What does the Bearpit mean to you?
It’s an interesting space. It’s an area that I think is shared but not always loved by all despite the love it may show to them. I matured a lot in the bearpit so it’s a place of growing and knowledge for me but also a place with constant memories of spilt milk and good coffee. I love the bearpit, I think I always will. It accepts anyone and everyone - I like that.
What is your favourite memory of the Bearpit?
I grew quickly attached to the Bearpit and everything about it; the commuters, the traders, the homeless people and their (sometimes) great dance moves, the customers and even its flaws (cold toilets being a biggy). I love the fact that I did work for a company within the bearpit that sourced everything they could as locally as possible. Mostly I love being a part of something that has such a noticeable impact, not only on the area itself but on everyone that uses it and has become a part of it’s community.
What is your worst memory of the Bearpit?
I think the worst day in my time at the Bearpit was a Saturday. I don’t remember it perfectly because everything happened so quickly but I can tell you roughly what happened. I think it was in the Summer and a group of guys had been drinking and getting pretty aggy all day. Miriam had either gone over to move a fence to help open the bus or politely speak to them - I’m not sure I can’t exactly remember. But, what ended up happening was one of the guys actually physically assaulted Miriam. I’ve definitely seen some fights in my time and I’ve heard all manner of abuse being yelled - the list could go on forever. But I guess I never really thought it would become that physical towards us and towards Miriam. Even when I think back to it, it makes us feel separated into ‘us and them’ and that’s not what this is. That’s not what community is. And while what happened to Miriam was awful, I think on that day there was a massive breakdown of communication and it really felt like the ‘us and them’ situation which is exactly the opposite of everything that has been worked for for so many years.
Describe the community of the Bearpit in one sentence.
Indescribable; you can’t put a sentence on it or put it into a box and label it. It’s a community like no other I’ve been a part of, it is so diverse and so welcoming. So large but so individual. So many groups come together to make this one big bearpit. I can’t really describe it but whatever it is, I love it.
Describe your perfect Bearpit day.
I’d say hopefully sunny and quite warm, filled with lots of those cinnamon bun, donut things they sell at the cafe. Lots of happy people, nice music - maybe a few buskers to whip out the old acoustic bangers. I’d like lots of mexican food too. It would just be a nice day, a happy day (not weird happy just nice happy), a busy day. I’m not sure really. Maybe we could get banksy to reveal his true identity and do a cool piece of art in one of the tunnels - that would be a pretty perfect day!