New home for Black Cultural Archives - Raleigh Hall

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by Nickster, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. quimcunx

    quimcunx protestant traybake

    Someone, somewhere has:

    Gramsci and urbanspaceman like this.
  2. snowy_again

    snowy_again Slush

    Interesting comments from David McQueen - partly on how the community urbanspaceman talks about isn't being approached for major donor funding:

    Gramsci likes this.
  3. snowy_again

    snowy_again Slush

    That's a lot of jobs at once. And the MD role is really broad for that salary level.
  4. urbanspaceman

    urbanspaceman Well-Known Member

    Interesting to be advertising so many jobs, just as guara
    It looks like a replacement for Paul Reid. The timing of this set of jobs, makes me wonder whether there is some sort of quid pro quo going on: further DCMS funding in return for management restructuring
    Gramsci likes this.
  5. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Standard piece:

    The Black Cultural Archives could close because of a funding crisis
  6. snowy_again

    snowy_again Slush

    Hmm Tracey Crouch has just left DCMS after digging her heels in over Fixed Odds betting terminals, so whether there's anyone there who can negotiate? She was heritage before that - so would have been involved in the original funding approvals.

    The MD role focuses on commercial partnerships where as disapora and higher value individual giving seems what they are closer to.

    Ed's repeated link to the Standard article is right though - it's a national archive - all of which receive core funding except BCA who seem to have inherited the tapering of their core funds in return for a basic large capital grant.
    Gramsci likes this.
  7. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Paul Reid career started out in Lambeth Council. Second in command to Jo Negrini as the Brixton neighborhood manager.

    Both he and Negrini did all right for themselves. Negrini now Chief executive at Croydon. Paul high status post in Lambeth as head of BCA.

    They are both bureaucratics who have done well under New Labour. Respected members of community. With good salaries.

    What particularly annoys me about what Reid says in ES article is that BCA is relevant to issues like knife crimes. How? I don't see it.

    Paul has done alright for himself. But given the paid opportunity he hasnt come up with the goods.

    I'm all for preserving history. I don't want it to be used to give New Labour types nice jobs.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  8. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Readers might be interested to know that the first director of the Black Cultural Archives - when it was opposite the Dog Star - is still apparently around and promoting his take on the Black presence in Britain.

    He wrote this article for Hinde Street Methodist Church in April 2015.
    Culture and Truth- by Sam Walker

    I found Sam Walker a kind and genial man, but presumably the survival deal for BCA meant he had to be replaced by a council officer. In any event if you look on Companies House you will see Sam resigned as a director in 2002.

    I think Sam deserves credit for making the appropriate academic and cultural links which enabled the project to continue - at least until now. Older residents will remember that although the BCA in Coldharbour Lane was in an office above an African artefact shop, they were not running the shop. The shop was separate (presumably also tenants of Lambeth Council like BCA).

    What is surprising now is that BCA has directors that are management consultants, resources directors, training consultants etc etc and yet is apparently failing 4 years after re-launch.

    Poor old Sam kept going through thick and thin until Lambeth decided to swallow the BCA in order to sell their premises off as a Hip Hop Chip Shop. C'est la vie (as we can still say before Brexit).
  9. editor

    editor hiraethified

  10. Cold Harbour

    Cold Harbour Active Member

    Cultural resources like archives rarely 'make money', but clever financing can mean they break even and raise their profile. Specific sponsorship of particular roles (education officer, mental health engagement officer, youth worker etc etc. even a gang expert maybe yes) can be more effective than a whole load of directors. If they are sponsored by lottery or other public/charity funds they are rigorously audited. If they are sponsored by big business then not so much auditing, but loads of free PR etc - why not approach big black British business - or business that have made money from black Britain anyway. Virgin spring to mind...or international businesses like Western Union, Wray and Nephew, Air Jamaica? It would only cost £30K to pay for a museum or archive person to run a really decent engagement programme, small change to those guys.
  11. sw16er

    sw16er Active Member

    My take on the BCA is that I have visited on numerous occasions both on my own and with my family. Some of the exhibitions they have put on over the years have been outstanding, though the lack of advertising really does not do them any favours.

    I have always viewed the BCA as somewhat sitting on the side in Brixton, especially "Nu Brixton".

    I do agree with the post above in regards to funding, and I have often wondered if they have high profile "Black" British supporters pouring money into the organisation, evidently not.

    It will be a shame to see it go, Brixton / Lambeth needs a cultural spot like this. Maybe the place requires a facelift in terms of how it is run, it does have too much of a laidback vibe to the place IMO.
    urbanspaceman and Cold Harbour like this.
  12. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Given its central location, the BCA should be the living, breathing heart of Brixton, engaging locals and visitors, but instead it's been a quiet backwater from day one.

    The cafe is in particular a real lost opportunity.
  13. soupdragon

    soupdragon Well-Known Member

    That it's difficult to tell where the main door is is also a problem.
  14. urbanspaceman

    urbanspaceman Well-Known Member

    The British Library has just launched "Windrush Stories", following on from its exhibition "Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land", which was open for five months earlier this year. The BL has a lot of notable material that overlaps with BCA's remit, and the BL makes a good job of displaying it. It's striking that there does not appear to be any evidence of BCA involvement with the BL's activities. It's another sign of BCA's lacklustre efforts to engage.
    Gramsci likes this.
  15. GarveyLives

    GarveyLives Well-Known Member

    "The British Library’s income for 2017/18 was £120.8m (£118.0m in 2016/17), of which £93.4m or 77% was Grant in Aid (£93.9m or 80% in 2016/17). Grant in Aid is the Library’s primary source of funding, received from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)."

    (Source: British Library Annual Report and Accounts 2017/18)

    The British Library was created by an act of parliament, effectly as part of the state.

    The Black Cultural Archives were created as a result of the vision and activism of a small group of African activists from the Caribbean in the early 1980s.

    No amount of 'engagement' is likely to be able to bridge that gap in reality.
  16. alcopop

    alcopop Banned Banned

    I don’t think you can compare the British library with the bca can you?
  17. Cold Harbour

    Cold Harbour Active Member

    No, because the BL is a 'National' institution, like the British Museum etc.
  18. urbanspaceman

    urbanspaceman Well-Known Member

    Of course the BL and the BCA can't be compared. The BL is an institution of global significance, which looks after items of huge cultural importance.

    What I am saying is that there was a BL exhibition, centering on BCA's core interests, and BCA was nowhere to be seen as a collaborator.
  19. GarveyLives

    GarveyLives Well-Known Member

    I would imagine that he makes the assertion based on his knowledge and experience.

    Mr Reid holds a Masters Degree in Multicultural Urban Education. Certificate in Youth & Community Work, Diploma in Independent Studies and Certificate & Diploma in Management. At the time that he joined the Black Cultural Archives, he had over 25 years experience in community development work, including as the Team Leader for a Borough-wise Specialist Youth Work Team that delivered a range of targeted programmes (gender specific, Black young people, refugee and asylum seekers) for young adults.

    He was also a member of the Phoenix Consortium that aimed to work with the 50 most prolific offenders in the London Borough of Lambeth, in addition to being Vice Chair for Lambeth’s Commission into Gang and Gun Crime.

    He was also well-known to many in the local community for founding and delivering African-Centred rites of passage programmes to young African men.
  20. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I remember him from his days as second in command to Jo Negrini. Then Brixton Town centre manager.

    The Town centre manager idea was to engage local community in their area. Except when one asked questions. I remember Reid telling me I was someone who "liked to do things on the outside".

    I couldn't give a shit about his qualifications. He worked his way up the greasy pole of New Labour Lambeth then didn't deliver.

    The BCA has no relevance that I see to "knife crime".

    I will continue "working on the outside" in my small way on projects like Grove adventure playground. Which actually do something for young people.

    Reid is part of the New Labour establishment that do well out of running Lambeth.

    Im sure if he leaves BCA he will get fixed up with new lucrative job.
    editor likes this.
  21. 19sixtysix

    19sixtysix Life as viewed from a Gay Gorbals Garret

    Maybe the BCA would better as be part of the NL. It would seem the BCA is trying to do a national cultural job with lambeth library funding which we all know is laughable.
  22. Cold Harbour

    Cold Harbour Active Member

    Absolutely agree the BCA should be a 'national archive', also the Womens' Library, which is in financial difficulty too. You might even put it down to the racist patriarchy, but saying that out loud to the (mainly) white middle-aged men in DCMS, Arts Council England etc rarely gets you anywhere.
    AnnO'Neemus and snowy_again like this.
  23. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos

    From the vault - a post at the start of this thead a dozen years ago:

    In my view, the Raleigh Hall site was too small and the BCA brief was too limited ever to be viable as a separate institution.

    However, the large P and small p political commitments given to keep the Black Cultural Archives as a black-led charity independent of all other bodies meant that bringing its collections under the wing of another custodian or forming a consortium to run a borough heritage centre on the site was probably never a runner, and this has led Lambeth holding the funding baby.
    Gramsci and Winot like this.
  24. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    This is one of those "what might have been" situations.

    The original Rayleigh Hall (Liberal Club pre 1900 or so) had the house (now the BCA) and a public hall. The hall part - which passed into private ownership through council negligence - would have made a useful addition to the present BCA.

    However there is no overlap here. The occupiers of the hall secured "squatters rights" before the site ever came into contention as the home of the BCA. In fact in a way the BCA project was the solution to Lambeth Council's problem. What do you do with a derelict house fronting onto the new Windrush Square?

    People may not know that BCA originally wanted a site on the corner of Somerleyton Road and Coldharbour Lane (outside the barrier block). This could have happened if the council had granted L&Q or Metropolitan (forget which) the right to build a block of flats there - with BCA premises on the ground floor. This was not accepted by Lambeth's Environmental Services committee in 1998.

    Actually I'm pretty relexed about still having a green space outside the barrier block - and I doubt if either Metropolitan or L & Q had built flats that THEIR space for the BCA would have resoled the problems people are complaining about in this tread.
    Gramsci likes this.
  25. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I'll fight to protect that space TO THE DEATH!
    Gramsci, organicpanda and CH1 like this.
  26. urbanspaceman

    urbanspaceman Well-Known Member

    London's Black Cultural Archives get £200,000 stopgap funding for survival

    Culture Secretary steps into secure Black Cultural Archives' future

    £200,000 is enough to keep BCA going for a few months, but it's not a solution in itself. The DCMS announcement could be read as suggesting that there will be a shake-up at BCA. But I don't think the government will allow BCA to collapse, as it would give new impetus to the Windrush story - could be weaponised as another example of government disrespect for the Windrush generation. Separately, I wonder what effect the newly-imposed £3 exhibition charge will have ?
    editor likes this.
  27. editor

    editor hiraethified

    A £3 admission charge is going to ensure that the place is even emptier than it already is.
    CH1 likes this.
  28. SpamMisery

    SpamMisery Pretty comfortable here right under your skin

    It will exclude some the poorest in the area
  29. Nanker Phelge

    Nanker Phelge Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

  30. Angellic

    Angellic Well-Known Member

    The ICA, when faced with a similar financial crisis,closed on Mondays and reduced opening times to cut costs.

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