Masala Chai with Eastside Community Heritage


People who subscribe to Up Your Street represent all the diverse ethnicity of residents in places around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and because they’re of the New Generation (phrase coined from a Soapbox participant meaning that for the first time seniors aged beautifully 50 up to 90 say have accidentally created the first definite cohort rather than being the older generation which meant the invisible crowd. “New Generation suits.”) they have seen and experienced multi-culturalism in its flourishing wave in the eighties. So those assembled at today’s reminiscence tea knew of chai and Indian sweets and snacks. They eat and cook all foods, make cheese sandwiches and samosas, drink Lassi and tea from every plant. No flies on them. They managed to gobble all the sugar on the table.

The scene was set at Valentine’s Mansion being the tea time scene of a rich Indian family circa 1914. The meat was in the questions posed by Eastside Community Heritage, questions that forced debate and family memories, individual opinions and a willingness to learn from each other. We discussed Ghurkhas, Trinidadian dads with gas masks, second-hand tea leaves, telly programmes about Indians in the British Army, “Who Do You Think You Are?” recruitment of boy soldiers, and so much more emphasising that we were not surprised that millions of Indian men served under George Vth : first hand stories from granddaughters sitting drinking masala chai on a hot September afternoon in the wild grounds of an ancient mansion added to our received knowledge gleaned over years of self-learning and curiosity.

We had enjoyed one of the best community engagement projects this side of the moon equalled by East London In Flux”.

Issue 30 up Your Street




Up Your Street issue 30.

Thanks to Mary F for sharing. this:-

“Yinka Shonibare MBE RA was born in London and moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three. He returned to London to study Fine Art first at Byam Shaw College of Art (now Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design) and then at Goldsmiths College, where he received his MFA, graduating as part of the ‘Young British Artists’ generation. He currently lives and works in the East End of London.

Over the past decade, Shonibare has become well known for his exploration of colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation. Shonibare’s work explores these issues, alongside those of race and class, through the media of painting, sculpture, photography and, more recently, film and performance. Using this wide range of media, Shonibare examines in particular the construction of identity and tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe and their respective economic and political histories. Mixing Western art history and literature, he asks what constitutes our collective contemporary identity today. Having described himself as a ‘post-colonial’ hybrid, Shonibare questions the meaning of cultural and national definitions.

Shonibare was a Turner prize nominee in 2004 and awarded the decoration of Member of the “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire”. He has added this title to his professional name. In 2013 he was elected Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Arts. He was notably commissioned by Okwui Enwezor At Documenta 10 in 2002 to create his most recognised work ‘Gallantry and Criminal Conversation’ that launched him on an international stage. He has exhibited at the Venice Biennial and internationally at leading museums worldwide. In September 2008, his major mid-career survey commenced at the MCA Sydney and toured to the Brooklyn Museum, New York in June 2009 and the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC in October 2009 . In 2010, ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’ became his first public art commission on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.”

Sat 30th Aug. free.2-4pm for LBWF residents.Check out William Morris Gallery for a special event with Yinka. Refreshments too.

Sat 30th Aug free Hackney Wick Festival.


Tues 2nd Sept free Drumming daytime class for all at St Joseph’s Hospice Finding Space. Phone to book a place.

Wed 3rd Sept free Yinka project 3pm (see Aug 30).

Thurs 4th Sept free  Chinese inspired relaxation and massage to lift your mood. Afternoon (time  to be confirmed) at Quaker House Jewel Rd E17 (thanks to Chin for sharing this).

Coming soon at Birkbeck Uni E15 a discussion about the proposal for a new community hub as part of Legacy 2012 plus a tour around about. Book at Eventbrite. That’s Wed Sept 17th free 6-9pm “East London In Flux”


Fri 5th Sept free Yinka project (see Aug 30)





Crisps, controlled demolitions, and Snoddy.

You wanna be community engaged? Go to an evening with “East End In Flux”. Tonight’s session was in University Square Stratford at the Birkbeck University. We watched archive films about the 1941 planning of London’s rebuild, saw Snoddy moving out of his dying house into a new flat, gasped at the controlled demolition of a London tower block in an effort to revive a teetering community, and recognized the impending doom related to the coming of the DLR and the Olympics to the east end of London around 2007. It was excellent. We nattered and chatted in groups and Jan of Spitalfields gave us real- life from the horse’s mouth experiences of living in notorious “Heseltine Hutches”. Supermarkets were described as hubs rather than the poo- hoo-ed evil High Street bashers as for instance Morrisons in Stratford gives out more than bread. There’s parking, a café, a library next door with its new community hub and what’s that we chorused? Why something to put in place of the missing books.

Refreshments were laid on and all was good. The films with youth working with Fundamental Architecture Inclusion were thought-provoking and musically sound. Loved them.

At 10pm I booked to go and see June Whitfield in Dalston with Age UK then online booked in a group of Up Your Street participants to enjoy “show and tell” at Tate Britain on August 1st. All jolly.

By 11pm someone had posted on my Facebook a secret video of a barbaric brute of a ‘teacher’ beating toddlers in a Palestinian school with the caption that this is an everyday occurrence. Backward. Let me repeat…………….Backward.

issue 24 Up Your Street

                                         Up Your Streetissue 24
Fri 11th July free 6-8pm Oxford House Bethnal Green . (by station). Older people’s dance performance. Part of Capital Age Festival 2014.
Sat 12th July free 10 am onwards. Take a camera! St Katherine’s Dock Clipper race homecoming. “Music, drummers, dancing at St Katherine Docks and prize-giving ceremony from 1.30pm until 3pm. The procession of yachts are as follows: 10.19am at the QE2 Bridge at Dartford; 11.48am at the Thames Barrier; 12.01pm at 02 Arena – 12.12pm passing Greenwich; 12.30pm at Canary Wharf Pier; 12.45pm St Katherine Docks.
        12th July again  free 1-7pm St John at Hackney by the Narrow Way Hackney (opp McDonalds)
“Another glorious summer fete in London Town! Plenty of the traditional ingredients such as tug of war, cake stall and coconut shy but this also has live music, craft beer and a dogs fashion parade – there are some proud pooches in happening Hackney.The Voice winner, Jermain Jackson will be opening the fete – being a Hackney lad it’s the least he can do. Jermain will be competing with the Pearly Kings and Queens and probably won’t be able to distract kids from the Playbus, bell ringing and sculpture painting.”

Tues 15th July free 3pm at North Chingford Library E4. Screening of “Monsieur Verdaux” celebrating with Capital Age Festival older men and expression. (!)
Wed 16th July free with the Stuart Low Trust  A walk about in The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wear comfy shoes, bring an umbrella/parasol. (phone Stuart Low Trust to become a member and to book
a place) Lunch provided. Bring your own juice.
                       free 6-9pm “East London in Flux” at Birkbeck Uni in Stratford (opp Morrisons) films about the changing east London.
                            Refreshments too.
Wed 17th July  free 5-8pm Open Evening with art exhibition, gorgeous refreshments at the Centre for Better Health , 1a Darnley Rd (opp Town Hall Hackney)
                  with taster workshops too eg. tile -making. Phone to book by Mon 14th July.
Fri 18th July  free 1.30-3.30pm Hospice in Mare Street St Joseph’s. A lovely workshop for carers and those sympathetic all about colours and emotions.

Up Your Street Special issue

B means we have to book.


Thurs 26th June free 4.30-6.30pm Homerton Library Hackney (W15 bus).Live Roma music and culture.

Fri 27th       June free 8.30-10am. Creative Mornings London. A breakfast get together for ‘creatives’ all free. The Goldsmith Centre near Old Street. Speaker and presentation.                                                                                                 B Google Capital Mornings London

free      10-4pm SENSE at Bakers Arms coffee morning and raffles. Sat 28th  too.

Tues 1st July     Capital Age Festival begins at the Albany in Deptford.

Thurs 3rd     July free William Morris Gallery E17.  Belgian evening. No need to book.

Fri 4th           July free 6.30pm. Tate Britain for Folk Art. All welcome. Nice evening out. No booking required

Mon 7th         July Le Tour de France passes down Lea Bridge Road.1.15pm

Mon 7th July   free 2-4pm . Recycling and upcycling – making jewellery and accessories from buttons . Hosted by Events for Prospective Birkbeck Students . Leytonstone Library, 6 Church Lane, Leytonstone, London E11 1HG            B

                             free 4-6pm Making pendants (Info as above)                          B Eventbrite

Wed 9th       July free . 11-1pm “Soapbox” at Tate Britain, Phone Tate to book on 02078878888.We sit and talk about any topic then investigate paintings in the galleries. Very good. Nice cuppa too.                                                           B

Thurs 10th     July free dance workshops all day at Oxford House

Bethnal Green B                                                                                                                 Google Capital Age Festival

Thurs 10th    July free A day exploring older men and their expression in arts. B google Capital Age Festival

Fri 15th July free 3-5.30pm at North Chingford Library E4 Screening of Monsieur Verdaux directed by C. Chaplin.                                                                                                 B Eventbrite

Wed 16th         July    free Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with Stuart Low Trust B Phone the charity. Firstly you apply for membership all free.

free 6-9pm Screenings of films with East London in Flux at University Square , Stratford east E15   B Eventbrite

Fri 18             July free for those caring and affected by caring.

1.30-3.30pm St Joseph’s Hospice, Mare Street . “Colours and our senses”.Canna 2  2012Canna in Leyton2012

Up Your Street Issue 22

Wed 18th June free 6-9pm  East London in Flux promotes their tour of William Morris Gallery. Book at Eventbrite

.w m g 161013

Thurs 19th June £25 (for the 10 sessions) 11-1pm Subscribers to the art course at Centre For Better Health in Hackney embark on session 8 painting still life.


Sat 21st June free 10-4pm House Mill tour with East London in Flux. Fantastic day for seniors. Book at Eventbrite. It’s more than a tour.leo's logo


  free  11-5pm Wapping Police Station Museum. Two minutes from the station. However am editing to say that there is no East line from Dalston this weekend. No step-free access at the station platform. Much more to see along the road too. take a picnic or visit great pubs.from the bus to Wapping

Coming soon….


Tues 1st July.    free events. Launch of London’s Capital Age Festival 2014.

DSCF8442This is the View Tube, Greenway,  ready for Capital Age Festival 2014.


Up Your Street. issue 18

Thurs 22nd May free 6-8pm Waltham Forest College E17 Community Kitchen making mince and spuds.

free 4.30-5.30 and 6-7pm
Stratford Library. Nusho Charity. Learn to use Skype and get healthy with walks and menus. Every Thursday. You have to be 65 and better.

Fri 23rd May free Last chance to enjoy “Face Value” exhibition at The Mill E 17

Sat 24th May 2-5pm
£3 Children free. Family Tea Dance. Old Town Hall Stratford.

Sun 25th May free 11.30 am Community Breakfast at The Mill E17.

Wed 28th May free. 6-9pm “East London In Flux. What is The Legacy for us? Birkbeck Uni. Stratford E15. Book at Eventbrite.


East London In Flux

The thing with most community engagement activities is that the people who put on the show couldn’t care less if you’re there or not. Sometimes the engagement exercises target seniors: When they don’t then the senior wannabee participant is more than invisible. This I have known for ages and corporate engagers be wise that many oldies are on your case.

East London in Flux presented by Fundamental Architectural Inclusion d.o.b. 2003 is different to all of the above and valuable to the ethos of community engagement. It’s a programme delivered with passion. Its participants are encouraged to join in and given the confidence to do so. And the sandwiches are nutritious, full, tasty and textured.

Today the room in the University of Birkbeck in the new Stratford E15  (aka USS hosted by community outreach officer Patrice Buddington) was bursting and a-buzzin’. We came from Stratford, Hackney, Forest Gate, Leyton, Romford, Mauritius and other places north of Watford. Imagine!

As for architecure, I can’t get over the fact that the Uni building is built on one of the meanest pot-holed car-parks of back in the day. Those days when the stealthiest of creeping car-park attendants would sneak out of the shadows: Those times when the parking machine swallowed pound coins then failed to deliver the ticket. Those were the days when you left the theatre production or pre Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012 pop-up workshops early so as not to fork out another load of coins.

The main attraction of this the first in a series of presentations and day-long workshops was the architect-guided walk around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Laid on were electric scooters, wheelchairs and taxis for the less mobile. The sun shone too. The morning session was all about how architects used any available terrain to construct the Olympic cities. Hitler’s Games came out top in the we- did- it poll not only because the construction/ideological team used media to the hilt when the concept of media as a corporate entity was not invented yet. Even the athletes’ village was great….bungalows. Ooh! give me one.

The heart-warming bit is how junior school kiddies are involved through Architectural in learning through model-making and discussion their role in the Legacy of the London 2012 Games.

Twas brillig.

Book Bach for free

Sat 8th Dec  free 7pm Bach’s Christmas Oratorio  7pm St John of Jerusalem Church, Lauriston Rd . Hackney. Book now

You’ll be able to buy mulled wine and mince pies before the performance AND you may need to wear another layer, take a cushion. Who knows? Those old churches are cold. Did you know the heating is about to be installed in St John at Hackney. ‘Bout time, vicar!

East London in Flux

You may like to get along to Birkbeck University in Stratford and take the tour of The Timber Lodge in the QEOP on Saturday 16th NOVEMBER for a community event all about the people deciding how the regeneration of Stratford will be shaped to benefit the people/residents. Nice day expected. Free and lunch too. 10-4pm. Let Leslie know and tell her you knew all about it through Up Your Street.

Phone for a place Leslie 020 3073 8391 (please leave a message and I’ll return your call)