Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Street Play book 'When London Played' - NOW IN PAPERBACK

Preview or order your copy here

When London Played is the new publication from London Play, a first hand account of the award-winning Street Play project written by project coordinator Paul Hocker.

Funded by the Big Lottery, the project’s aim was to create 100 Street Play events across London. In the face of opposition from motorists, a minority of local authorities and a handful of unwilling neighbours, Hocker vividly charts the ups and downs of the project and includes extract from a diary that follows the uphill struggle to stage a street party on his own street.

Other contributions come from the project’s partners Play Association Tower Hamlets, Westplay, Lambeth Play Association and an exclusive contribution from Dr Meyer Hillman, author of the seminal One False Move. The forward is by Melian Mansfield, chair of London Play’s trustees and a champion of the project.

The story is told in the main through the stunning images caught by Ben Jones during the second summer of Street Play events which capture the exuberant play each party generated. A selection of the photographs went on display in London’s City Hall in a major exhibition described by Mayor Boris Johnson as, ‘Splendid stuff!’ The full colour images are annotated with facts, statistics and insights collected during the project’s lifetime.

One child summed up the transformation to his road in Haringey, when the traffic stopped and the play started;

‘There were no cars, so it was safer and bigger and everyone was together in the street’

When London Played is the perfect conclusion to a popular project that street party veteran, Chris Gittens of Bristol’s Streets Alive, noted ‘influenced the nature of Street parties in the UK, away from children being very passive participants to being active contributors’.

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