South London Makerspace

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by Crispy, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Following on from the previous thread, this is now enough of a Thing to warrant its own thread.

    You may have heard of London Hackspace, the shared ownership workshop. It's an amazing facility, with 3d printers, laser cutter, full metal and wood workshops etc. available for use by its members. I'm a member, but I hardly ever use the space, because it's all the way in Bethnal Green.

    For a couple of years now, there have been fumblings and rumblings about setting up something similar in South London, but all it seemed to be doing was getting half a dozen people to the pub every other month to talk about how nice it would be if it existed. So a few of us decided to get off our arses and are actually making it happen. We're now a company limited by guarantee, with a bank account on the way. We've got an offer from Network Rail of a peppercorn rent on a Loughborough Junction railway arch for 12 months, and hope to have the keys before the end of the year. We've gathered £1.5K in pledged donations for a startup fund to help cover the early months' utilities, rates and for kitting out the space.

    The idea is that you pay a monthly membership fee that is commensurate with a)How much you can afford, b)How much you think it's worth, and c)How often you use the space. There will be guidelines, but we haven't nailed them down yet. TBC. In return, you get 24/7 access to a workshop where you can pursue hobbies, crafts or arts that are too messy, noisy or large to do at home. As a member of the space, you will be a member of the company, with a full and equal say in how the space is run and how the money is spent. If you want a special tool for the space, you club together with other interested parties, buy the tool and then maintain it for all to use. You also get to meet lots of interesting people, all with hobbies and projects of their own. Who knows what creative sparks might fly in such an environment?

    In the meantime, we're holding Make Days at the London College of Communication at Elephant & Castle (the old printing college next door to the Tabernacle). These are microcosms of the space we plan to make. If possible, everyone brings a project and some tools, to work on and to share. It's a great way to meet interesting and creative people, and for us to share our progress .

    The next one is pencilled in for Saturday 7th of December, details tbc. Watch this space!

    For more details, you can check out our blog and like our facebook page

    (ed: If you want something for BrixtonBuzz, I can do a slight edit of the above and provide some images. Might have to wait till sunday/monday though)
  2. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter Home is south London mate

    well done for progressing this crispy :)

    I'm not really in a position to get fully involved at the moment, but I hope to do so in future….
    Dexter Deadwood and Crispy like this.
  3. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Right, the meeting on 7th December is now confirmed:

    Location: London College of Communications, Elephant & Castle.
    Time: 10:30 - 16:30
    Presentation and discussion (the important bit): 13:00

    If you'd like to come and meet us and have a say, we'd love to see you there! For fire safety/security reasons, registration is required, which can be done at

    If you're at all interested in what we're up to, you can find out more at our
  4. sim667

    sim667 Licking windows on the 303 bus.

    Wicked idea, its a shame I live so far out of london :(
    wayward bob likes this.
  5. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I'm ready!
  6. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Right! The day's running out and I'm busy tonight, but will get something to you tomorrow :)
  7. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

  8. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Interesting, Mr. Crispy. I shall keep watching this thread, as access to a laser cutter is something I'd risk knackering myself for.

    When you say "full metal workshops", are you talking mill, lathe and forge, or a hacksaw, some hammers and an anvil?
    Dexter Deadwood likes this.
  9. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    At LHS, they have a pedestal mill, a lathe and a big scary 3-axis machine that seems to be in a permanent state of under repair. Also MIG welding kit.

    We won't be starting off with that sort of gear, but it's what we aspire to. Ultimately, the equipment in the workshop will be whatever its members decide to pool their money for/scavenge.
  10. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter Home is south London mate

    Copied from another thread, may be of use to you:

  11. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Reminder: This Saturday is our last meeting of the year. If you want to get involved, or just meet some interesting people, come along! It's open from 10:30 to 16:30 but the main event is a short presentation followed by discussion/plot hatching at 13:00. I know it's the season and your diary is probably already overflowing, but if you can make it, it'd be great to see you there :)

    Full details and registration here:
    Dexter Deadwood likes this.
  12. fogbat

    fogbat The Talibum

    I keep having stuff already booked when your meetings are on, but it looks brilliant. Look forward to joining up and visiting eventually.
  13. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    If you're interested in joining, but haven't already done so, please fill in our Pledge form, to give us an idea of what you think it's worth, and what sort of time/equipment you can offer.

    If someone could just pledge a tenner, then the pledge-o-meter can roll over to £2,000 and we can make a big deal of it :D
  14. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Dexter Deadwood likes this.
  15. ExtraRefined

    ExtraRefined Better than you at everything you love

    Whilst I'm very much in favour of some sort of alternative to LHS, which has several issues, I'm unconvinced a group that's taken two years to even consider getting a permanent space actually have the gumption to do it. For comparison, it took LHS 9 months to get a space, and 18 months to get the first proper setup at Creemer Street.

    LHS now have the advantage of nearly a thousand members, income approaching £10k pm, a minimum membership of £5, and a lot of expensive toys such as the 3-in-1, loads of electronics gear (DSO, reflow oven, hot air rework), and a well maintained laser cutter. Without substantial angel investment, this project will have none of the above, and consequently have a hard time competing on any grounds but location, unless it's run by people with the willpower to avoid the traps LHS is falling into.
  16. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Thanks for your support.
    EDIT: we've only been really pushing this for 6 months, and our "angel" has several potential forms in the shape of rent free spaces. London is more than big enough to support multiple hackspaces, and we have the full support of the LHS people.
    idumea likes this.
  17. gabi

    gabi Banned Banned

    What a shitty, negative post.

    These guys have actually got off their arses and seem to be sorting it out. It seems like a brilliant scheme and i have maximum respect for those behind it. Why 'competing'? It's not about competition.
    Rutita1 likes this.
  18. ExtraRefined

    ExtraRefined Better than you at everything you love

    Looks like lots of progress has been made in the last month lol
  19. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Your continued support and joyful laughter is welcome.

    Next meeting is Saturday February 8th at the London College of Communication. Details on the blog here:

    Look forward to seeing you there. We should have our membership system up and running by then, so you can put your money where your mouth is :)

    Meanwhile, Network Rail have now decided to use a 3rd party (these guys) to organise the rent of the arch in Loughborough Junction. We have every assurance that the space is ours, it's just a (rather annoying) matter of time.
    han, Miss-Shelf, Greebo and 1 other person like this.
  20. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos

    Is there any joining up with the other projects Meanwhile are getting involved with in Lambeth?
  21. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

  22. lefteri

    lefteri Well-Known Member

    I'm coming tomorrow, looking forward to it - glad membership will be up and running, will deffo join
    Crispy likes this.
  23. editor

    editor hiraethified

  24. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Miss-Shelf likes this.
  25. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    Interesting piece on The Life Scientific radio 4.
    Mark Miodownick talking about all communities needing work spaces (about 20-25mins in) and proposing changing many community libraries into workshops (as books now widely available online).
  26. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Yeah, we've been talking to a couple of libraries. They're keen, but the logistics are tricky, re: access and security. We'd be busy when they're not, and at odds with their opening hours.

    We've got a couple of good leads right now, however: - An empty shop by Brockwell Park, and Harpenden House, just past the railway bridge at Tulse Hill. We've also applied for funding from Southwark's Highstreet Challenge (frustratingly close to the application deadline - wish we'd found out sooner). If that's successful it could punt us straight past the the bootstrap stage and get us all sorts of tasty equipment and premises.
  27. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    He definitely was not suggesting sharing!

    That one on the Tulse Hill parade looks good. Have you looked into that unit above shops on Electric Avenue (corner of Electric Lane)? Looks huge and has been vacant for years. There was talk of something arty happening in there but I have not noticed anything. editor might know more.
  28. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Naturally :D Just sharing the front door is hard enough though.
    We've looked *at* it from the outside, but no nothing in detail. I think colacubes knows/knew something about it too, but I could be imagining things.
  29. colacubes

    colacubes Well-Known Member

    I know slightly less than editor on that front. There was activity in there before Christmas but nothing since. Seems to be empty again now so who knows what's going on :confused: I'm seeing someone next week who may have an idea what's going on so will mention it.
  30. editor

    editor hiraethified

    There's a certain property that has criminally been left empty in the centre of Brixton for ages/ I'm going to do a feature in it shortly and suggest that it could/should be used for things like Makerspace.

    Crispy are you happy to take on short term spaces or are you only after a permanent space?

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