Oh my giddy aunt.@duckielondon

Moan, moan, moan. It’s £3 when it would have been £23 in 1998. POSH Club is priceless in terms of quantity and quality of grub and the professional variety acts.

I asked for some feedback to see how people enjoyed themselves in Upper Hackney. Selfish some.

“Oh the sandwiches were full of mayonnaise. Can’t stand that.”

“I’m diabetic so I don’t want loads of cake”.

“I’m bringing my own food next time.”

What? what?  what? This is the fickle older generation, those who in 1953 when they were scoffing ham on the bone and real tasty beef sausages, ‘never had it so good’. Remember Chris Rock making us hoot going on about fussy eaters and lactose intolerance being a fashion like fluffy doggies in handbags? It seems seniors lost their manners when they found a voice. Diabetes, mayonnaise allergy, being old gives you no excuse to be ungrateful.

Bring your own food, pay out your three quid which is less than the taxi you took, but leave your negativity at home.

For many people the afternoon out is a treat. Any event for seniors where a cup of tea is on offer in a proper cup is on to a winner.

auntie Joan

I was never happy about the Club being advertised as for the poor of the borough and then amused when another ‘ad’ described POSH Club as being for the working class of Hackney. Ooh did a Hipster get a dig there ? On the BBC Radio 4 interview there was a tickle of patronising going on whereas the seniors were just saying it like it is.

“I go to tea dances, museums, keep myself active”.

“I don’t mind settling down again”.

“I have every video of Elvis in Las Vegas. I am Indian, brought up in Israel and came here in 1960 when trolley buses were about.”

People want to talk and be visible. Jean described how her mother relished the POSH Club as an afternoon outing instead of being indoors all day. She said there wasn’t anything for older people.

I beg to differ. Hackney? Hackney’s got it sewn up for oldies and always has. There’s loads going on admittedly not so much in these freezing days. Whereas Waltham Forest is right down there in the doldrums. Priory Court Community Centre securely bolted up in the heart of massive Priory Court itself, by Blackhorse Road E17, is the only outfit reaching out to its older community members. It always has. Leyton Community Action was stirred for a while but is defunct even though it does tea dances but you have to be in the know to know. Does anyone even know there’s an AgeUK in Upper (and I mean ‘Upper’) Walthamstow?

The Mill in Coppermill Lane E17,  a wannabe beacon for the emerging resettled community from outwith the borough down  what wants to be fashionable James’ Street Village or whatever name fills someone’s  boots, bottom of the market to you and me and always a poor looking nasty dirty bend in the road filled with chickens and kebabs, has made great efforts to attract seniors. The problem is that it’s seen as “posh” by many, a vestige of a posh library and hardly a hub for the working class. I always remember a brilliant talk by Houghton regarding local history and he saying that “the end of the market (in 1800s ) was a chicken breeding place. Where there’s chicken there’s poverty”. He added under his breath not wanting to offend: “And it’s the same today”. Yep. Look at Leyton.

So what I see in the POSH Club is a template for somebody to crack it in Waltham Forest. A dinner a year where fifty per cent gorge and fifty per cent can’t even get through on the phones to get a ticket to the table holds no sway.


Issue 2 Up Your Street

Thurs June 7th  £3   7.30-9.30pm  the history of the poor in Waltham Forest

at Ye Olde Rose and Crown E17

all day, Bow Locks closed on the River Lea (take your camera).

The Mill E17 £5 per submission of your  textile art for “Soft” a major exhibition.

Fri    June 8th free  trip to seaside with Leyton Community Action. (needed to book)

Sun  June 10th free 3pm Stratford East Picture House pre film discussion

about “Dorian Gray”  Film screening @ £2.50

Up Your Street Issue 32

Mon Aug 15th     Phone  0300  2012550 at 9am to grab a tour of The Olympic and Paralympic
                          Games site, E.20 during Open Weekend 10 and 11th September 2011.
                          free 2-4pm Bruce Castle Museum , Tottenham.”Nitter Natter” chat,
                                       knit and remember 1951.
                           from St John at Hackney, Mare Street.
  Dear FriendsJoin us for an afternoon tea on Clarence Road this Monday 15th August at 5pm. We
will be meeting at 4.30 pm at St John at Hackney to move tables, please come and
help if you are free.The tea is happening on Monday to coincide with the moment the riots started
last week, this is a community event to reclaim the streets.
Tues Aug 16th     free   6.30pm Bryant Community Centre E15 Final ACT planning meeting
                           before the Stratford Summer Festival. Feel welcome at a lovely
                                     community centre and meet friendly as ever Stratford residents.
Wed Aug  17th    free  1.10-1.40pm St John’s Church Stratford, E15, Saxophone session.
Thurs Aug 18th   free   noon. Meet Jacky Hyams at Sutton House, Homerton High Road, 
                          author of “Bombsites and Lollipops”. Buy your 99p Ebook by Jacky
                          at Amazon Kindle offers.
Fri Aug 19th        free   (for residents of Bow primarily) Walking and photography
                           course for 5 weeks. Email Graham for details at graham@walkeast.org 
                          It’s possible the places are filled as it is a very popular Friday afternoon course.
Sat Aug 20th       free  noon-4pm The Stratford Summer Festival, Stratford Park. Meet
                                                     Up Your Street. 
                                                     Open Stage TRSE 2012
                                                     Mapping Your Manor
                                                     Action Community and Stratford residents.
Sun Aug 21st     11.30pm -0700h. free to watch The largest crane in Europe arrives in Stratford to erect a bridge
                                    over Stratford High Street …. all part of The Games.
Wed  Aug 24th   free  7.15-9.30pm Poetry in The Park, Coronation Gardens E10
               That Old Black Magic… tea dances on the horizon
 Stratford Old Town Hall £2 tea dances 1.30-4pm on  12th Sept, 17th october.
 Leyton Community Action £2.50 tea dances happen monthly at The Plum Tree Centre, Leyton Green, E10 
Go to London Transport photographs (IanVisits alerted me to this) to see  wonderful photographs of Wapping Station as it was.
Book at Floating Cinema for the free boat trip with eco-green films  and Harvest Festival at Abbey Gardens, Newham.
                    (no wheelchair access.) There is so much more to enjoy at Floating Cinema. www.floatingcinema.info
Check issue 33 for

activities resuming soon after the Summer Break “Still Alive and Kicking” (Songololo-Feet)

                                                                            Hackney Harmony Singers 
                                                                            Agewell Singers
Stocking up for Eid, BBQs, parties, larder? Go to Tesco. Bargains on savouries and 241 offers on those expensive Patak pickles.
Streetlife Radio is live on internet. Our very own Mary Katherine Presents plays marvellous music from golden times and chats , reads poetry and generally lifts us up for daily life. Other shows keep you on the music pulse as does Tony Regan at The Olde Rose and Crowne theatre pub in Hoe Street E17. 
Vintage TV on Sky is excellent for music and archive film from 1950 to 1980.
Up Your Street   an information-sharing service for seniors listing free events and activities in the 6 London 2012 boroughs.

Kate Williams

                             Watched Kate many times on TV throughout my lifetime. She was the guest (of honour) at the Open Stage 2012 (TRSE) volunteers’  Thursday session. We volunteers are used to treats from Open Stage and Theatre Royal Stratford east management and I felt privileged to sit informally with Kate Williams, a mistress of the boards and indeed a premier actress with tons of variety theatre experience. She reminded us that TRSE is and has always been a socialist theatre; important back in the day to give voice to the masses. She also told us that Stratford has always been multi-cultural what with the Docks being down the road and she saw that as a true benefit for theatre then and now.

We are a diverse group at Open Stage 2012 in age, ethnicity, motive and interest and that is exactly how it should be as we represent the neighbourhood so we all want to bring something to the table. Kate reminded us that as variety is a much sought  after night out as expressed by the surveyed community in and around Stratford east, and that as we want to deliver a “variety” show, then we must be stringent about quality in terms of professional acts and talented acts. TRSE is never short of those criteria. Check what goes on stage and the amazing reviews from press and spectators.

It was not such a serious evening: We laughed. Let’s not forget that Kate is a veteran comic so had us in fits of laughter. She is also right down to earth and blunt so that we get the message. Rightly so she defends the professionally trained artiste especially in the light of TV shows such as “Popstar” and “X-Factor” both of which I love.  By the way I have 2 free tickets to see Alfie Boe who although sings opera cannot bear to sit through a live performance! Tickets for Tuesday 12th July in Finchley area at noon.

Kate was generous, patiently listening to our questions and answering them with solid advice gleaned from years of experience. Her energy matched that in the room exuding from both young and old. Charlotte welcomed us all warmly even though a crew of us were late having rushed from another seniors’  Leyton Community Action meeting.  I even took advantage of the opportuntiy in Stratford to get Kate’s autograph.

Open Stage 2012 rocks!

                  At Leyton Community Action we,  a small group of active seniors,  are refreshing our filming skills for free then from July 25th we will lead community participants around Leyton to make their own film. This is a free film course for Leyton residents, young and old.  Match that!  We made our film “Tranquility” last year. Veterans, see! 

All go.

Bath as in Roman

CircleAnglia arranged the luxury coach trip for ’55 Alive Club’  through Priory Court Communty Centre in Walthamstow, E 17 for seniors to have a free day trip to Bath.

How generous. What more can be said? That people in an office in Holloway decided to take old-uns out for the day to a beautiful historical leafy green place for no hit on their meagre state pensions. Thank you is the word.

In Waltham Forest,  Priory Court Community Centre and Cyberlink via Leyton Community Action have always and do cater for seniors in the Borough. Bravo. Thank you.

Amazing projects take place at the centre in Priory Court. Bees Knees is a sewing and textiles workshop which was free until May but even now is a small £2 a session. The tapestries and hanging banners which emerge from the women’s work is excellent. There is a thriving IT community for seniors  and plenty of Pilates and line-dancing, floristry and so much more.

Priory Court Community Centre was refurbished some years ago and is still sparkling, neat and tidy, and well-furnished. Keyholder, Mrs Lily Evans, has a lot to do with that. Thanks, Lil!