Walthamstow Historical Society meets at Trinity URC corner of Orford Road and West Avenue E17

The Real William Morris Trinity United Reformed Church
Tracing the History of Your Home Trinity United Reformed Church
Centenary Lecture Central Library, Town Square
Magic Lantern Show – Walthamstow in 1915 The Vestry House Museum

Up Your Street Issue 1 2015

 Up Your Street  Issue 1 2015
Mon    5th Jan      £2 per session 1-3pm Open Art comprising beading, painting and drawing
                             at Centre for Better Health
                                 1a Darnley Rd Hackney 

Wed    7th Jan     free      "Stories of El Salvador" film and exhibition at Rich Mix E1(ongoing)

Sat      10th Jan   free 10.30-12.30 Book at Eventbrite for a 20 minute session. Taster session of Reflexology
Hale End Library E4

free Hackney Museum Last week of exhibition about the retired nurses

from the Caribbean.

                                                        The Museum is shut on Sundays and Mondays.

Mon     12th Jan £25 for 10 weeks/ Pay in advance .10-12noon Ceramics for beginners course.
                                       Centre For Better Health (see address above)

Wed    14th Jan free 7.30-9.30pm Union Chapel Highbury N1 Bach  interludes. Book at Eventbrite
Thur     15th Jan free 6-9pm BowArts by Bow Church.Private View.no need to book.

Mary Barnes: Boo-Bah

A View on a Room

“”There’s an outfit in Walthamstow trying to set up a Women’s Centre. Looks like the plans are scuppered by the Council so there’s a public shindig in February just before Zumba Day to mobilise the locals who care. Or who want something out of it i. e. a place to showcase their business. It’ll not be a free space. There’s money to be made from rents.

Now I like others thought this women’s centre malarkey was done and dusted in the eighties. Its  failure was never explained. The sisterhood hardly happened. The mass surge of rising up the ladder rungs in terms of being where we should be at have been hampered by a changing population with people on the move and they rigidly maintaining their cultural identities which often include the backward practice of FGM. We fragmented as a nation and those who had the opportunity to learn in the eighties about how women are important in society  were never embraced because of their class and colour. We are left with seventy year olds who still believe it’s okay to be in the kitchen serving boys and men, with their daughters who insist on pink trackies for themselves and their daughters, and women who meet in ethnically inclusive women’s centres, who accept their lot and are not comfortable questioning anything and anyway need to be home in time for their husbands’ demands.

It’s a disgrace that funding is still given to outfits to enhance the lives of women through what? art? sewing machines? Zumba?There’s a lot of reinvention of the wheel and very little mind change. Despite women being encouraged to open up their minds to different ideologies and herstories, I am still surrounded by women who refuse to let a girl child play with a battery-operated digger and a boy child play with a doll in a pink pram. Unbelievable. Still women say in my ears how the projects in wood joinery aren’t for them, the breasted ones. And the self-appointed uneducated leaders with lanyards flying  still say in public meetings through their microphones how we all want different shapes, how we want to be slim like Carol Vordaman or whomsoever is pushing their slim away your life programmes.

I go along to projects where I’m called along with other mothers and grandmothers a girl. I am the only one every time who sees that as quite offensive.

I’m expected to agree that any women’s centre is beneficial to every woman around my neighbourhood. I am expected to believe that a women’s centre enhances a woman’s self-esteem. Doubt it.

Under the roof of any women’s centre or room or hub I predict cloth nappy demonstrations, potato-printing, empty rooms, a tailing off of interest, a jamboree on International Women’s Day with cup cakes, organic beetroot salads and Zumba, no bridges across cultures, a maintaining of the way it is and plenty of over-used adjectives  to describe what is in fact neither brilliant nor awesome.

And then I saw this coming out of Waltham Forest Libraries What’s On

I am in despair.

International Women’s Day Celebrations 2015

All Made Up: Mothers and Daughters Make-Up

A fun few hours exploring make-up!

Learn from each other; gain and exchange hints and tips and leave as made up as you want to be.  For female family members from different generations!

 Suitable to Adults, Young People and Suitablly aged Children accompanied by an adult.

The male equivalent would be “Teach your sons how to knock out her lights when the dinner’s not on the table.”



Project Proposal: Good Example

Performance Art Lab

The following is an example of a good project proposal. Some of the strengths include: well-organized paragraphs, conceptually creative and supported choices,  logistical foresight, clarity in communicating project purpose, awareness of its situation in contemporary performance, and ambition. Micro/Macro-Performance

Performance art is often created according to a human scale since it is based upon the body/bodies of the performer.  The performer moves his body around a space; she engages with the audience’s bodies; the performance is documented by another person using a manageable hand-held camera; etc.  I am interested in exploring avenues of performance art that are habitually passed over because of issues of scale.  I propose to create two performances: one that explores performance on a small scale and another that creates a mega-scale performance.

I will reserve a classroom in Columbine specifically for my performance.  The room will be darkened for visitors as they enter.  Inside the room…

View original post 499 more words

What was that?

Many of us go around thinking we’re important when it comes to community engagement; you know, some Art Council funded fly-by-night invites in we  Jill public, temporarily accomodates us then asks us to fill out anonymous evaluation sheets for the funders.

Today was awful. Chairs weren’t out, no introductions were attempted, the milk was sour, the few mismatched cups were grimy and the programme of events was random and irrelevant. It was meant to be an end of year showcase day for an art centre. It was a disgrace but hey ho,  on it will roll.

Horst visited.

Another great and successful Up Your Street group visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum for Horst’s photography even though the group were somewhat depleted due to funerals, the flu, the unwillingness in the end to walk the length of the South Ken Museums tunnel and Up Your Street community  group members being stranded at Leyton Station following what may have been a suicide under a train.

People shared the wonderment of photographs of ye olde actresses and actors and remarked on  the beauty of the photography. Which was what it was all about.

Thanks V&A.

Say “menses”

My friend gave her daughter on her first ever day of menstruation a red rose and pointed it to the moon. Welcome to womanhood.

Today whilst sighing at the lack of interest in any discussion about  the force of the burka in making women mysterious and defiled and irked by the tiresome references to a character called Jesus, a Mary woman and an alien top of canvas some called “The Holy Spirit”, I stood amongst some women and learnt about symbols and myths which swirled around the art elite and how those dictate the appearance of women in art over the centuries. Talking of white women it has to be said

.women in art

It was informative and full of conjecture and pseudo something. The two hour tour was extremely well-researched in a Gallery which hides art by women and changes pictures around without notice. Our hosts were truly professional and welcomed us one and all, we who came through Up Your Street mainly from Leyton, Hackney and Stratford east. Some people had never been to the National Gallery before, ever.

The annoyance was in the truth that since 1979 and of course  before but with Thatcher in power women were legitimized, nay expected to chuck in anything about women and their perceived roles in our man society, little change is really happening in the media. I could feel women around me holding back astonishment at the backwardness of others. You have to blame the Zumba dancers’ apprentices who come out bums a-wiggling on every March 8th.

The main thing that came across was that men paint what men want and if that’s naked white women with all the virtues of silence, a caring nature, a  fruit bearing pair of hips, and all,  sans menstruation and nasty bloody vulvas, then tough titties; that’s how it was. As Sylvester Stallone’s mum says through her botexed lips  “It is what it is”.

We can’t change history but as Lon Art Org says people can educate ourselves as to how  women are portrayed in art and in the media. No-one I know is a Trappist monk.

But first those today have to be on the same page if they are not to aggravate each other. If women are unable to hold in their minds an image of a man holding his own kids then they are holding back themselves with pictures from their own pasts and a universal culture where men are never carers, never at the kitchen sink and rule the roost, they need to get onto the internet and see other images besides the one being doshed out on ITV adverts. And ditch the dependent Cinderella global fairy-tale. Change the words. Raise daughters’ aspirations. Read Maya Angelou.

Women I know need to roll around their tongues the word “vagina” to know who they are.

A definition of menses. The monthly flow of blood and cellular debris from the uterus that begins at puberty in women and the females of other …

“Cellular debris” kinda says it all really.

“Say ‘cheese!'”

The Pamper Shop

IMAG00648At the Stuart Low Trust in Islington

January 2015 – Book for January workshops from MONDAY 5 JANUARY

Saturday 17th January 2015 (Mixed, men and women)

Pamper and Refresh: Today’s session will start with some Tai Chi with Will Waghorn to gently rejuvenate your body and mind. Suitable for beginners. After some tea Maurizio Lodato will lead a guided meditation and relaxation session to calm and energise you. Throughout the afternoon you can also have your hair trimmed by local professional hairdresser Paul Hone and friends. Will Waghorn runs Tai Chi courses in Brighton and London. Maurizio Lodato is a qualified and experienced masseur and relaxation therapist. 

Saturday 24th January 2015 (Women only)

Chi Kung: Chi kung (or Qigong) is a practice of aligning body, breath and mind for health and meditation. With roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy and martial arts, Chi kung is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance chi (qi) or “life energy”. Belinda Ackermann will lead this session. 

Docklands Museum

A group of Up Your Street subscribers met our guide at Canary Wharf underground station to walk about the garden with its ornamental water features then to part of the malls. It was the breathing spell  before the lunch-time bell sounded and finance worker after finance worker would descend into the food halls so the kiosk workers were out of their cubby-holes rushing their lunches whilst grouped around the take away customer benches. I imagined working in the hot spots, standing most of the day, earning a pittance and then having no staff rest-room. Oh, sounds like McDonalds.

The mall toilets stink.

Into Cabot Square we marched and admired the fountains where water formed temporary sculptures or cascaded past red ornamental flowers. Our route took us over the bridge then into the Museum. The staff, supervising an empty reception area, actually greeted us. The place was empty.

Starting at the top floor our guide told us stories about lightermen, London Bridge, tobacco, mud larking and clay pipes as we moved from showcase to artefact.

The Museum of London at Docklands has much to see. There’s a floor devoted to the history of the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Remember Museum of Mankind? Where did all that stuff go? There was much to read.  Much to take in and empty bellies slowed us down and distracted us.

We’d just completed a course with Rosetta Art Centre about the Docklands of yore and began a new one yesterday so are up to here with east London’s  docks’ histories going from tragedies, world wars, tight-knit communities, the pollution of the Thames and onto the demise of the Royal Docks themselves. Here we were standing on old dock cobbles and timbers, the remains of a massive industry marked in a Museum surrounded by pricey beverage outlets and the water. Floating by the museum’s entrance is a church in a boat.

As our hips and thighs longed for a cushioned chair we agreed in unison that our guide had served us well and freely.

We had our picnic and sandwiches in a spacious café and an hot chocolate for over two quid a mug. (I’m going to see what IanVisits has to say about that in his museum meals’ blog!) Grandparent duties called so we headed for the DLR  to get back to outpouring schools down the line.

What a great 11th December 2014.