Welcome to our first issue of the year and a chance to sweep away the cobwebs, have a jolly good spring clean and try something new.  We’ve tried to trim down this issue a little, but our ever-growing Barbican Association Discount Scheme members were a little cramped up squeezed into only two pages.  We’ve given them all some breathing space with an extra page so you can read about all the marvellous shops and services offering you discounts at your leisure (and without you having to squint once)!  Please remember to take your Barbican Association Membership Card with you so you have it to hand to claim your discount on the day.

Delving into the delightful and fascinating nooks and crannies of the Barbican Estate, we’re taking a closer look at some of the hidden spaces which are often overlooked as we rush by every day.  Our first article is by Edward Powe who is also our cover artist for this issue.

We pay a special tribute to two exceptional Residents who we lost in 2019.  William Howard was an early powerhouse in the Barbican Horticultural Society and his curtains of Gilbert greenery are visible to most of us on the west side of the Estate.  William’s enthusiasm (and greens) spurred me on to try out a double page photo of his balcony.  Another sad loss late last year was Clive James who used to live in Willoughby House before he moved out to the country.  Thank goodness for the internet and his books, where his humour will always be there for us when we’re in need of some healthy acidic cynicism this year.

Julien Waite continues our education on bugs and small beasties, ready for the ‘English-safari’ enthusiasts among you and once again, Peter Savage does us the favour of researching something we’d never think about looking into ourselves; this month it is Bricks!

Thanks to Resident professional singer Katie Milton, we have a profile of the most marvellously reviewed Tenebrae Choir, their Holy Week concerts and what exciting new projects they are planning for 2020.

Our own Lawrence sacrificed a good few hours for us and reports back on Berkmann Wine Cellars’ annual wine tasting which was held just around the corner at The Brewery on Chiswell Street.

We include our regular contributors laying out the tasty options of art and theatre and grounding us with financial and pension insights.

Let me say a huge thank you to all the contributors and advertisers who have committed to another year with us.  Along with our Resident volunteers they are the fuel for our Barbican Association.

‘Conflict is the primary engine of creativity and innovation’ Ronald A. Heifetz.

With the low-emission pilot along Beech Street, the City’s disenfranchisement of our elected councillors, and the redecoration quotes we’ve just clapped eyes on, we can expect another active year.

We’ll see you at the Barbican Association AGM on Thursday April 23rd to start our engines (Le Mans style sprint start to St Giles’ Terrace)!