Issue 18. Up Your Street5

Thurs May 5th Smith’s Restaurant in Wapping has opened . 22 Wapping High Street. E1
Mon May 9th free 12.30 -2.30pm Round Chapel Lower Clapton Hackney.Ballroom lessons and fun for seniors.
free 5.30pm Wapping Station. High Street Seniors meet, walk then go to Raine’s Hall for 7pm
for Madge Darby’s book launch and signing.
Wed May 11th free and must be booked. all day. Digital Champions at Old Billingsgate building by London Bridge.
free 1.00-1.40pm St John’s CHurch, Stratford E15. free music recital. retiring collection.
free 7pm “Three Crowns” Stoke Newinton. John Arthur’s gig.
Thurs May 12th £2 per session 2-4pm 1a Darnley Rd Hackney Ceramics course. repeats in June.

Fri       May   13th      free  10-6pm  part of the Spring Online Campaign via Silver Surfers, The Lawns, Hackney
                   join in open days at the new  Piccadilly Community Centre  at 196a PIccadilly  next to St James’ Church.
 Sat     May 14th   . free  10-6pm Spring Online Campaign (as above)

Sat May 14th free but book . 12-3pm Hackney Central Library “Henna; designs and learning” Part of Adult Learners Week Hackney.
£7 (concession price) Global Village Dance “The Roaring ’40s”

197 East Ferry Road, Isle of Dogs , E14 3BA.
( just south of DLR Mudchute station )

Saturday 14th May 2011
7pm – 11pm
DJ : Gary Malden

Ballroom, Argentine Tango, Latin, Swing, Jive, Salsa, Line, Sequence, Disco and Party Music.

Free tea and coffee. Supper. Please bring a plate of food to share.


Dress up theme : ” 1940’s “.

Note that 14th May is the anniversary of the Home Guard ,butyou don’t have to look like Dad’s Army unless you want to. There are many stylish possibilities, or just come as you are anyway.

In Stratford, Have a look at how hard people are working at

Music recitals and High Street Seniors

Wed   4th May  free  1.00-1.40pm  St John’s Church, Stratford. Dolce Wind Quintet music recital.
                                 (next week, Cyril Bacon’s organ recital and something every Wednesday!)
                                  free    11-1pm Richmond Road Methodist Church. Hackney. Songololo- Feet
                                                                                                  is back making items with plastic crochet
Mon  9th May
                        free                  High Street Seniors….(walks for seniors in the dark to reclaim the streets) 
                                  Meet Wapping Station   5.30pm (Dalston Junction 5.10pm)
                       (not yet dark but we’ll walk along Wapping High Street to the Memorial Garden
                        then go to Raines Hall (6.45-9pm) for the launch of “Piety and Piracy”
                        by esteemed senior author, Madge Darby
                        and then return together to the High Street in the dark
                        and see Tower Bridge and all the lights.
                        Good shoes on as the streets are cobbled!
                                  We are jolly good company. 

So what do you think about Wapping?

“Do you know anything about it?”

There I was in The Water Works in Lea Bridge Road sitting next to Mr Brannigan*, an 84 year old disabled gentleman with clear views about everything from Murdoch to the nearness of London 2012 . He’d invited me to sit on the bench overlooking the sluice gates by Thames Water’s House while he drank his juice and took an hour to eat one Rich Tea biscuit. Mallard ducks and coots swam below us .

“Me? I was born there, wasn’t I?”

        Well, that was calling ‘Housey, housey’ to my ears. I didn’t have to ask questions, like I was practising oral history techniques  a la Hermitage Community Moorings . Ole Brannigan  just rolled on telling me all about how he used to lark about in the steps by the Water Police offices in Wapping High Street and he and his absolutely raggedy mates would fall into the water with all the dirt and the rats of Old Thames. He stressed many times about the starving poor population in the Docks in those days, about how men stole and went to prison in order to eat because there was no ‘social’ then. His mother with six kids sold clothes and shoes ‘on tick’ to her neighbours in order to feed her own  whilst her husband worked all day then spent his time in the many pubs in the area especially Cable Street and The Highway. Dock Road(?) was  dangerous for everyone. Young Brannigan  rarely went to school.

               I told him all about Wapping as it is now. He said, “You know when you’re on the bus and you’re in Wapping cos the bus jumps along on the cobbles!” True that.

          He said, “People were starving in England, in Germany, all over. All the governments knew but did nothing. There was no help. My grandparents from Poland and from Ireland worked like slaves in those days.”

           I can read all about stuff on the internet but to meet a Mr Brannigan is a thing to treasure. He had  smelt the spices in the warehouses of Wapping, said how it pervaded the air on trading days. He told me how the place was noisy all the time and packed with people. Not like now when you come out of the station and neither see, hear nor smell anyone.

             Before I’d reached the Water Works,  Leyton Marshes,  The Princess of Wales and Seymour Park in Leyton which has the Dagenham Brook stagnating through it,  I’d walked through and around  the old and scummy Leyton Industrial Village in Argall Avenue, Leyton. What a dump! I’d seen it in 1985 when it was emerging as the place for small businesses to be. Many men I knew had security jobs there . Students of photography came down to develop deep and avant-garde shots of “decay”. Nice. TRS foods was big there and Sunblest Bread had arrived. Rats swum up and down what may be part of Dagenham Brook. My car mechanic was  established in one of the units. The Water Works was just that and the conservationists hadn’t found the delight of the triangle inside Leyton Marshes, an area inhabited by all sorts of weird people who hid in the cow-parsley. Not a good place to explore alone. The triangle  was a section of railway where three lines passed. All cleaned up now.

 I told Mr Brannigan all about Madge Darby and the Hermitage Community Moorings and the History Society of Wapping. His heart ached for the place but his legs were a nuisance. He’d never heard of the word “Wappea”.

 Respect to senior seniors  who tell it like it was.

* not his real name. He wouldn’t tell me.

Walking forwards

Bravo to the High Street Seniors who ignored the rumbling clouds and went to Round Chapel in the lighning strikes. The walk was curtailed to 20 minutes  by rain dollops.

Monday May 9th we can go to Wapping Station for 5.30pm, walk the walk (along Wapping High Street from the station to Hermitage Wharf which many of us know through the Hermitage  Moorings oral history workshops). Then for  our free event and treat, reach Raine’s Hall for 7pm to see  senior Madge Darby launch her new book about pirates and Wapping, “Piety and Piracy” She’ll sign copies too. That goes on until 9 so we could do  a walk about before boarding for home to Dalston Junction. Except for the Waeppa High Street Seniors who just walk home on their own turf! Sun sets at 8.36pm so it should be a lovely evening, storm-clouds or not.

In Walthamstow lives our own fictional pirate story writer, Helen Hollick.

Up Your Street5 Issue 17

Tues 26 April      free   1-3pm (provide your own file, paper and pens) “Volunteering”

                             An introduction to a course for those already committed to volunteering. In conjunction
                             with CLASS of Waltham Forest and Circle 33 Housing at  Priory Court Community Centre,
                             South Countess Rd, E17 (W11 bus)
                             Poss. restricted to Waltham Forest residents. Course is 2 days a week,
                             Tuesdays and Thursdays all day until July 6th.
Wed  27 April     free   10.30-11.30 am Hackney Central Library Coffee and cake reading group. Trotsky.
                         free   11-1pm Methodist  Church Richmond Rd, Hackney.
                                   Towards a market co-operative  via  the “Still Alive and Kicking Project” with Songololo-Feet.
                                Introduction to plastic crochet
                             free   10-8pm. Exhibition by Gina Southgate, Hackney artist joined by other artists in different media
                               at Stoke Newington Library, Church St, Hackney.N16
                             with The Paint Quartet, a programme of performance and art.
                              The Paint Quartet play  30th April and May  1st. 2-4pm.
                             free  6.30-8.30pm Walthamstow Library. Workshop on social media and your business
                                                                                                              i. e. Facebook, apps etc.
                             Up Your Street5 is on Twitter for quick updates and information.
Thurs 28th April    free  7pm  John Arthur’s  gig at Tottenham Chances, by Seven Sisters Underground Station
                            free  6pm  Rich Mix free film called “Celebration”. (see issue 16)
Sat   April 30th      free  8am  Walk in Coldfall Wood,Haringey, North London (car parking on street)
                                                                      Seeking birds’ habitats. Book with Friends of Coldfall Wood.
                                       May is Pirate  month in Wapping!!
                                       May 1st                     Dawn Chorus Day.
Thurs  5th May    free  £1      11.30-1.15pm Agewell Singers at Stratford Circus resumes. New blood wanted!


                          free 5-7pm  Flyover Arts. Bromley by Bow Centre, St Leonard’s Road, E.3.

                                   Crafts and arts workshop, sale  and open evening. Music at 7.30 but you need to buy a ticket.
                          free  6.30pm  Women’s Library 60 min. Spitalfields walk around the history of Jack The Ripper.
Fri 6th May              Smith’s of Ongar new Fish restaurant opening in Wapping
                                              (not 100% confirmed but  checking with the proprietor daily)
                         free   10-noon   Stamford Hill Library Chair-based exercises.

                         free     11-6pm  “Urban Planning In Berlin, London and Paris” a visionary project at Unit B Dalston Lane South
                                                                     Labyrinth Tower E8. City Visions Exhibition. Until 14th May 
Mon 9th May      free    7-9pm Raines Hall, Wapping.  (Dalston Junction to Wapping 15mins by train!)
                                                                           Madge Darby signs
                                                                             and launches her new book “Piety And Piracy”. All welcome.
Tues   10 May    free    all day  with Stuart Low Trust. Visit to V&A Museum with lunch provided. Join and book.
Fri      13 May    free    6pm Waltham Forest Assembly Hall. We celebrate Vaisakhu.
                                                                               Tickets (max 4) in advance from WF Direct Shops.
Sun     15 May    free    2pm Coronation Avenue, Stoke Newington Road. Plaque and
                                memorial event with George Alagiah presenting.