Museum of Childhood. Bethnal Green

I’ve always known about the museum, being a Londoner like. A couple of years ago I went to see a special photography exhibition then thought I’d explore. There was a primary school on a visit in the hall where the photography exhibition was pasted onto the pillars so that was distracting for me. I went up the expanse of floor and stairs to view the encased exhibits of toys from back in the day. I was not one iota impressed. I felt the whole building was unwelcoming.good life Maybe I was used to toys being strewn over the carpets indoors and stored in white toy cupboards or maybe I felt I was in terribly middle-class land. (I wasn’t aware of the incoming of hipsters to Bethnal Green by that time.) I felt I was wasting my time and wondered later what all the fuss was about.


It’s an huge posh building by Bethnal Green station. Interesting fact about the huge building: “The Museum opened in 1872, when a prefabricated iron structure originally intended for South Kensington was moved to Bethnal Green. Originally, the museum housed collections from the Great Exhibition of 1851, and the art collection of Sir Richard Wallace (now The Wallace Collection).” It’s amazing that enemy bombs never got it during WW2.

 Almost opposite and up the road a bit is Paradise Row, a line of decrepit once glorious tenements. I once complained to my grandma that Bethnal Green was all robbers and prostitutes, She answered “It’s always been like that!” so of course that put me off going anywhere near Bethnal Green and looking for a toy museum. I imagined it would be scruffy. That was years ago. And I never had the fare money.005

Tomorrow I’m going there again for a free Creative Mornings event all about networking and feeling included in a group of London creative types. I am excited as Jon Daniel will tell us about his experience as a black guy making it from the seventies and his passion for superheroes and sheroes. I’ll enjoy the Afro something hero exhibition as it looks classy and it’s free. I will check how I feel. Tonight I’ll lay out my arty farty earrings SAM_1321and set my alarm to begin my journey at 7 am. All go. I am staying positive because I need to suppress some niggly suspicions about someone else’s party. Jump!

Issue 10 part 2. Up Your Street

Sat Sept 22nd £2.50  2-3.30pm HedgeHerbs workshop beginning a course of 5 sessions at the Mill E17.  £2.50 negotiated price for we seniors.

                              £1.50  11-4.30pm Vintage Fair at Bruce Castle, Tottenham.”Step Inside Love”

Sun Sept 23rd free but book on Eventbrite  “Imago Dei “. At the Queen Of Hoxton , Curtain Rd Shoreditch. Food and craft fair .

Tues Sept 25th £3.50 3.30pm  Pictures at Rich Mix  “To Rome With Love”.

                             £2.50   noon Hackney PictureHouse “Anna Karenina” and Vertigo” and more films with refreshments too. (Thursday too)

Thurs Sept 27 th free 7-8.30pm Saying goodbye with a fling to an excellent photography project for seniors called ” Glimpses” at  Oxford House Bethnal Green before Black History Month events move into the house. Be buzzed!

£1.50 2-5pm Knitting group  at Hornbeam Café, Bakers Arms E17

free 9pm “Loopers” at Hackney Picture House for members. Tickets in advance.

Fri Sept 28th free  2pm.  The People’s Museum in Stratford E15 (opp Gala Bingo almost) Thames Paddle Steamers” talk by Robert Rogers.

 free last day to get in poetry for free comp at United Press. Go to their website for rules.

 free (donations always accepted!) 10-noon. Knitting for beginners and experts at The Mill E17

£1  11.30-12. 30    Exercise, expression and dance at St Johns in Narrow Way, Mare St, Hackney with Catherine Bell.  55+ and Up Your Street recommends it.

Oct 1st start of Black History Month. Many free events. Check the Tower Hamlets  Black History Month 2012 brochure. Excellent stuff.

Mon Oct 1st free but book on Eventbrite UK events in London. 7pm . New  reading group Byte The Book at Clapton Hart. Chatting about ” Pnin” by Nabakov.

free 4pm. Geoff Bell talk at The People’s Museum, Stratford E15 “The Coloured Men’s Institute”.

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Coming soon….

Tues Oct 2nd free 2-4pm walk about Colworth Road with  architectural historian Neil Houghton. Meet at St Andrews Church, Colworth Rd Leytonstone. E11. (Highly recommended by Up Your Street).

Oct 4th  free  7pm.John Arthur (The Walthamstow Bard) sings and plays accoustic guitar at Camden Head, 100 High St , Camden.

free Formans Gallery exhibition preview by invitation. Ask William at the Smokehouse Gallery, Hackney Wick.

free 6-8pm.The Nunnery at Bowarts by Bow Church .  Dennis McNulty talks about his work “Precast.” There’s a great café  too, The Carmelite Café with not expensive wine and cream cakes plus a great person behind the counter.

                         free 7pm     Hornsey Library  Crouch End N8 screening of  Shabazz’s film “The Story Of Lovers’ Rock”.