Secluded part of E11

st andrews church E11St Andrews Church E11

Leytonstone schoolLeytonstone School E11 previously Leyton Senior High School for Girls. Built in 1911 on 17th century domestic house model from the design of the architect W. Jacques. There is a plaque to W. Jacques on Lea Bridge Rd Library or is there?

oppLeytonstone schoolLooking westwards down Forest Rd E11 and opposite Leytonstone School.

In the bright sunshine today 16th February 2014, with my thoughts on making a quiche and the suffering folk on the Somerset Levels and in the Thames basin, I slung on my winter coat and went out without a plan . I went left and up past Tesco. I did peep in but refused to buy the £7 bunch of withery flowers reduced to £2. Crossed over the almost empty street having stared in astonishment at a fox staring back at me and decided to get to Grove Green Road E11. For that I needed to cross though past the back of Leyton Sixth Form College. The birds were singing merrily and it was all very medieval in its silence and 1950 front pavements and Sunday-ness. It was ten because a church bell rang once. Up by Whipps Cross there were one or two early cars but I’ve never seen the major road so empty as now.

Across the road was a white English woman (I can tell) and I knew we’d greet each other. As it turned out we together shoved with our feet broken glass from the kerb into a gutter. She was carrying her husband’s teeth as he’d been taken into Whipps Cross Hospital in the middle of the night. We chatted away. She invited me to go into St Andrew’s Church around the corner where I’d meet the lay preacher who corresponds with me for Up Your Street events.

Leytonstone School is a fabulous building. To me it’s like a cloistered nunnery. cloisters Leytonstone schoolThe sun was on its brick work. I love it. I loved it more from an empty road. Even the front gates were open so I went in.

The church next door stands majestic and calm. A service was going on . The church bell I’d heard had been the summons, the invite to prayer. The lay-preacher was busy preaching. I turned and followed Forest Road right up to Essex Road. Here were  terraced houses, aka cottages I should think as we get more gentrified, without front steps or gardens! Their front doors open directly onto the age-old pavements.houses in Forest Rd E11

And on window-sills there are pots, plant-pots, not even being stolen. Where am I? I do love that silent part of Leytonstone. An Indian looking guy was fiddling around with his hanging basket. He didn’t even look at me.  Strange how people are.

Hainault Road is always intriguing. There are massive houses, churches, and more towards Leyton High Road, a proper greengrocer’s just selling greengrocery. That happens down Wood Street too.

Wood Street is construction in process because I never felt any buzz. I saw plenty of scaffolding, new pavements, poverty, men with cans and swear-words, a Co-op doing a roaring crusty French baton trade, Mother’s Hub displaying African kids’ gear (we there again?) and the same kind of shuttered shops I remember from the nineties. Someone is kidding themselves if they think Wood Street is up there with The Village E17.

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

issue 7 Up Your Street

Wed Sept 5th free    7pm  Bruce Castle Museum Haringey.Ben Long will give a talk about his scaffold sculpture series and the nine metre lion sculpture created for PARK ART in Haringey  at Bruce Castle Park, along with a short introduction to PARK ART by UP Projects curators Emma Underhill and Laura Harford. This is a free event and drinks will be served, to book email  

Thurs Sept 6th free 10-noon Centre For Better Health 1a Darnley Rd hackney (opp, Town hall) Coffee and cake morning

free 10.30-11.30am. Walking tour. Part of Molten Festival in Barking,(see flyer below)

free 6-9pm The Mill E17 first year Anniversary and meet “The Gifted”  artists. Bring nibbles to share please.

Sat Sept 8th free 7 for 7.30pm Vegetarian Quiz Night St Andrews Church, Colworth Rd E11. Neighbours Faith Club

                                        free “News from Nowhere Club” E11 at the Epicentre (West St). Talk and shared buffet 7.30pm  “The Artist As Craftsperson”.

Sun Sept 9th free 1.30-3.30pm.  Ruth Calder Murphy’s art at the Blackhorse Rd Baptist Church, Blackhorse Road E17

  free 11.30-noon and  2.30-3pm. William Morris Gallery Poetry Tours. Just turn up.

Mon Sept 10th free 2pm The People’s Museum E15 (opp Gala Bingo) Talk, The History of Brick Lane by Judith Garfield. book on 02085534343

Tues Sept 11th £2 7.30pm The Birkbeck Tavern, 45 Langthorne Rd E11 (byLeyton Station) Radical History Group of Walthamstow hosts Speaker: Bob Light

Forty years ago: Five dockworkers in Pentonville


Coming up in October. 12th October midnight until 7pm the next day an Hymathon at St Andrews Church E11 to save the organ! Roll up!


Walking Tours this week

Walking Tours until Sunday in Barking. The Molten Festival 2012