Issue 20. Up Your Street. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”

                                         Issue 20.  Up Your Street

Mon 3rd Dec   free 7-9pm Leyton Community Association meeting (LCA) Saint Mary’s Church Hall, Lindley Road, Leyton E10 6QT (near the junction with High Road Leyton)

 Tues 4th Dec            free  to invitees (phone Hackney Museum for a place) 10-4.30pm  A day conference with Mapping The Change to shape in our community the Legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Hackney PictureHouse and Museum.

Wed 5th Dec    free  6.30pm The Mill E17, Drop in to knit. Any level welcome.

                              free  5-7.30pm Choice in Hackney event…

Alex Rook, well known human rights lawyer, and Ellen Clifford of Disabled People Against Cuts will discuss accessing Community Care Support and disability benefits during times of austerity.  Refreshments   City and Hackney Carers Centre Conference Room. 5 TYSSEN STREET, Hackney, E8  Disabled access. Email:

Sat 8th Dec       free  11am Craft Fayre at Sutton House Homerton Rd Hackney.

                                 £5 donation 7pm Chats Palace Brooksby’s Walk, Homerton Rd Hackney. Unfinished Histories Christmas Quiz Night

“Unfinished Histories is a project recording British Alternative Theatre, 1968 -88, through interviews and the collecting of archive material. Companies involved were among some of the first Black, Asian, lesbian, gay, women’s, disabled, political, experimental, TIE and community-based theatre groups seen in Britain. Work ranged from experiments in physical and visual theatre or performance art, to vernacular drama, agit-prop and satire, championing a generation of artists whose work has influenced and shaped present day theatre.”

Sun 9th Dec     free   11 am Craft Fayre at Sutton House Homerton Rd Hackney

Mon 10th Dec  free   12.30-2pm .Christmas social for seniors with Malcolm’s Dance Classes at 28 Powell Rd E5

Tues 11th Dec   free 2-4pm Christmas Party  at St Andrew’s Church, Colworth Rd E11

Wed 12th Dec   free but book in advance.2-5pm Brady Arts Centre E1 Christmas tea dance for seniors.

Thur 13th Dec £2  7.15pm  West Green Learning Centre, Tottenham.  Coen Brothers  film “Burn After Reading” hosted by Haringey Independent Cinema. Another shorter film too. In the break to celebrate the season there will be mulled wine and samosas. Event all done by 9.50pm.

£2.50 1pm Hackney PictureHouse Reminiscence Screenings Charlie Chaplin in “The Gold Rush” Best seats in London! The Tower Hamlets U3A keeps the price down for us from the usual £4 a time. Cheers U3A!


Vintage TV has started its “Simply Having A Wonderful Vintage Time” Christmas programmes. Interesting archive films and excellent editing.


Until  31 Dec. free  Photographic exhibition ” Art In The Community,”  The Salvation Army , 122-124 Lower Clapton Road E5

                         free.                   Hackney Museum (not Mondays) “Independence”. Excellent exhibition showcasing Jamaica and its tie-in to Hackney.


Next Up Your Street listing will be for the festive season and the last of the year so if you have any events to share please email them to me at

Capture Tower Hamlets

No ta. I walked around Globe Road in Tower Hamlets this evening. There was not one woman on the  streets and clumps of men just hanging out. There are many delapidated buildings hoarded up with trashy boards. What a desert in London 2011.  So that’s Bethnal Green in November. Not likely to go back there soon. I was making my way to Tower Hamlets Library and Archives in Bancroft Road to attend as an invitee the launch  of “Capture Tower Hamlets” a photographyy exhibition as part of ‘Mapping The Change.’ Remember I was invited so where was the welcome? Not even an “‘Ow’s yer father?”

I asked enough local men and boys  where the archives building is and no one had a clue: It is on their doorstep. Obviously not seen as a community venue for these the locals.

Ove 4o people submitted over 200 photographs to the competition to win a camera and to have their work exhibited. The photos would depict the ever-changing borough as it geared up for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The building is huge so I wondered why all the 200 photos weren’t on display.

What was that all about? Congratulations to the winner and the commended ones but hey ho organisers! Include everyone who was passionate enough about Tower Hamlets to enter the competition and be part of the raising of awareness activity. Boo.

Highlight of my evening? Seeing the flats where Billy Ocean grew up. Yes.

Hot Stuff

Whilst my niece was  up at Buckingham Palace looking at the magic of Kate’s wedding dress I was at The Hackney Museum (always a pleasure) watching the photographs of the Olympic and Paralympic Games site along with photos of the commissioned art installations clicked by artist Monica Biagioli. The work is called “Sound Proof” and is part of Mapping Olympic Cities which is under “Mapping The Change”. Hot stuff  because the art is exciting and Monica was on a touchy subject when she showed photos of Barcelona and we in the audience obviously had pictures of Leytonstone High Road, Leyton High Road, Stratford High Street and dumpy Hackney Wick in our heads: Just some of the ignored places and only a year to go before the big event. We turn to promises of legacy and things aint looking too good. But hey we were there for the art. Unless you can stretch your neck outside your box, it’s a different way of doing things to have an encounter with a soundbox and a letter on the ground and then feel engaged/connected  with the transformation of the brown sites of old Stratford. I could do that. I had gone along to get some aesthetics into my day.  Bizarrely I’ve  just finished reading “Invisible Cities” by Calvino and you can’t grapple with that while Jeremy Kyle’s on! The book is connected to “Sound Proof” in as much as people can dream of their ideal city but the ever-changing scenes make the dream change too. Deep. Beautiful words. Come to Book Brunchers at Sutton House and get down on it. We’re going to grill it. I already know the reactions. “Stereocilla” is another project  going down in The Site based on Calvino’s book. I recommended Calvino to the book group to have a tie-in with a local project. There are so many arty projects going on re Olympics and Paralympics development but who knows how many and do the artists ever come under an umbrella and do the Stratford people care? Are they really engaged? Time for a survey a la Open Stage at the Theatre Royal Stratford east where the volunteers are forever asking the locals “What DO you want?”

On the other hand  art isn’t up for demand. It must retain its integrity.

Well. Worse than sitting in an uncrowded room was the information got from the Cyclists Federation member present that the tow paths and the waterways along the Lea Canal/River (who knows?),and  the Greenway will be closed off from March next year! Astounding news.  Why didn’t we think that would happen as the Floating Cinema furiously and freely opens its bow to us? It’s a case of ‘get in quick’ and I will. So glad I’ve done the walks alomg the tow paths and the river trips up and down, all around, as if I knew. Why would we be naive as to think the tow-paths will not be developed after the Games?                                                                                            (Hackney Wick)

So after that  free treat at the Museum I went off to Beautiful Interiors in Walthamsow Village to be at the launch  of an exhibition of fine art which actually launced the E17 Arts Trail starting today. Buzzin’!   The whole street was warm with open -doored restaurants aand Tapas bars. Full of theem media types. The top of Orford Road is such a different part of teeming multi-cultural, always fiercely busy Walthamstow. It’s a step back in time to 1970s but as you ogle at the vintage stuff in Beautiful Interiors you’re actually back to the fifties; granny brooches, floral tureens, glass-fronted cabinets, and  painted thimbles. It was all about the art and the exhibition is well worth a browse.

5 of many projects for everyone which are free and linking to the Olympic and Paralympic Games a-coming.

5 free major projects we need to know about. There are more to highlight. Meanwhile…No formal qualifications required. Contact details following but of course by that time you may have used a search engine to find out more!

Mapping The Change, starting September. A journalism course highlighting the changes in Waltham Forest in the lead up to the Games. Based in The Vestry House Museum E17.
Film -making at The Cyberlink, E10 . Recording changing Leyton. Introduction  3pm 25th July.
Mapping Your Manor, an arts project recording memories etc around the Olympic and Paralympic Games site perimeter.
Taste Of Hackney, starting September. an intergenerational Caribbean project involving film-making, recording of events, culinary memories in the Ridley Road market.
Imagine You Are Everyone, a performance with 139 citizens as the cast at The Yard, Hackney Wick beginning with an introduction on August 3rd.

Worth promoting.

Mapping The Change comes to Waltham Forest. A class of 8 WF residents will be selected for a stringent journalism course beginning 19th September 2011 at the Vestry House Museum. This is fabulous venue in Walthamstow Village .

You need no formal qualifications for the free 7 week course but you do need to work in a committed professional way independently and in a group with tight deadlines. The benefits to you are enormous with professionals leading you and with access to archive material at Vestry House and Hackney Museum. Apply by 25th July to Joy Francis on 02072886255 Never say never!

A view or two

Today there was a massive and free event in London created by ‘ KT-Equal ‘(Sheffield)    to discuss issues around seniors and their engagement or not with digital stuff, all part of the new science. Seniors go from 50 to upwards which is a marketing dream of course.

Well, here’s the thing… Digital engagement can never be a solution to loneliness amongst,  in this scenario, the aged and infirm (often clumped together). Loneliness is a state, something like grieving where the subject is lonely for a life experienced through another, often a partner/spouse.  And/or loneliness can be a grieving for the person they once were. All part of the challenge of ageing. There is no way that tapping into Facebook, which is probably going to buy Skype by the way,  or pressing buttons directed at a Government given digital telly will alleviate loneliness. We should all know about “Facebook Suicide”, that wondering ” what is the point and how come no-one finds my crashingly inventive posts worth ‘liking’?” In the playground you’d poke out your tongue and find another skipping rope to turn.

This is not a time to feel sorry for lonely old people. Digital engagement is so not the the remedy. There’s a whole mass of population who need literacy-confidence or they’ll just abandon the remotes, key boards, touch-screens and all the fabulous apparati on the widening Broadband landscape on the sideboard. Digitalisation cannot compensate for society (Ref Bernstein “Education cannot compensate for society”)

The big guns need to get their marketing images right if they want to include we seniors and flatter the government before end 2012. Posed Anglo Saxon, white-haired couples snuggling together in cane furniture somewhere in 1950s Welwyn Garden City doesn’t do it for me anymore than the jolly West Indian senior photographed in a smiley state for diversity’s sake convinces me that we’re all included.

Still never mind, beside doin’ all that engaging we’ve got the Permaculture brigade ready  to charge money to show us how to gather and hunt. Be up for it all!

I have been out in one area and interviewed seniors about their take on computer classes. The results will be in the “Hackney Circuit” at Hackney Museum. The newspaper is the culmination of  ‘Mapping The Change’, a project to engage people with the coming Olympic and Paralympic Games. Right up my street that!