For years one of the major sources of local resident complaint to local councillors has been when a controversial development has been given planning permission and they had not been informed it was happening. Too often the reason was because they fell outside the narrowly defined area to which the council sent a notification letter. […]
RIBA responds to Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech to Conservative Party Conference
RIBA President Ben Derbyshire said “Earlier this week the RIBA awarded Neave Brown the Royal Gold Medal, architecture’s highest accolade, for his outstanding work in building high quality affordable housing, cherished by local communities. Social housing like this plays a vital role in ensuring that we have a society that works for everyone. While it’s good news that the Prime Minister has made fixing the housing crisis a central priority for the government, the extra £2 billion promised today just won’t meet the scale of investment needed to address decades of under-supply.
“The government spends billions of pounds a year subsidising private landlords because of a shortage of social housing. They need to dial up the approach and investment, moving beyond describing the problems and big rhetoric to delivering solutions and the investment that will make the difference. Warm words won’t put roofs over people’s heads; we need a concerted programme of public investment in new social housing across the country and that means spending a lot more than was announced today.”
Westminster Labour have reacted with anger at the news that Westminster Council’s request for Government support over fire safety measures has been rejected by the Conservative-DUP Government’s Housing Minister Alok Sharma. The full cost of implementing fire safety measures such as installing sprinklers in taller council blocks across the city and removing dangerous cladding from […]
Personal Collection of Audrey Hepburn, Christie’s King Street, London SW1, 27th September 2017
Part II – Online Auction, 19th September – 3rd October 2017
September is proving quite a month for sales by legendary actresses as following on the heels of the Vivien Leigh sale at Sotheby’s we also have a sale of the possessions of Audrey Hepburn at Christie’s in London. How does the song go ‘anything you can do I can do better’?
Audrey was more than just a beautiful film star and wonderful actress. Due to her association with Givenchy she became almost accidentally a fashion icon and is indeed regarded as one of the most iconic figures of the last century and in her last years became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. One of the fund raising events she was involved in for UNICEF was a concert at the Barbican by Michael Tilson Thomas entitled From The Diary Of Anne Frank and Audrey was the narrator reading excerpts from the diary. It was extremely moving as Audrey had experienced similar wartime distress and hardship living in Holland like Anne Frank and one could feel that she found the reliving of this time somewhat painful and that the words could indeed have been her own. Afterwards in the green room she confessed that she had been shaking before she went onstage.
How well I remember sitting in the Regal Cinema in Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow in 1961 watching and loving Breakfast At Tiffany’s and now 56 years later it is regarded as one of the most-loved films of all time, even having been shown at the Royal Albert Hall with live orchestral accompaniment.The sale is in two parts with Part 1 being offered at Christie’s London and Part ll in an online-only sale. The auctions feature annotated film scripts, including Breakfast At Tiffany’s, original portraits from photographers such as Cecil Beaton and Philippe Halsman, her personal wardrobe and many costumes from her films including a black Givenchy cocktail dress from Charade although not the Breakfast At Tiffany’s dress which was sold previously.
This is the first time these items, which until now have remained with her family, have been offered for sale and they give us a rare glimpse into the very private world of a remarkable woman.
I am grateful to John Kirkwood for writing about this sale
Westminster Council has responded to a petition calling on them to re-open the public toilets in Church Street by claiming that homelessness and drug-dealing means they will remain shuttered. The written response, approved by the Cabinet member for Finance, Property and Corporate Services, Conservative Councillor Tim Mitchell, states that the Council plans to extend the […]
The ‘Evening Standard’ reports: “One of Britain’s biggest property developers has been allowed to flout rules on affordable housing in central London, claiming it can’t afford to build homes for locals and first-time buyers. Despite Westminster council’s policy that all new housing schemes should contain at least 35 per cent affordable homes, it has given […]
Westminster City Council and its housing organisation CityWest Homes have left residents hanging on the telephone since implementing their plans to close estate offices and replace them with a new centralised call centre. Labour campaigned against shutting estate offices and warned that the new call centre plan would face significant implementation problems. Since the introduction […]