issue 1 Up Your Street

Up Your Street is an information-sharing service for seniors on the perimeter of The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (E20)

Fri July 27th free 6.30pm St Mary’s Centre, Upper Street, Islington, with The Stuart Low Trust. Alan Levy and music. (Find him on you tube as Dream Eagle Man)

Mon July 30th  free for a week 5pm tour of Arcola Theatre, Ashwin St. E8 before it gets a rebuild. No disabled access. Book

Thurs Aug 2nd free 6.30-8pm Oxford House Bethnal Green. Launch of photographic exhibition “Glimpses”. Photos by beginner photographers and Up Your Street subscribers.

Fri Aug 3rd free  10-noon Mobile Repair Team explaining to seniors about practical help in the home.  Stamford Hill Library, Hackney. Refreshments.

Mon Aug 6th free 7pm  film “The Riots” West Green Learning Centre Haringey. Meet the writer Gillian Slovo afterwards.


Scaffolding Sculptures and The Olympic Torch Relay.

At 7pm Bruce Castle Museum Lordship Lane N17 (Tottenham) opened up for artists (Lucy of ‘Mapping Your Manor’ was there), dignitaries and I to share the experience of marvelling at Ben Long’s pretty awesome (avoided the “amazing” word there) Lion 9 metres high and constructed with the nuts and bolts of scaffolding steel. Very good from every angle and only up until end September.  It’s a free to look installation on the Castle Museum front lawn. You go see.

And then the Museum itself…well! So worth a long visit and we have to thank the volunteers there for keeping the place vibrant and community-centred. That means it’s a welcoming place without the effects of commercialism. Loads of events go on there . Ask Deborah Hedgecock.

Back to the art preview. There were also a couple of rooms of art pertaining to The Games 2012. Too much to take in: Was impressed by the video loop about the nano-seconds experienced by competitors just before the competition. And the 5 rings in textile possibly African-Caribbean influenced. There was too much on which to concentrate and enjoy,  too many people (it was a bookable event but no-one was ticking off a register), too much wine and the heat was rising! Best to re-visit. I espied Lord Seb Coe in a Warhol fashion.

Martin Richman and Charlie Kerr  had their light and sound installation installed. No spoilers here. Suffice to say it’s  in the Tower (of death.)

Thank you  Laura Harford of UpProjects for a wonderful evening where Art was king.

Then it was time for McDonalds. The fasting observers were breaking their fasts in the myriad of eateries which gush out fried chicken and Eritrean spice stinks onto a very dirty Bruce Grove. Here and there are dotted vestiges of a bygone up- market Tottenham. Long since gone though. Tottenham has many beautiful houses; there’s Clyde Road, for instance. Bruce Castle used to be the Manor House for Tottenham.

An old Somalian man, orange-haired and relaxed showed me the old public convenience and lamented its demise. It is surrounded by gorgeous wrought iron . “People come out of the station and piss in the street”.  Disappointed of Tottenham eh?

Posh doors in Bruce Grove.

The Olympic Games Torch was relayed in Haringey and up to Ally Pally, N10 on this day the 25th July on the same day as Lion Scaffolding Sculpture roared loudly.

Love the GamesMakers

Seeing GamesMakers in Newham and Waltham Forest. Smart mauve uniformed people. They are out and about adding to the expectant joy. Well done you volunteers of all ages.

Caught a Waltham Forest traffic warden ticketing cars today in my street as perhaps neighbours had failed to display their Waltham Forest temporary parking labels. Stick it on folks!  He , the cheery warden, NOT, parked his gleaming new motorscooter in a residents’ disabled bay. Ooh! Cheeky monkey.

Let the Games begin!

Loads more lorries ,as advised at local TFL freight meetings, trundling down Lea bridge Road: Some of the legacy money will be spent on road repairs. Yawn.

Tribute poem

G is for getting it going

A is for all ages applied

M is for the mauve on our backs

E is the energy we bestow

S is smiles and cheery words

M is moving you all along

A  is ‘appen we enjoy what we do

K is keeping the spirit alive

E is ‘elping visitors enjoy

R is relishing our Cadbury breaks


S is for the success we made in sharing the Games with you.

What went on at the Opening Ceremony rehearsal

Coming soon but #keepthesurprise

Waltham Forest Council (one of the 6 Olympic boroughs) allocated tickets to seniors to look about the Games Park on 29 and 30th July 2012.  Up Your Street   submitted the names and addresses of Up Your Street subscribers to the Council offices by rapid email. The plan worked. Lucky OAPs. (It was a ballot, wasn’t it?)

Greenwich (Royal London Borough of)  is offering the same treat now. We are spoilt.

Olympic Route Network

Yaheee! The Games come closer. London is truly excited. Pro or against, this is one of the biggest things happening in London in many people’s lifetime and we are ready.

In 5 hours the Olympic Route Network opens and woe betide you if you mistakenly drive into it.

Beckham told newscasters that he will feature in the Opening Ceremony. Wow. All surprises are really still intact. #keepthesurprise  Look how we all did keep quiet after having attended the rehearsal of the Opening Ceremony. London fans unite.

London people are so ready to greet our Olympic visitors. There are many people on the streets, going about their business. Nothing interrupts their routine. They don’t drive, never knew Stratford east anyway, and are oblivious to the rising of beauty from a massive brownfield site. They are the people the Olympics forgot. The community engagement officers tried and failed to raise the indifferents off their butts. Meanwhile, we, the involved, are set to party. London Transport has advised us to stay out of Stratford on Friday evening unless we have a ticket. Marooned E15ers; empty Westfield, I don’t think so.

At the Opening Ceremony rehearsal, McDonalds was shut. I know!!!   And better I checked their food prices and there were no nasty mark-ups. Ain’t Friday yet.

Boris our Mayor, speaks to passengers on the buses. His recorded message is lost on non-English speakers. I rarely meet any English speakers nowadays on the buses in Leyton and Stratford. Tonight when Boris spoke no-one showed a glimmer of understanding. Now, ain’t that a shame! Ah, the people the Olympics forgot.

Tokarska Gallery, Walthamstow. London

All visitors to the Olympic and Paralympic Park would get another treat by taking a 158 bus down to Blackhorse Road Station and soaking up the art in the Tokarska Gallery. It’s a 3 minute walk from the big junction at Blackhorse Road Station to a fabulous venue on Forest Road E17. Who’d have thought a gallery would be there? And there’s a Tesco opposite too.

Nadiya Tokarska’s work is thorough in its celebration of London images and iconic views. There are the red buses, the black taxis, the Metromales, the Free Mason and  parking signs, and the Pret á Manger adverts. You are drawn into slate blues, ochre and pillar-box reds and traffic light unshiny black hoods.

The Mayor himself should award wall space to those first class oil paintings in hallowed Guildhall or St Paul’s Cathedral; up in the City where they fit nicely. Tokarska is displaying great pieces of her architect and artist self.

It was good to see good art.

The art is for sale giving a chance to all art lovers to consider a buy at a mere £270 and rising. Hard honest work always pays off.

Olympic fan

Since Day 1 I have been a fan of The Olympics and Paralympics Games coming to east London, Stratford. I took tours around brown sites and watched waterways being dredged and cleaned. I have butted negative comments all along the way, have done my utmost to engage Seniors (OAPs) with something growing on their doorstep which sprouted Arts Council, Heritage Lottery etc etc funded free activities and events  by running Up Your Street with its High Street Seniors and The Pamper Shop under its parasol.

I have seen the dejection felt by locals as no free tickets fell into their laps, have battled with my principles about taking up the Gamesmaker post and kinda working freely for Cadbury, Coco Cola and Maccas, and been insulted and ignored tons of times. (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).

I was worried about transport to and from the Games and recently, security.

Hey the journey to here was long and packed. I am dying to blog about yesterday’s rehearsal and my personal experience of it  but respect the #keepthesurprise.

Welcome World to my doorstep!

At the Olympic and Paralympic Games Park: No spoilers. #keepthesurprise

Your experience will be fabulous.

Take in only sealed soft drinks. There are water (free) fill up points so don’t throw away your plastic bottle.

Only the beautyful ones get searched.

The army personnel (security) are charming, nice and just doin’ a job.

The crowds are civilised and follow directions from very cheerful and helpful Gamesmakers. The Gamesmakers are just great. They are everywhere so you feel shepherded in a good way.

UK is a queuing nation so don’t be surprised if you have to queue.You and thousands want the same experience and humans run the Games not robots.

Fish ‘n’ chips is £8.50   (£5.50 is a normal price in E15 so not too bad a hike.)

Ice Cream :-99 flakes are £2. odd.

You can take in sandwiches and rolls for yourself.

Toilets ain’t all that, bit smelly and out of order cubicles.

Fabulous photo-taking opportunities.

Police everywhere.

Helicopters circle above.

Climbing up to the gods in the stadium is on a steep gradient. Take your time. Breathe. Young or old, it’s a workout!

First aiders are in abundance. Hydrate yourself though and take care.

Keep your ticket nice. What a souvenir!

I woz there: The Olympic opening ceremony rehearsal


Up Your Street issue 3

Sun July 22nd free The Temple Wanstead Park E11 Poluck’s illustrations of the Forest Flora and Fauna over the year . See 27th July too. Opening hours 12-5pm. Phone 85080028

Tues July 24th free 11 am meet  Neil Houghton (Walthamstow Historical Society) Blackhorse Rd Station for a guided walk around the Warner Estate. No need to book.  Recommended.(Photo off Walthamstow Wikpedia site. Thank you)
 Wed July  25th  free 11 am RAGWORKS exhibition (wall hangings made entirely from discarded textiles and depicting nursery rhyme characters)  at Hornbeam Café  Hoe Street E17   

Thurs  July  26th free  10-1pm CLR Library Dalston Junction. All things digital workshops.

Fri July 27th free   noon to 5pm. Illustrations by Poluck at The Temple, Wanstead Park, Wanstead London E11 2LT

Check events at Stratford Theatre E15 for the Nigeria House festival. Play tickets at £8 only.