Happy New Year! As we enter the new decade, the HQ team have been reflecting on our favourite moments of the last year, both in the world of Coney and beyond. Here are some of the moments we’re celebrating:
Loveliest Coney moments: Last year at Coney, I trained as a Playful Secret Agent and then delivered my first gift of loveliness to an unsuspecting recipient. My training set me up in good stead, and I used my identified talent as a London cyclist to deliver the gift on short notice, at an opportune time. It felt great. It’s also been wonderful to do so much in HQ’s borough of Tower Hamlets in the last year – from visiting six local primary schools to run our Change-Maker Training Programme for young people aged 8-10, to working with Tamasha, Rightful Place, Mulberry School and Rich Mix to deliver our smart-phone adventure on foot in and around Brick Lane.
Beyond Coney: Climbing Snowdon with my mum for her 60th birthday.
Loveliest Coney moment: Watching Tim and Rachael as they danced Companion: Moon at Natural History Museum, a crowd of 200 people, interacting with something genuinely spontaneous in a busy public space, creating a movement all together that replicated the waves of the ocean. Lit with a blue light and with an epic soundscape. Beautiful.
Beyond Coney: I hiked 7 summits, and my body seriously impressed me by going higher than I ever thought it could.
Loveliest Coney moment: Watching a group of young people play The Shadow of the Future for the first time. Also when Rabbit left me flowers on my desk.
Beyond Coney: When Toby Peach and I realised at the same time that the door noise on the Circle & District line reminds us both of the main theme song in Hook.
Loveliest Coney moment: The Young Coneys’ Meet & Play! Super inspiring to be in a room with a group of incredibly intelligent, funny, diverse, creative young people with real energy to make positive change in the world!
Beyond Coney: Pecsmass at The Yard – so. much. fun. And the perfect antidote to feelings of isolation, hurt and disappointment that many people around me have been feeling after the election. The night was a proper sanctuary, inviting us to let loose and strengthen our communities! Also Letters to a Young Poet – a small but essential book for anyone trying to develop a practice and struggling with isolation.
Loveliest Coney moment: I loved George and Naomi’s quickfire chemistry in Last Night of the Pleasure Fair, and the piece of trivia they shared that will stay with me for the rest of my life: that at the Bartholomew Fair in 1825, ‘baby crocodiles were hatched from their eggs by steam’. What does that even mean? I was so happy.
Beyond Coney: I don’t know if it’s the loveliest, but I was there for the end of the XR occupation of Oxford Circus in April – thought it was, among other things, a brilliantly dramaturged piece of performance…
Loveliest Coney moment: I hugely enjoyed playing the pub quiz as part of We The People (of Culture Mile) – the first time I’ve experienced a Coney pub quiz. I had great chats with the Barbican & Golden Lane residents in my team and learnt lots about the area, though I didn’t contribute many answers!
Beyond Coney: I’ve been reading a lot of poetry, and discovering how much amazing stuff is being written at the moment! A few of the collections that have enhanced my life this year: The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus, The Tradition by Jericho Brown, The Weather In Normal by Carriet Etter, Us by Zaffar Kunial
Loveliest Coney moment: The Young Coneys’ walking through Smithfield Market festival, wearing their animal conservation masks and hearing Archie, 7, our newest member of the YCs speaking on the megaphone asking the audience to think about animal extinction.
Beyond Coney: The joy in looking after house plants.
Loveliest Coney moment: The boy giving birth to a baby in the centre of the world to defy the evil moustache government, in the Young Coneys’ unique take on the Nativity. Followed by the Young Coneys and their parents and us Old Coneys playing a game together.
Beyond Coney: The energy and enthusiasm of the climate strikes.
Do you have any feedback or Coney memories you’d like to share from the year? We’d love to hear from you! Give us a knock to say hello any time.