art kicks are free


“Before 1950 roof tops” acrylic on cheap paper A3


Claremont Project for over 55s at The Angel in Islington’s putting on its new art exhibition next week until February . February!

I went to the workshop today where we participants were to create something about

“Cultures I identify With”.

In front of me were four acrylic squeezy bottles in mauve, dark green, brown and dark red: Choice eh?   A cup of tea appeared too so all was warm and good in the upstairs hall.

On the way to the Centre, I’d marvelled at the roofs above the streets, above the recently painted facades . I took photos and then using those four colours reproduced the loveliness of old London buildings. I was reminded of my childhood in North London.

Another guy was outside in another cubby hole wanting the quiet and wrote a poem about Christmas.


My second picture was all about hippies, the hippy culture, my friends.

A Nigerian asked me,

“What is that pot? Is it heroin? What is power?”

I replied smiling “Oh, you weren’t here in the sixties, were you?”

We laughed and took the last biscuits.  I was humbled when I said as we walked down the corridor that we are in a run-down building.  For he said “But it’s warm.”

What did I want him to say?

Thursday Nov 12th 5-6.30pm Launch of “Cultures I Indentify  With” Schloer, Doritos, art.

The Claremont Project, White Lion Street Angel Islington N1


Art Swap  Rosetta Art Centre West Ham E16  4th Dec 5pm onwards and swapping starts at 6.30pm. Just bring any size any value work of yours that you can part with and get another piece of art in  return > You have swapped!

Mary Katherine presents


Mary Katherine is 72 years old and manages and presents a weekly magazine programme at East London Radio which targets seniors as it online audience. She plays music from the 1940’s, ’50s ’60s mainly but not exclusively because there will be repeats of Joan Armatrading and Adele. Listeners can text or email in and they do. Danny of Hackney Wick always wants Elvis whereas Mary in Chingford wants any Val Doonican.  Mary Katherine obliges with her producers lining up the golden oldies.mary 3music27

As Up Your Street gets out and about so I am able to supply a true mixture of the type of personalities doin’ their thing  representing what’s out there to become Mary Katherine’s guests on a  twenty minute slot at noon on Thurdays


On the 18th June it’s show time for local Walthamstow artist Hassan Vawda. His work recently featured in the front window and beyond at Pictorem Gallery Hoe Street E17 (but nearer E10) as part of the E17 Art Trail 2015. By day he sorts out students at Rosetta Art Centre in West Ham and facilitates art workshops with passion.

Up Your Street. issue 11

                                                                       Up Your Street Issue 11
Thurs 12th Mar    free 2pm   Rosetta Art Centre by West Ham station. A taster session in the techniques of painting in the Renaissance style.
email for a place
Mon 16th Mar      free   10.00-4.30pm  at Clifford Chance House, 10 Upper Bank Street. Canary Wharf . A conference for seniors . The arts and our built environment
                                             Eventbrite for tickets. Usually lunch is provided but I’m double checking.

“This event focuses on three important aspects of successful cities
  • The Built Environment
  • Economic Development
  • Culture and the Arts
Those attending will also get a preview of the LGA report “The role of local authorities in preparing for the opportunities and challenges of an ageing society” and King’s College London will launch their report “An Age Friendly City: How far has London come?”
                           free (donation)       6-8pm DRIFT theatre at Gainsborough Hub West Ham. Immersive theatre.
                            Eventbrite for tickets
Tues 17th Mar free Tate Britain Up Your Street seniors’ radio art installation “Reclaim The Waves” is being prepared for its public launch on 27th March. (more details soon)
Wed 18th Mar   
                           £3   noon-3pm POSH Club in Hackney evidently sold out. Try your luck on 02077374043
                                    This is an afternoon of first class entertainment, a raffle and a spread.
Thurs 19th Mar free 2-4pm The Mill E17  ‘Telling Tales Lounge’ for seniors. Reminiscence sessions.
                                 With Sonali.

Dog with a bone.

Rosetta Art Centre in West Ham put out the call for volunteers to get involved in an art project based around John Sullivan’s treatise on the mangled history of political socialist parties, and to do with pubs in the Royal Docks. To this day I see little connection between lefties and the dockers’ pubs from 1960 to 1981.  I know Socialists met with each other in the pubs, had outdoor meetings and distributed pamphlets, and scuffled with National Front oinks but I’m not getting any evidence either online or at Newham Archives E15 where I went today that there were great conversations between the now vanished working men and any militant Socialists over pints of real ale in the now vanished Royal Dock area pubs. I know that The Bishopsgate Institute E1 may enlighten me.

We can all change history.

Meanwhile what did I get from today? I swooned over Post office Directories of Commercial and Trade establishments in 1961 and the sister directory listing London roads and the names of prominent people who owned private residences. Not in my back yard but I found my old friend’s uncle’s name and address. Hoi Poloi.

I found the public houses’ pages having wasted  time and laughed at myself when I found nothing under “pubs”. PH means pub. I counted the 1961 list of pubs in London and it was approx. 3636 but it was a bridge too far to analyse how many of those were in the old Royal Docks. I did see that West Ferry Road had many pubs on its very interesting pavements dotted between flour milling businesses, boot repairers, butchers, stevedore whatevers, timber somethings, canners, shipping whats, dining rooms, refreshment places and more.

There were pubs at numbers 1, 25, 41, 165, 290,194, 248 and more.  Funnily enough I walked the length of West Ferry Road  last November to introduce myself to the owner at The Bhaji. He was supplying to MUSEfest, my daughter’s musical event, yummy grub. The road was long, damp and dark. I’ll do it in the Spring.

I listed some pubs just by finding E14 or E16 as the reference. My favourite name I  found was  the “Magnet and Dewdrop” at 194 West Ferry Road, Poplar E14 .

(The Magnet & Dewdrop was situated at 194 West Ferry Road. Present by 1878, this pub was renamed The Telegraph in 1985 when the newspaper of the same name announced that it was moving in across the road. It closed in 1995 and was demolished in 2001.)

Evidently The Connaught Tavern as was in Connaught Road E16 was a dockers’ meeting place for revolutionary tactics. It was in  a road which housed the British Sailors Society, King George V Dock, Offices to do with shipping, a refreshment bar (sic) and Pinchin Johnson Paints which I worked for by the by.

Back to names of pubs:-

City Arms, West Ferry Rd E14

Builders Arms, Grundy St E14

African Tavern, Grundy St E14

British Oak, 28 Robin hood Lane E14

Anchor, Chrisp St E14

Crows Nest, Railway Hotel, Ferry House, Falcon, Queens Head, Freemasons Tavern, Galleons Hotel, Lord Stanley and etc etc

The three main roads in the Royal Docks are Victoria Road, Albert Road and North Woolwich Road, The archivist showed me how I could link pubs and their addresses into old maps. But the point is that I was looking for evidence of socialists engaging with dockers in the vanished pubs.

I enjoyed what I did in a great venue. Thanks Newham Archives (not open every day and you need to book)

I realised I could think of words to do with ships and there’d likely be a pub with the same name  for example, Anchor.

pub 1        pub 2

I used Newham Archive’s typed reference catalogue to match up to folders of photographs. I mean folder as in real life not Cyberspace.

I read through a few oral history books  about old Newham published around  the 1990s, the heyday of oral history meet-ups.

The Archive Photography Series “Newham Docklands”by Bloch 1995 ISBN 0 75241076

Chalford Oral History “Canning Town Voices” by Bloch et al. 1998 ISBN 0 752410539

“Canning Town” by Bloch 1994 all about Thames Ironworks and The Thunderer. (ship)

ISBN 0 752400576

So I had directories, books and pictures as well as web site addresses given to me by the archivist, Richard.

By Lund 1973 “Buildings in Newham” Section on Public Houses. P.68 onwards.

Using the Archive folder catalogue entitled Photographic subjects I knew I could go to green folder 74 to find great pictures of pubs too.

Web sites. Now many of the web-sites I’ve checked before are splattered with bigotry and offensiveness. eg “pub for poofs” whatever that means. Some of the pubs I wouldn’t give you a Castlemaine XXXX for eg Cundy’s cf The lauded Napier Arms in Hackney Wick. Dumps by any other name.

These are the ones I trawled through all about memories:- featuring Mr Stan Dyson (nothing about left wing political agitation in pubs there).


Archives staff directed me to Eastside Community Heritage. I said I belong to them. See all the pub stuff has been done before. Anyone who frequented the pubs as a young person nay man in 1970s would be archived themselves!

I took photos, got distracted and looked for stuff to do with my own ancestry.

I was frozen and nearly three hours had whizzed by.startford rainyThrough a window darkly @E1opp newham archives e15

The art centre in Stratford’s backyard.

Certificate in HE in Understanding Visual Arts.

Birkbeck Uni and Rosetta Art Centre in Stratford run an art appreciation course for non- certificated adults who have never been to University which is more along the lines of how to communicate appreciation of art works effectively by becoming confident with texts, IT, seminars and opinions. The essays are all processed and sent up to be marked using the internet. There are loans available and bursaries to help the poor and underpriveleged with their travel and child care expenses so in one way I never expected to meet other seniors.

Rosetta Art Centre is actually housed in Gainsborough Primary School, a Victorian school in a big low level council-housing estste . The 276 bus which starts its journey in Stokey goes there or there’s West Ham tube station.

I was shocked. I thought the Centre was state of the art, not up 4 flights of steps to a narrow corridor on top. Come and see the toilet sink! Old as yer like. With scalloped dips for the soap bars before pump action came into fashion!

A handful of folk turned up for the introductory session about the one year course which springs the successful achiever into the second year of the B.A Arts and Humanities degree or Arts and Media foundation course at Birkbeck. Birkbeck has a new campus coming up in Stratford,E15 otherwise it’s a trek up to Bloomsbury. Couldn’t be much more different in flavour, could it?

What’s appealing is the field trips; out to V&A, Bishopsgate Institute, Whitechapel Art Gallery and the like, not forgetting Tate Modern. Whilst I was attending the introductory session (where no tea was served by the way!) then I was missing out on my special invite to the Whitechapel Gallery for photos done by locals with a tour thrown in. Once a month one can join in a lottery application for a free tour of galleries around Spitalfields. Luck of the draw though.

Back to West Ham, there’s help on hand for the dyslexic, public computer accessibilty in Stratford (Library? Oh, that market-place!)  and UEL along Romford Road. You don’t have to be a Newham resident nor clever as to me it looks like all the encouragement and support will make sure you pass. Wonder if in your second year you meet u3A chapesses. Seems up their street.

I had entered a piece of work for a display at Rosetta Art Gallery. I heard nothing in response. Not bovvered. Now I’ve seen the place……Years ago I refused to go to The Rio Cinema in Dalston because it was a flea pit allegedly and advertised as a venue for the working class. Why would I have to go to dirt? “Me be poor, me be poor, but me no be crazy”

The Rosetta Art Centre was established because of the desire to uplift a community around it which rarely engages with the visual arts. On tap is the captive audience of primary school children who get the opportunity to appreciate all forms of art-funded art projects which is good. Somehow like playing piped Mozart as children tag-tail into assembly. So why wouldn’t the borough with all its Olympic dosh or the government build a proper art venue or we are happy to have a corridor? Not me.

I will find it difficult to promote the course to so many seniors because of the IT element and the fear of they being means-tested. The course is right up my street in its ethos. I needed to know about disability access too.

I was up Essex Road in Leyton  because it is one of the only local places which has a Post Office with free parking outside.  Not any more. Wow! Overnight the linespeople had restricted us and after May 31st it gets worse as the area comes under Olympic non-parking areas. Many will benefit from this and majorly Whipps Cross Hospital  just a walk away with its exhorbitant parking fees.