Chat’s Palace and Chatsworth Road, ‘Ackney, east London

Well, it was absolutely freezing but I did my planned walk up Chatsworth Road from Lea Bridge Road. Long time since I’ve done that. For the first part one might say “What, people actually live on the road?” Pretty scummy with dirty fronts and boarded up shops. I suppose I expected more because I heard the road’s getting an overhaul in time for the big games. Hurry up then ! There is some interesting  architecture if you look hard. There was hardly anyone about because of the cold I suppose.

Chat’s Palace was warm and welcoming.  Colin O’Brien’s free photographic exhibition of the last real high street (Chatsworth Road)  is perfect, extremely well displayed and a unique story from ordinary shopkeepers trying to keep going in difficult economic times. It’s colourful and there’s plenty of descriptive labels to chuckle over. O’Brien’s older photgraphs are on display too so,  a double treat of professional art work. I did feel priveleged catching the last days of a very local exhibition in a beautifully refurbished “palace”. One person said about Chatsworth Road that you never need to leave there once you’re born there: You get born at one end, go to school in the middle and end up at the undertaker’s at the other end. The road is totally multi-national, relaxed and modest. Move over Stokey, it’s arrived.

Straight onto the Hackney Museum for three temporary exhibitions, one all about the nature of Dalston using people’s memories and archive photos. Very good. There’s another display of photos and words all about people from ethnic minorities ‘coming out ‘and the joy and problems of that in our society. Could only ‘appen in ‘Ackney. The Museum is building up for LGBT month, another celebration of our diversity. I just love good photos, me.

The third special exhibition is all about east end boxers as they were. Didn’t get it until the link to the big games was made. How Hackney Museum puts on such fabulous exhibitions in a welcoming and buzzing place is a wonderful achievement! We the clients are the lucky ones.

On to The Round Chapel to learn some gypsy dancing from Polish gypsies. The ‘ learn gypsy music’ was going on; very serious and lots of violins. I’ll try again next week. I was looking for colour and swirling skirts.

Meanwhile in Egypt people, which evidently by all news footage means ‘men’ ,  are just protesting to get a better life and here’s me swannin’ around  parts of London which London Greeters might show off to visitors. “Hang on! We not ready yet.”