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Turks Head Company (Charity)

Turks Head Company (Charity)

The Turks Head Company is the charity that owns and manages the Turk’s Head in Green Bank, Wapping.

As it says on the plaque outside, income from renting the Turks Head Cafe and Studios above pay for charitable activities.

Below is last years annual report to the 150 associate members of the Turks Head which gives you a good idea of what they’re about and we’ll be bringing you a 2010 update on their current projects and plans soon.

Turks Head Charity [...view on Charity Commission Website]

Turks Head Company Annual Report 2009

Turks-Head-New-Plaque

Local Wapping Life

This year has been a busy one for the Turk’s Head. Early in the year, the cafe was used for a public consultation on the local development framework proposed by Tower Hamlets Council.

Over fifty Wapping residents attended the event organised by us (the only such event organised in the whole of the borough) and a number of amendments were proposed to the plan. They included:

  • Concentrating retail activity on Wapping Lane
  • Seeking mixed development where possible
  • Bringing empty or derelict land and buildings back into use.

These are vital concerns to local residents who want to maintain local shops, keep a balanced community and make sure that land is not wasted.

The Turks Head trustees have submitted over 30 suggested amendments to the local plan and will monitor further developments.

The trustees believe that the planning framework has a major influence on the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of the community and will continue to pay serious regard to such matters

Allotments

As a follow up to the consultation, we are supporting efforts to create allotments on derelict land next to the Wapping Sports Centre.

Food growing has health and environmental benefits for residents and the site is a substantial one. It is owned by the Council who are investigating its potential for future use.

Residential Moorings

We were pleased to see the creation of new residential moorings at Hermitage Wharf, which the trustees had supported. We hope to work with the new residents on educational projects, since they have formed a charity to promote education about the river.

The site is adjacent to the civilian memorial park we fought so hard to obtain. Unfortunately the scheme implemented by Berkeley Homes is much less than our aspirations for the site Local politics and nimbyism led to a poor quality design and a missed opportunity.

Administration

The trustees have three priorities for the forthcoming year:

  • To promote food growing
  • To bring derelict land back into uses that benefit the community
  • To seek opportunities for leisure and healthy activities

We have set up our own office at the Turk’s Head as a base for our activities. Following the retirement of our elder trustees, we will be recruiting new ones to help in our objectives. We intend to investigate the possibility of expanding our premises to add to our asset base.

Become an Associate Member

Associate membership is £5 a year or £1 for unemployed and pensioners:  complete the Trust Form to join.

Happiness at Work – 29th October to 15th November

Can You Help with Barrels or Planters?

The Turks Head is looking for a pair of oak barrels or large planters so they can plant redcurrants and blackcurrants to grow up the wall in the community food garden. Please contact them if you’re able to help.

Turks Head Cafe
1 Green Bank
Wapping E1W 2PA


Please see 4 January 2011 update on The Turks Head Company

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  • Jon Aldenton

    On re-reading the comments ( why are they anonymous?), I see it’s Paulie-k’s barrels we’re expecting!

    All the best

    Jon Aldentton

  • Jon Aldenton

    I’m happy to respond to the above comments that I’ve just seen.

    The Turk’s Head has a good record of achievement and I believe that I and my fellow trustees have much to be proud of. I raised the £300,000 necessary to buy the property from the Council and refurbish it from the burnt out shell it was in 1992, including a £70,000 loan from the Environment Trust that their trustees wrote off to help the Turk’s Head.

    When in 2007, the trustees of the Turk’s Head decided to lend their spare cash to the Environment Trust, it was to get a fairer rate of return than offered by a bank. I took no part in the decision, and the trustees were advised by an independent advisor, as the charity’s records show.

    The Environment Trust had a twenty year track record including leading the Mile End Park transformation; improving over 500 sites, school grounds and open spaces in the East End; teaching over 10,000 children about the natural environment, setting up community assets like the St Lukes Centre in Canning Town and the Bootstrap Company in Dalston; promoting better cultural understanding by installing historic plaques and organising events like Huguenots in the East End and the Jewish East End Celebration and pioneering the building of affordable Green Homes in Bethnal Green.

    It was invited to build Green Homes in Sheffield, following earlier schemes in Lambeth and Greenwich and the scheme has won awards for design and its environmental excellence. Unfortunately, as people will know, the bank collapse of 2008 led to a complete meltdown of the housing market in Sheffield and the Trust was forced into administration by its bankers. Ironically, until March of 2008 all the green homes had been reserved by buyers under the Trust’s low cost ownershiip scheme, but by September none of them could get a mortgage.

    I lost my job and both the staff and trustees were devastated. None of the Trust’s expenditure paid for large pensions, bonuses or anything that wasn’t charitable.

    My fellow trustees of the Turk’s Head Company refused to accept my resignation and I am now happily leading a team who have plenty of energy to improve things locally.

    You will forgive such a long and detailed response, but I think it important to nail the lie that there has been any kind of jiggery-pokery with charitable funds. I, and my fellow trustees have worked hard to set up a charity with it’s own asset base that isn’t dependent on grants to function. We’ll continue to do that with the ongoing support of the majority of local residents.

    We look forward to getting Suzie’s spare barrels!

  • john

    The question I would like answered is why the loan of over 100 thousand was given to Tower Hamlets Environment Trust and a total write off. The most intriguing question, is it true that John Aldenton was in charge of both companies, he was or is the Director of the Turk’s Head.
    Once again the people are robbed of fortunes supposedly to help the local community but it sure looks like another robber on the streets. Where is the money, what has Aldenton to say about it and why has the Advertiser bottled it as usual when local funds belonging to local people is openly stolen. Tell me why we should contribute a penny towards this farce, how much more money will be stolen before action is taken. Over a hundred grand stolen now how bloody much has actually went to help the local community and is Aldenton still in place. It’s time this farce was opened to the public.

  • Paulie-k

    The cafe is just a tenant, the charity owns the building.

    Information is on http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk look up Turks head and read the 2008 annual report and financial statements. References are in the trustees report, notes to the statements on the bad debt including interest accrued but not paid and the related parties notes.

  • Suzie

    I’m not sure I’d withhold barrels (if I had any, which I don’t) as they’ll benefit everyone and I had some tasty runner beans from the garden in the summer for free.
    But very curious to know more about a loan to Sheffield and what that has to do with Wapping, are you sure this is correct Paulie-K? And do you know what the Environment Trust is in relation to the Turks Head as it all sounds very confusing.
    I love the Turks Head, it’s one of my favourite places in Wapping for Sunday brunch but have never got a straight answer when I’ve asked about their charitable activities as the people working there are very friendly but don’t seem to know.

  • Paulie-k

    Could the Turks Head charity comment on why it decided to loan £130k to the TH Environment Trust to invest in a housing project in Sheffield and has had to write off the loan.

    Also would be good to make a mention that the chief exec of TH Environment Trust is/was a trustee of the Turk’s Head.

    I wait for a response before I donate my spare barrels!