Forest Café

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Forest centre, Bristo Place, Edinburgh

The Forest, also referred to as Forest Café,[1][2] is an independent social centre and arts centre, located on Lauriston Place, central Edinburgh, Scotland.[3][4] It is notable for being run by volunteers as a charitable self-sustaining not-for-profit. Forest cafe was previously housed in the former Edinburgh Seventh Day Adventist Church, a building owned by the Edinburgh University Settlement[1] until August 2011, and housed the café, an arts gallery, performance space, rehearsal/music studio, and darkroom.

Free events were held regularly, including workshops, music, film, poetry, theatre and readings.

During each summer the venue ran the August Forest Fringe, a theatre and alternative arts programme as an alternative complement to the mainstream Edinburgh Festival.[3]

The Edinburgh University Settlement - the charity that owned the Bristo Place building - went bankrupt in October 2010, and it was announced that the premises were to be sold.[5] The Forest launched a campaign to raise £500,000 to try to buy the building, or buy or rent another property elsewhere in Edinburgh.[6][7]

The old Forest building was squatted on the 30 November 2011 by a group of protesters not linked to the Forest. The activists stated that they wished to re-open the building to the public.[8] Subsequently the protesters were evicted and all accessible doors and windows of the building boarded up to prevent further squatting and vandalism.

In August 2012 the Forest reopened in Lauriston Place, Tollcross,[9] where it continues its activity as a volunteer run vegetarian cafe with regular free events and workshops, assuming a pivotal role in the revival of the independent community development in central Edinburgh.

Background[edit]

The building at 3 Bristo Place was constructed during 1899–1900 to a design by Sydney Mitchell and Wilson for the Evangelical Union[10] on the site of a former Baptist Chapel.[11] The category-B listed building has 659 square metres (7,090 sq ft) of floor space and was previously owned by the National Museums of Scotland, who sold the building for £600,000 during 2003.[12][13] The plaque over the door reflects its subsequent use as a Seventh-day Adventist Church, who had purchased the building in 1942[11][14] and used it until 2000.[1]

Social organisation

The Forest organisation itself started in August 2000[15] with a venue in West Port, off the Grassmarket in Edinburgh's Old Town.[1] Relocation to the Bristo Place premises started in September 2003 and the Forest Café opened there in October 2003. After leaving in August 2011, the Forest Café reopened again in Tollcross in August 2012.

Café

In 2004, the Forest Café became one of only four internet cafés in the United Kingdom to have won a highly recommended citation in the Yahoo! Mail Internet Café Awards.[15] The café serves vegetarian cuisine, locally produced organic food,[3] vegan food and Fairtrade drinks.[16] Free Wi-Fi and public computer terminals are provided.

Pipe organ[edit]

The upper floors of the Bristo Place building are the former church, the centre piece of which is an Gray & Davison-built pipe organ. This is powered by compressed air and has 16-foot (4.9 m) high pipes. It was originally installed at the Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle in the late 19th century and transferred to its present location in 1900.[2] The organ fell into disrepair[1] until mid-June 2007 when the Debian annual conference—DebConf7—was held in Edinburgh. During the week-long event, sufficient repairs were made by Tore Sinding Bekkedal and others to enable the organ to function again[17][18] at which point it was played by Keith Packard.[19]

In 2008–2009, Project Waldflöte (English: "Forest Flute") was initiated, a musical experiment to control sections of the mechanical musical keyboard via an electronic MIDI interface from a computer. Waldflöte is the designation of one of the organ stops available and was chosen because of the connection of the word "forest". The argumentation of the keyboards was undertaken by Dorkbot Alba without any long-term modification of the original organ.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Fire-hit charity converts church - News - Scotsman.com". Edinburghnews.scotsman.com. 2003-08-25. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  2. ^ a b c Edwards, Gareth (2009). "Computer Interface Makes 19th-Century Pipe Organ Rock" (PDF). Xcell Journal (Xilinx) (67): 44–49. 
  3. ^ a b c Lyn Gardner (2008-08-07). "Lyn Gardner meets the two theatremakers behind the Forest Fringe | Culture | guardian.co.uk". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  4. ^ By Kate - Nov 9 2011 (2011-11-09). "Forest, 3 Bristo Place, Edinburgh. Music - Time Out Edinburgh". Timeout.com. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  5. ^ "BBC News - Job losses as Edinburgh charity collapses". Bbc.co.uk. 2010-10-29. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  6. ^ "Forest Café, ReForestation". Forestcafe.tumblr.com. 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  7. ^ Michael MacLeod (2010-11-15). "Forest Cafe campaign update | Edinburgh | guardian.co.uk". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  8. ^ "Protesters stage sit-in at community arts centre | News | Edinburgh | STV". Local.stv.tv. 2011-12-01. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  9. ^ Michael MacLeod (2012-08-15). "Forest Cafe moves to Tollcross, 'the Times Square of Edinburgh' | Magazine | Edinburgh | STV". Local.stv.tv. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  10. ^ David Goold. "Dictionary of Scottish Architects - DSA Building/Design Report (November 28, 2012, 11:41 pm)". Scottisharchitects.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  11. ^ a b "Listed Building Report". Hsewsf.sedsh.gov.uk. 2000-08-16. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  12. ^ "CoStar SPN". Scottish-property.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  13. ^ "Financial overview 2003-04". Annual Review 2003–04. National Museums of Scotland. 2004-12-15. p. 28. Retrieved 2009-11-22. "Bristo Church was sold, raising an additional £600k" 
  14. ^ "Bristo Place Adventist Church | Flickr - Photo Sharing!". Flickr. 2009-08-22. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  15. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  16. ^ "Cafes, Restaurants, Bars" (PDF). Edinburgh Fair Trade Outlets. Edinburgh City Council. 2009-08-31. p. 10. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  17. ^ Jackson, Ian (2007-06-28). "Debconf - trip report". 
  18. ^ "Tore Repairs an Organ" (PDF). Eighth Annual Debian Conference, Final Report. Debian. 2007-12-07. p. 13. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  19. ^ McMillan, Andrew (2007-06-19). "X.Organ". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°56′46.31″N 3°11′23.75″W / 55.9461972°N 3.1899306°W / 55.9461972; -3.1899306