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