Friday, 20 January 2017

Chris Hill

Chris Hill

Chris Hill died on the 16th January. Chris has been involved with various WF groups for decades and was passionate about the environment. He was also a good pianist and was often invited to bring along his piano to play for a party or other event. He was always to be found at local environment events and had been giving his time to the Hornbeam Centre for many years. He will be sadly missed.

Chris with Laurence of Leyton on a 
Beating the Bounds Walk in 2012
Chris is on the right

Tree Musketeers

ALL events are free and open to everyone.
Wear warm clothes and boots or strong shoes.
Everyone welcome - Tools and training provided.
No experience necessary.

Saturday  21 January 2017 Tree Planting on Hackney Downs   10am - 2pm
TMs have planted over 150 new trees on Hackney Downs in the last 12 years and we have almost completed re-stocking. 
We will be planting: 3 cherries, 3 walnuts, 1 apricot, 1 rowan, 1 crab apple, 1 buckeye and a cedar.  We grow all our own trees at the Hackney Community Tree Nursery. 
Meet on the bowling green at 10am or find us on the Downs.
Saturday 28 January  Last Sat of the Month at the Tree Nursery -  10am - 1pm.
Join us for gentle tree care at the wonderful Hackney Community Tree Nursery.
We grow most of the trees that get planted in Hackney's parks. We have around 1000 trees and about 200 get planted out each year.
Volunteer sessions at the Tree Nursery last Sat of every month 10am -1pm. (Also every Tues 11am-2pm and Fri 10am -1pm).
All welcome. Tools and training provided. Wear strong shoes.
Sunday 29  January SUNDAYS Woodland Management – Wick Woodland – 10am- 4pm
Coppicing, tree felling, building dead hedge habitat. Free soup cooked in the woods! Limited places.
Booking essential. To book reply to this mail or

Monday 30 January 2017 Formative Tree Pruning onHackney Downs   10am - 2pm
TMs have planted over 150 new trees on Hackney Downs in the last 12 years and we have almost completed re-stocking.
Russell will be demonstrating formative pruning, pruning TM's young trees into optimum shape for the years to come.
Meet on the bowling green at 10am or find us on the Downs.


SEE BELOW for full list of dates Jan - April 2017. 
Russell Miller
Tree Musketeers
07758 326530
tree plantingHackney Downs21/01/17Sat
Potting UpTree Nursery28/01/17Sat
Woodland ManagementWick Woodland29/01/17Sun
Formative pruningHackney Downs30/01/17Mon
tree plantingStoke Newington Common04/02/17Sat
moving treesMillfields05/02/17Sun
Fruit tree pruningSpring Hill11/02/17Sat
Woodland ManagementWick Woodland12/02/17Sun
Formative pruningWell Street Common13/02/17Mon
tree plantingAbney Park Cemetery16/02/17Thu
tree plantingEast Marsh17/02/17Fri
RM unavailable
Woodland ManagementWick Woodland19/02/17Sun
Formative pruningMillfields20/02/17Mon
Fruit tree pruningMillfields24/02/17Fri
Potting UpTree Nursery25/02/17Sat
Woodland ManagementWick Woodland26/02/17Sun
Fruit tree pruningMillfields27/02/17Mon
Fruit tree pruningTree Nursery03/03/17Fri
Fruit tree pruningDaubeney Fields04/03/17Sat
Woodland ManagementWick Woodland05/03/17Sun
Fruit tree pruningHackney Downs10/03/17Fri
RM unavailable
hedge managementStoke Newington Common12/03/17Sun
Fruit tree pruningWell Street Common13/03/17Mon
Fruit tree pruningSpringfield Park18/03/17Sat
Tree & ecology WalkMabley Green19/03/17Sun
Formative pruningStoke Newington Common20/03/17Mon
Grafting WorkshopTree Nursery21/03/17Tue
Potting UpTree Nursery25/03/17Sat
Woodland ManagementWick Woodland26/03/17Sun
Tree WalkClissold ParkApril

Library Consultation nearing its end

Library Consultation

Is the Green Belt under threat?

Dear Lea Valley Federation

I hope you will forgive my cold calling you by email but in the circumstances; perhaps you will forgive me.

Is your local Green Belt under threat from over-zealous housing targets driven by the Government's National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and imposed upon your Local Authority?  Do you feel unable to stop your local Green Belt boundaries being moved by your Local Authority to meet these targets?  Other threats to your local Green Belt?  Then please sign the petition at:

Started by us, a local action group in Essex, but with the intention of protecting equally all 14 English Green Belts.  We are trying to contact residents’ groups in all Green Belts countrywide and all supporters of open countryside to rally mutual support.  The wording of the petition is self-explanatory and there is a link to our website which has the evidence base in support of the petition.

We would ask you to kindly spread the word to your group’s supporters/members and encourage them to not only sign it but promote it via Facebook, Twitter, Streetlife, email, websites and other social media to their friends; relations; neighbours; colleagues and contacts wherever they may live.  In eight days we have rallied over 700 signatures.  Please help to boost our total.  As soon as we reach a critical number; we can deliver the petition to Mr Javid to demonstrate the country’s strength of feeling for our Green Belt and the way this Government is letting us down by allowing the Planning Inspectorate to approve Local Plans against the intention of the NPPF and many Ministerial statements.  We are seeking an urgent policy instruction so there is no time to lose. 

If you are not able to promote our petition; please do forward this email to any group that you are aware of who may be able to help.  Thank you for your support.  Apart we can make a noise; together we can make a difference.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.

Mrs Diane Gillespie
Vice Chair
Theydon Bois Action Group
Protecting the Village of Theydon Bois
Follow @TBActionGroup on Twitter

Starlighters panto

For info for residents

Dear Friends/Colleagues,

Following on from the huge success of our Xmas Lunch which bridged the gap between the younger and older generations, Starlighters will be putting on an amazing pantomime performance at the Community Hub on Orford Road on Sunday 29th Jan at 5pm.  We hope to have an audience of 160 people.  The 1st 80 tickets will be given for free to any local resident aged 55 and over and all other tickets will be sold for £8 per adult (including conc price of £6 for under 12s and pensioners).  Please call 020 82230707 to register for your free ticket.  I would encourage community leaders/TRA members to make up lists and call us to book numbers.  

The event will be supported by our Youth Club members who will be volunteering on the day as a way of giving back to their community.

I would be really grateful if you could circulate the attached leaflet or put a copy of it up on your notice board.  We want to reach out to all those who would normally face difficulties getting to the nearest theatre, due to mobility problems.  

Thank you in advance.

Kindest regards,
Monwara Ali
Centre Development Manager | Waltham Forest Community Hub |
18a Orford Road | Walthamstow | London | E17 9LN |
T: 020 8223 0707 | E: |
W: | YouTube: Walthamstow Online | 
Twitter: @wfchub

Company No. 5642169     Registered Charity No. 1118523

Monday           Off
Tuesday          10.00am - 4.30pm
Wednesday     10.00am - 7.30pm
Thursday         10.00am - 4.30pm
Friday              10.00am - 7.30pm

Save paper. Only print this email if necessary.

Save Lea Marshes Campaign

Sign the petition
Lea Valley Eastside

A huge thank you to everyone who emailed Members of the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. was copied in to over 200 emails, so we made our point loud and clear. Sadly, it didn't sway Members and the Land and Property Strategy was approved yesterday. The battle is far from over, however. In fact, it's just beginning, and I'm writing to ask for your help in two ways:

1) Can you attend the next meeting of the LVRPA?
This is the meeting where the LVRPA decides how it will formally respond to the Lea Valley Eastside vision. It is no surprise that officers have recommended that Authority Members support the vision (see From supporting the vision, it's a short hop, skip and jump to approving the development itself so we have to try our best to ensure it is not supported.
There was strong indication from a number of Members that they will oppose officer's recommendations and they asked us 'to pack the room' to support them.
Unfortunately, plans to hold the meeting in Walthamstow were changed at the last minute and it is taking place at 2pm on 26 January 2016 at Myddleton House, Bulls Cross, Enfield, EN2 9HG.
We need as many people as possible to attend this crucial meeting to demonstrate the depth of feeling against the plans. We understand that many people will be working but, if you are available, please do make the journey. Myddleton House can be reached by public transport; it's a 15 minute walk from the Turkey Street station on the London Overground network. Please email me through the petition or contact if you need further information.

2) Write to Waltham Forest Council to object to the plan to rezone Metropolitan Open Land for housing
The petition, which has now been signed by over 4000 people, will send the London Borough of Waltham Forest a strong message, but we can amplify that message if we also write individual objections. I'll be in touch next week with a pro forma email you can send, but if you fancy writing your own objection in the meantime, it should be sent to
Thank you so much for your continued support.

Spitalfields Nippers

The Friends of the William Morris Gallery invited the Gentle Author to come and talk about his book Spitalfields Nippers. It was an enchanting and fascinating look back to the turn of the beginning of the 20th Century Spitalfields. The book is in effect a photo album of photographs taken by Horace Warner. His skill was gaining the trust of the nippers and getting them to pose in a natural way which brings to life the living conditions of the area in early 1900.

More details belo

Spitalfields Nippers

Have you signed the petition?

Dear marsh lovers
Wow! Over 1000 signatures in four days. Thank you so much for your support. It's really heartening to know that so many people care about the marshes.
The Council's consultation ends in January and it would be fantastic if we could reach 4000 signatures by then. If we gather 4000 signatures, we can ask the Council to debate the issue at a Full Council meeting and it will send a very strong message that we want the Council's plan to build on Leyton marshes scrapped. If each of us can ask just three more people to sign, we should be able to reach this target. So, please can you help spread the word by forwarding the link below to your friends?
Thank you
Abigail Woodman

The London Forum

The London Forum

Sign the Petition to stop building on Leyton Marshes

Dear friends, 

I just signed the petition "Stop the Council's plan to build on Leyton marshes" and wanted to ask if you could add your name too. 

This campaign means a lot to me and the more support we can get behind it, the better chance we have of succeeding. You can read more and sign the petition here: 

Can you also take a moment to share the petition with others? It's really easy – all you need to do is forward this email or click these links: 

Share on Facebook 

Share on Twitter 

Thank you! 


News from Nowhere Club

Patron: Peter Hennessy

Founded in 1996, the club challenges the commercialisation and isolation of modern life. 
We meet monthly on Saturday evening.

‘Fellowship is life & the lack of fellowship is death’.  William Morris

At the Epicentre, West Street, Leytonstone E11 4LJ
7.30pm Buffet (please bring something if you can)
8.00pm Talk & discussion till 10pm & back to buffet
Travel and Access
  • Stratford stations & 257 bus
  • Leytonstone tube (exit left) & 257/W14 bus
  • Overground: Leytonstone High Road, turn right, short walk (from about Feb 2017 – best to check)
  • Disabled access
  • Car park  /  Bikes can be brought in
  • Quiet children welcome.
  • You can phone to confirm the talk will be as shown
  • Meetings open to all - just turn up
  • Enquiries 0208 555 5248
Free entry: voluntary donations welcome

The club is a real beacon of light.’  Peter Cormack, former Keeper at the William Morris Gallery

Saturday 14th January 2017

Leytonstone Playreading Group

Speakers: Alaisdair Preston, Nicolaus Mackie & Margaret Winniak

‘79 years of performing staged play readings for free to people of Leytonstone & beyond. A unique group presenting monthly unrehearsed staged play readings in costume & with props, performing to an audience. Our catalogue of plays includes old & new classics from  heyday of repertory theatre, through Maugham, Coward, Shaw, Rattigan to Pinter. Also to encourage new writers to workshop their plays in front of an audience. We are a regular participant in the Leytonstone Drama Festival & welcome new audience members young & old, plus those wishing to try out acting & skills such as stage management, script editing & costume design. Some of our members, e.g.  Sir Derek Jacobi, Frank Muir & Sheila Collings, have gone on to successful careers in theatre & the media.’ There will be a mini-playreading to the audience on the night.

Saturday 11th February 2017
More Anglican than Anarchist: Christian Socialism and the Labour Movement
Speaker: Canon Steven Saxby
Waltham Forest's very own Red Vicar will speak on the role Christians, including Anglicans, played in the formation of the Labour movement & the Labour Party. The Church Social Union, the Guild of St Matthew & the Church Socialist League all made important contributions to Labour. Steward Headlam & Conrad Noel, notorious radical clerics, were leaders of a movement which challenged the Church & challenged the Party & was hugely important to George Lansbury, sometime Labour leader. With reference to how the churches related to other Labour strands, including those inspired by William Morris, Canon Saxby will consider how the churches helped transform the UK at the turn of the last century & how they might again contribute to the social movement politics required to bring real change to Britain today.

Saturday 11th March 2017
Alice Wheeldon: convicted of conspiracy to murder Lloyd George - 100 years on, can we clear her name? Speaker: Chloƫ Mason
100 years ago, Alice Wheeldon, Winnie & Alf Mason were imprisoned amidst international publicity that had made them instant ‘tabloid villains’ since their arrest in January 1917. They had been set up by undercover agents posing as conscientious objectors. The family argued that the murder plan was fabricated. The family’s fate was used to intimidate others striving to avoid/stop war & to bring about a better world based on peace & social justice. This compelling story, a ‘spy story’, is one of tragedy, courage & hope. ChloĆ«, great-grand-daughter of Alice Wheeldon, will discuss the campaign to clear their names.

Saturday 8th April 2017
'Comrade Morris is not dead!'
The Political Life and Thought of William Morris, 1883-1896  Speaker: Colin Waugh
William Morris was active as a socialist from 1883 till his death in 1896. While remaining a designer, craftsperson, artist and poet, he travelled the country speaking to working-class audiences on topics like 'Useful work versus useless toil', 'How we live & how we might live', and 'A factory as it might be'. In 1889, his 'utopian' novel, News from Nowhere, was published. This talk will look at how Morris related to others active at the time, including Eleanor Marx and the anarchists who joined his Socialist League, and will suggest that his ideas may be more relevant now than ever.  

Saturday 13th May 2017

Carols from the Coalfields 

Speaker / Performer: Chris Harrison    

A musical evening, featuring poems by Joseph Skipsey, a self-educated coal miner, set to music by his great-great-grandson, Chris Harrison.  Joseph Skipsey, ‘The Pitman Poet’, was born in Northumberland in 1832.  He began colliery work aged seven. Having taught himself to read & write, he published his first book of poems in 1859.  Chris has set 24 of Skipsey’s poems to music, calling the project “Carols from the Coalfields”, after the collection which Skipsey published in 1886.  The songs offer a rich & varied picture of life in the mining communities, while describing issues & experiences still relevant today.  His CDs, volumes 1, 2 & 3, will be on sale (£5 each.)

Saturday 11th June 2017
New Leaf: A Botanical Phylogeny Garden   for All Speaker: Vinnie O’Connell
Vinnie, botanist & plant historian, is Founding Director of this fascinating project in West Dulwich. They not only offer education, training & employment to adults aged 16+, but run a bookshop, maintain a phylogenic garden (depicting the evolution of flowering plants throughout time, starting in the pond with water lilies 140 million years ago through to modern cottage gardens) but also organise children’s activities, outreach work & create gardens in other parts of London. It’s a hub for local people of all ages who drop in & learn about the plant & insect life on their own doorstep.
July 9th 2017 (part of the Leytonstone Festival)
This Other London - Adventures in the Overlooked City Speaker: John Rogers
Writer and film-maker John Rogers talks through his 100 mile journey on foot around London seeking out the under-explored corners of the city for his book, This Other London - adventures in the overlooked city. His journeys took him from the wild west of Hounslow Heath to Wanstead Flats, from Uxendon Hill to the seven hills surrounding Dulwich, Stanley Kubrick's Vietnam-on-Thames at Beckton, wassailing in the Lea Valley & many more adventures along the way. He will also share some of his research from the follow-up book instigated by the new Stratford Mega City development.

August 13th 2017
R F Mackenzie: The Last Word on Education
Speaker: Ros Kane
R F Mackenzie (1910-1987), a libertarian teacher inspired by A S Neill, chose to work in state education. As head of two Scottish secondary schools, he tried to run them in ways that caused great controversy, leading to the end of his headships. For the rest of his life, he publicised his ideas. Mackenzie wrote several well-received books. His biography by Peter Murphy is rightly called ‘Prophet Without Honour.’ Ros, with a background in teaching, community action, psychotherapy & child mental health, believes Mackenzie’s ideas are enormously important & relevant to our times.  Does anything else need to be written?

Saturday September 9th 2017
Ethel Mannin: Feminist, Anarchist, Anti-Fascist Speaker: Andy Simons
Andy will unpack the life of this working class yet wealth-sacrificing writer, social rebel, tireless campaigner & author of almost 100 books of fiction & non-fiction. The feminist ignored by feminists.  Ethel Mannin (1900-1984) was a lot of things: a single mum by design, an anti-fascist & anti-British Mandate activist before the Second World War, an intrepid & sometimes illegal world traveller, & consistent anarchist. Andy Simons is a retired curator of British books and worldwide jazz at the British Library.  Prior to this he was Head Archivist at the Amistad Research Center, the largest African-American manuscripts repository in the USA.  He presented on local radio stations for 25 years, in Providence, Chicago, and New Orleans and has written a jazz social history, Black British Swing : The African Diaspora’s Contribution to England’s Own Jazz of the 1930s & 1940s.  Most of his time is devoted to Palestinian rights activism, as was the case with the author Ethel Mannin in the 1960s.
Saturday October 14th 2017
Cyclogeography: Journeys of a London Bicycle Courier Speaker: Jon Day
Jon Day is a writer, literary critic & cyclist. He now teaches English literature at King’s College London but before this he worked as a cycle courier in London for many years, & published a book in 2015 about his experiences.  He will talk about the politics of cycling, the literary & cultural history of the bicycle & the ways in which bicycles connect people with places.

Saturday 11th November 2017
Community-Led Regeneration Speaker: Simon Myers, CEO of the Gasworks Dock Partnership
Simon’s talk will include slides, sharing some of his experiences from the grassroots regeneration of Cody Dock in East London. ‘Topics to be covered: the back story to how & why the charity GDP was formed; what was achieved by volunteers & the community; our long term mission & master plan for Cody Dock; what we have learnt & would like to share with others.’

Saturday 9th December 2017

Felting: Adapting a Prehistoric Skill for Modern Art
Speaker: Nicola Harris
‘Felting, the ancient process of converting fleece to felted wool, is now a popular hobby & living for many crafts people & artists, such as myself. Whereas the everyday use of wool has decreased considerably with the advent of modern materials, the recent expansion of felting skills is leading to new & exciting uses for wool. This in turn has begun to improve the outlook for sheep farmers & led to an improvement in the fortunes of those rare breeds with specialist wools. This talk will include some practical participation in a small seasonal bit of felt making!’ Please bring a towel & a cup.