Friday 16 May 2014

Moving this blog...

Thanks for checking out the blog for the Bromley Arts and Community Initiative, we hope you're excited about the prospect of turning the Royal Bell Hotel into a vibrant arts and community hub for Bromley! 

With a lot of valued help from friends of the project we have now moved this blog onto a shiny new website. The latest news can be found here, so just click on the link to find out the latest goings on.

Thanks for your interest and do like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @bromcommunity or sign up to our mailing list here to show your support and hear about upcoming meetings and community consultations.

Monday 11 November 2013

First step in funding success!

Last week we heard we'd been successful in our first funding application! Nicky Dykes, Councillor for Bromley Town, has helped us over the past few months with an application to the Community Fund, which is designed to help community groups like BACI grow their groups and provide financial assistance for things like publicity, room hire and other administrative costs. We were awarded nearly £3,000 and we are now looking forward to advancing with our plans.

So much thanks again for the continued support we've been receiving for the project, we really are proud to be working towards something we think will have a really positive impact for the people of Bromley. The press release is below :)

Sunday 27 October 2013

We emailed David Bowie...

If you've lived in the Bromley borough for more than about 5 minutes there's no way you haven't been told that you're living in David Bowie's hometown. Bowie was raised here during the 1950s and continued to live in Beckenham and Bromley during the '60s and '70s, so apart from Bob Crier from The Bill and H G Wells he has to be up there with Bromley's most famous residents.

In 1969 Bowie set up The Arts Lab, a varied arts and music venue in Beckenham with friend and journalist Mary Finnigan. Every Sunday The Three Tuns, now Zizzi's, turned into a celebration of local arts and music and by its fourth week it had become so popular that it expanded out into the conservatory and garden. Bowie explained the project in an interview with Melody Maker in 1969: "I run an arts lab which is my chief occupation. It's in Beckenham and I think it's the best in the country. There isn't one pseud involved. All the people are real - like labourers or bank clerks. It started out as a folk club, arts labs generally have such a bad reputation as pseud places but there's a lot of talent in the green belt and there is a load of tripe in Drury Lane. I think the arts lab movement is extremely important and should take over from the youth club concept as a social service. We've got a few greasers who come and a few skinheads who are just as enthusiastic. We started our lab a few months ago with poets and artists who just came along. It's got bigger and bigger and now we have our own light show and sculptures, et cetera. And I never knew there were so many sitar players in Beckenham."

Friday 13 September 2013

Public meeting 4th September round up

We had another great turn out for our public meeting held in the Council Chamber at the Bromley Civic Centre last week. Peter Martin, Chairman of BACI, presented on the latest developments and we took a lot of questions and opinions from the floor. It was a lively meeting with some great feedback and lots to take away and action! Thanks to everyone who attended. Below is the presentation and underneath that is a quick round up of the key points discussed. As always please don't hesitate to get in touch with any thoughts and ideas, any offers of help also always greatly received! 
Amanda Hone, BACI Secretary (

Friday 2 August 2013

Next open meeting - 4th of September!

We are holding another open meeting for all you lovely Bromley people on the 4th of September at 7pm in the Council Chamber at Bromley Civic Centre, so do come along to find out more and hear the latest developments on the project. We have made a lot of headway in recent months, including formally constituting as a community group and fostering the support of the council (including MP Bob Neill, pictured with us on the left), as well as holding further talks with the agents of British Land Corporation and Spirit Group (the land and lease holders).

We continue with our efforts to save the Royal Bell and we want to see as many interested people at the meeting as possible, there was a fantastic turnout for the last meeting in the library and we hope this time there will be even more people to share news with. Please do help us spread the word and don't hesitate to get in touch if you'd like to, my email is

Saturday 22 June 2013

We're a formally constituted community group!

For the past 9 months we have been holding meetings, rallying support, liaising with huge organisations and working hard to devise the best ways to save the Royal Bell from a fate of rotting away slowly in the town centre. In order to get formal recognition though we needed to get a proper constitution written and go through the channels that allow us to access funds and have an official status. We were fortunate enough to be joined at our inaugural meeting in the Barrel and Horn pub by a band of great supporters; John Street, Alan Hughes, Nigel Moriss, Jo Hone and Geraldine Rolfe, as well as me (Amanda Hone and Peter Martin) last week where minutes were taken (by John, very much appreciated) and committee members elected. It was a great meeting with all of us really excited about ways we can move forward with the project.

We are very happy to be able to recruit a treasurer, Geraldine Rolfe, with whom we made a trip to the bank this morning to open a bank account. It might not sound that exciting but for us it's a really significant step as this will allow us to apply for funds so we can get advice and hire professionals to help with this complex project in the future.

We have some important meetings lined up in the next few weeks with people we hope we can work together with to breath some much needed life back into the Royal Bell.

More updates as they happen, but in the mean time thanks for reading and for your continued support :)

Friday 31 May 2013

A proposal

BACI's Chairman and ex-planner at Bromley Council, Peter Martin has put together a proposal which we will be presenting to Councillors and also to British Land Corporation (the owners of the Royal Bell). We will still go ahead with starting the ball rolling on this avenue as nothing is guaranteed with Antic. If they didn't get the pub the building still needs a way out of its gridlocked situation which allows it to continue rotting in the centre of Bromley.

So here is it, enjoy :) ....