Issue 43. Up Your Street


Sun 13th Dec    free  7pm. Classical concert at St John at Jerusalem Hackney. Retiring collection of course.        Turn up.
                            free  6.30pm Hackney Singers (Thanks to Wendy for sharing). de Beauvoir St Pater’s Church. Concert for Hackney & Islington Winter Night Shelters Turn up.
Tues 15th Dec  free 6.45pm Chapel Cinema Bethnal Green St Margaret’s screening ” Elf Cinema”.                                   Turn up
Wed 16th Dec   free 11-noon Seated Zumba at Disability Hub 90 Crownfield rd E15                                                Turn  up
Thurs 17th Dec free 10.15-11.15 am Coffee and cake book group at Hackney Central Library discussing Lawrenson’s ” The Lantern “.Turn up
Sat 19th Dec    free  11 am Spitalfields Old Market Pop up Vintage Fair.
Wed 23rd Dec            The Mill @ Coppermill Lane E17 says
We will be closed from Weds 23 Dec 2015 to Mon 4 Jan 2016 inclusive “.
At various Up Your Street promoted events, Up Your Street’s Patricia volunteers and does the refreshments.
                                                                                    Pat's Caribbean Fare.jpg
She represented High Street Seniors at MUSEFest, a charity gig in Hackney  organised by women musicians . We’ll see her behind her Caribbean sandwiches in February.  Coming soon..
                                                           Merry Christmas

Crying at The Flix

I  was privileged to have belonged to Clapham Film Unit for a while and to have done some research at the LSE and on the Internet into the Women’s Peace Movement.(WILF). Many people including Guardian readers do not know that women activists went to the Hague in 1915 to try to stop WW1. They weren’t all knitting for the troops. They were rather posh though. Clapham Film Unit empowered women to make a film about Tilbury Dock and to dress up and be seen. It was good. Women through Up Your Street came along and they were ones who had  opposed passively the Women’s Liberation Movement in the sixties. or not been in the UK then and saw politics as trouble. We all learnt together. We published stories about women in 1915.

Today went  like this…

Me “No. No. I don’t feel like going to watch a women and angst film”.

Daughter “Oh go and enjoy yourself”.

Oh dear. thinking positive,  I accepted the challenge and went for my first visit to the Empire in Walthamstow E17. The website was a little unhelpful but finally I knew I could see “Suffragette” for a fiver. Only one person I know had seen it and she was impressed because the story was through the life of a working class woman. (So? Remember “Dagenham”?) I knew the W I in Redbridge had gone as a group to celebrate themselves in Stratford east.

It was raining and the cinema at 12.30 was pretty empty. Plush but empty. One commentator on the Guardian review had said that older people would be more inclined to like the film. Bloomin’ cheek. But apart from one restless pregnant customer we were all old. Mind you, look at the time; hardly the lounging hour.

The film’s opening is powerful because of the music and the close-ups and bird’s eye views of machinery in a Bethnal Green laundry in 1912. I perked up. My grandmother to my shame worked in a laundry in 1912. Silly me not imagining how it really was.  You know, wash boards and soap. Curiously the working women in the blockbuster never wear head coverings whilst working at the machines and over the tubs. Fired up I remembered that my grandfather met nanny whilst he worked in a chemist’s. Woohoo. The Suffragette women in the film spent time meeting and planning in a pharmacy. But actually for most of the film I wondered what my female ancestors did for the cause. I am old enough to have been in the situation where a husband banned me from doing much because my feminist ways would shame him. My sister couldn’t even buy a new bra until her husband had decided the elastic was spent.  We evolved. In the auditorium I spent time sucking my Tesco chocolate thinking of women worldwide.

The camera work may have been innovative but was pretty annoying. Still if it had been slower the film would have been draggier. The whooshing shots helped to heighten the thrust of the violence and to be honest the force-feeding scene was more 18 than 12A.

After the story line was set with the usual run of  characters representing the lower class;  there’s a nasty boss,  a  hubby unable to work out child care, foul-mouthed workers, the beaten wife and so on  then the rest was sentimental slosh.

Yes the music was grand. The Empire is grand and better at welcoming than Hackney Picture House. If you say the word “Senior” the staff talk louder and slower. No magic cup of tea appears though. That’s at 11 am.

At Chapel Cinema in Bethnal Green next Tuesday on offer for free is “West Side Story”.

Cinema at its best.