Yesterday I refused to sit in Stratford East Picture House and spend money on the coffee there  as I support the striking Picture House workers as at Hackney Picture House and the Ritzy.

Today I decided to find those others who might have sat in and drank coffee together, those I never met yesterday and so off I went to the Bishopsgate Institute where they might have been to Posh Club for the loveliest cabaret and high tea at lunchtime a fiver could buy.

The wine did the trick and I was forgiven for supporting workers and their rights and we all relaxed. No-one had even gone to the Stratford Picture House. 20160514_121446.jpg

POSH CLUB was amazing: POSH CLUB is amazing. It is first class organization from ticket sales by mobile phone to the clearing of tinsel to make way for the champagne flutes, from the freshly cut sandwiches to the professional stage-acts. The compere/MC, Dickie, is always on the verge of music-hall vulgarity with his jokes and strutting around and reminds us all that we are Hackney and unique seniors from all walks of manual working life. He is a gem.

Everything is smooth and considered behind the scenes. There’s music, there are servers, there are dancing volunteers, cloakrooms, and even a coach laid on to get the Hackney residents into Tower Hamlets. Today we had a dance troupe, a nimble limbo dancer, a gorgeous choir, a dance-hall queen and she was a female cos you never know, and many many  groove mixes from the DJ.

Go see for yourself. On January 5th booking opens for January through to March POSH CLUB sessions at St Paul’s in Stokey, Hackney.

POSH CLUB is part of Duckie’s London based in The Vauxhall Tavern.20161221_135658


I’m in Love With Chinese Elvis @duckielondon

POSH Club’s Chinese Elvis can sing! He smashed it with his Chinese eyes and glorious gold and red dragons swirling on his back. If people weren’t swooning on the dance-floor they were wiggling their ample hips against the posh dining chairs in St Paul’s Church, Upper Hackney (Stokie to you and me).


chinese Elvis

A woman felt faint but managed to  beg the waiters  for her champagne , a slow-dance AND a knees up with the visiting cops. Kathy showed her placard with saucy Chinese writing and won admiration from young Pelvis as Danny chased him around for any selfie opportunity. And the cakes kept a-coming.

T0day the church hall was warm and packed with seniors who’d arrived by Dial-A-Bus, hospital transport and the 149 bus. Jimmy from Scrabster was in his kilt and tam o’shanter and everyone looked as posh as could be.

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Simone thrilled us with her lithe body in a leopard leotard and her marvellous ways with hula hoops, Danny treated us to home-grown jokes and The Martini Encounter wowed us with their posh voices and ukulele playing in harmonies galore.

So what was unique about this entertainment today and every Wednesday?  Susan of Clapton said it and told the director that what was appreciated was that the staff mingled and linked arms with the punters for the knees-up, that the men staff offered a dance to the many single women in the room. The police passed by and popped in to see what all the noise was about and took the stage with the vicar. They never left until they too had linked arms with saucy seniors.

Elvis got the crowd singing along at the end so everyone ended on a higher than higher note.


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.


Kathy at the Posh Club @duckielondon


                  Not Crying in The Chapel
                    Last week a team from BBC Radio 4 came to Hackney, to Old Stokie aka Stoke Newington to find out what all the fuss was about regarding The Posh Club. On Saturday 14th February that feature was broadcast.
                    Duckie of London runs cabarets, and theatre experiences in London and the POSH Club is their adventure into entertainment for the ever-increasing population of Hackney seniors over and above 60 years of age.
                    The weekly tea, cake and entertainment afternoons are booked from now until March, unless one is very lucky; such is the popularity of a £3 a go afternoon of delight and community engagement. Try your luck at 02077374043
                    POSH Club takes place all March at St Paul’s Church, Amhurst Road every Wednesday from noon to 3pm.
                 Reviewed by young Kathy in Hackney
” Last week I was there! I knew about it through Up Your Street and the local paper, After the usual warm welcome by Simon, MC Dickie and the lovely team of volunteers, I took my place at the tea table and nibbled my way through the freshest sandwiches ever tasted and cups of tea galore. In keeping with the superb professional weekly stage line up, Anima a folk song harmony group came on followed by Franz Hepburn, a  bass-baritone singer who belted out songs from musicals. He brought the hall down with ‘Old Man River’ (Showboat) and ‘It’s a  Wonderful World’ (Louis Armstrong). Of course those of us in the know likened him to Paul Robeson. That was beautiful.
                  We’ve had Elvis in the house tickling our chins and crying over “Devil Woman”. ” Chinese Elvis” and “Black Elvis” on the forthcoming bills are about to be surprised themselves by a lively Hackney audience. We’ve had dancing bees and penguins and a crazy violinist. “It’s all in the best possible taste”.
                Everyone who comes enjoys POSH Club. By clever monitoring, a different audience comes each week to give all o.a.ps  a chance. We have to dress in our posh outfits so mostly wear sparkly tops and go as glam as possible. Duckie hopes to succeed with their funding application for a five year residency.  Everyone is very well looked after and made to feel special by all the staff who work so hard.  It’s a  great experience on our doorstep. ”

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Up Your Street, Issue 5

                                                            Up Your Street Issue 5

Sat 31st Jan     free 2-4pm  Mudchute Park & Farm
Address Pier Street, E14
Tel 020 7515 5901 An afternoon of crafting and socialising.
                         Bring your own stuff to do e.g knitting.
Mon 2nd Feb     free 11.30am Sign up for a free sewing course at Caramel Rock in Canning Town.
Wed 4th Feb     free (tbc) 7-8.30pm St Paul’s Church Amhurst Rd Hackney. Singing: pop-up chorus.
                         £3     noon-3pm fantastic POSH Club at St Paul’s. Book in advance 02077374043
                         £3  11 am Empire Walthamstow. e17 . Tea and a film every week. Today “What we did on Our Holiday”.
Thurs 5th Feb   free 6.30pm  Iniva (Art Gallery),1 Rivington Place EC2 The  Mauritian artist, Shiraz Bayjoo talks about his work. Book at Eventbrite
                         free  6pm Private View at Rich Mix E1 “Intergalactic Desh” Three artists and their interactive work all about what those/we from a Bangladeshi stance might save when the world ends. Workshops follow later in the month.

                   free Launch of Hackney City Farm exhibition at Hackney Museum

Fri 6th Feb  free 7-9pm William Morris Gallery Yinka Shonibare exhibition.Private view.

Sat 7th Feb       free 10-1pm British Museum educational trip with Iroko Theatre.
                         free 2-5pm   Family day at Chandos East Hub E15. RAGWORKS, Up Your Street, G’s Toys
                                will feature.
Sun 8th Feb     free 10.00am – 3.30pm. Practical conservation tasks on the second Sunday of every month in Alexandra Palace’s wonderful conservation area. A return to bramble control and some woodland management await us this month. At vehicle barrier at the junction of Bedford Road and Alexandra Palace Way, South Terrace N22 7AX
For your diary
Sat  14th Feb    free  7.30-9pm Epicentre West Street E11  Talk and supper- sharing with News From Nowhere club. No need to book. 
The Bethnal Green Tube Shelter Disaster   Speaker: Joy Puritz.