The Pamper Shop


Wed 9th Sep £5 10-11 am. And every Wednesday.

At The Centre for Better Health, 1a Darnley Rd Hackney .

No booking required. just drop in.



With Marcia
Certified Sivananda Yoga Teacher

Sessions will comprise techniques to strengthen the body integrated with breathing and relaxation exercises.

Poetry at The Centre For Better Health Hackney

Haiku, sunshine, Barfly, Baden Prince Junior, Katrina, rude words, talks of arty farty types, cup of sweet tea, great host, smashing company, a nip into Sainsbury’s; what no meat paste?, a ride on the 48 bus, negotiating pedestrianized Bakers Arms and all that for free.

The poetry session takes place every fortnight. We read, we laugh, we dissect, we learn and we meet next on 20th November at 6pm.up_your_street_2[1] (2)

All welcome.

“Songlines” at Hoxton Hall.

Winter jacket on in June, a pop by the Oxfam shop at Dalston Junction, then a bus ride into Hoxton, up to the uninteresting shouted about Hoxton Market to the unannounced Hoxton Hall.  The audience was packed into the foyer for what was a truly intergenerational, multi-cultural, multi-media, well-staged,  high standards’ show all about the layers of history on which each community’s generation builds.songlines 1

It was stupendous, first class. The audience made up of all colours and ages was transported to the world of local streets. I was sent back to 1985 when community theatre was there, set in dumps of centres and refurbished theatre halls. The difference is that we moved on and are living and working, playing and dreaming together as one rather than a host and guest society. The charity shops sell shalwar kameezes, neighbours put out bread and chapattis for the birds and we all shop at Tesco. Now instead of observing each other , we share common ground. The same street Hamim walks on was walked on by Martha’s  grandad. Violet’s bedroom is her sanctuary as is Samiya’s.

The show using backdrops, a live string section, recorded voices and correct lighting was tight from start to finish and was the glorious product of adult leaders’ hard work in the community. Funnily enough , the old Hoxton Theatre has giant wall mirrors which reflected the stage action so we in the audience could see things in stereo.

It had to be excellent. “Songlines” was part of the major Spitalfields Summer Music Festival, being watched by the world. There was even a detailed programme handed to each ticket-holder with all the words and each adult, teacher, child and musician, the cast of many,  named. Brilliant.

It should have been in a bigger venue. Refreshments with posh cake was offered afterwards but actually the show was treat enough.

I purposely took the 394 bus,  imagining stepping out into the hipster Broadway Market, before going on to The Centre For Better Health’s “Diaspora” art exhibition opposite Hackney Town Hall but I was saturated with the culture of the day, thank you.

Most memorable line ? “We are four generations; child, parents, grandparents and great grandparents”. Cool eh?

Issue 1 Up Your Street 2013


                                            Up Your Street. Issue 1. 2013

Tues  15th Jan   £3 1.30-4.30pm Tea dance for seniors at Stratford Old Town Hall E15 includes raffle, tea and cake.

Wed 16th Jan £50 for 10 weeks .2-4pm Age Well Actors (50+) at Stratford Circus. Book in advance.

£2.50 (free to Birkbeck students)  6pm, Stratford east PictureHouse screening of ” It Always Rains On Sunday”

Thurs 17th Jan   £10 7pm Amateur boxing open show. Haringey Irish Cultural and Community Centre, Pretoria Rd Tottenham

Fri 18th Jan       free 12.30pm  Led walk with Tina Bates to find the hidden Walbrook River with Footprints of London. Book ahead.

Sat 19th Jan        free  10-4pm post war, post Olympic Legacy workshop with Birkbeck University at Three Mills Bow (invite only. Up Your Street subscribers currently enrolled on the Arts and Humanities course join the conference and workshop.)

Sun 20th  Jan     free 10-11 (every Sunday until end Feb)  Tai Chi for seniors at Lloyds Park Bowling Green pavilion

free 3.45pm at the Café, Downhills Park off Phillip Lane N15. Friends of… meeting. All welcome.

Mon 21st   Jan    free 12.30-2pm (weekly) beginner and intermediate. Ballroom dancing for over 60s with Malcolm at Kidzmania, 28 Powerscroft Rd Clapton (excellent).

Tues 22nd  Jan   free  6.30-9pm St Mary’s Secret Garden Annual General Meeting. Soup and entertainment . Pearson Street. Hackney. All welcome and  book at Telephone: 02077392965.

Wed 23rd  Jan  £2.50 6pm (free to Birkbeck students) Stratford east PictureHouse screening “Piccadilly”.

Thurs 24th  Jan free 10.30-11.30am. Hackney Coffee Club Reading Group at Hackney Central Library hosted generously by Lydia Julien. Book title to be announced yet.

£3 approx. per session. 6-7.30pm Building Women’s Self-Esteem at The Centre for Better Health (week 2 of 6)

Fri 25th Jan free (until Sunday) Holocaust Memorial Day hosted by Tower Hamlets. At the Rich Mix an art exhibition, an installation and then a film at noon on Sunday

Sat 26th Jan £14  6.30-10.30pm. Seasonal supper at the Hornbeam Café E17.  Book in advance for a 3 course meal. Check out RAGWORKS art exhibition.

free 10.30 am Hornbeam Cafe E10 by Bakers Arms.  LETS trading without money in Waltham Forest. Find out and enrol.

Sun 27th Jan  free noon Rich Mix, Bethnal Green. Film to do with a Jewish Extravaganza marking the Holocaust Memorial weekend with Tower Hamlets. “From Cable Street to Brick Lane”.

                 free 2.00 p.m. – 4.30 p.m Saint Augustine’s Tower Open Day. Mare Street by Narrow Way.Hackney


Asda’s selling off very expensive jars of mincemeat for 49pence only! All in date to 2014.


Up Your Street. Final Issue for 2012. No. 23.

                                           Merry Christmas

Starting in the New Year  there are free walks coming up with “Footsteps“,

all sorts of uplifting courses nice and cheap at the Centre for Better Health in Darnley Road, Hackney

and almost opposite there has opened “Unpackaged” a shop where you can take along your container and buy the amount of pulses, wine and other commodities that you want.

There’s a major art exhibition scheduled for the new year at the Mill E17 and variety shows on Friday evenings with The Stuart Low Trust.

On Fridays there will be free classical recitals at Claremont.

Not forgetting Wednesdays at  Theatre Royal Stratford east (TRSE) For £3 sing along with Stratford East Singers (SES) with Byron Gold conducting.

I’ll be updating you in my regular listings.

Thurs 10th Jan £2.50      at Hackney PictureHouse  a screening of  “A Taste Of Honey” followed by actor Murray Melvin taking Q&A.


Next issue of Up Your Street Sat 19th Jan.  Issue 1. 2013

Hackney on a freezing afternoon

032There’s a great art exhibition on at present at the Centre for Better Health. Hear me, put a chair or two out for spectators to sit and soak in what they are looking at. You can’t whizz through art which needs some translation in the ole brain. There’s a load of technology being used in the structures made with obvious passion by five students, Lea, Karoline, Claire, Tony and Carolyn in their final year at the University of East London, Docklands. 2012-11-30 14.18.57

I took a trip out to UEL when it was hotter weather having mooched around the Stratford site for ten minutes to get a feel of the place for some potential students. UEL Docklands is beautiful and 2 minutes from the DLR station, not even that.


City Airport’s over the road and stinks of flight fuel. The reception and security staff were kind and customer aware. Just like the reception staff at BSix in Clapton Hackney. Take note Rich Mix staff.

So the art at the Centre for Better Health is just great………………2012-11-30 14.17.46Back in the day when I was asked at my interview at Hornsey Art College what I intended to do after graduation, it was very clear that careers education  and advice had not been implemented in grammar schools and I gave a feeble answer, The governor shouted at me “We want people to design, design phones and other practical things”. Yep he got his wish. Smart eh?

Hackney Museum has a fabulous exhibition about Jamaica and Independence.

2012-11-30 14.45.57It is very well presented and absorbing. The exhibition even goes on on the floor by means of a great big spongy mat showing a map of the West Indian islands. Great. Lots of history is clearly documented on a timeline and all is relevant to Hackney onlookers. It is very popular with local schools. Well done Hackney Museum.

The Hornbeam Café’s staff had to call in support as the place was buzzing. There was a smell of freshly chopped vegetables and home-made soup, local women chatting about charity and vintage shops in the area, a young couple discussing meet-ups over a laptop, a cyclist in from the cold, a father with his little boy, Organiclea workers in and out for their tea breaks and there was I up on a ladder hanging RAGWORKS characters in the form of The Pied Piper with furry rats and Simon’s jolly Pie-man with a leg-caressing kitty-cat.

IMAG000927More RAGWORKS goes upstairs for the enjoyment of working groups and children in creches.

A very busy day of culture.

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


Up Your Street Issue 3

                                                      Issue 3

Busy London! Remember Up Your Street finds free or very cheap activities for seniors

Tues Aug 7th free 10 am  (on until Aug 31st). At the Rich Mix in Bethnal Green Rd, a  photographic  exhibition in the mezzanine:- “The Green East End”.

Fri Aug 10th £2    2-4pm (weekly) drop in art at The Centre For Better Health,

Darnley Rd, Hackney

                         free     6-8pm, Tokarska Gallery Forest Rd E17  (just by Blackhorse Rd Station).  Book for an evening conversation “Writing about Painting” Dr Pen Dalton

Sat Aug 11th free        3pm Hoxton Hall. The Black Cab Theatre , Dalston, is hosting a participatory performance! Exhibition too until 6pm. Book via Eventbrite or Hoxton Hall.

                                           free  7.30 for 8pm. Epicentre West Road E11 (next to Cathall Rd Leisure Centre.) Parking too. News from Nowhere Club presents a talk on FairTrade. Refreshments and a great venue.

Mon Aug 12th £2  10-noon  (weekly)The Centre For Better Health ,Darnley Rd (opp Hackney Town Hall) Ceramics and jewellery making.

In advance

Booking now at Priory Court Community Centre E17 . Free fabric courses beginning Sept 26th on Wednesday all day for 5 weeks.

RAGWORKS is on display until August 30th at the Hornbeam Café, Hoe Street E17. The Café opens Weds to Saturdays.

Eagerly awaiting an art exhibition at the Mill E17 called “Gifted”. Watch this space!

“Chariots of Fire ” about the 1924 Paris Olympics is coming up on Film 4 this week also coming up on 12th September at The Rio, Dalston and so is “Passport To Pimlico” .

Remember there are hundreds of things going on but Up Your Street finds free or very cheap events and activities for seniors.

RAGWORKS @Hackney art launch/social

People banging on the front door, mobile phones going off, people coming in out of the rain, pottery students banging away in the next studio,,,,Aah the scene was set for the RAGWORKS launch. The thunder had been rolling all afternoon and Darnley Gallery’s manager had put on the radiators knowing guests may be wet, wet, wet.The serving wenches, well schoolgirls, were unable to make it through the storms in time for 4pm as school detentions took precedence so it was up to I the artist to polish up the glasses. Happiness was mine when I checked the Centre fridge to see the manager, Mr Wonderful, had placed in there all the wine from the Co-op so it was nicely chilled. .All good stuff at half price. Quids in. The tea trolley was all ready too.  All I had to do was arrange the kosher biscuits, the halal kebabs and non-animal gelatine sweets flavoured by carrots and soak in my art in a darkened Gallery before the lights signalled a launch on the hour. Peace, sitting in a refurbished Hackney basement on a garden level loving Red Riding Hood and Dr Foster and checking all bamboo canes were level. The manager had hung Roar, The Girl With The Pearl Earring and Jemima Puddle-Duck from the rafters which enhanced the installation giving the room a mystical curtained effect. Bravo!

Guests trickled in, some experiencing art exhibitions and galleries for the first time and the camera man, Leopold Naessens, with an accent on the first ‘e’, mais oui, came in laden with equipment at 5pm. One guest left to go on to The Royal Festival Hall; overloaded with culture I’d say! Someone kindly put the received flowers in vases and people sat down to tuck into good wine and nibbles.

The meat of the evening was people talking freely about art and they interviewing me almost formally on how I was inspired to create RAGWORKS. The joy was explaining my techniques and my passion.

Everything about RAGWORKS began in November 2011 with my seeing sumptuous material unbagged in a huge overflowing recycle bin outside Applejack, a textile manufacturer near to my house.  I thought ,”I could do something with that”. It was winter and even on snowy Tuesday mornings, the times when the borough recycle lorry carted away materials and cardboard boxes, I schlepped over to the factory gates way before the arrival of the lorry, and in the name of art, rummaged. What beautiful stuff. Twice I showed myself to the guy in charge  and begged material. Twice I believed I was a smell under his nose.  One morning he beckoned me to a lock-up and there inside were cartons of material he’d kept just for me. Enough to make an ole gal swoon, I tell you. It was heaven. That morning without dignity and for the sake of art, I carried bundles on my back , along the pavement, and in plastic bags which were ripping my wrists into redness.

I’ll explain the pattern- making in the RAGWORKS blog under “jackrags” as in Applejack .

The launch was a hoot. Everyone loved RAGWORKS and chose their favourite fairy-story character. There are 31 wall-hangings and only 13 on display at any one time in The Darnley Gallery. One guest had seen “Song-bird” based on Neech ( at the Stratford east PictureHouse exhibition and was disappointed not to see it again. I directed her to the website/blogsite but knew that was a wasted affort. She remembered also “Tar-Baby” and we discussed how the title was deemed racist by some back in the day. (We don’t know who!). In March, I had mulled over whether to rename my design but went along the path of that that was how I knew the story in the 1970s when I was studying West African literature and repeating it to children in the 1980s. Tar -Baby it is and that design is mostly alien in form weighted heavily by a massive black fur hat.

Artist Debra Cadet-Wallace was a very welcome guest. I knew about her work through FaceBook and through visiting her web-site. She is familiar to many through posters promoting the force that is Stratford east Singers. The pair of us had to put our singing on the back burner because of art commitments. It was great to chat openly to another artist about the spirit, the soul and our passion embedded in our  work.

How lovely to come out of a lovely space, warmed with friendship and wine, into a still light and freshly washed Hackney evening . Thank you one and all.  Exhibition there until 27th April. Where did that month go? Part of RAGWORKS is at the Mill E17 for another week too. Hooray for wall spaces!

Leopold Naessens has some editing work to do! He reminded me that I have learnt, graduated, and enjoyed film -editing with the Documentary Film Group (DFG) and at The Learning Spaces in St Joseph’s Hospice. Hackney and sound -editing with Streetlife Radio. To me editing takes mega-patience. He is a patient guy. Leo did well for us and I am grateful that he did everything and  gave up his time generously. Camera work is his passion. Actually he also designed and produced the RAGWORKS logo. Tres bien!