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The Saxon Pistols? 20 years of the HCA

05 May, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Highbury Community Association members at the general meeting

THE Highbury Community Association (HCA) celebrated its 20th anniversary last month with a general meeting that raised hundreds of pounds for charity.

More than 40 members of the group, which campaigns on issues that affect local residents and businesses, heard about its recent work including its opposition to the Wireless music festival in Finsbury Park.

They were also treated to a talk by Ruth Polling, an award-winning local tour guide. She spoke about the history of Highbury, from the Anglo-Saxons to the Sex Pistols, who recorded an album in Wessex Sound Studios in Highbury New Park.

A raffle at the 20th anniversary celebration

The meeting venue, Christ Church in Highbury Grove, was decorated with bunting.

Sarah Potter, a HCA committee member, said: “We were delighted to make it to 20 years, [it’s a] long history for a community organisation.”

Highbury artist Derek Whitehead donated two artworks for an auction that helped raise £550 for elderly day centre Sotheby Mews.

The 985-member group is free to join. For its 20th anniversary, the HCA published a special colour edition of its newsletter.

To read it, visit the group’s website:

No Flash in the pan: Youth Theatre pulls a few strings

Members of Spectrum Youth Theatre perform Beyond the Flash

MEMBERS of Islington’s Spectrum Youth Theatre, the only puppeteering company in the UK for young autistic people, performed in Canterbury, Kent, last weekend. Eleven people, aged 11 to 17, worked together over a series of Saturday afternoons to come up with the design and story for their production, Beyond the Flash.

Participant Josiah Carr, 14, said puppetry helped people with autism gain confidence by allowing them to work as a team.

Speaking about the Canterbury performance, he said: “I enjoyed the experience because it gave us an opportunity to share our show skills and talents with a wider audience, alongside raising positive awareness about autism.”

Taking part in a Q&A at Canterbury

The young puppeteers premiered their production at Islington’s Little Angel Theatre, where Spectrum is based, in March, but were asked to perform and stay for a Q&A at Canterbury’s Autism Arts Festival.

Slavka Jovanovic, head of learning at Little Angel Theatre, said: “The performers were really proud of themselves, especially since they hadn’t performed the work for over a month and the weekend had been exhausting, with early starts and intensive rehearsals.”

To find out how you or your child can join the puppet theatre visit

Enter your work for 10th Summer Salon

Eleanor Pearce (left) and a gallery assistant put up artworks from the first salon 10 years ago

ISLINGTON Arts Factory is now accepting entries for its 10th Summer Salon art exhibition, which will take place in June. The salon, based on intellectual discussion spaces of 18th-century France, will host works from more than 100 London artists. Eleanor Peace, director of art at the Factory, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating a decade of Summer Salon this year.”

Anyone can apply for their work to be displayed in the Parkhurst Road space. To find out more about the salon and how to submit your piece (deadline is May 15) visit


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