Strengthening Communities through Art.

Those Candy Crush actors are a bit podgy, aren’t they? I was thinking about Veganism and thought about war-rationing. Just thinking.

And that was because I was concentrating on my art for The Mill E17 and how I had to think, well calculate dates, as I was stealing an identity for my project. And I had to even research WW1 dates. I did dress to go out to do another bit of physical research but hey, it’s very cold out. All this work is really in  the end, just for me, because another Mill artist said to me on the bus last Summer, “Only the artists see each other’s work at The Mill, so what’s the point?” Swing back to positive-ness for you can say that about any community art do. Keep on creating. I like Cass Art’s motto:-“Let’s fill this town with art”.

I bought ancient postcards off Mo’s Emporium at Ebay and found quite a few belonging to a family in Walthamstow from 1909. My laptop was hot. My imagination was wild. I do collect postcards anyway and have valuable ones hoarded away in a bank vault. I don’t actually believe postcards are going out of fashion just as fridge magnets aren’t. They are souvenirs whereas emails and snapchats are not yet. From a few words in squid ink on old postcards then I learnt about ye olde worlde fish ‘n’ chip shops in Markhouse Road, who did what in the early sixties, who built houses around railways in 1850 by Marsh Lane and beyond, who owned the land when the farm fields were cut up for development and how on Saturday 13th January 2018, a few local people will be up in arms protesting about building plans around Lea Bridge Station.

The Mill’s art exhibition is about memories. Up Your Street seniors have been on countless projects about their memories. We are reminiscence saturated. The thing is The Mill will turn up quirky art in all sorts of media.

My submissions are quasi quirky.

I made for my friend a scarf art using acrylic paint on unframed canvas spelling out all the words we could remember from domestic life in the fifties and before that having had an art-inspired evening at The Anti University Festival hosted and planned by myself, the artist, talking about headscarves and whatnot. Scarf Art was a thing in 1968 with top notch artists calling out for designs on silk for them to reproduce and make mega-bucks. Seniors at Up Your Street did the same in 2015 and had fun producing loveliness. They painted and printed on rag squares. So my metre squared scarf art goes on display then back to my friend’s wall.2017-12-12 10.03.32

Then add onto that a string of bunting with phrases used by parents and kids in playgrounds to keep order in a world where slaps and smacks were allowed and children pre the revolution were seen and not heard up until the day they brought in wages. Bunting was made from rags originally. At the Vestry Museum there’s a photo 1901 showing the laying of the foundation stone at Davies Lane Primary School and flapping in the breeze alongside the Union Jack are rags . At the Technical E10 there are on the ancient railings cloth triangles as bunting and hiding from the wind. At least they’re not plastic. Plastic is a bad word.

My third submission is the postcard based art work called “Of Kith And Kin”.2018-01-09 13.28.19

Note the old school, aka old skool, pen and ink heading and hand-written fonts. Wait ’til you get inside. But you have to get along to The Mill for that.

On Sunday, after Mass, a neighbour turned up with a whole bundle of unwanted posh Sanderson 1995 material from a mutual acquaintance, all from Up Your Street. The Earth gave up to me. I was able to re-do my Claire Weiss for RAGWORKS International Women’s Day 2018 with appropriate material and so pack away the special collection all about women until March.

My hands are going from mauve to pink now so I can get on with another creation, a quilt for a baby made from refreshed textiles. RAGWORKS style.

Issue 9 Up Your Street.

Tues Mar 14th free to view Great art (and bread) at Wynwood-Art-District next to The Bell E17. See John Arthur Hewson’s work and prints by Antonietta Torsiello. Few days left.

In the Whipps Cross Hospital Bridge there are great paintings but by whom?

Thurs Mar 16th free 6.30pm The Mill Coppermill Lane E17 Launch. All welcome. “Memories of Shops and Shopping around St James’ Street.” Created by

Fri Mar 17th free 2-3pm Gants Hill Library. Heritage Tea Time. Part of International Women’s Month. Sounds like fun.

Sat Mar 18th free 1-3pm Big Weed Blitz 1-3pm, in the William Morris Garden Help us banish weeds, so the garden can flourish. This is the launch of our new Saturday Volunteer Gardening (every third Saturday of the month) and part of Waltham Forest Council’s annual Spring Clean event. Join us to improve your health & well-being, feel part of your community and learn about gardening. Find out more: 020 8496 2822

Up Your Street. Issue 8

 Sun 16th Feb free 10.00am – 2.30pm
Learn about tree pruning, woodland ecology and specimen trees. Wear warm clothes and strong footware. Maximum 12 people. Booking essential. . Stamford Hill Gates Abney Park Nature Reserve Contact: Russell Miller . Email: Telephone: 07758 326530 pruning

Wed 19th Feb free 10-5pm (until 23rd Feb).Vestry House Museum .

“Waltham Forest has enjoyed a long association with the manufacture of toys. Our new exhibition looks at local toy factories – Wells Brimtoy, famous for their range of tin-plate toys and Britains Ltd, who ran a factory on Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow E17.IMAG010210

Visit this hands-on, family friendly exhibition to see the museum’s fantastic toys and games collection and find out more about these important local factories and the people who worked there.

There’ll be dolls, teddies, model train sets, boats, planes and more. Replica toys and games will be available for visitors to try.

Thurs 20th Feb free 7pm. Adult Drama Group. Improve your skills. Meet new people. Build confidence. Express yourself. Have FUN. Age group: 20-65. Round Chapel, Lower Clapton Road. Hackney Contact: Adele. Email: Telephone: 07950 526 443sara words
Fri 21st Feb free 1.30-3.30pm For adult informal carers – Relationships & Communication.  St. Joseph’s Hospice, Mare Street, Hackney E8 4SA. Disabled access: yes. Contact: Rachael Yearwood. Email: Telephone: 0208 525 3140.




Interviewing Lily

Alice petch

“So Lily, you’re celebrating another Big O birthday this week? Congratulations and thank you for agreeing to this interview. Do you join the thousands of pensioners who say they’re lonely? Will you be eating cake alone?

Well. no. I’ll be eating my birthday cake with my family. I make my own.  I do see my family but they’ve got their own lives. Yes, I’d say I’m lonely. I don’t like to admit it but there you are


How does that affect you? Do you feel very upset?

Well, you just get used to it and get on with it. My friend lives in Scotland in the country and she must be more lonely than me because there’s no clubs or outings there. That is the thing. Well, she has church stuff. Like I read what’s on on your Up Your Street and there is lots of free stuff to go to.  We do have that in London. Can’t imagine not having places to go, but they do. It’s funny when people say you’re more lonely in London because it’s an unfriendly place: You don’t know your neighbours. I don’t know mine. I see them going out and that. I don’t know their names. They don’t speak English. No-one does. Well not proper English.

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Do you have any carers coming in?

What for? I’m old not disabled. Anyway all the carers are African. My friend, well a lady I met, had a carer and she couldn’t even make gravy for her dinner. Never seen it see. It’s just being lonely, living alone, being lonely. What one is it? It’s horrible sometimes. You just want to see people, to talk over the fence or have a cup of tea. Course they all drink latte now. It’s all change. I did make up my mind that England is too different now. We got Gypsies, not the old tinker lot but proper ones in all their clothes all around us now. What with the Polish lot and the Turks. I don’t even know what they eat!


Do you think it’s a good idea for old parents to live with their grown up children like some cultures do?

What for?

What will you be doing for Christmas?

Are we near that time already? (She laughs). I’ll see if we get a Christmas this year what with the heating going up. Some families have to decide food or keeping warm. See what I mean about it’s all different now. Who’d have thought we’d be this hard up in England. They’ll ration next, you see


What do you think about the outings and such-like you join in off Up Your Street?

Well, they’re nice. But it’s all youngsters all asking us about this and that in the olden days. Do you know I’ve been to six of that type of thing. All to do with engaging the community. Whatever that means. I still don’t know who lives up the road, and I can’t see me inviting any of the others back here for a cuppa. Do you? I asked my niece what that engaging means. Not a clue. We do always get a nice cup of tea. It’s usually in a church. I just take the bus.IMAG003815 But you just go back home again, go back to the same. Sometimes I can’t be asked. Sound like an old misery. I do like my television. Freeview and the soaps. No I’m not too upset but could be better. Think I’ll move to Timbuktu. Might be some English people there.”