Plymouth will tomorrow have a silent disco in the sea

A unique event will be taking place tomorrow in Plymouth, where 100 people will be attending a disco in the sea, something that is being seen as a boundary pushing event.

On 23rd September between 1.30pm and 2.30pm, Tidal Pool at Devils Point hold a disco , which is all part of the activities expected to be at the Plymouth Art Weekender.

The event, dubbed Bethnic Caress will only have 100 people inside the Tidal Pool which is part of a one hour participatory performance piece.

The artist in charge of the event, Laura Denning said that the idea comes from her involvement with eco-acoustics , which focuses on making sounds from nature.

Laura was keen on enhancing the relationship that people have with the sea . She also intends to create awareness of the threat to the sea through climate change and pollution and the silent disco came as an ideal way doing this.

During the Plymouth Art Weekender held last year, Laura made a live art performance in which she had wild swimmers diving off the Hoe and had interactions with the underwater webcam in Plymouth sound. The video captured in this performance was aired live on big screens in the city centre.

In this year’s Plymouth Art Weekender, Laura is looking for artists and performers who will have their music sounds played in the 100 participants headphones for the silent disco.

The experience intends to allow the participants ‘discover and at the same time celebrate the wide diversity of life within the sea( or mourn the threats of marine life).

Those who are lucky to be the 100 participants will get an up close engagement through sound and music, with marine life in the ocean.

Wall painting to be done throughout Plymouth in celebration of Mayflower 400

The 400th anniversary of Mayflower sailing to America will be celebrated by having several wall paintings done throughout Plymouth.

The Wallflower Project are undertaking the project and they will be working together with heritage and community groups across Plymouth. This will also enhance the Plymouth’s efforts of creating a city of culture.

The project is a brainchild of Dr. Joddy Patterson, an Associate Professor of Arts and History at the University of Plymouth as well as Art collective Loci, which consists of Fine Arts graduates from the university. The wall painting project is set to begin now and expected to be complete in 2020.

Dr. Patterson is undertaking a research on the importance of public art in culture and his take on it is that the murals are an excellent way of beautifying a city and community and at the same time, it is a great way of telling the stories that have made the city to be what it is in the present day.

The murals will give the city a civic pride and give it a sense of unique culture. They can also be great ways of creating conversations and progressive debates.

According to Dr. Patterson also said that mayflower was the ideal theme to remember in this way. We are eager to work with the community and the artists to make more pieces of this kind between now and 2020, when the project is expected to end.

The first mural is already underway and has been titled The Seafarer – The Eager Spirit, the Heart to Travel. It is measuring about 10metres in height. The designer for the mural are members of Loci, a talented group of artists, most of whom have had their work exhibited locally, and they are working in conjunction with martin Brooks and Stephen Berry, Fine Arts Lecturers. The theme is in such a way that it narrates the journeys across the Atlantic for the 400 years since the Mayflower.

The mural is being done on the outer wall of The Cooperage building in Royal William Yard. It is set to be launched prior to the Plymouth Art Weekender from 23-25 September.

According to Llyr Davies, who holds a BA (Hons) Fine Art Course in 2015 is a Loci collective member and is overseeing the entire project. He said that Mayflower will remain in the history of Plymouth and he was happy to be part of the project.

He continued to say that the team is eager to create pieces of art that the people can take pride in. as well, the team hopes to make the Royal William Yard a hub for creativity and culture .

Plymouth Culture is supporting the project as they are involved in the Mayflower 400 celebrations and is hoping that emerging talents will be discovered and utilized within the community.

According to Dominic Jinks, the executive director of Plymouth Culture, he was happy to see how the mural projects are coming along being spearheaded by the University of Plymouth. The Plymouth Art Weekender is an example of the growth of visual contemporary arts in Plymouth.

James Pascoe who is the events manager at Royal William Yard said that Plymouth has always has close connections to art and have been in support of several projects such as British Art Show, Royal William Arts festivals among others.

There is a crowdfunder campaign that has been setup to finance the murals that will be done in future and you can get more information online.

Bottomless lunch with Prosecco to be sold by a popular restaurant in Plymouth

A very well-known restaurant located in Ebrington , Brown and Bean will from next Friday 25 August 2017 start selling bottomless lunch, which comes right on time for the Bank Holiday. This information was posted on their Facebook wall.

The two-course meal will cost £24.95 and will be served with ‘unending Prosecco bubbles’. This offer will be on between 12-2.30pm. This is going to be an incredible way to kick-off the weekend, better get your bookings early.

The proprietors of Brown and Bean, Ben McBean and Paul Brown said that their restaurant is going to be the second in the city offering the bottomless lunch with Prosecco deal. The first restaurant is the Victuals Café which is located in Royal William Yard. They are the ones who introduced this concept to Plymouth last month.

Since they opened their doors in March, Brown and Bean have continued to flourish in business. The restaurant has become famous for their original taster menu and ideas that are innovative, such as ‘eat from your hands’ options.

One of the owners Mr. Brown said that the best way to end a long hard week was to settle down with a glass of bubbles, a sparkling wine, and a bottomless prosecco Brown and Bean lunch was just the right option.

The cotton brothers are in charge of creating the lunch that will match the glass of bubbles next to you, which will be refilled as many times as you would like it to be. The lunch session with bottomless Prosecco is designed to last for two and a half hours.

The al la carte menu is still available for customers to choose from. And for those looking for something extra, you can choose the options available from the pre-starter snack and puddings, all from the al la carte menu.

The London atmosphere is very inviting and we love it and as well, this approach is very common in the capital, therefore we figured we might as well bring in some bit of London to Plymouth.

The whole concept by Brown and Bean is to allow our customers at Plymouth have an offer that is affordable and fun.

Come down and be part of this amazing offer that will also help you kick off your weekend in the right tone at Brown and Bean.

Factory of a firm that has operated in Plymouth for three decades is set to shut down

A sealing technology firm that is among the leading firms in the world is moving to the North. A vibrant global manufacturing firm, James Walker Moorflex will be moving its operations from its current place in Roborough to its branch in Yorkshire. The move is expected to be this December.

Its branch in Bingley, West Yorkshire will be absorbing 23 of its current members of staff. For those who do not want to make the move to the new location, they will be given “outplacement support” so as to look for other jobs.

The director of gaskets and metal machining at the firm, Mr. Henri Hakkarainen said that the firm had faced challenging environment for operations because of the stiff competition within the gasket industry. This has led to the firm making a decision to be more responsive and ensure that they have efficient operations.

There were consultations between James Walker Moorflex and the 23 members of staff, which recently came to a close. The talks were held in their satellite manufacturing site in Plymouth and some of the issues discussed included the closure of the facility and the subsequent move of operations to Bingley in Yorkshire, which is its gasket manufacturing site.

Mr. Henri also stated that this move is meant to reduce the complications and enhance the supply chain to the customer, increase their business power as well as reduce the operation costs at Bingley which will in turn ensure that James Walker Moorflex has long term stability and sustainability in the gasket industry.

This is a very difficult period for the company and more so the members of staff involved and the decision may have caused some individual employees to be uncertain about their future at the firm.

The employees have been given two options, either an outplacement support to get them alternate employment or move with the firm to Bingley.

James Walker Moorflex has many business activities ranging from research and development, manufacture and supply, product application, plant monitoring, maintenance of site and seal renovation.

The city will suffer the loss of such a successful business, which had high-tech skills in materials technology and especially those to do with elastomers, composites, engineering plastics and polymers.

The firm has a global family of companies and has grown to have 11 production, engineering, distribution and customer support services in the UK and also has continental presence throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, SE Asia, South Africa and USA.

End of December 2017 will see the end of production operations at Plymouth.

The three most unhygienic schools in Plymouth exposed

An environmental law charity ClientEarth recently did a study which revealed that thousands of children in more than 950 schools are playing in playgrounds that are exposed to illegal air pollution.

More than 40,000 people die annually from air pollution related illnesses such as heart and lung diseases, asthma and the development of young children is also affected.

It is now possible, thanks to ClientEarth, for parents to key in a postcode into an online search to find out if their child’s school is close to a road that is exposed to high amounts of air pollution.

There are three schools in particular that have playgrounds that are situated less than 150metres from the major roads and this is a health hazard to the children.

Austin Farm Academy is one of such schools, just 77metres from A38 Parkway which has very heavy traffic on a daily basis. The levels of pollution at the school is 47.6μg/m3, with the maximum legal level for NO2 being 40μg/m3.

The other such school is St. Boniface Catholic College, which has children playing just 128 metres from the Tavistock Road and ClientEarth is concerned about the health risks of the children.

Manadon School is also near Tavistock Road, with a distance of 150metres.
Alan Andrews, the air quality lawyer at ClientEarth said that the political leaders are failing both legally and morally by putting their health at such risk when they are still young and susceptible. And as natural as it can be, the parents expects that the government is going to do something about is, and so does ClientEarth.

Billboard adverts will be put up soon in various cities and towns showing the list of schools that are most polluted in each particular town.

According to Katie Horwood, who is the head teacher at Chestnuts primary in Haringey, North London, it is our responsibility to educate the children as well as protect their health as they play in the playgrounds. She also said that the school was doing all they could about this issue, but the Government should intervene by encouraging drivers to use more eco-friendly means of transport.

ClientEarth aims to have a national wide network of zones that have clean air in which the cars that have high levels of pollution are kept away from these areas. They are also fighting to keep away cars that idle outside school compounds and to encourage parents and students to walk or cycle to school.

Director of Public Health at Plymouth City Council Dr. Ruth Harrell said that the department takes air quality as a serious issue and have put in so much effort to curb the amount of pollution experienced in Plymouth. She also said that based on the report given to Defra, there is significant improvement in the air quality as seen in the current Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA).

To establish the amount of Nitrogen in these areas, there is close monitoring done throughout Plymouth. Areas that have heavy traffic record high levels of nitrogen and the amount decrease as the traffic eases up.

Personal carbon monitors have been implemented in two schools that are within the AQMA so as to educate the children on the benefits of walking or cycling to school and we are hopeful that the initiative will soon spread to the other schools in the city.

If you must use your vehicle, ensure that you exercise smooth driving and avoid speeding up or slowing down without necessary cause.

Parallel London: Running just for fun is here again with events of 100m, 1k, 5k and 10k

Mik Scarlet, a broadcaster and parallel London ambassador was thoroughly moved to see the disabled people all excited at the fact that they were going to participate in such an event for the first time ever and more moving was their exceeding joy as they crossed the finishing line. His fear or hate or physical activities went through the window after this event. He was also challenged to be an active participant at the event this year.

The organizers for the event that will be held at the Queen Elizabeth Park in London was going to be the world’s first fully inclusive fun race event are not taking ‘no’ for an answer!

A member of the Parallel London team is encouraging participants that whatever it is they need, it shall be availed to them, it could be a wheelchair, or someone or even three people to walk with you, guide dogs provided they are taking part in the fun run.

A sports event and festival that includes all people with abilities as well as disabilities has a strong conviction that everybody should come together and have a fun-physical activity. It is all about creating a race where everyone is participating, where inclusion is celebrated and make it a friends and family event regardless of any physical challenges one might have.

The organizers are emphasizing that the objective of the race is not winning, rather it’s participating. The races do not have a set time for completion as the race is all about having a good time with everyone else. There are several options for the races where once can choose from, ranging from 100m, 1k,5k and 10k.

There are those who will not be able to get to the finishing line, but is does not make them less of achievers. The race is all about just signing up and being there and more so for those people who have challenges with mobility; the biggest step they can make is showing up.

The event has a captivating section which is a 1km multi-sensory activity. This is a track that has music, bubbles, parachutes, ribbons, light tunnels all of which are meant to enable the participants who need sensory support for memory as well as those in for it for the fun.

The first activity at the event is the 10km race which will start at 10.00BST.
The growth of the event from last year’s success has made the organizers anticipate having 4,000 participants, which is a 50% increment. The runners expected in this year’s event are those that got inspired by watching parallel for the previous year where abilities such as MS were represented. An example is Sally Derby who got motivated for seeing someone like her participating.

All participants receive a good bag that has a time-taken indicator so that they can plan to improve on their performance for the next race.

There are those that come to the event but do not want to take part in the actual races. They can be part of a full day free festival which has activities such as skateboarding, table tennis, game-coding and an autism friendly barber. There are also food stalls available. Which has food stalls games, entertainment as well as workshops.

According to English Federation of Disability Sport, about 64% of disabled people are happy to be participating in sports that have the abled as well as disabled people.

What has revived private member’s club culture in London?

Private member’s clubs have a long history. For many years, the membership to such clubs has been seen as a mainstay for status and a source of pride. In the present time, the clubs have been revived by exclusive establishments, which is more appealing to the modern day career driven citizens.

Traditional clubs had cigar smoking, oak furniture, sexism and brandy. But because of the diversity of the modern society, you are bound to get Apple Macs, macchiato and in the most exclusive clubs women are allowed to be members of the clubs, something that would never have happened in the traditional members clubs.

The private members clubs had no choice but to change and adjust to the current times. They must be flexible enough and allow business in so as to remain financially stable. Networking is a major activity going on in the modern day members club as compared to the old-fashioned clubs.

The influential career driven Londoners are the force behind the change of attitude with membership clubs. It may not explain why the clubs are being revived and whether they are here to stay, but the clubs are now creating a work-friendly clubs where networking and other business related activities take place.

The clubs are currently attracting a lot of business. The rent in the city offices is quite costly and the coffee shops and hotel lobbies are now crowded. And because businesses still need human interactions, the private clubs are filling in this gap and meeting the rising demand.

The clubs are being designed in a way that the line between business and pleasure is blurred where you have both facilities within one place, such as Shoreditch house which has a rooftop pool, a living room as well as workspaces that have office spaces for lease and very reliable internet.

One thing remains constant for both traditional and modern day members clubs, the exclusiveness. You still have to pay some good amount of money for signing up as a member and in some cases, it is not as straightforward as just giving making the payments, you have to be part of a long waiting list before you start enjoying the privileges of a members’ club.

An alternative for most businesses is to make use of co working services like serviced offices, and temporary office spaces for rent. The spaces are more affordable and easily accessible than a private members’ club.

A report by Capital Economics indicates that the popularity of the UK’s serviced offices like WeWork and Regus have more than 3000 offices that are available for daily rent. The investment is such facilities is expected to have a value at £126 by the year 2025. Some of the office spaces are available for about £60 per month such as i2 offices which also comes with complementary coffee and all that is required for business and a luxurious and relaxing space.

The future for the private members’ club is a little unknown, with some people preferring the old-school members’ clubs while others are in between private members’ club and serviced office spaces.

According to Brian Clivaz, the man behind the reinvention of The Arts Club in 2011 said that there were about 180 private clubs in London in the year 1880 in comparison to the 100 clubs that are still running in the present day. Many of them had to adopt in order to survive the changing business world.

However, it expected that the hybrid private clubs and serviced offices will be on the rise in the future.

Restaurant review for Aquavit, London

Fiona Beckett is a contributing editor and chief restaurant reviewer for Decanter and she has given her review on Aquavit restaurant in London.
The restaurant has a Nordic cuisine style and it is open daily for breakfast, lunch as well as dinner. Among the things to check out while dining here is a wine in their menu, La Lagune 2001.

In most cases, Fiona does not review breakfast meals in restaurants, but after trying the smoked eel Benedict at the restaurant, she was eager to discover what else they have on the rest of the day’s meals.

She started off with a herring feast with her friends who had come along with her for the Trondheim trip in Norway. She then had lunch with her friend who also happens to be a chef and was always talking about how great Aquavit’s crab is.

Aquavit is located in the new posh St. James market which is very close to Piccadilly Circus. It has a semi-casual setup like the original place in New York despite the stretch of the marble and blond wood which is not laid back at all.
Some of their meals are a complete flop. With the exception of Herrings (which she recommends to be eaten alone served with their warm waxy new potatoes and little cute cheese tart), prominent meals like gravlax and meatballs did not have the usual seasoning. Another disappointing meal was the over-creative Jannsons’ temptation (potatoes and anchovy) which seemed more of mash than matchsticks.

If you are looking for culinary thrills, try the blood pudding covered with lard and a scarlet. It is almost Jackson Pollockesque spattering of lingonberries, which is usually a great combination of flavours and textures. It also goes down well if served with a glass of Crittenden Estate’s 2015 Pinot Noir from Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. Their duck is perfectly cooked, which is sometimes served like warm raw meat. It is a perfect combination when served with rowan jelly, pickled blueberries and salsify. It is also a great combination if served with Pinot as well.

The best is their seafood. The crab did not disappoint at all. Served with a dark buttery rye brioche, the amount charges for it are worth it. The perfectly fresh cod and monkfish, which are eaten at different occasions, were meant to show off a good white Burgundy, which are very limited.

Another temptation at the restaurant is the strong selection of Rieslings from Austria to Australia which also includes Sherry, which is less common. The Bordeaux list is strong and costly, but you can still settle for La Lagune which is suitable to most meals at £128.

Unless you work in the city, the best time to have your meals here are lunch hours. The evening tends to get rather loud and shady, not unless you had prior reservations for the private dining rooms. However, Fiona also highly recommends breakfast for two reasons, one is that the place is amazingly quiet where you would enjoy your meals in peace and two; they had said they would stop serving breakfast, which would be a great disappointment.

Despite the decline in new business growth employment in London is on the rise

Employment opportunities were on the rise even though the economic growth was not picking up well in the month of August. The rise remained steady on the increase for the tenth month running, according to a new report.

Business activities rose at a very slow rate compared to the UK average for three months in a row. This however did not reflect in the same way as far as job creation and opportunities in the private sector were concerned. This information is based on the most recent Lloyd’s Bank Regional Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

A PMI reading of above 50 indicates an expansion in business activities. In August, the London PMI stood at 52.8 which was a decline from 53.2 in the month of July. This figure was behind the average for the UK which has a reading of 54.0.

Lloyd’s bank usually rate their PMI based on feedback from the manufacturers as well as service providers about the quantities of goods produced as well as services provided in the month of August. The quantities are then compared to the previous month, in which case the comparison showed that general business activity had a declined rate from July.

A larger percentage of businesses also incurred more in terms of production costs during the month of August which were also increasing at a very fast rate from the month of February. This increment came about because of increasing salaries and the sterling growing weak. In July, there was also a slow and marginal rise in the prices of commodities and services.

Paul Evans, the Regional director for London at Lloyds Bank, commercial banking section said that the economy in London had stagnated in growth in August which also saw the business activity grow at a much lower speed that the usual average in the UK for three consecutive months. “At the same time, the most recent survey indicates a growth in job opportunities, which has played a major role in boosting investors’ confidence”, Paul said.

The biggest train fare rise for five years

From January 2, Britain will experience the biggest increment in train fares since 2013. The average rise is estimated to be about 3.4% for season tickets which fall under regulated fares as well as off-peak leisure tickets which fall under unregulated fares.

The Rail Delivery Group confessed that the increase was indeed substantial; however, they said that most of the fare income, about 97% was reinvested back into maintaining and operating the railway.

“A chill wind” was how a passenger group described the increment, while the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union termed it as a “kick in the teeth” for the commuters.

The July’s Retail Prices Index had capped the regulated fares increase of 36. % in which the increase is more than the latest Consumer Prices Index inflation figure of 3% which represents a five and a half year increment.

A spokesman from Scotrail said that they have invested a lot of money in to ensure that they continue to provide the best railway services in the UK. He also told the BBC that they get most of their revenue, about 85%, from the government regulated fares.

According to Anthony Smith, the chief executive of Transport Focus, a passenger watchdog, the commuters are still getting disappointed by the rail services on too many occasions, even with the significant investment in advanced rail tracks and signals. Such disappointments include having one of the nine service train getting to the terminus late within a period of one year.

“The fare increment is just sending the private train companies smiling all the way to the bank and they are nothing but an economic knife twist”, Mick Cash, the RMT union secretary general said.

“The government is keenly observing the changes in the rail fares and earnings and is constantly reviewing the levels” said a spokesperson from the Department of Transport. “There is significant investment in advanced railway system that will enhance the services for the commuters where they will enjoy more efficient trains with a larger capacity”

“We know how much pressure the commuters are experiencing and the economic status and therefore we are doing the best we can in terms of improving the services and at the same time making sure that the money is well utilized”, the chief executive of Rail Deliver Group, Paul Plummer said as he spoke to the BBC’s Today programme.

Records at the Rail and Road office in October showed a decline of about 13% in the financial allocation in 2016/17 which totalled to £4.2bn factoring in the inflation.

Private train companies invested £925m in 2016/17.

Popularity is not always a good thing as it has been a cause of numerous issues for the railways, some of which include increased number of commuters and the current rail system cannot support the growth. It is difficult to upgrade the system while still running the railways and so it leads to closure of some. This means that there is reduces revenue and so the increase in fares is inevitable.

Majority of the commuters were agitated by the increment.

For instance, Tammy has been a loyal commuter and she is angered by the fare rise in the last eight years, which has gone from £4,000 to £6,000.
Dan, another disappointed commuter is concerned about the affordability of the new fares for most people.

The quality of the services has suffered a decline and the trains are getting to the terminus late all the time.