A large number of local and other visitors strolled the pavements of Store Street during the weekend of the 2011 Bloomsbury Festival, on Saturday 22 – Sunday 23 October. This was the first time; the street took part in the ever so popular annual art festival, following its £5million regeneration.
‘We were absolutely delighted to be able to showcase Store Street’s new look to visitors to the Bloomsbury Festival and feel this was an excellent art and local community event for the street to be involved in. Our shop and restaurant tenants were extremely happy to see new faces and we’ve received some very encouraging feedback on the new look and feel of the street’ comments Mark de Rivaz, Steward of The Bedford Estate.
Store Street, including South Crescent was turned into a hive of creative activities, presenting an array of fun-filled festival activities both in-store and outside. In addition to some longstanding stores, a number of new shops, restaurants and cafés opened their doors to offer samples of tasty delights. Incense burning, demonstrations of coffee brewing techniques, vintage market stalls and real ale tastings sessions were on offer to visitors in addition to some fabulous art exhibitions on Store Street.
Store Street’s South Crescent – home to NLA (the centre for London’s built environment) and The Building Centre – offered a range of family-friendly workshops, and invited visitors to draw, build, sculpt and photograph Bloomsbury.
Debbie Whitfield, Director of NLA says ‘It was great to join forces with The Bedford Estates and to be able to demonstrate the wide variety of activities the street has to offer. It was also a fantastic opportunity for the local community and visitors to enjoy South Crescent free from cars and motorbikes and to animate it with art and cultural uses. We look forward to continuing to work together with the estate and other stakeholders to raise the profile of Store Street, as well as our ambition to transform the Crescent into a valuable public amenity’.
South Crescent became the focal point of art workshops and creative activities led by the likes of The Architectural Association, Mobile Studio, Cavendish College and The Bartlett School of Architecture. Free walking tours were provided by NLA to introduce visitors to Bloomsbury’s contemporary architecture.
Isabelle Bricknall, Stacy Darling and Lydia Smith-Aouane hosted a jewellery and bag-making workshop using recycled carrier bags other reused materials. Others simply chilled in deckchairs and enjoyed the sunshine, whilst listening to vinyl classics from a mobile ‘disco trike’ built from recycled scrap materials.
The 2012 Bloomsbury Festival will take place on October 20th – 21st, for more information – Bloomsbury Festival 2012