Creative Mornings and Bethnal Green

Creative Mornings event today at 0830 in the Bethnal Green’s Museum of Childhood was ace. I was actually a person from the community and was engaged. On the previous Monday internet tickets went like hot cakes within the first 30 minutes for the free creatives’ meet-up session in a beautiful prestigious venue. Breakfast was laid on superbly and consisted of every flavour of tea to be found in Waitrose together with stacked platesful of warm chocolate croissants. The space was laid out in a relaxed café style. It was all up my street.

The inside hall of the Museum is no longer a massive rectangle of mosaics but an hive of activity; counter stalls and the café.

Jon Daniel is approachable and entertaining. He went through the joys of growing up as a lone black child by Richmond Park, holidays with a loving family and outlined how encouragement from his immigrant parents made him curious about everything. He collected magazines and figurines and immersed himself in the embryonic black media back in the day. His exhibition, “Afro Supa hero” is neat.

I was rather early arriving at Bethnal Green tube station so took myself in the cold and damp to see the progress of “Stairway To Heaven” in the green park next door. This is a memorial and tribute to the hundreds of Bethnal Green residents who were crushed to death and suffocated in what was the underground shelter at Bethnal Green in 1943. I read every plaque and cried. I saw the first snowdrops and then above the dismal buildings around the station came out a rainbow.

Made my way at ten o’clock to Butler’s Wharf south of the river to the Design Museum for the last day of Paul Smith’s extrovert exhibition. The exhibition has now been extended into March. My tickets were half price with a free glass of wine via Amazon Deals. The muffins were priced at £2.50 each. Well, ain’t that disgusting? Not like Paul made them. The display on the wall as seen on the Design Museum’s web-site is jam-packed like his cleaner tipped open his room and out fell every bit of work he ever did. Hoarder paradise. There’s some actual clothes to see and a replica of the artist’s studio showing how creativity shines through disorder.

Home to more haggis.

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!