Issue 49 Up Your Street

Mon 2nd Dec  free 6.45-8.30 Lea Bridge Road Library. Mandarin Chinese lessons for adults

Tues 3rd Dec free. Noon-5pm. Family fun at The Old Baths Eastway E9.  Cre8 recognising International Day for people with disability.

Thurs 5th Dec.   Christmas market at The Grove E15  until 8th Dec.

                              free Age- Exchange anniversary party and showcase at Blackheath Village (108 bus from Stratford). A day of events about reminiscence and older people. (not a training session)  Book with

                              free. 6-8.30pm E17 Kitchen community cookery. Waltham Forest College. Forest Rd E17. Just bring your pinny.

                             free 6pm-8pm Memorial Community Church, 395 Barking Road, E13 8AL “Along with the last evening opening of the Art Arising exhibition in Tower Gallery, on Thursday 5th December there will be a chance to buy unique cards and gifts hand-made by local people. Come and enjoy art, crafts, mulled wine, mince pies and seasonal music.

Stalls include bags, jewellery, honey, dolls house furniture, Christmas cards, traditional crafts, framed photos and sweet treats – perfect gifts for your friends. You can also try your hand at spinning wool too!”

                              free 5-8.30pm  Artist  Sba Shaikh, owner of Mehraj Textile Art E17, shares her work at

date                         Asia House 63 New Cavendish St W1G 7LP London United Kingdom

Sat 7th Dec             free 4-6pm Abbey Gardens  Frost Fair in Newham.

“Enjoy warm winter drinks and home made soups and sing along with members of All Saints Chorus.  There will be a wreath making workshop, chutney tasting and of course, our ever-popular cake stall. ”

Sun 8th Dec   free Noon-5pm. The View Tube on The Greenway Stratford . “Hand-Made Christmas” crafts and family event. (Saturday 7th December too!)

Mon 9th Dec free 9-5pm The Centre For Better Health , Darnley road Hackney hosts RAGWORKS exhibition. Come and see the Angel Gabriel and a few other characters hand-made using refreshed textiles. All week. Thursdays 9am-8pm.

Wed 11th Dec  free 5-8.30pm The Centre For Better Health Hackney. RAGWORKS and Poems.

Fri 13th Dec      £15  7pm The Sound;check Choir at St John’s at Hackney . Leyton singer songwriter Neech sings with other talented women. Wear warmer clothes.


issue 48 Up Your Street

Sat 23rd Nov  free 11-3pm Community health event at  Asian Centre, Orford Road E17

                             £1.50  10.30am – 4.30pm Bruce Castle Museum Vintage Fayre.

Sun 24th Nov free 11am members screening of “Saving Mr Banks” at Stratford and Hackney Picturehouses

                              free 11-3pm Pump House Museum, South Access Rd E17 . Car-less boot sale. Free entry to museum too,

Mon 25th Nov   £3 2-3.30pm.Stratford Circus. Age Well actors.

Tues 26th Nov free 2-4pm  Carer support
  • Chingford Assembly Rooms, Station Road, E4

Thurs 28th Nov £2  7.15pm Haringey Independent Cinema, West Green Learning Centre. ” Cathy Come Home” screening.

     free  6-8.30pm free cooking workshop Waltham Forest College E17

Sun 1st Dec          free Open Day at Three Mills Bromley By Bow with guided tours.

                                  free 2.30pm David Boote leads a walk

A reminder that our next walk , starting and finishing in front of the Library on Chingford  Green E4 7EN (cafes and shops nearby; a good choice of bus routes and 10  minutes from Chingford Station). is on 1st Dec.  Some rough surfaces and some soft muddy  surfaces (not too bad today); unsuitable for baby buggies and  wheelchairs.
David Boote Walking Free in Waltham  Forest

Wed 4th Dec        free 6-7.30pm Poetry sharing group at the Centre For Better Health, 1a Darnley Road Hackney.

Thurs 5th Dec      free 5.30-8.30pm Hackney Museum Poetry evening with The Wordlovers Society hosted by K G Lester. Refreshments too.

Mon 9th Dec         free First day to view  the  RAGWORKS exhibition at the Centre for Better Health Hackney.

                                  £3 Old Town Hall E15. Tea dance 1.30-4.30pm

Thurs 12th Dec   £2.50  1pm Hackney Picture House “Reminiscence Screening” “The Bishop’s Wife”.

Sat 14th Dec        free  7.30 for 8pm News From Nowhere Club. The Epicentre West St E11. Bring a dish to share on a cold winter’s night. Poetry & Place: Reading Poetry Through Maps Speaker: David Amery

                                free 1.30-2.30pm Showcase for Lloyd Park Sharing Heritage. Aveling Park Community Centre in Lloyd Park E17.


E17 Kitchen Yum Yum

Well, none of your meatless, Halal, string bean, butternut squash, sushi, Kosher, art nouveau on a plate recipes this night. I saw bacon, suet, SUET!!!! chicken stock, meat meat meat (but recipes are available using Quorn then spices instead of suet) and it was all dripping in its salty bacon fat and then more salt, posh Cornish salt, was flaked onto the bubbling feast, Uughh, Brendan was busy striding from worktop to stove with we getting under his feet. Homely. Julia was the demonstrating dumpling-maker.

What a fabulous welcome. What a nice friendly bunch of tutors and participants in the free weekly cooking course at Waltham Forest College in the basement kitchen, not in the gorgeous Mallinson Restaurant where the Labour Party was partying.

There’s free safe parking in the compound after 5pm so that suits driving cookery students as the workshops start at 6pm. and end at 8.30pm.

The College was alive tonight. The receptionist was professional and the entrance is classy. See the lit-up steps to the college and imagine Fred Astaire clicking up and down those.

Can’t wait for next week.

Was at AgeUK event today

Well-organised in a friendly venue the Age UK event went ahead and was buzzing, This was at The Epicentre in Leytonstone and Age UK Waltham Forest had arranged a morning packed with stalls and volunteers so that older people coming along with their carers and friends could find out how to help themselves. The event centred around “Falls” ( and how to cope with the inevitable accidents).

The event was successful and people went away into the freezing November air clutching their new linen hold-alls full of free slippers, blankets and fleeces. Yes!!!! Even free books full of advice and recipes. By noon the sun was bright. Outside the leaves were blowing back and forth around the fenced-off Cathall Leisure Centre.

There was a hot cup of tea served by men and a lovely welcome.

RAGWORKS “Leyton Reminiscence Quilt” looked proud and impressive as a visitor said. reminisecnce quilt

I would like to thank the people who knitted the colourful squares which were made up into cosy blankets and given away cheerily. Thank you.

Sara was cooking curry at the Ul Noor Trust today so that was the port of call after The Epicentre. Here at the “One Pound Club” women sit and share information, break chapattis and French bread together, share chocolates and enjoy themselves away from the sink or the editing desk or their caring roles. Someone in an hijab whispered to another grandmother that the Borough Christmas Dinner was not for them. I ate my tamarind sweet. We all commented on the fact that the Asian Well Woman’s workshop hired a male doctor. We joked about turning up to armchair exercise in lycra leotards as we polished off cooked swollen peanuts and a box of Milk Tray.

A jolly good day…….so far

Poetry in ‘Ackney

Five years ago I joined a poetry group in Hackney Central Library and felt very uncomfortable. Members either bared their souls or were suspiciously looking around the table. I did go with two nutcases who came along for the ride so in fairness it was difficult for the facilitator to pitch the event correctly. There were many oversized egos present and plenty of earnest poetry reading voices. Stephen Fry knows what I mean.

Anyway the facilitator persevered because he was passionate about his spiritual journey and just wanted to get a creative writing group going without any reference to ‘pop-up’ or any nod to the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012. I could be wrong.

The Wordlovers Society (ugh! How I hate that title) has its celebration of being active in Clapton Library for five years and that takes place freely on 5th December 2013 at the Hackney Museum at 5.30pm. Yay!

So tonight I went to the poetry-share (my word) hosted by Cirillo at the Centre For Better Health in Darnley Road Hackney. I was terribly late having had a nail-biting day. The sessions are every fortnight at 6pm. I arrived there breathless and near to the end but had to get there because of my own passion, my respect for the facilitator and other poets and because its a friendly social meeting.

During the last session we did discuss the use of the word “nutcase” even as we sat in the hall of a building dedicated to people with mental health issues and knowing full well that some of our poets had been “sectioned”. At one point we discussed Baden Prince Junior’s poetry and I’d refused to read one of the poems because it had in it the word “vagina”. Now that word is huglee! Then a member offered “I love the word “c**t and I needed a wire for my dropped jaw. In the same paragraph another guy said “half-caste”. Now I usually correct that racist language, with a big Miss Piggy smile and flick of hair , but I was still reeling from hearing the c-word, enunciated with a licked tongue poking around full lips, and the blatant confession from a woman about loving it.  The statement was made with full-on relish. Note to self, “I really must step up my lesbian detection powers”.

There will be a sharing of poems on 11th December 2013 at The Centre for Better Health Hackney as an added feature in the launch event of RAGWORKS wall-hangings. We shall view, sit around, munch on nibbles, possibly sip some wine and laugh. Everyone is welcome. Five o’clock.


Thurs 21st Nov free 10-1pm The Epicentre, West Street E11.

On Thursday 21st November 2013 RAGWORKS displays the wall-hanging entitled

                               “Leyton Reminiscence Quilt”

showing 16 pockets of memories about Leyton all in RAGWORKS style. There’s a list of the stimuli for each scene and that list will surely evoke memories from seniors at the AgeUK Waltham Forest event about falling , heating, Tai Chi and well-being.


for fb

detail showing Bakers Arms and Tesco murals.

Seniors in Waltham Forest are invited by AGEUK Waltham Forest to share three hours at the Epicentre to find out how best to fall and  which ways to stop massive heating bills. RAGWORKS fits in nicely as the Reminiscence Quilt will spark some spontaneous discussion.

RAGWORKS   Leyton Reminiscence Quilt

16 descriptions:-

Swings, slides and parks.

Paraffin kiosk in Cathall Road E11. 1969.

The Leyton Leisure Lagoon changed its title and appearance by Autumn 2013.

The Lea Bridge Road stretches westward into Hackney.

GP surgery straddling Dagenham Brook.

Terraces and net curtains.

At  Hollow Pond. Beautiful forest land opposite Whipps Cross Hospital which went up in flames Summer 2013.


Church steeples.

Public baths in Leyton High Road.

Tesco murals.

Boating on Hollow Pond, an artificial water-hole.

The Bakers Arms junction with The Millennium Globes which were demolished in Summer 2013.  Barclays Bank still stands.


The “chapel” windows on the Turkish Barber Shop in Lea Bridge Road which was an off-licence in the 1940s.

Fruit stalls.

Hanging words out to dry AGAIN

Another washing line; this time an indoor rotary one on the fourth floor of the new Birkbeck Uni campus in E15. About thirty of us go-getter curious types assembled for discussion and debate with architecture experts from Birkbeck, and the locally based Fundamental  Architectural Inclusion.

DSCF8501Any floor?

Who’d ever know that we meet let alone continue to do so in order to thrash out  our feelings and voice our observations about the London 2012 Legacy? The washing line was where we hung out our scribbled group offerings about regenerated areas. We had personal stories to tell about crime and heritage, history and economics. Not just sandwich-munching community peeps, we! Many of us were state pension age. We represented many walks of life and ethnicity. Well, it is Stratford.2013-09-01 11.26.43Colourful pineapple eh?

This was “East End in Flux” hosted by Leslie Topp and Nick Edwards and attended by subscribers to Up Your Street, mature university students and local east enders. It was extremely well organised as per and we were warmly welcomed. Cuppa tea? Yes please.

Learnt very little myself but enjoyed the experience. After lunch there was a (rescheduled)  walk around Stratford.

015UEL E15

I could not be asked. Those pavements have my carbon footprint echoing in them as I’ve walked the walk many times, pre Olympics and Paralympics, post Olympics and Paralympics and smack into the mystery of The Legacy.

Walthamstow, Hackney Wick, The International Quarter E15 and bake-house hot-house Hoxton were mentioned in corners of the room in terms of their arty incomers: Get me?

The major question was “Was the coming of The Olympics good for the east end?”

The responses were mixed veering towards guilty negative and enthusiastic positive. Mainly we defined ‘east end’ as Stratford and repeated how much of the rest of London apart from Hackney vehemently denied interest in The Games and hadn’t a googling clue about this Legacy thing. The transient nature of Stratford’s incoming residents was seen as an opportunity to shape the Borough to the needs of everyone and stop the outward movement of short-stayers. Participants were amazed at the new build rapid progress in Stratford and the sentimentalists wanted to save old buildings which at least give Stratford and Newham its identity.

All in all residents are not informed about the architectural so therefore permanent constructions in their neighbourhoods, less so those interested in the Legacy and living  outwith Newham. The Council it seems allows property developers to inform the neighbours. That’s crazy but usual as the same thing is happening in the regeneration programmes in Waltham Forest. Often people say “What’s that going to be then?” when a skyscraper hits the clouds. Even the local papers aren’t clear enough and more often what was a plan is reality overnight.

Rapid change can be depressing or rejuvenating to an invisible long-term east end council- tax payer, pensioner and resident. Meanwhile we all wait to see if the answer to the question is a resounding “Yes!” as we learn the language of the ‘engaged’, dip our feet into the many  pop-up restaurants, pop-up art galleries and pop-up theatres, look around for sister-cynics and repeat a positive mantra, “It’s good to talk”.

Issue 47 Up Your Street

Sun 17th Nov free 3-6pmUrdu and Punjabi poetry at the Great Hall E10

                            free   10-3pm Crafts Fair at The Education Centre Queens Road. E1717th Nov 2013

Mon 18th Nov free Last day to bid for a place at the Senior Citizens Christmas Dinner in Waltham Forest.

Wed 20th Nov  free 6-7.30pm poetry sharing fortnightly session at the Centre for Better Health 1a Darnley Rd, Hackney

                             free 10-noon Lloyd Park Sharing Heritage special event in the weekly programme.

Thurs 21st Nov free 10-1pm. A day for older people and their carers at the Epicentre West Road E11. Freebies, Tai Chi  and advice. Event opened by Cllr. Angie Bean.Alice petchRAGWORKS “Leyton Reminiscence Quilt” is on display with notes to explain some of the images. Do add your own.Ragworks_Logo (1)

Fri 22nd Nov free. 7 for 7.30pm Waltham Forest Diwali celebrations. No need for tickets. Fireworks will bang!


Coming up… Eastside Community Heritage day at Birkbeck University Stratford E15 for free. Tea dances in Chingford and Stratford E.15.


Check out in paper or online the dolly knitting patterns in the free Waltham Forest paper!


The new Lea Bridge Road Station

The Lea Bridge Road Station will be rebuilt in 2014. Burwell Road is the last residential Waltham Forest road before Hackney. Burwell Road is shambolic. The even side is in fact miserable-looking industrial lets. The buildings are neglected despite one building having architectural features of recent historical note. I was on a walk once with Walthamstow women and saw their noses visibly curl when they reached this side of dirty Leyton. Burwell Road will surely get some attention before the Station opens.

The pavements on both sides are patchworks of tarmac caused by cable installation and service outlets. The front gardens are holding pens for abandoned furniture, bed bases, uncollected full black bags, and only three reflect any householders’ pride. Litter is blown into the street from dirty yards and the main road because people aren’t soiling their own street, are they? Huge furniture vans park on double yellows, disrespecting the word “residential” as the drivers unload goods noisily into a massive charity shop and a garment manufacturer. Businesses on the adjacent Lea Bridge Road pile their rubbish on the corner and at night the lighting there is inadequate.

Trees are showing their roots as they mature in a flood plain. The roots are temporarily curbed and the new covering tarmac cracks and spreads after each treatment. The areas around the trees are best avoided.

Burwell Road is dull, needing attention and a disgrace. Long-term residents are fed-up especially as they’ve seen the roads resurfaced on the rest of what was once the Burwell Residential Estate. It’s hard not to turn the corner and say “Fancy bringing kids up here.”