The National Theatre at the pictures E15

Yesterday evening “The Cherry Orchard” was beamed across by Satellite and as cheap as chips into The Picturehouse, Stratford E15.  We six members in the auditorium enjoyed it. 6? I arsk yer! Wonder if the aforesaid Picturehouse needs volunteers to market it a la OpenStage opposite at TRSE. Definitely needs a lobby/stair cleaner.

A Change is Gonna Come! already there, mate

                  There was me thinking Hackney Wick was a dump in the same way I think Stratford High St is and Leytonstone High Rd is. I am talking about the buildings or rather boarded up, weed-generating (we allowed to call ’em weeds anymore?) delapidated buildings being the dumps. I did wonder how the residents, the people who call Hackney Wick and the afore-mentioned places home  consider how on east end’s earth  the Olympic and Paralympic torch- bearing pioneers called Boris and Seb (sound like muppets)  think Cameron’s Big Society can ever compensate for anything they, the masses, tolerate. Without the Olympic and Paralympic Games a-coming who cared about Fish Island , Wapping-like roads, deserted warehouses, peanuts and smoked fish? And as for Stratford, well!  The BBC was dahn in Stratford on Monday and I never knew it was about to be an anti-Games debate. 

      It was clear to me as I realised after joining in so many activities all bearing the let’s-be- positive-about-the-Games-coming that no amount of Personal Best courses and two-bit workshops and volunteer activities ever had as rewards, alongside the marker-pen signed certificates of attendance, free tickets to the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the conned let alone jobs!!!!  It has been proven. The invited audience members were thoroughly disappointed, nay angry, about many aspects of the Games but their appeals to Boris and Lordy were like boomerangs to Murdoch.

It was true that when it came to Hackney Wick I only saw dump and heard about artists moving in, all the time urging my positive vibe to emerge. I never even took along my camera for that special memory each time I went there and passed the Napier Arms. Bless.

 My mate whose Hackney Wick council flat overlooks the Games site had no idea he lived next to fishy roads and wasn’t bovvered.

Well it’s taken the Hackney Wicked Festival to up the place in my opinion. My negative cloudy take has waned. Whoever knew! 

Oh! and The Red Lion pub re-opened in its glory in Leytonstone High Road.

All things Wapping and watery

Attended Guildhall Library for the free talk and exposition about The Thames Lightermen and Watermen. Brilliant. Only extraordinary mortals are allowed to touch the records and ledgers of those canny men and women of the 17th Century onwards, otherwise you have to go via microfiche so I was privleged and over the moon touching Wapping , Hermitage Community Moorings and London social history. Very very good. Last week it was the records of mariners. Then lighthouses on telly, and the River Lea with The Floating Cinema at the weekend. All things watery indeed.

No time to lub….off to the Hackney Museum for a talk and slides about Haggerston in Hackney.

Up Your Street issue 29


All correct at time of uploading and continually checked just in case…

Thurs July 28th  free  2-8pm drop by The Floating Cinema for archive canal films, artists’

                                          interpretations of the river  and good company.  Moored at  the

                                                                                                      Old Ford Lock, Hackney Wick.

Fri July 29th     free      (some)  all weekend.    Hackney  Wicked Art Festival starts in Hackney Wick

                                                 and Fish Island. (276 bus from  Hackney , Hackney Wick station, or 236).

                                                                             A feast of artists and their work.

                        free               7pm at Folly for a Flyover  along tow path by Bow . Free films.  

 Sat July 30th free   for Newham residents. 2-5pm Vicarage Community Centre, Glovier Rd E15. Cake decorating.

                                                                                          Book on 0203373 6045

                                         free. noon-5pm (and Sunday, ongoing) Epping Forest’s Literary

                                          History exhibition at The Temple Wanstead Park, E11.  85080028

Sun  July 31st £4 on door 3.30pm Vestry House Museum . Arbutus String Quartet

                             music of Vienna 1800. Haydn and Beethoven.

                      free  2-4pm Coronation Gardens  E10 by Leyton Station, music for

                                                                              pleasure with Eastern European musicians..

Mon Aug 1st                             Closure of Stratford Bus Station until October 2011

Tues  Aug 2nd  free  1-3pm Plum Tree Centre E10 (by Tesco) .Dance for Life. Just turn up.

                                                                  Take a bottle of water and a scarf for belly dancing!


Wed Aug 3rd free   Cyberlink  E10 (by Tesco) Free film course. Filming In the neighbourhood

                        £1. 11-4pm  Pump House Museum, South Access Lane,  E17. Check out the

                                                                                                 vintage transport and the museum.

                        Free  7.30-9.30pm Community Theatre at The Yard. The new theatre at

                                  White Post Lane, Hackney Wick.  Come and participate and be one of

                               a cast of 139 in a performance spurred by Ai Weiwei’s persecution. But the first get-together is in the  Anthony Marsh Building, top of Big Hill, Clapton. E5 (Jessam Avenus bus stop then 2 mins or go through Mount Pleasant Rdfrom Clapton Station and Lea Bridge RD)

                               Check the web-site as you need to register anyway.

                        free  1.10-1.40pm. Flute and guitar recital at St John’s Church Stratford E15

Thurs Aug 4th  free   Drop in…2-8pm The Floating Cinema at Bow Locks Gillender St  E3.

                                                                                                           Films of local people.

Fri  Aug   5th   free. No need to book 2-5pm at Hornsey Library, Park Rd . Hairdos of the Fifties,


Sat  Aug 6th   free.    11-5pm  No need to book.  Cemeteries and Angels, Abney Park, N.16

                                                                                             workshops. Main entrance 11 am.

                         free  Up Your Street subscribers with Precious Lives jewellery and beading

                                    group display their wares at the Haggerston Festival

Sun Aug 7th   free    10-6pm. Rehearsal  for The Yard theatre event. (see 3rd August).

                       free    11-5pm No need to book . Abney Park, N.16 Working with clay.

                                                                                                                           Main entrance 11 am

Up Your Street issue including Barking and Dagenham


The 6 London 2012 boroughs are
Waltham Forest
Tower Hamlets
Barking and Dagenham (most recent)
                                         Up Your Street 
Tues  26th July   £1.50  11-11.45am   A guided tour of Valentine’s Mansion and Gardens.
                            This is a 300 year old listed house in Emerson Road, Ilford. No need to book.
Wed   27th July  marks the one year to go for the Olympics and Paralympics Games in London.
                         BBC1 will be celebrating all week.
Check the free Waltham Forest News , issue 47, to enter the competition for a celebrity tour of the Games site.                 

Floating Cinema

Yes was great. I didn’t know what to expect, didn’t even know how to find Dace Road in Hackney Wick but I did cos I ain’t dumb and fell in love with Old Ford Lock (difficult to feel glad about my adventure as beautiful Amy Winehouse, now deceased, is singing in the background).

The Floating Cinema has a busy programme of free events and I’ll post them up on my uploads for UpYour Street5. It’s a refurbished narrow-boat, clean as a pin and comfy taking a few people at a time.

Today we travelled smoothly up and down the waterway (a canal, hardly teeming with wild-fowl but full of green duck-grass) in the Olympic and Paralympic Games site followed by security all the way. Our 2 hour free trip began and finished at Old Ford Lock

 It was a privilege to get that free ride and all photos taken are unique because the scenery is ever-changing, said the fox who stared at us from the bank. I found nothing really interesting; I might have been in awe if I’d never seen the growing of the Games site from Day 1.

Our hosts were excellent.

What was the icing on the cake was the 10 minute film by Michael Smith , BBC programme man and  resident of Globe Road, Bow all about the changing urbanscape around the Games site and how it is nothing unusual as London is permanently changing. Permanently changing, eh? (my words). Michael’s poetic documentary is ace: He talks once of flowers springing up in ignored pockets of concrete despair and the particular shot shows a gorgeous local woman finding her direction. There was something about London being a ‘roll-call of build upon build’.  Too true. Michael answered our questions then we had a tug-boat cake!  Mmm, chocolate sponge all iced in the shape of a boat.

Very good film, “Drift Street”.

Last week I watched  the recent film “Under The Cranes” with the poet Michael Rosen too. And on BBC 2 last night they showed “The Golden Age of Canals”

Now for some Vintage TV. with Rock ‘n’Roll.

Keep up, y’all!

Pop-up cafes, pop-up theatres, Folly for a Flyover, Floating Cinema, roof-top cinemas, craft- alongs, pop-up shops……… keep up y’all!

What did happen in the run-up to the Games was that at least one person, that’s me, explored my herethereto unknown parts of the east end. There’s Fish Island, Hackney Wick, The Sharp End, Mabley Green, Leytonstone High Road again, Graham Road, Canning Town, Ridley Road again, Borough Market and on and on. The point is whether I’d see any point returning. Imagine Lord Coe and Boris schleppin’ around Hackney Wick let alone Leytonstone High Road. When’s the money going to be thrown at that road? Which council officers forgot about the scummy part of Stratford High Street by the old Rex and the new Gala Bingo. Are we supposed to blink when passing those bits? No wonder people in Stratford are switched off when they see E 20 rising and their own places shoved to the back.

Shocked I was to see Fitzgerald’s Irish pub boarded up today down by King’s Hall in Lower Clapton, Hackney.

Issue 28 Up Your Street5. London 2012 weekend and more

Sat 23rd July  free 12.30-2.30pm Tower of London foreshore open to public. Turn up in your wellies. Tower Hill EC3 (credit to IanVisits)

                        free 11-1pm and 3-5pm Floating Cinema guided boat tours on the waterways which connect the 5 London Olympic and Paralympic games boroughs. Meeting at Dace Rd, Hackney Wick. Probably booked out by now but worth watching it embark. (no wheelchair access).

Sun  24th July  free 1.15-3.15pm Tower of London foreshore open to public again

Mon 25th July free   12.30-2.30pm Round Chapel Hackney at Lower Clapton . Last ballroom dancing for over 6os with Malcolm teaching everyone.

                         free 3pm Cyberlink E10 (by Tesco) Introductory session for the free film-making course in Leyton.

                          free  6pm  BBC filming at Sarah Bonnell School , Deanery Rd Stratford 

E. 15 as part of BBC London 2012 ‘one year to go’. Entry by application for tickets.(BBC website)

Tues 26th July free 1-2pm at St John’s At Hackney. Dance exercise for seniors.

                         free to watch 6pm The Lord Mayor of London speaks about the regeneration of Spitalfields Market. Mansion House EC4 (credit to IanVisits).

                          free 6pm Hackney Museum. African Roots meeting towards an exhibition in October. All welcome.

                           free 6pm Planning  meeting for the Stratford Festival 20th August with Action Community Team in Stratford. Phone Laura at Newham Council Community Projects for venue and details.

Wed 27th July free 1.10-1.40pm St John’s Church in Stratford E15 . Jazz piano recital.

Thurs  28th July free  2-3pm Guildhall Library “Lightermen on the Thames”, Talk and archives.  Should book.

                                No Agewell Singers in Stratford Circus until September.

                               free 6-7.30pm “Haggerston” archives and talk at Hackney Museum. Book via Linda at the Museum. Refreshments and good company.

Fri     29th July free 7pm at Waltham Forest Assembly Hall Forest Rd E17 “Windrush Party”

5 of many projects for everyone which are free and linking to the Olympic and Paralympic Games a-coming.

5 free major projects we need to know about. There are more to highlight. Meanwhile…No formal qualifications required. Contact details following but of course by that time you may have used a search engine to find out more!

Mapping The Change, starting September. A journalism course highlighting the changes in Waltham Forest in the lead up to the Games. Based in The Vestry House Museum E17.
Film -making at The Cyberlink, E10 . Recording changing Leyton. Introduction  3pm 25th July.
Mapping Your Manor, an arts project recording memories etc around the Olympic and Paralympic Games site perimeter.
Taste Of Hackney, starting September. an intergenerational Caribbean project involving film-making, recording of events, culinary memories in the Ridley Road market.
Imagine You Are Everyone, a performance with 139 citizens as the cast at The Yard, Hackney Wick beginning with an introduction on August 3rd.

Jazz in the rain.

Tony Regan, music historian, dj and keyboard player supremo gave a talk tonight at St John’s Church Hall next to Matalan in High Rd Leytonstone, E11. Tony used his vintage gramophone (wind-up HMV stylee), a pack of old 78s in their original scruffy brown covers and a whole heap of knowledge and passion to illustrate the journey of record-making from 1921 to 1951. We had a treat with original recordings by famous bands of yore.

What I pondered was that all over the country there are church halls peopled by groups of enthusiasts, cups of tea and sliced cake. Outside the rain would not give up.