UDAC

UDAC Uniform distribution and accreditation centre for GamesMakers for the Paralympics is set up in what may have been a factory:-

Purpose of Report / Proposal

Demolition of all existing buildings and the erection of four buildings subdivided into

twelve units totalling 10,621sqm for B1c (Business – Light Industry), B2 (General

Industry) and B8 (Storage and Distribution) employment uses with ancillary yards and

parking

next to dire Star Lane area in dire Stephenson Street in dire Canning Town adjacent to  the fresh and newish Star Lane DLR station. I travelled to aforesaid dire area on a 276 bus and lo and behold the bus was on a London 2012 diversion so I was totally lost, in strange deserted land. The driver was kind and dropped me off at dog- turd alley so I could walk the 10 minutes to the station. I was never tempted to turn back because part of my job to collect my GamesMaker uiform was to covet my pair of Adidas trainers. I had been successful last year in being given the chance to be a GamesMaker at the Paralympics but was in two minds wheher to take  up the post for many reasons, eg security, travel to and fro.  A pair of trainers clinched the deal really.

Got across from Star Lane into Stephenson Street via the station footbridge. I was carrying an old pre -Olympic Park map page of the address from the  “Master Atlas of Greater London NHS Trust London Ambulance Service”  which was of little help as it was from way back when at a time when Carpenters Road was busy and dirty full of second hand car workshops called garages and at a time when no-one cared about Canning Town. Oh!  They still don’t.

I saw the flags and a litter of GamesMakers in front of the UDAC building. I showed my passport and stated my business.I entered the massive busy place.Got mi trainers…..

Then it was try on for comfort the uniform. No mirrors. Can’t fault Adidas quality of course but I hate Adidas trousers. They are never quite the generous size around female bum and thighs. So I made do because the next size up looked like Ronald McDonald’s painting overalls. The polo top and jacket are as comfortable as silk. Already others’ stuff’s up on Ebay.

Went along to the collection point. Oh My goodness. So well done, so organised, so army. I was given a bag, an Adidas bag, and  my peers put in clothes after clothes, then the trainers then other whatnots. Never knew until I emptied the bag indoors what goodies I had as well as an Oyster card. There were 2 polo tops, 2 pairs of yuk trousers, 2 pairs of Adidas socks, my trainers, jacket, unbrella just in case, my cap, Coco Cola drink bottle, Swatch Watch, notebook and epaulettes or something I’ve not opened yet. Amazing! Awesome. I am grateful. My only hardship really is getting to my job for 0615h ! Aren’t I a lucky one? I did get the job via interview I said to myself as another GamesMaker spoke to me and I wondered what form of English I’d just heard.

Think of that Shreddies advert and the Wonga one then know that in real life all those grannies are out there GamesMaking in on trend Adidas trainers.  Good on their spirit. Shame on Shreddies for not smashing the stereotype. The only knitters I know now live on a remote Scottish island or are tote maze in Dalston.

I run Up Your Street and it was originally formed to engage seniors with the coming of the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012. I believe becoming a Gamesmaker,  sold out to Adidas or McDonalds or Coca Cola, (I had to research Atos), is the culmination of the work of Up Your Street. What makes me glum is that seniors I know still have not been into the Stadium. They never saw the adverts for cheap tickets or what? £5 tickets for seniors to get into the Paralympics? Opportunities to become Gamesmakers? You have to grab!

Now let’s see how I get on! You have to be in the mood for all that American style gushing. Don’t get me wrong. I can do that! I cannot do the Stadium stairs. They are steep , high and many. Even the youth say that. Not as bad as the gods in O2 mind.

I live on the back of The Stadium. I was naive such that when I applied for Gamesmaker I imagined myself ambling through Orient Way or catching the W19 as a case was made for it to reach from E17 to E20. Never happened. The roads were all closed off. I became an outsider in my own habitat. I was stoooopid and naive and gave in to some officiating Olympic body my enthusiastic plan for High Street Seniors to walk on the perimeter of the Park at dusk throughout the Olympics. We weren’t wanted there mucking up their security. I was a flea in the big plan eh?

When I texted my sister that I was now a uniformed GamesMaker she replied, “What’s a GamesMaker?” Cheers!

PS  The (UDAC) site is located along Stephenson Street in Canning Town near the Cody

Road industrial estate and is located within a predominately industrial area.

The site is rectilinear in shape and roughly level and comprises a range of

existing commercial warehouse buildings and hardstandings. At the front of

the site, adjacent to the main vehicular access, is a locally listed two (plus

attic) storey building. The building was the former offices of the Canning Town

Glass Works, built around 1925.

The art centre in Stratford’s backyard.

Certificate in HE in Understanding Visual Arts.

Birkbeck Uni and Rosetta Art Centre in Stratford run an art appreciation course for non- certificated adults who have never been to University which is more along the lines of how to communicate appreciation of art works effectively by becoming confident with texts, IT, seminars and opinions. The essays are all processed and sent up to be marked using the internet. There are loans available and bursaries to help the poor and underpriveleged with their travel and child care expenses so in one way I never expected to meet other seniors.

Rosetta Art Centre is actually housed in Gainsborough Primary School, a Victorian school in a big low level council-housing estste . The 276 bus which starts its journey in Stokey goes there or there’s West Ham tube station.

I was shocked. I thought the Centre was state of the art, not up 4 flights of steps to a narrow corridor on top. Come and see the toilet sink! Old as yer like. With scalloped dips for the soap bars before pump action came into fashion!

A handful of folk turned up for the introductory session about the one year course which springs the successful achiever into the second year of the B.A Arts and Humanities degree or Arts and Media foundation course at Birkbeck. Birkbeck has a new campus coming up in Stratford,E15 otherwise it’s a trek up to Bloomsbury. Couldn’t be much more different in flavour, could it?

What’s appealing is the field trips; out to V&A, Bishopsgate Institute, Whitechapel Art Gallery and the like, not forgetting Tate Modern. Whilst I was attending the introductory session (where no tea was served by the way!) then I was missing out on my special invite to the Whitechapel Gallery for photos done by locals with a tour thrown in. Once a month one can join in a lottery application for a free tour of galleries around Spitalfields. Luck of the draw though.

Back to West Ham, there’s help on hand for the dyslexic, public computer accessibilty in Stratford (Library? Oh, that market-place!)  and UEL along Romford Road. You don’t have to be a Newham resident nor clever as to me it looks like all the encouragement and support will make sure you pass. Wonder if in your second year you meet u3A chapesses. Seems up their street.

I had entered a piece of work for a display at Rosetta Art Gallery. I heard nothing in response. Not bovvered. Now I’ve seen the place……Years ago I refused to go to The Rio Cinema in Dalston because it was a flea pit allegedly and advertised as a venue for the working class. Why would I have to go to dirt? “Me be poor, me be poor, but me no be crazy”

The Rosetta Art Centre was established because of the desire to uplift a community around it which rarely engages with the visual arts. On tap is the captive audience of primary school children who get the opportunity to appreciate all forms of art-funded art projects which is good. Somehow like playing piped Mozart as children tag-tail into assembly. So why wouldn’t the borough with all its Olympic dosh or the government build a proper art venue or we are happy to have a corridor? Not me.

I will find it difficult to promote the course to so many seniors because of the IT element and the fear of they being means-tested. The course is right up my street in its ethos. I needed to know about disability access too.

I was up Essex Road in Leyton  because it is one of the only local places which has a Post Office with free parking outside.  Not any more. Wow! Overnight the linespeople had restricted us and after May 31st it gets worse as the area comes under Olympic non-parking areas. Many will benefit from this and majorly Whipps Cross Hospital  just a walk away with its exhorbitant parking fees.