Metamorphosis DAY 1 – Wednesday 25 March 2009

Ooooo it’s about time I do an update on the move, although there are
some splendid youtube films of us clearing out 81a Bedford Place!

Finally, we’re in!

The day started with the piano removal from 81a. Our loyal musical
friend was the last thing to leave the upstairs at our old place, and
the first thing in at our new place! Technically the piano was
squatting as it was moved at 8am and we signed the lease at 9am, but
there you go!

Nina and I headed off to the solicitors for a final read of the lease,
before signing it and nipping over the road to swear a statutory
oath… all very formal, though it felt a bit like getting married, so
I think Nina is MY WIFE NOW! 🙂

We couldn’t really do much building work, but did clean the windows
(they were quite gribby) and then make a start on clearing out some of
the panelling… the building used to be a clothes shop and a lot of
the wooden panels were still there. Although quite nice, they’re very
dark and we want a light space for showing art….. so they had to go!

Nina in the meantime had arranged many car-driving elves to start
moving stuff from the old place, where it’s stored in the basement (by
some random arrangement with the previous landlady, we have the
basement until the 31st!)

Lots of phonecalls and emails to get the official wheels rolling too!
This included speaking with the Council, who:

1) Will be charging us £1200 per year to access our building from the
rear (which, as a condition of the planning permission, we have no
choice over as we’re not allowed to use the front!). This is in
addition to rates, which don’t include rubbish collection (that’s an
extra £5.75 per week for landfill and £4.75 for recycling).

2) Have told us that recycling bottles at a bottle bank is illegal for
a business and that there may even be issues with taking our recycling
elsewhere ourselves. Not exactly helping businesses recycle, and I
shall be following this one up with my MP! To stay on the right side
of the law, we have to throw our bottles in landfill, apparently.

We often get asked whether we are council funded – actually it seems
to be the other way around, as every time we do anything we have to
pay something to the Council!

Anyway, enough ranting!

We ended the day with dressing the new window with many, many
butterflies and flowers and bling 🙂

About arthousesouthampton

The Art House is a not-for-profit café, gallery and arts venue in the centre of Southampton. We are a place you can meet new people, meet up with friends or just come in by yourself. Our licensed café offers delicious organic lunches, Fairtrade tea and homemade cake. We also have a busy programme of events, workshops, and art exhibitions, a clothing and crafts boutique and lots more. Most of our crew are volunteers and you might even want to apply to join them. Come along and enjoy our unique, community run space.
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