The Big Issue : Edition 512
THEBIGISSUE20MAY–2JUN2016 27 season, overhanging foliage can serve as shade from the sun or shelter from rain. Soon, The Big Issue’s time in the old manse will be up. The site is being redeveloped and we are all set to make a home elsewhere. All the old bluestone buildings are heritage-listed; they will stay, but start new lives. For vendors and staff who have come and gone from the place, some for close to two decades, it will be the end of a rich and remarkable era. One in which it came to seem normal to spend so many hours in a time capsule: a 19th century precinct overshadowed on all sides by a burgeoning 21st century city. The building is showing its age, inside and out. Walls are cracked, ceilings crumbling. Lettering on a Big Issue sign in the courtyard has almost completely faded away. The entrance hall is a gallery for photographs of vendors. Some are active, though older than their photos. Some haven’t been seen for a while. Some, sadly, are gone. The vendor support office is a museum for the magazine. Covers going back almost 20 years are displayed across three walls (see p3). Magazines themselves are stored in shelves, boxes, cupboards. Soon, they will all need to be cleared away. For the magazine and the people who sell or produce it, it is – in all sorts of ways – a moving time. » Alan Attwood is The Big Issue’s former editor.