provision of parking and cycle spaces; open space; hard and soft landscaping; improvements to existing and the creation of new vehicular and pedestrian access and highways works; and all ancillary and associated works including enabling works, servicing, storage, plant areas and equipment.