Edited on 5 September 2011:

We’ve just noticed that the sheriff’s office have written their own article:

Squatter eviction in Hackney

by David Carter on 27 August 2011

On Friday, The Sheriffs Office cleared a large squat in Terrace Road, Hackney, East London removing twenty adult squatters from a shop and four flats.

Acting on behalf of our client, who was recently bequeathed the premises as part of a legacy, we used a Writ of Possession to gain High Court approval to enter the building, by force if necessary, and take possession of the property by evicting the squatters who had been illegally squatting for up to a year.

The premises were linked and had at one time been one large shop with living accommodation above in a parade of shops. Although the squatters had installed a CCTV system to warn them of possible eviction, the eviction team bypassed the cameras and surprised them in the early hours of the morning, clearing all of the properties simultaneously.

Supported by a police presence of eight officers, we had removed all but two of the squatters by 7:40 am. We also helped the squatters to remove all of their personal belongings. One female squatter tried to re-enter the premises and was restrained by a Police Officer while another refused to leave and had to be physically escorted from the premises. The premises were restored to their proper owners by 9 am that morning.

I’m delighted that the eviction went smoothly. The Police were supportive and, as usual, worked with our own enforcement officers in unison, assisting where necessary. Unlike other enforcement companies, The Sheriffs Office is very much in support of the proposed new laws to make squatting a criminal offence in England and Wales.

Source: http://www.thesheriffsoffice.com/articles/squatter_eviction_in_hackney/


– They did not remove “twenty adult squatters”, they removed ‘only’ 17 homeless people and kicked them out on to the street in the early hours of the morning, in the rain, the Friday before a bank holiday weekend when it would have been pretty much impossible to get support, advice and possibly temporary emergency housing from the appropriate agencies.

– As previously mentioned, it wasn’t really necessary to obtain a Writ of Possession to gain High Court approval. We had been in fairly constant contact with the courts, finding out when the bailiffs were due to evict us. We had been occupying three properties, two shop units and the flats above, and we had been informed by the Court Service that the eviction for the shops was due on 7 September and the flats were due to be evicted on 24 September.

– It’s surprising that someone who is writing an article for the Sheriffs Office including the text “squatters who had been illegally squatting for up to a year” apparently doesn’t know the difference between illegal and unlawful. Squatting isn’t illegal, it’s not a crime, it’s a civil wrong, a matter for the civil courts. We should have thought that the Sheriffs Office of all people ought to know the difference, since they’re carrying out evictions as a result of such proceedings.

– The properties were not “recently bequeathed the premises as part of a legacy”, the properties have been owned by the trust for a considerable length of time and have been arguably mismanaged, certainly neglected and allowed to become seriously dilapidated. The background is well-known locally, in that the owners and their managing agents have been trying to force out other legitimate shop tenants through raising rents by as much as 300 per cent, many of the shops on the street have been vacated due to the owner’s and their managing agent’s unreasonable demands.

“The squatters had installed a CCTV system” is also factually incorrect. Some of the squatters are artists, and video cameras had been re-sited as an art installation as a commentary about the surveillance society, as the UK is one of the most surveilled societies in the world. It is factually incorrect to suggest that the sheriffs “eviction team” had somehow cleverly “bypassed the cameras”, which were not plugged in, and not connected to any monitors. In fact, it wasn’t difficult at all for the sheriffs to gain entry, as one of the squatters had left early that morning to go to work and so the main door to the courtyard had not only been left unlocked and unbarricaded, it had been left open, so no force was required.

– “We also helped the squatters to remove all of their personal belongings.” Again, this is factually incorrect. The majority of the sheriffs were very obstructive and refused to let people collect their belongings. However, a couple of them were more reasonable and amenable, and helped one of the squatters, who has a disability and isn’t able to carry heavy things. After we had all vacated the premises those individual sheriffs also went back into the building to retrieve some personal possessions including a bag containing someone’s passport (Thanks guys, you know who you are, we appreciated your help!). We certainly were not permitted to remove all of our personal belongings. As things stand, we have made repeated phone calls to a number given on a notice affixed to the gate, yet no one has returned our calls to tell us when we can have our belongings back. At the moment, they are withholding many personal possessions, including documents, clothes, bedding, mattresses, all our pots and pans and cooking equipment from the kitchen. Most importantly, someone who wasn’t living at Well Furnished, but was storing a bag there for safety (because we weren’t due to be evicted till 7 and 24 September) has been repeatedly asking the 24/7 security guards to retrieve a bag containing her passport. This person is a European citizen and she can’t go home or travel anywhere without her passport and it will be difficult for her to get a replacement while she’s stuck in the UK. It is, basically, a lie to say that they helped the squatters remove all of their personal belongings when more than a week later they are still withholding someone’s bag containing a passport and also lots of other personal effects belonging to many of us, given that we were rudely awakened in the early hours of the morning and evicted unexpectedly well before the date the Court Service told us we were due to be evicted.

“One female squatter tried to re-enter the premises and was restrained by a Police Officer…” Again, this assertion is factually incorrect. One squatter did not try to re-enter the premises, she simply attempted to remove from the gate a padlock, which was the property of the squatters. As she removed the padlock and passed it to one of the other squatters, she was physically grabbed and assaulted by the sheriffs as the police stood by and let them. She has photographic evidence of bruising to her arm, which left marks  in the shape of finger prints where she had been physically manhandled by the sheriffs, and her nose was also bashed. As mentioned above, we were all being polite and not-resisting, and yet suddenly without warning, they grabbed her from behind and assaulted her.

“… while another refused to leave and had to be physically escorted from the premises.” This is misleading as well. What actually happened was that one squatter who had been staying in Well Furnished effectively had to remove not only her things, but those of the squatter who had left early that morning to go to work, and also some electrical goods belonging to someone else. The sheriffs originally said that if she left, someone else could come back into the building to help carry stuff out, but when she phoned the squatters who had already left the building to ask for help and to coordinate the changeover she was told that they were refusing to let anyone else back in. It took a considerable amount of time to try to pack her clothes and those of the person who was out at work, given that the eviction wasn’t expected until 7 and 24 September. It wasn’t possible for her to remove all those belongings without assistance. When she crossed the courtyard, she realised that just outside the gate were sheriffs with barking dogs straining at their leads. She was asked to leave the premises, but explained that she had an autistic spectrum disorder and, further, was afraid of dogs and wanted the dogs to be moved away. The sheriffs declined to move the dogs and started moving towards her and saying something about physically removing her from the premises. Again, we had been very polite and hadn’t been resisting the eviction, and that person had clearly made her phobia about dogs known to the sheriffs who ignored her repeated pleas to remove the dogs. The dogs were not very well controlled, in fact they were particularly badly behaved as the dog handler was later witnessed yanking the dog back on its lead and shouting “Korva!” (which we understand is a Polish swear word) at it. The squatter was terrified of the dogs and eventually a police officer came in through the gate and offered to help the squatter leave, promising to stay at all times between the dog and the squatter as she left the building. If the sheriffs had complied with the reasonable request to move the dogs round the corner away from someone who was visibly and audibly terrified of the dogs, who had notified them that she had an autistic spectrum disorder, then it would not have been necessary for the police officer to come to her assistance.


Well Furnished Evicted!

Posted: August 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

At 6am this morning ( 26/08/11) Well Furnished was broken into by about 20 High Court Bailiffs with dogs. They also had support from Police Officers.  We were completely unprepared for this. We were told by the court that we had eviction dates for 7th and 24th September.

The baliffs were not too bad and let us recover some of our stuff. However at one point they forced two of the Well Furnished crew through the gate and physically assaulted both of them. The police were unconcerned about the physical harm inflicted on us by the bailiffs.This was despite the fact we put up no resistance and were polite and civil, as we believe we have been throughout our time at Well Furnished since the end of April.

We think it is a very sad state of affairs that the property agents Lamberts and St John Hackney Joint Charities Trust have decided to spend charity money on a very costly eviction process.

The Trust claim they don’t have enough money to renovate their properties, are making their existing tenants responsible for repairs and increasing the rents by up to 300%.

Well Furnished is not the only empty property on Well St and Terrace Rd, half of the Trust’s properties are empty. This is a blight on the street, damaging for existing tenants businesses and a gross injustice for the people of Hackney who are supposed to be benefiting from the income made by renting out properties.

You can find out more about this on the Save Well Street Market Website,

We have always wanted to use the empty properties, Well Furnished and This and That for the benefit for the community as a whole. From the outset we have reached out to our neighbours and many of them have welcomed us, recognising that we have worked tirelessly to make the empty space beautiful and a asset for the community.

We have always tried to contact Lamberts, The Church Trust, The Vicar and Geoff Taylor (local councilor and chairman of the Trust), however they have never answered any of emails or phone calls.

If you liked what we were doing at Well Furnished and feel that Lamberts could have handled this differently, please let them know.

Please email


and/ or





August 17th-26th Schedule

Posted: August 17, 2011 in Up Coming Events

We’ve got a jampacked couple of weeks ahead with the arrival of the Sonic Arts international exchange programme, where we have 15 international sound artists workshopping and performing from the 24th, the QUEER CABARET on the 19th, and the return of WORD SOUND HAVE POWER IV on the bank holiday weekend.

If you haven’t been, you must come to check out our converted toy shop space, where we’ve built our own stage, theatre, bar and restaurant and serve delicious veggie food at a knockdown price. All donations go to community projects, so come and have a look before they make it all illegal … 🙂

Wednesday 17th August

1-7pm  – Drop-in sessions and open day

8pm – Poledancing workshop

Friday 19th August

8pm – ***QUEER CABARET*** … polysexual gendertypedefying poetry and spoken word with the cream of London’s performers … hosted by Cat Brogan, donation entry. 18+

Saturday 20th August

1-7pm – Drop-in sessions and open day

1-7pm – Bike workshop drop-in session. Learn how to repair, build, and maintain your beloved bike!

Monday 22st August

8pm – Queer Tango classes. Come twirl the night away in our romantic bed shop! No experience necessary.

Wednesday 24rd August

1-7pm – Drop-in sessions and open day

Thursday 25th August

1-6pm – ***SONIC ARTS FESTIVAL*** Workshop day in audio engineering and audio arts. All welcome, drop-in sessions.

Friday 26th August

1-6pm – ***SONIC ARTS FESTIVAL*** Workshop day in audio engineering and audio arts. All welcome, drop-in sessions.

8pm-late – ***SONIC ARTS FESTIVAL*** Performances and presentations from the festival, vegetarian food in our lovely Conscious Cafe space.

Saturday 27th August

1-6pm – ***SONIC ARTS FESTIVAL*** Workshop day in audio engineering and audio arts. All welcome, drop-in sessions.

8pm-late – ***WORD SOUND HAVE POWER IV – SONIC ARTS FESTIVAL vs REBOOT THE ROOTS*** Performances and presentations, vegetarian food in our lovely Conscious Cafe space. Benefit night, all donations go to http://www.reboottheroots.org.uk

Featuring Furious George MC (UK/Malaysia), acoustic stylings from the Hops (UK), DJ Crystof (Latvia), dub reggae sound systems, audio art from the sonic arts artist festival and much more … entry by donation!






*Drop-in One-On-One Yogic rejuvination classes available, here @ Well Furnished, Homerton.
Please e-mail T’Om @ wellfurnished@gmail.com for more information.

{{{:::}}} Sacred Geometry Mandala Artist {{{:::}}}
{{{:::}}} Sound Harmonic Energy Body Healer {{{:::}}}

::: Harmonic Om’ing Sound Bath Circle ::: 
–  Friday 5th August @ 3:33pm

❤ T’Om LOVE ❤



Posted: July 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

Come & join us for an Evening of :::MOVIE::: entertainment

We have a projector, surround sound, & are more than happy to
screen Movies / Documentaries / Education Videos etc or bring something along,
& we will consider playing it on the BIG screen!

We can also cater to groups; Tea’s, Coffee’s & Movie Munchies for your dining pleasure
+ Smoking area & chill Garden space relax

“Hakuna Matata”
(No Worries)
*All for FREE ~ (Donations are appreciated & will be given to  a local charity)


Posted: July 21, 2011 in Up Coming Activities

QUEER TANGO – come and learn to dance! queer tango is about intimacy, connection, leading and following, not getting stuck in gendered roles… all ages, genders, sexualities welcome. wear comfortable clothes and shoes that don’t grip the floor. email queertango@aktivix.org for more info


Sorry for increasing traffic to murdock enterprises, but they are doing a big scandalous expose on the demise of well street, perhaps oversimplistically directing it towards TEsco’s as the root cause, when there may be a more complicated and well hidden reason … beware of oversimplicity folks. Well Street Market’s fate is surely part of myriad factors …

WELCOME to the Well Street market, where barrowboy Jack Cohen used to ply his trade to hundreds of customers.

In 1919, Jack was selling his groceries alongside dozens of other stall-holders and did quite well for himself ? going on to found Tesco and earn a knighthood.

But now just three pitches remain at the site in London’s East End, with locals claiming that a Tesco store opening in the street had sounded the death knell for once-thriving family businesses.

As Tesco announced a 13 per cent rise in profits to £2.55BILLION, street trader Martin Wiles blasted Sir Jack’s legacy.

Booming ... local traders blame change on this store

Booming … local traders blame change on this store

Dad Martin, whose family have run a fruit and veg stall in Well Street for nearly 50 years, said: “Tesco killed off the market.

“When I started 35 years ago there were 50 stalls on a Saturday ? last week there were two.

Entrepreneur ... Sir Jack

Entrepreneur … Sir Jack

“Just like High Streets across the country, a supermarket has killed it for independent traders like me.

“It rips the heart out of a community. The difference here is that this market was where it all began for Tesco.”

Martin’s pitch is just a few yards from where Jack ? the son of a Polish Jew ? began his empire with one wooden barrow.

Jack, then 21, used a £30 payoff from the Royal Flying Corps after World War One to buy a job lot of fish paste and golden syrup.

His “pile it high, sell it cheap” sales tactic was a runaway success and he soon moved on to bigger things.

The name Tesco first appeared on packets of tea in 1924, a combination of the initials of supplier T E Stockwell and the first two letters of his surname.

The first Tesco store opened in 1929 in Edgware, North London, and by 1947 the company was quoted on the Stock Exchange.

Off the shelf Tesco facts

  • They employ more than 250,000 in the UK
  • One in every £3 spent on food in UK is in Tesco
  • Every week they have 20 million customers
  • Boss Sir Terry Leahy earned £3.9m last year
  • There are more than 2,672 stores in 13 countries, including the UK, Japan, Poland, Turkey, Hungary, China, Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea

Jack used to give badges to staff with YCDBSOYA on them. He joked that it was Yiddish but it actually stood for “You Can’t Do Business Sitting On Your A***.”

He was knighted in 1969 and died in 1980, aged 82.

Martin, 51, from Romford, Essex, said: “Tesco opened a store at the top of Well Street in 1970 ? I can remember Jack came down to open it himself.

“I suppose he wanted to come back to where it all began.

“There used to be 11 butchers, seven greengrocers and a couple of fish stalls here. Now there’s just me, a clothes stall and a butcher.”

Shopper Sue Williams, 68, said: “I’m not old enough to remember Tesco selling its stuff from a barrow. But I remember when this street was full of stalls and was a proper East End market.

“All the banter’s gone. It’s sad.”

But Tesco insist their popularity shows they are giving shoppers what they want.

Chief executive Sir Terry Leahy has strongly refuted claims that the huge success of supermarkets is killing the High Street.

He said: “When a Tesco store opens, shops around it do better rather than worse.”

He said people will come into a town where a Tesco has opened and will then stay and visit the local shops.

Sir Terry added: “It is up to the customers to decide whether we grow or whether we shrink.”

But from his stall in the shadow of Tesco in Well Street, Martin stares forlornly down the road.

The market stalls are gone ? replaced by fast-food joints.

Market place ... Well Street stalls have had to close

Market place … Well Street stalls have had to close

He says: “I don’t blame Jack.

“But my kids won’t take over from me. When I pack up, Tesco will have it all to themselves.”

Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article25532.ece#ixzz1PegYnErn

Open Drop In – Free tea and chat!

Posted: June 18, 2011 in Home

“Save Well Street Market”

Many local shops on Well Street in Hackney, some of which have been serving the needs of local residents for over 20 years, are facing closure because of rent increases of 200%.

These shops include several local charities and have a well- established place as the heart of the local community. They provide affordable and essential services for residents who would otherwise have to travel much further for them, and they are what make the Well Street area a real East End community.

The proximity of Tesco’s over the roads means we get a nice talking point with locals – yesterday we were informed Mr Jack Cohen himself used to sell bent tins on the Well Street Market before stepping up his game and opening up the first ever Tesco – named after his daughter Tessa.

Please sign the petitions in the shops and join the Facebook Group to show your support.


Check some great photos from our area here


Richard Tyrone Jones wows the packed crowd at our inaugural ‘WellFurnished With Poets’

Our first spoken word event took place on Friday 10th June with over a dozen performers taking the floor – including turns from inhouse comperes Catherine Brogan, Furious George and the Captain of the Rant getting things going. Also tearing things up were Alain English, Richard Tyrone Jones, Mel Jones (no relation), Dave Flores, Mooza Mohd, Stephanie Dogfoot, Charlie Dupre, Ofir of the Turbans, Olah Nora, with spontaenous interpretative dances and jam sessions bursting out in an epic poetry session that ran from 8pm until 1am!

Captain of the Rant makes friends with the adult education gremlin, played by Richard Tyrone JonesStephanie Dogfoot kicks out the jams infront of our upcycled backdrop

Charlie DUpre freestylin’ with Ofir of the Turbans
Be sure to check out our upcoming schedule including a COMMUNITY POETRY wordkshop on Monday 20th June, where we will use poetry to capture the voices of our local community, and the WORD SOUND HAVE POWER benefit gig on 2nd July for arts-for-social-cohesion charity Fallen Leaves UK.
Thanks to everyone who helped out and came along, it was totally bonobo.