What’s Your Granby Story?

The last Granby 4 Streets Market of this summer season this Saturday, 5th September. And a very special one too.

We are telling the stories of the place now. Listen.

"His good name from 79 Granby Street and his legacy still lives on."

“His good name from 79 Granby Street and his legacy still lives on.”

This is Zeena Mekki telling a story of this week, this century and the last one. The story of a seafarer. The story of a migrant. The story of a refugee. A story of welcome. Of decades and of love. The story of coming home, of being human. The story of her Dad and Granby. Listen.

One story in a book of stories.

One story in a book of stories.

Written and told by the people of Granby.

A story of where people could always find you somewhere.

A story of where people could always find you somewhere.

Maybe not perfect but everyone would help.

Maybe not perfect but everyone would help.

"And actually the structure's fairly sound."

And who knows what we might make of it?

"If we get help."

If we pull together everyone we need and all do our bit.

"And we know what we want?"

Knowing what we want.

Then maybe we’ll get to the place where we tell all of our stories? Where we link the place that past generations called home and welcome, to a future it didn’t look like it might have.

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A future now arriving and being moved into.

With rooms and designs that might not have been expected.

With rooms and designs that might not have been expected.

But beautiful, just beautiful.

But beautifully done.

This Thursday evening some of us storytellers gathered for one of the precious few times we’ve taken to reflect on and celebrate all of this.

In Cairns Street, in the 4 Streets.

In Cairns Street, in the 4 Streets.

Politician friend and Artist friend.

Politician and artist friends.

And the guerrilla gardened pear tree in the street friend.

And the guerrilla gardened pear tree in the street friend.

All gathered.

All gathered.

To celebrate our book of stories.

To celebrate our book of stories.

Commissioned by the Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust, written by the people of Granby, and produced by Writing On The Wall.

Theresa begins the story-telling.

Theresa MacDermott of us and of Arundel Street and Beaconsfield Street and the Street Market begins the story-telling.

And Erika rushton of the Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust talks of the friendships that got us here.

And Erika Rushton, also of the Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust talks of the friendships that got us here.

Then Madeline Heneghan begins the stories of the place.

Then Madeline Heneghan of Writing On The Wall begins the stories of the place.

How Writing on the Wall have heard the stories of Granby Street. The shops the people, the welcome.

How Writing on the Wall have heard the stories of Granby Street. The shops, the people, the welcome.

Our Ann O'Byrne, who has helped so much, and all of us are in a story now.

Ann O’Byrne, Deputy Mayor and friend of Granby, who has helped so much, with all of us listening now.

"Listen, we are telling you stories."

“Listen, we are telling you stories.”

"My Dad was Al Beshir Mekki. I suppose like most children yo take your parents as you find them."

“My Dad was Ali Beshir Mekki. I suppose like most children you take your parents as you find them…”

We hear the story of 79 Granby Street, told by Zena Mekki. Of Mop and Pops and the Mekki family. Known well from Granby Street to Port Sudan as a family and a place of welcome, solutions and refuge. Their shop on Granby Street, open now for 50 years. Granby, where new arrivals have long been welcomed in.

“When I was very young I remember lots of people from all over the world coming to visit us. I never understood who they were.”

Time then to reflect on the story, to talk and to eat together.Granby Story - 27 Granby Story - 28 Granby Story - 29 Granby Story - 30 Granby Story - 31Thanks to Rose Olive and Mark, and to Takiyah of Masamba for the food.

Then music.

Jazz and Cole Porter and Billie Holiday.

Jazz, Cole Porter and Billie Holiday.

Then we carried on telling the stories of now and soon.

Some of the women of the place.

Some of the women of the place.

All of us talking into the late summer evening.

And all of us, into the late summer evening, by the now being completed houses.

The Mekki family and Michael Simon of Granby 4 Streets.

Including the Mekki family and Michael Simon, all of Granby. Story telling.

In the street the people come and go, talking of what they’ve done and know.

Next afternoon, I start reading the book. Arriving at ‘Nineties Diva’ Nicola Duzant-Hayden has this to say:

“Throughout the years, great moments come and they go. We remember the parties and great music created. A time that once felt it stood still is now waiting to re-emerge. The hidden talent and culture of L8 is waiting beneath the surface.

This is my story.”

What’s Your Granby Story?

This was a quiet  and celebratory gathering for the people who told the stories and made the book. It will be officially launched and available to buy for £2.99 at the Granby 4 Streets Market this Saturday, 5th September. And there will be stories told on the day by the Granby people who have written the book.

There will also be Homebaked and all the food and art and crafts and music you’d expect at this last Street Market until Christmas. Plus something special. The Community Land Trust architects, Assemble, are having an open day in their Granby Workshop, their new social enterprise on Granby St (in Karen and Sam’s old newsagent).  Come in and say hello and have a look at the great craft works they are doing for the houses.Granby Story - 11 Granby Story - 13 Granby Story - 12Constructing the future out of the past. See you there?

4 thoughts on “What’s Your Granby Story?

  1. Jean Clare

    Wow I have loved reading all the stories and seeing the photos. I was born in 1961 and lived in Northbrook St. I remember two lovely girls who took me and my brother out in our prams called Lynne and Stella. They were so kind. When I look at the photos it’s the trees that make me happy. I always loved the trees and to see them still there is just great.

    Reply

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