Today I was informed that The Rabbit Hole in Maryland (yeah, I know Maryland!) in E15 is threatened with closure. Sure I can’t/won’t afford the tea and biscuits there but I’m a different generation and I don’t have disposable income in a purse under my disposable nappies and all the other young parent paraphernalia in my “The Baby Show ” unique and blessed £75. 00 at reduced offer price pram- bag. The venue is definitely in E15 and not to be judged for tax purposes or clientele -magnetizing as the posher E20 with its Westfield and pop-up Marilyn Monroe soirees and Mini draped in British flags promotions.
The Rabbit Hole is unique. It’s set amongst final last offers fridge shops, burger bars and chip bars, next to a part-time Radio Station and opposite a revived railway station and a long long brick wall on a dangerous turn down at Stratford as we leave the borders of down and out down-town Leytonstone forever. Maryland, land of all sorts and the wonderfully named Manbey Grove. The shop, likened to a warren because of the visitor being opened up to different channels, is almost sitting on a railway siding come to think of it.
It’s upcycled, that’s what it is. It’s welcoming and has an ear for what’s pulsing around it. It’s a sanctuary for the isolated young parent who hasn’t found her or his niche in a changing neighbourhood. There are racks of new and nearly new baby outfits to peruse. There are chances of workshops and prizes and raffles at baby discos. It’s a place for the confident tea drinking, posh pizza munching passer-by, a different experience to the Brazilian coffee-house nearby and the quick latte at the Morrison’s caff up road.
To me, The Rabbit Hole represents a sound business run by a woman entrepreneur who had done her market research, seen what other boroughs were doing for and with young parents and is forging her way successfully through the paper and string bound world of sharp business in times of austere cuts and depression in many communities. Where is the support from a Borough Council that goes on and on about women, about entrepreneurs, about small business success in their community? Away with the faeries who brought the world-renowned sports days, that’s where. Long gone. So last 2012. So in the bin.
The mad hatter of Newham says “There is no room at the table”. Alice replies quite clearly and confidently, “There’s plenty of room.”
Did she add on “Silly”?