Lloyd Park Sharing Heritage

Lloyd pk 2  240713lloyd Park Sharing Heritage 240713lloyd park 240713Today was the very first meet-up for a very new project concerning the shared history of Lloyd Park. It began with a walk about in the grounds although I would have thought that if we were sharing history of the place we’d all be familiar with it all. A previous show of hands showed that in fact hardly anyone frequented Lloyd Park  in Forest Road Walthamstow E17 before and after its multi-million pound lottery drop renovation.

I have known the rats of the place and the stinking aviary of poo- dripping budgies. I have followed my 2007 Waltham Forest Camera Course in the grounds photographing over-photographed trees and spider-webs. I knew and loved the brown-ness of the entry to the William Morris Gallery.

So about fifteen people and some of those with their carers turned up which was more than I expected having been often the only participant at the point of entry for community projects. People found it hard to commit to the big 6 month programme let alone to sign the Waltham Forest monitoring form. How will we share? A task indeed. Some people were irritated that the project was weekday especially as the 50+ age group was invited to join and don’t fifty year olds still work?

Before and during the Lympics,  Waltham Forest was doing Nothing for its seniors: That’s why Up Your Street recommended events in Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney. I am excited about Lloyd Park Sharing Heritage and I know others ain’t necessarily so. Waltham Forest came alive.


Issue 29. Up Your Street

Sun 21st July free 11 am


Alexandra Park 150th Birthday Party (Wood Green) The Park will be awash with free family activities,

Wed 24th July free 10-noon Lloyd Park Heritage for seniors only. Meet at the Bowling Green hut in Lloyd Park Walthamstow. This is the first session of weekly many. Up Your Street (volunteering as communicator and distinct from any Council news and views) will be blogging about it all and sending out communications to participants when we get  going.

Thurs 25th July  free  7pm An illustrated lecture of portraits from the pages of Spitalfields Life at the National Portrait Gallery .The gentle author , the host. says

“There is no booking but I advise you to come early to be sure of a seat”.


COCKNEY HERITAGE FESTIVAL 2013 has launched. Many fantastic events. Bow Arts has a tea dance coming up! Find the website and check out the events!



2013-07-16 18.39.13It’s good to draw but better to get exhibition space for free. Tonight was not “Feed my Funny” but “Feed my Ego”! Cubitt arts and education in Islington pushed the boat out tonight to celebrate the seniors who had worked indoors to create art of worth. Wine flowed and a live classical music ensemble played in the background.

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Pictures were selling like hot cakes and aren’t we loving the clichés? It was a brilliant evening, a public launch of “Someday Is Today” at 8 Angel Mews off Pentonville Road. Some of the artists were pushing ninety and younger. 2013-07-16 18.38.12 2013-07-16 18.38.49

I wanted to buy “Learning To Walk” by Sally Dawson but was pipped to the post. You can see it on the Cubitt website. The exhibition has been extended until 28th July 2013.

Issue 28. Up Your Street


                                                 Issue 28. Up Your Street

Wed 17th July    free 7-8.30pm. A talk at Hale End Library E4 about tracing ancestors.

                                free 6-7.30pm Poetry reading and appreciation. Centre For Better Health 1A Darnley Rd E9. Bring your wares!

Thurs 18th July £6 7-9pm Whitechapel Gallery  E1 . A debate on “What Is Utopia?”



Neal Zetter

I am proud to have met Neal Zetter, a real life living poet with a good reputation and following. I have seen him in action before in Hackney, not to be confused with Michael Rosen who lives in Hackney and who is often out and about performing there. I can’t wait to share the fact that I talked to Neal when I go along to poetry workshops next week in the cool of the evenings.

Neal outlined the glaring fact that reading and appreciating a poet’s work from a Kindle, in the drawing room, on the beach, in the loo,  from a tablet is not the way of many folk. Poets more often than not get published after they’re dead. To reach any audience now means a creative person has to be a business one too because  it’s all about self-promotion, online social networking, pestering public concerns such as libraries and networking galore.

It helps to have had a background in corporate marketing. Vistaprint will help you with your flyers and mugs and tee-shirts. And there is the Vanity Press where you’ll submit a poem, be accepted, correct the editors’ assistant’s  typos to make yourself important and then buy a whole load of unwanted poems in one anthology just to see your own poem published and book-bound.

It is nigh on impossible for one poet to connect with another because both will be wanting a foot in the same door of fame, payment and recognition.

I asked Neal if he mentors other poets. He mentors creative types.

I’ve heard wonderful poems being read aloud from nobodies and those poems are going nowhere.

I’ve seen the many offered poetry slams inviting obviously youngsters to be “performance poets”. That takes guts and a family and fans’ following just to hold the mic. I was amused to see a workshop offered to poetry readers  “who can read properly”.

Anyway, so today I went to Iceland and bought the biggest cauliflower on the rack.

It’s cut-throat out there.

So not feeling it.

                            Capital Age Festival I mean. The topic for 2013 is Women’s Creativity. (Next year “Men’s Creativity. Why the segregation, I don’t know!). So today was a man poet up in time-warp Chingford. Creative it wasn’t. Womanly neither.The Crofter Wife 250613

Now I can listen to a poet anytime.  Neal Zetter, Chingford Man, must have ambled along the lane to reach his local library to be the comic performer that he is. Actually the billing hardly said much about poetry. I thought it was going to be an action-packed anecdotal show from Neal to show adult story-telling skills. Mind you, who knew the event was even on? Let’s remember that library staff are not community hub volunteers. They don’t need to exude enthusiasm for library extra mural activities as long as that workers’ clock keeps ticking away the hours.

The welcome cup of tea was almost the best part of the event.  The poems began with an ode to Tea.

It transpired that the audience was not made up of poetry lovers. A library assistant interrupted Neal as he was in flow to deliver the photo-copied evaluation sheets half way through the session. The dial-a-ride driver  came early to collect fifty per cent of the participants,  ignoring the fact that 3.30pm was session-end

Now there’s a surprise, dial-a-ride. There’s a useless organisation. Dial-A-Ride.

Quote from the day “Because it can be a bit dodgy in Hackney”. (Say that to the London Fields hipsters!)

On the bus  to Chingford (never usually an adventure) was a nutter with his tame rabbit. He put the rabbit on the luggage rack. I expected the driver to tell nutty to get off and take his rabbit with him. No. The driver said, “Oy mate! Take your rabbit off there in case he falls off”! The man,  with very rabbit eyes, told rabbit to sit quietly on the seat. Rabbit did!

Nearly saw an elephant fly then.