Jubilee party on Friday 3rd June 2022.

Please join us at a right royal party to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

This fantastic event will take place in The Actors’ Church garden from 12pm until 6pm.

Free entry comes with free goodies for all, including:

  • A cockney singalong on the old joanna.
  • The London taxi photo booth.
  • Face painting for children AND for adults.
  • A treasure map trail, leading you to uncover hidden gems.
  • Performances, magic, activities and giant games.

… Plus many more surprises for anyone of any age.

Bring your Royal Mint to enjoy the delights of our specially created Platinum Punch and Platinum Pudding, with plenty of other choices to eat and drink.  And try your luck in the raffle.

Arrive early for the amazing opening ceremony at Noon, with dancers from Pineapple and specially composed music.

Organised by volunteers from Covent Garden Community Association, the event has been made possible with generous grants from Capco, Westminster council and Covent Garden Area Trust.


 

‘The Guinness Experience’ in 4 buildings & yard, Seven Dials

A development has been put forward by Guinness for Old Brewers Yard and 4 buildings near it in Shelton Street, Neal Street, Mercer Walk and Langley Street.

The uses proposed for various building areas are:

Part of development Address People seated / standing Existing use Proposed use
Old Brewers Yard 28 Shelton St. 100 / 200 Service yard Public semi open-air bar, open to all.
Langley St basement 5 Langley Street 130 / 250  Bar with entertainment Private events.
Restaurant building 28-32 Shelton St. 337 Offices Restaurant uses and private events, including 6th floor open terrace area.
Brewery building 1 Mercer Walk 220 H&M shop A ‘brewery experience’ tour & private events, with some sale of beer for consumption away from the premises.
Retail shop 15 Neal St. 15  Tea House Sale of beer for consumption away from the premises.
Total people: 802 / 1,022

 

More details about the Planning application can be found on our Planning update page for this development.

More details about the Licence applications can be found on our Licensing update page for this development.

Christmas carol service

ANNUAL COMMUNITY CAROL SERVICE &

CGCA’S 50th ANNIVERSARY CHRISTMAS RECEPTION

Monday 6th December 2021.  6.30pm at St. Paul’s Church, Covent Garden.

The most convivial event in the Covent Garden calendar!

Everyone is welcome, of any faith or none, as we celebrate Christmas and look forward to a New Year.

There will be carols, readings, music, opera, food and drink at this beautiful church in the heart of our neighbourhood.  Come in through the entrance gate on Bedford Street (postcode WC2E 9ED).

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Trial of proposed traffic changes in Covent Garden

Camden and Westminster have been working together for some time on a plan to reduce through traffic in Covent Garden including Seven Dials.  A proposal for a trial scheme was published here recently, and they are inviting feedback until 13th September via this form.  They are now offering drop-in sessions, too, to answer people’s questions.  These are on Tuesday 7th September & Thursday 9th September, 5.30pm to 7.30pm at 41-42 King Street, Covent Garden.

CGCA is broadly supportive of the proposals, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t still have quite a few questions ourselves.  We are happy to see that the manned ‘Covid gates’ on Seven Dials will be removed so that legitimate traffic can get through, and the reversal of the North part of Mercer Street to try to reduce the traffic jams that used to plague that area (if you have forgotten how bad it was, see some footage here).  We are not so keen on elements of pedestrianisation in Westminster streets, and have questions about some of the routing.

Residents have been asking us if we can we can explain some more about the rationale for the changes.  Based on a number of discussions with Council Officers and the Traffic Consultants for the scheme, we have set out our understanding along with our outstanding questions here.

We also marked up their map below, to show the existing arrangements more clearly versus what changes are proposed.  For a larger version, please click here.

If you would like to know any more about the CGCA’s views on the scheme please email your questions to licensing@coventgarden.org.uk.

‘Save Museum Street’

Campaign against demolition & monstrous development.

Campaign for refurbishment and sensitive redevelopment.

 

We couldn’t really do better than this simple, and oh so chillingly relevant, poster from our 1970’s campaigns.

A new office block proposed to replace Selkirk House would be over 80 metres tall – 70% as high as Centrepoint, and many times more bulky.  Standing a short distance from the British Museum it would tower over our narrow streets and be seen from the capital’s most precious conservation areas in places like Bloomsbury Square, Seven Dials and Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

Covent Garden Community Association, Bloomsbury Association and many auspicious organisations have joined with local residents and businesses to urge the developers to think again.  Take a look at our campaign brochure and get involved.

The developers’ impressions of the main building from various angles.

Our friends at Save Bloomsbury summarised the situation brilliantly with their initial article and an update.

The Guardian published an article on 24th July which cites this destructive scheme at its conclusion, in the context of history’s continual struggle between people who know and love the place where they feel they belong versus those who come in wanting to change it forever.

There is so much that we believe is wrong with the proposed scheme, not just to demolish Selkirk House but to develop an entire block of buildings between High Holborn and New Oxford Street – sheer lack of sympathy with its surroundings, overshadowing, under-provision of housing, no public space, 4 years of works & congestion, the environmental abuse of demolition instead of refurbishment, an ugly blot on views from many beautiful parks and squares,  a new cut-through that is likely to attract crime, the busy ongoing servicing needs of a big mixed-use site at all hours, and paving the way for a cluster of high buildings in this historic area.

Selkirk House, which was built as Trusthouse Forte’s HQ in 1968 and later became a Travelodge, is already out-of-place.  But with some TLC and a new finish it would be so much better than this collossus.

Please click here for information on how you can help us fund our defence against the scheme.  And the developers, Labtech, have put up a website to publicise the proposals.

An extensive objection has been submitted by a coalition of groups including CGCA, which outlines the many problems with the scheme.  CGCA has also submitted an individual objection.

Comments can be addressed to Planning@Camden.gov.uk quoting application ref. 2021/2954/P.

Victory for the Odeon, Shaftesbury Avenue

Congratulations to everyone who supported the campaign to preserve what was the Saville Theatre.  To locals who appeared as CGCA’s witnesses and gave evidence in the first days of the hearing.  And to the many people who attended the proceedings whose presence was important to show the extent of local interest.

The Beatles at the Saville Theatre in 1965 after collecting their MBEs.   Sadly, the murals are lost.

Special thanks go to the CGCA’s own volunteers who led the campaign, and to our two expert witnesses who also donated their time.

Paul Velluet, the architect and great friend of Covent Garden who cut through the legal nit-picking to focus everyone on the harm to the unspoiled building and its legacy.

And Jane Palm-Gold, our local historian who brought to life the cultural legacy of the venue.

 

Programme for the first show at the Saville Theatre in 1931 – hardly changed on the outside as the Odeon we see today.

All this strengthened our cause for ‘conservation’, rather than the ‘gut and stuff’ job that our team felt better described the destructive proposals, even if they hadn’t included several hotel floors of shiny glass being plonked on top of this Art Deco gem.

Details of what was proposed are here.

The Inquiry hearing was a bit of a marathon in the end – stretching from early December right into January, but hopefully it was worth the effort.

The planning inspector’s report and judgment is at this link.

CGCA is submitting information to Historic England to expand the listed building description for a better defence against unsympathetic development proposals in the future.

 

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