Hive, The (Bradford)
The Hive began as a bunch of people who spent months drinking in the Beehive Inn, pretending to be planning a housing co-op, until one day we realised we'd taken it a bit too far... We are from a diverse range of tendencies [anarchist, socialist, suicidal...] united by a shared belief in social change through grassroots action [solidarity campaigns, housing and student rights, community food growing and catering...] and of course, co-operation. We have all spent five years or more in Bradford; for our sins and for cheap curries and dubious nightlife. We reached a limit of tolerance of squalid living conditions and naughty landlords that dominate the Bradford property scene. So we decided to own our own squalid living conditions, in a friendly, sustainable and DIY manner.
In June 1997, having secured an Ecology Building Society mortgage and a Radical Routes loan, we dived into a brilliant but sadly neglected four storey house in sunny Manningham. Initially, much of the energy of the co-op was invested in setting our house in order and doing lots of repair work.
Since then, we've dug in a bit, or rooted, or whatever it is you're meant to do, had the odd change of member, and at a steady pace waddled towards many of our original aspirations, whilst revising others. These include: a reasonable bit of DIY repair and renewal, the most exciting moments occurring in the upper echelons of the building, nothing to do with the view of the Valley Parade corner flag; the development of a nice wee garden cum scrapyard; the establishment of a street association and community garden; playing an active role in Radical Routes, most noticeably as the editorial collective for the newsletter Radical Rumours; and a bicycle breeding programme that's seen us chasing off Raleigh corporate spies. Just around the corner are our more daring dreams: serious eco-renovation, a unilateral declaration of independence, and a permanently tidy hallway.