Yesterday I refused to sit in Stratford East Picture House and spend money on the coffee there  as I support the striking Picture House workers as at Hackney Picture House and the Ritzy.

Today I decided to find those others who might have sat in and drank coffee together, those I never met yesterday and so off I went to the Bishopsgate Institute where they might have been to Posh Club for the loveliest cabaret and high tea at lunchtime a fiver could buy.

The wine did the trick and I was forgiven for supporting workers and their rights and we all relaxed. No-one had even gone to the Stratford Picture House. 20160514_121446.jpg

POSH CLUB was amazing: POSH CLUB is amazing. It is first class organization from ticket sales by mobile phone to the clearing of tinsel to make way for the champagne flutes, from the freshly cut sandwiches to the professional stage-acts. The compere/MC, Dickie, is always on the verge of music-hall vulgarity with his jokes and strutting around and reminds us all that we are Hackney and unique seniors from all walks of manual working life. He is a gem.

Everything is smooth and considered behind the scenes. There’s music, there are servers, there are dancing volunteers, cloakrooms, and even a coach laid on to get the Hackney residents into Tower Hamlets. Today we had a dance troupe, a nimble limbo dancer, a gorgeous choir, a dance-hall queen and she was a female cos you never know, and many many  groove mixes from the DJ.

Go see for yourself. On January 5th booking opens for January through to March POSH CLUB sessions at St Paul’s in Stokey, Hackney.

POSH CLUB is part of Duckie’s London based in The Vauxhall Tavern.20161221_135658


Well, that was good

Leytonstone School in E11 held their first student organised Christmas Tea Party for seniors in the community today and it was marvellous.

First of all the year 8 students welcomed us with huge smiles and polite relaxed conversation into a great hall full of music, set tables and live music.

The scene was set and all the seniors enjoyed themselves immensely.

Fifteen Up Your Street subscribers braved the damp dull day to get to the beautiful building in Colworth Road. Remember when it used to be Leyton Senior High for Girls?


Creativity Revived

Yesterday Up Your Street was as it was six years ago with good company, an urgency to go, a desire to join in and do. The day ended on a warm drink and samosa high at St Mary’s Church in E17, standing on damp cold soil watching Hassan Vawda’s  projected installation onto an ancient Walthamstow church exterior wall with an accompanying soundscape. Hassan will tell you everything is a dream. With that in our brains we watched the film of his sister’s and his and I think too his dad’s journey to his grandparents’ house. The green trees were a green backcloth and there was a true connection to today as we explored a fifty year old boarded-up Indian house whilst the real church door was opened and shut. Something about dances and chances. I didn’t attempt to read the blurb in the  lantern dark and wanted my own feelings and reactions before I read the notes on Facebook and beyond.

I’ve been to many of Hassan’s art for all workshops and they are well-planned and truly for anyone regardless of previous immersion in any kind of art. Go read his poetry and be blown away.

A few years ago I lived on an island which has plenty of unopened abandoned houses. They do intrigue and house artefacts and memories of course. I reminisced slightly but held myself steady for the morning workshops at CreativiTEA in Hale End Library had been quite enough memory lane for the day. Amanda Whittle took we, a group of seniors , into collage and paint using objects and photos from the war and the fifties. War time. Who was there?

Another action-packed couple of hours was at Central Parade, obviously the Council’s flaghub for dem creatives.It was a free screen-printing workshop with Fungai . (See Nzinga at Facebook too).

Well, that was fun. Someone will be getting my tote bag full of ink splashes and another’s design for Christmas, someone on a remote island. My second attempt was far superior so I’ll bead it up for another. Otherwise it’ll be my spud bag. We were invited to make woolly pom poms  and tassels to pin onto our creations. Nah. I wanted to focus on perfection in one area. Up Your Street subscribers made up 80% of the participants.

It was buzzing at Central Parade with carol-singers and baking bread rising. Accompanied children joined in willy-nilly at the crafting and printing tables. There were units to explore called incubators (hmm) where members of a particular art group sell their wares until their residencies run out and in come other creatives.

Down the other end of the market stands motherly The Mill E17 which led the way for creativity in this borough and I support old friends especially with the print exhibition on the horizon.

Important aside:-Wonder what kind of contracts have the servers at Central Parade. Catering jobs are often those stinking zero-contract hours ones with pittances of pay. There was one table attendant who needed a lift as she was the picture of drudgery.


I am grateful for yesterday. Screen printing workshops are hard to afford. Fungai is a generous artist like Hassan. CreativiTEA is an excellent series of monthly workshops too.

Back to telly and mature throat-straining Dusty Springfield backed by Jools and Alison Moyet on YESTERDAY before Andrew Marr and his excitability.

Issue 39. Up Your Street

Tues 6th Dec     free 11.30-1.30 Christmas Party given by Cubitt Education at the Claremont Project with an art workshop.

£2          2-4pm Hilary’s textile brooch-making at Claremont.

Wed 7th Dec       free  Up Your Street Community Group visits the Medieval Embroidery exhibition for free at The V&A. All booked up.

Thurs 8th Dec     free 4-5.30pm  Launch of “Movement and Migration” exhibition of prose poetry art at Claremont  again. Wine nibbles and good company.

Sun 11th Dec  “Paddington” on TV

Up Your Street says Merry Christmas and see you in 2017