Thursday, 27 June 2013

Tree Nursery

Hackney Tree Nursery

Walthamstow Village Events

Village Events

Free Concerts

Please find attached details of
Eight free concerts to celebrate music making in Waltham Forest

Please Circulate through your networks,

For further information please contact Waltham Forest Music Service
12 Church Hill
E17 3AG
Phone: 020 8496 1582/020 8496 1583
Fax: 020 8496 4955

Many thanks,
Margaret Agana

Eight free concerts to celebrate music making in Waltham Forest
Waltham Forest Council is hosting eight free concerts at the prestigious Walthamstow Assembly Hall and two other venues in the borough as part of its summer Music Festival. Over 1,200 performers are involved, including children from local primary and secondary schools, local community groups and professional musicians.
Waltham Forest Music Festival 2013
This year's festival features eight free concerts, at three locations in the borough from Tuesday 2 to Thursday 4 July. During the course of the festival, you will have the opportunity to hear over 1200 performers play a variety of music from Bach to Bob Marley and Purcell to Piazolla. You’ll hear a variety of instruments, from the cello to steel pans, played by performers of all ages – some as young as 5 and others over 65. Don’t miss it!
Tuesday 2 July 11:00 Leytonstone Library
Soprano           Lynne Hirst
Accompanist    Hanya Bantock

Target audience: Older residents of the borough
Come and enjoy the former BBC Singer’s selection of arias and songs by Purcell, Vaughan Williams, Schubert, Faure and Richard Strauss. Doors open at 10:30 and the concert finishes at 12:00.

Tuesday 2 July 14:00 Walthamstow Assembly Hall

Children’s Concert
Target audience; children, parents, young families
Celebrate the young talent we have in the borough and hear over 300 children perform at this wind and brass focused spectacular. The concert will feature a massed children’s choir, formed by children from primary schools from across the borough, accompanied by the Waltham Forest Music Service band. The Samba group from Walthamstow Academy and the band from Lammas School and Sports College will be performing along with numerous Music School wind and brass groups. Doors open at 13:30 and the concert finishes at 15:00.
Tuesday 2 July 19:30 Walthamstow Assembly Hall
London Forest Choir 
B.I.G Choir
East London Brass

Target audience: residents aged 15+, musicians
This is a rare chance to enjoy an evening of choral and brass music and hear three outstanding groups in one concert! London Forest Choir will perform a range of works from Sir Charles Hubert Parry to Gilbert and Sullivan and will showcase their partnership with Henry Maynard Primary School Key Stage 1 Choir, by singing a number of joint items. The British Gospel Arts B.I.G. Choir will perform a selection of contemporary, classical, gospel and inspirational songs.

Local championship brass band, East London Brass, will conclude the concert with a varied programme including the Slaidburn March and music by Glinka. Doors open at 19:00 and the concert finishes at 21:20.

Wednesday 3 July 13:00 Walthamstow Assembly Hall
Children’s Concert

Target audience; children, parents, young families
This is another opportunity to celebrate the young talent we have in the borough, and hear over 300 children perform at this ukulele and guitar focused spectacular. It will feature a massed children’s choir, formed by children from some of the borough’s primary schools, accompanied by the Waltham Forest Music Service band. Walthamstow School for Girls’ award-winning steel pan group and local singer sensation Camara Fearon will perform, as well as a variety of ukulele, saxophone and guitar groups and Music School’s very own Dance Band. Doors open at 12:30 and the concert finishes at 14:00.
Wednesday 3 July 19:30, Walthamstow Assembly Hall
Camara Fearon
The Real Deal

Target audience: Young people aged between 10-21, young families
We are delighted to present local singer/songwriter sensation Camara Fearon performing some of her own work and a mix of gospel, pop and R&B. Winners of the CBBC TV competition, ‘Sport Relief Does Glee Club’, The Real Deal will perform fresh R&B flavour music with a feel-good vibe. Both acts have performed at ‘Love Your Borough’ awards and are up and coming in the borough. Don’t miss out on this FREE opportunity to hear them perform live at Walthamstow Assembly Hall. Doors open at 19:00 and the concert finishes at 20:30.

Thursday 4 July 12:30, Alfred Hitchcock Hall, Leyton Sixth Form College
Christopher Hoyle        Cello
Tim Abel                      Piano

Target audience: residents of the borough aged 18+
It is a real privilege to have the newly appointed Head of Strings at the Royal Northern College of Music, Christopher Hoyle, performing with pianist Tim Abel as part of this year’s festival. Come and experience a whistle stop tour of the highlights of the cello repertoire, from the exquisite music of J.S. Bach to the romanticism of Max Bruch. This is a rare opportunity to see two extremely talented international performers. Doors open at 12:00 and the concert finishes at 13:00.

Thursday 4 July 13:00, Walthamstow Assembly HallChildren’s Concert
Target audience; children, parents, young families
A third and final opportunity to celebrate the young talent we have in the borough, and hear over 300 children perform at this strings focused spectacular. It features a massed children’s choir, formed by children from primary schools from across the borough, accompanied by the Waltham Forest Music Service band. A range of Music School and school-based string groups will perform as well as the Waltham Forest Music Service staff string quartet. Doors open at 12:30 and the concert finishes at 14:00.
Thursday 4 July 19:30, Walthamstow Assembly Hall
Maestoso Trio
Forest Philharmonic
Waltham Forest Youth Orchestra

Target audience: Residents aged 15+
The Maestoso Piano Trio will open the final concert of the festival and perform an exciting and vibrant programme ranging from the regal excellence of the finest English Baroque composer, Joseph Haydn, to pieces by Piazzolla evoking dusty South American plains. You will also be able to enjoy the results of a partnership which is invaluable to the development of young musicians in the borough. Forest Philharmonic and the Waltham Forest Youth Orchestra will be performing some of the most exciting orchestral classics – from the genius of Mozart to the luscious warm blend of the strings in Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. The concert will conclude with a late Beethoven Symphony, of which the second movement was popularised in the film ‘The King’s Speech’. Written when Beethoven was in poor health and deaf, the whirling energy of the fourth movement will be a fantastic finale to the Festival. Doors open at 19:00 and the concert finishes at 21:20.

For further information please contact Waltham Forest Music Service
12 Church Hill
E17 3AG
Phone: 020 8496 1582/020 8496 1583
Fax: 020 8496 4955

Kind regards,

Margaret Agana
Community Development Arts Officer
Room 104 Walthamstow Town Hall
Forest Road
E17 4JF
Tel:  020 8496 6892

Reminder of Wetlands Exhibition

Wetlands Exhibition

Leytonstone Arts Trail

Leytonstone Arts Trail

Waltham Forest Voluntary Action

Waltham Forest Voluntary Action

Community Ward Forums

Community Ward Forums

These forums have funding for local projects and you can find out more about your local ward forum here
Chingford Green & Endlebury - Monday 1 July
Chingford Assembly Hall, Station Road, Chingford E4 7EN.
Arrival and informal chat 7pm. Main meeting 7.30-9.30pm.
Wood Street - Monday 1 July
7 - 9pm at Henry Maynard School Addison Road Walthamstow E17.
Hoe Street - Monday 15 July
6- 8pm at St Stephens C of E Church, 1a Copeland Road, E17 9DB
Leytonstone - Wednesday 31 July
7-9pm at St John's Church, 825 High Road, Leytonstone, E11 1HH.
Markhouse - Saturday 5 August
noon to 4pm at Thomas Gamuel Park

Stella Creasy MP reselected

Delighted 2 be reselected 2 stand for labour & coop party in walthamstow - want 2 help fight 4 our shared future? Get in touch!


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Council response to Bakers Arms junction reconstruction

Dear Adrian

I have responded to the tree issue however have the following comments regarding the remainder of your email.

We in fact undertook substantial consultation and engagement last year with local residents and businesses in the Bakers Arms area. General perceptions of the area were sought and analysed from face-to-face qualitative engagement throughout October and a postal perception survey sent to over 6000 local addresses (including all addresses within Lea Bridge Ward) in November and December. In addition, the draft scheme was taken to the Forest Community Ward Forum on 25th October and Lea Bridge Community Ward Forum on 28th November where local people could see at first-hand what the scheme will entail. Engagement has also been on-going with the local Business Forum at Bakers Arms where local traders are very supportive of the scheme and have been actively involved in the design process.

The scheme will involve the removal of both left-hand slip roads at the Bakers Arms junction. It has been subjected to extensive modelling and approvals with specialist teams at both the Council and Transport for London, who have had the ‘final say’ given the junction’s significance to the wider transport network. The curb-lines will be softened and the signals reprogrammed particularly relating to traffic flow through the junction where vehicles turn right into Lea Bridge Rd from Hoe Street. All the data suggests that the changes will have a negligible impact on traffic flows and should even improve the situation.

I trust this answers your query.

Kind regards


Keith Hanshaw
Divisional Director Public Realm
London Borough of Waltham Forest
Low Hall Depot
Argall Avenue
Leyton E10 7AS
020 8496 2510

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Planning Committee 2nd July

The agenda for Planning Committee, Tuesday, 2nd July, 2013, 7.00 p.m. has just been published.
To see the publicly available information, follow the link: Agenda details
Meeting venue: Council Chamber - Waltham Forest Town Hall
The following items are included in the agenda:
41The Pump House Museum, South Access Road, Walthamstow E17 8AX
42497-501 Lea Bridge Road, Leyton E10 7ED
43489-493 Grove Green Road, Leytonstone E11 4AA
44The Waterworks Nature Reserve and Golf Course, Lammas Road off Lea Bridge Road, Leyton E10 7QT
45Lee Valley Riding Centre and Grazing Land, 71 Lea Bridge Road, Leyton E10 7QL
46Car Park, Farthings Close, Chingford E4 6JG
47South Chingford Library, 58 Hall Lane, Chingford E4 8EU
48Assembly Hall and Town Hall, 701-703 Forest Road, Walthamstow E17 4JF
49Assembly and Town Hall, 701-703 Forest Road, Walthamstow E17 4JF
410Walthamstow Library, 206 High Street, Walthamstow E17 7JN
411Leyton Library, 265a High Road, Leyton E10 5QH
412Leyton Library, 265a High Road, Leyton E10 5QH
413Leyton Library, 265a High Road, Leyton E10 5QH
414Oakhill Primary School, Alders Avenue,Woodford Green, 1G8 9PP
415Land including West Works, 43 Fulbourne Road and Victoria Works, 30 Victoria Road, Walthamstow E17 4JU

Stow Festival 2013

Stow Festival

Vallentin Road development

Would you rather have a 5 storey block of flats or this in Vallentine Road?


Ian Duncan Smith MP to stand again

Ian Duncan Smith MP to stand again

New Willowfield School

Willowfield School consultation

Work starts on Marsh Lane

Marsh Lane

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Volunteer Anything

Here is a new web site that might become useful in time

Volunteer Anything

Marsh Lane consultation

A quick update on the Park.

Installation of the new bridge at the Marsh Lane is underway. Work started last week (10th June) and could last up to 12 weeks. There will be no vehicular access into the Park at Marsh Lane for this period although the pedestrian access will be maintained. Users who need to access the Park with vehicles will use the Seymour Road entrance.

A consultation exercise is being advertised in Waltham Forest News. The questionnaire is asking for overall views on the Park and potential future activity and development. In addition we are planning to extend the children’s play area and there are two drop in sessions on Saturday 22nd June (10am to 1pm) and  Tuesday 25th June (3pm to 6pm).

I have attached a pdf copy of the questionnaire and a link to the online version. Please let me know if you would like hard copies of the questionnaire.

Many thanks,

Jon Widdows
Olympic Legacy Programme Manager
Housing and Development
Sycamore House
Waltham Forest Council
London E17 4JF

Tel: 020 8496 4109
Mob: 07971 107324

Alternative contact: Leon Welford, 020 8496 4103,

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Christian Kitchen crisis


We are at a crucial stage in our struggle with Waltham Forest Council. As you are aware the Council and the Police have alleged that the presence of the Christian Kitchen in the High Street Car Park Mission Grove encourages local street drinking & anti-social behaviour. Despite our strong denials and an absence of firm evidence the Council insists we stop using Mission Grove. We are challenging the Council in the High Court, but this will take time and the outcome is far from certain.

Our compromise to relocate onto the Town Hall complex was immediately rejected, with the Council insisting we move to a lay-by off the A406 at the Crooked Billet. This is totally unacceptable - it is too isolated & unsafe and will deter both service users and volunteers. On this coming Monday we are to meet with Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader of the Council, in an effort to find a way forward.

Our petition within the local Catholic churches now has over 600 signatures and I am speaking at masses this Sunday at St Joseph’s in Leyton. We now ask you to urgently email Cllr Loakes and/or the Leader of the Council  and press him to think again and stop persecuting the Christian Kitchen.

It is difficult to believe, but Waltham Forest seems intent on pursuing a strategy of  social cleansing - something even Westminster stopped short of doing last year!!

Please act today and email some common sense to our misguided political leaders

for Christian Kitchen 

Walthamstow Wetlands Plans

Friday, 14 June 2013

Bakers Arms protest

Email to Director of Public Realm



We are very concerned at the damage the new plans for the Bakers Arms are doing. Already the Hornbeam tree has been cut down in its prime. We worked with the council in 1976 to get the old toilets removed and the area smartened up. The result was the ladies and gents were removed and Hornbeam trees planted in the space. The ladies one did not survive and at the Millenium the current exciting street art of 3 columns and a light was erected in the ladies toilet space while the Hornbeam in the gents continued to thrive.

 With no consultation with the public, that we are aware of, a whole new scheme is being implemented which will take years to mature and looking at the artists impressions does not actually impinge on the area that you are already destroying.

Huge mistakes were made in Wood Street when the highway was re-aligned so now in some areas the pavement is so narrow parents with prams can't get past. In addition a lane was removed at the junction with Lea Bridge Road causing enormous tail backs of traffic until the contractors were told to re-instate the lane.

Our understanding is you intend to remove the slip lane from Hoe Street to Lea Bridge Road. Surely this will cause enormous tail backs along Hoe Street? In our experience tinkering with sensitive junctions can very easily create far greater problems than currently exist. Everyone knows Lea Bridge road is barely able to cope with the traffic, but since the changes in the Clapton Roundabout the traffic flow has improved. If you get it wrong at the Bakers Arms you will be taking this road back to its nightmare days!

Surely this scheme should be put on hold until the public have been properly consulted and their views fed into the design of the junction


Lea Bridge Community Forum meeting

Latest from the LVRPA

From Save Lea Marshes:

At the meeting on 7 February, to which Save Lea Marshes was invited by Shaun Dawson in order to improve the communication between the LVRPA and users of Leyton and Walthamstow Marshes, a number of promises were made. None of 
them have been kept. The meeting was not, as presented to us, a chance to change the way the LVRPA engages with us, but an attempt to pacify us while the LVRPA continued to hatch plans to develop our part of Metropolitan Open Land for commercial gain (campsite, livery stables) in order to enrich itself at the expense of 
local people. This is in direct the purpose of the LVRPA. 


Waterlogging: Brian Daley stated that the ODA would carry out remedial work by the end of the month (February). This did not happen. We told you the remedial action proposed by the ODA wouldn’t work long term anyway as there is the equivalent of concrete fill underneath the membrane. 

Wildflower inspection: scheduled for end of March, and at some point before June. Have these happened? If so, where are the results of the inspections? 

Seeding plan: Brian Daley was tasked to get the document showing exactly what seeds were planted and where from the ODA, and then pass this on to us. 

Not received. 
Full snagging list: this was promised for some time, by Martin Page at User Forum meetings and then again at the meeting on the 7th

Not received.. 
Feasibility study was to be completed by the end of March and results made known to us. Shaun Dawson stated that the results would be public. We have heard nothing. 


SLM to be invited to all investigations on Leyon Marsh AND SLM to be involved in finding solutions to the problems

Core Samples: We were invited at very short notice to attend at 2:00, In fact, the contractor started at 8:00. By the time we arrived, the contractor’s drill had broken when he got to the part of the site where the concrete fill was. The contractor was told to come back and finish taking the samples with a new drill bit, but we were not invited back when this happened, if it did happen and we have never received the results of the sample taking. There has been no further correspondence from Brian Daley about this at all.
The contractor confirmed to Brian Daley what we said at the meeting -- that the ODA plan of drilling drainage holes would not solve the drainage problem because of the concrete fill. Although we have amongst us an abundance of knowledge, whatever 
we say is ignored. BD refused to accept that the fill is equivalent to concrete, despite evidence from the contractor and the fact that we observed the whole excavation and building process during which he wasn’t even here.. 

Wildflower investigations: We have been given no information on this – although it is clear to see that there are no wildflowers (aside from some white clover of unknown provenance) and the only grass is monoculture fodder grass on the site of the basketball courts. There has been no spread of the grasses and wildflowers from 
the untouched part of the field to the “reinstated” area if there is an invisible, impermeable fence surrounding it which won’t let anything else in. 

User forum: The last user forum was18 March and there was no date set in the minutes for the next meeting, nor has there been any information on the so-called “Community Notice Board” as to when the next meeting is. The agenda for the last meeting did not include the proposals for the campsite and the extension of the 
riding stables. They were tabled at the meeting and our strong objections to both were ignored, as were our emails to members and officers on the day of the Executive Meeting reiterating our objections. The golf course users had no idea that 
the golf course was being closed for good, as the LVRPA website continued to promise its reopening right up to a week before the “announcement” of the campsite plans. Indeed, the LVRPA are already taking bookings for the campsite, even though the application for change of use will not be decided until 9 July. They have been quoted in the Waltham Forest Guardian as saying that their plans are for a temporary campsite, which is clearly untrue according to their own planning application. The only comfort we have is that this plan will probably be a complete failure as it is highly flawed. A better idea would be to re-open the golf course as a nine hole organic golf course, with meadow areas to encourage wildlife and enhance the appearance of the area, thus satisfying both the golfers and local walkers and nature lovers, while giving the LVRPA a less costly source of income. 

The lies told and empty promises made by the LVRPA ensure that the local users of the area do not have a chance to object to the LVRPA’s raids on our green spaces. The LVRPA presents the lack of objections as consent. But there is no consent to the commercialism of our green spaces – there is, instead, a groundswell of local public opinion that sees the LVRPA, not as the guardian of our land, but as an increasingly greedy predator. If the LVRPA truly wants a dialogue with the users of the land it is charged with protecting, however doubtful that seems to us, then it will have to drastically change its ways. 

The Scene at Cleveland Place

Arcade site

Objection to camping on the Waterworks

Camping plans

Lea Bridge Station

Lea Bridge Station

The Mayor's ambitions for London

London Vision 2020

The London Dashboard


Events at Hornbeam

Events at Hornbeam

The Melting Pot   •   Thursday 4th, 11th, 18th & 25th   •   7.30pm
Come and sit with friends and strangers and share delicious authentic dishes from around the world. Each week's menu will feature a specific cuisine. See twitter and facebook for details. Two courses for £10, full range of beverages. Advance booking is essential. Email with your name, and how many people.

Sci-fi, Fantasy & Supernatural Fiction Group   •   Friday 5th   •   7.30 - 10pm
Discussion group for people interested in fantastic fiction... the focus is broad and the discussion tends to be wide ranging. New members welcome, just turn up.

Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign  •  Wednesday 10th  •  8 - 9.15pm

Join us for a discussion on cycling issues, opportunities, and upcoming events. Everyone is welcome and we appreciate all contributions. We usually go to a nearby pub after the meeting. Click here for more information about us.

Open Mic night  •  Friday 12th  •  7.30 - 11pm
Experience a compelling mix of local & talented performers, warmly supportive audience, healthy organic ales, ciders & wines, and mouthwatering snacks. Singers, musicians, poets, comedians and magicians are all welcome to grace our intimate stage. And this is the best venue for first time performers as we are the most friendly and encouraging venue this side of the river. Doors open at 7.30pm, and the music kicks off at 8.15, no need to book - just turn up.  More details here or from from Andy 07940 260558

Kids Kitchen  •  Friday 12th  •  10 am - 12pm
We all cook a fresh healthy lunch together for our children, while singing songs, playing and washing up, and there is also lovely café food (including cake!) available for us bigger kids too at lunchtime. Under 5s.  Booking essential, online here . Oh, and we are also looking for volunteers to help us, see website .

We are Everywhere: social movements for food sovereignty  •  Friday 19th   •   7pm - 10pm
Join us to hear feedback from the 6th international conference of la via campesina and discuss the growing movement for food sovereignty. Entry free / food by donation. This event is organised by Organiclea.

Community Skillshare   •   Wednesday 24th   •   8 - 10pm
Join us for an evening of skillsharing. Transition Walthamstow is focussing on the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and economic contraction, with the aim of tackling these threats and creating a vibrant and sustainable future. Everyone is welcome, doors open 7.30pm, and we start at 8pm. The evening will also feature cups of tea, and for the curious, an opportunity to find out what Transition Walthamstow is about.  Venue Hornbeam Cafe, 458 Hoe St.   More information about Transition Walthamstow here .

Bakers Arms Book Group  •   Friday 26th   •  7.30pm
We are an informal and friendly group (sometimes some of us haven’t even read the book!). Tea, coffee, wine available. New members welcome, just turn up. Book list here .

WF LETS   •  Saturday 27th  •  10:30 - 12noon
Pop along to the comfortable surroundings of the Hornbeam Cafe 10.30am - 12noon to find out about Waltham Forest LETS (local exchange trading scheme). If you like the way that people can exchange all kinds of goods and services with one another without the need for money, then you can also join up on the spot. For more information here or .

Fork to Fork: Seasonal Supper Club  •   Saturday 27th   •   6.30 - 10.30pm    
The Hornbeam Cafe invites you to a vegetarian feast with delicious healthy tasty food – locally sown, grown, picked and cooked! All 3 courses for just £15! The supper club is open from 6.30-10.30pm so you can choose your time to book a table (latest 9pm).Advance booking is essential. The café can cater for all special dietary requirements. Click here for more information, including how to book.

And don't forget the 
OrganicLea market stall  •  Saturday 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th   • 10am - 3pm
Located right outside the Hornbeam Centre on Saturdays, the market stall sells organic and ultra-local sustainably grown fruit and vegetables, plus homemade bread, jams and preserves. It’s a buzzing space, where buying fresh produce is an enjoyable activity and where information about food can be freely shared.  Healthy Start vouchers can be used to buy fruit and vegetables at the stalls or box scheme. More details here .

Events elsewhere

Waltham Forest Green Drinks   •   Monday 1st   •   8.30pm - 11pm
An informal opportunity for people with green/community interests to get together, chat about projects they’re involved in or find out about those of others. Ask at the bar to find out where Green Drinkers are sitting. Rose & Crown, 55 Hoe St, E17 4SA. Contact:

The Conservation Volunteers: Biodiversity Action Team   •    Tuesday 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th   •   9am - 4.30pm

Our established Biodiversity Action Team helps manage some of Waltham Forest’s most beautiful and vibrant sites for nature conservation.  Help improve your local green spaces through a wide range of activities including; woodland management, habitat creation, pond maintenance and some environmental construction.  With practical sessions running every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday there are plenty of opportunities to join in, meet new people, learn new skills and discover hidden green spaces while improving your health and stamina. All training and instruction is given on the day so no previous experience is required. Venue: 1a Connaught Close, Leyton, E10 7QS. (Opposite Lee Valley Riding Centre). Contact Tom Nandi, 07917267573,

Under 5’s Nature Explorers   •   Wednesday 3rd   •   10am - 1pm
Join us for adventures and activities in Lloyd Park for under 5s and their parents/carers. We will start the day with a fun ramble around the park searching for items around our monthly theme. There will then be activities and story time until 1pm. Booking is recommend to avoid disappointment, but all are welcome to join on the day. Free. Contact Rachel on07787193981 Meet in the Community Room, Aveling Centre, Lloyd Park, E17 4PP.

Bat Night      Friday 12th        8.45pm - 10pm
Enjoy an introduction to bat ecology before heading out equip with bat detectors to identify the species that are swooping overhead. Meeting Place: Lloyd Park, Forest Road, E17 4PP, meeting 8:45pm at the Bowls Pavilion. Contact Rachel on 07787193981 or e-mail for more information or to book your place. This free event is designed for adults, all are welcome to join on the day, but booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.

Friends of Ainslie and Larks Woods   •   Sunday 14th  •   11am
Enjoy a variety of practical conservation activities. FREE. Meet at Larkswood Recreation Ground (Normanshire Drive entrance), Chingford E4. Contact: 020 8524 5794

Walthamstow Family Bike Club  •  Sunday 14th   •  1pm - 5pm
A relaxed and sociable ride around open spaces and cafes in and around Waltham Forest. Meet 1pm outside the Ancient House Orford Rd/Church Lane junction, E17. More info here , or contact Paul 020 8520 064 8

Leytonstone Green Drinks      Monday 15th   •   8pm
A monthly friendly get-together for the green and eco-minded, organised by Transition Leytonstone at 8pm on 15th of each month. Newcomers always welcome. The Walnut Tree, 857-861 High Road, Leytonstone, E11 1HH. Tube: Leytonstone, Bus W14, 257, W15, W16, W19. Contact Ros 0208 556 0885,

Waltham Forest Friends of the Earth   •   Tuesday 16th   •   7.30pm - 8.30pm
We’re a local volunteer group that meets once a month to help highlight environmental issues. We're always looking for like-minded people to get involved. Le Delice café, 117 Hoe Street, E17 4QR. Contact : Helen 07712 654632. Contact

Giant Haystacks: Lee Valley  •   Wednesday 17th  •   10am - 2pm

Help us undertake our annual management to improve the meadows on Three Mills Green and collect seeds from the meadow to grow at home. Free, everyone welcome. Venue: Three Mills Green. Please call 08463 770 . Lee Valley Regional Parks Authority.

Epping Forest Field Centre Open day Thursday 25th  11am - 3pm

Come and join us on our Open Day for a taster of some of the exciting activities we run. Try your hand at pond dipping or mini beast hunting, explore the forest with your senses and find out how you can get more involved. Price: Free. Contact 020 8502 8500, Epping Forest Field Centre, Epping Forest Field Centre, Paul’s Nursery Road, High Beach, Loughton, IG10 4AF

Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign Monthly Ride   •   Sunday 28th   •   10 - 3pm
We meet every fourth Sunday of the month at 10am at Walthamstow Library for a 10:15am start. We have a few routes lined up and usually decide distance and destination on the day according to what people prefer. We ride leisurely suited to the wishes of participants. We usually stay within 30 miles and sometimes considerably shorter. We tend to be back by 3pm and always have a snack stop somewhere. Contact Robert

OrganicLea Open Day at Hawkwood  •  S unday 28th •  12 - 4pm
Hawkwood Plant Nursery, our beautiful 12 acre market garden site, hosts for family friendly Open Days on the last Sunday of every month.  Just show up to have look around, talk to the growers, or help out with horticultural tasks. Venue: Hawkwood Plant Nursery, 115 Hawkwood Crescent, Chingford, E4 7UH. More info here or call 020 8524 4994 .

Transition Leytonstone/OrganicLea market stall •  Saturday 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th   •  10.30am - 3pm
The Transition Leytonstone/OrganicLea stall sells organic and ultra-local sustainably grown fruit and vegetables, plus homemade bread, jams and preserves from outside Matalan, 829-837 High Road Leytonstone, E11 1HH.

Forest Families – Survival Skills  •  Tuesday 30th   •   2pm - 4pm
Are you a Forest Family? Whether you know the Forest inside out or have never visited before, you’re sure to learn something new on our family days. Join us for this activity and find out what we need to survive, build a shelter in the Forest from natural materials and think about how to enjoy the Forest without leaving a trace. Booking required. Children aged 5-11 - £6, Children under 5 - £2, Adults and children over 11 - £2. Epping Forest Field Centre, Paul’s Nursery Road, High Beach, Loughton, Essex IG10 4AF 0208 502 8500

Forest Families - Plants and Trees   •   Wednesday 31st   •   10am - 12pmJoin us for this activity and discover more about the plants and trees that grow in the Forest. How old are they? What can they tell us? Why are they useful? Booking required. Price: Children aged 5-11 - £6, Children under 5 - £2, Adults and children over 11 - £2. Epping Forest Field Centre, Paul’s Nursery Road, High Beach, Loughton, Essex IG10 4AF 0208 502 8500 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Chingford shopping improvements

Improvements to Chingford

Save the Bees

The Big Buzz

Bakers Arms Walkabout 1976

From WF Guardian 5th March 1976

SPRING is just around the corner and the borough's Leyton Society is looking for ways to brighten up the area, and improve the look of some of the untidiest and least attractive spots.
On Sunday morning members of the environmental pressure group went on a walkabout with planning Officer Larry Hanson. Starting at the Bakers Arms, the party visited a number of landmarks in Leyton and Leytonstone. They were asking Mr.Hanson: “What can we do to brighten them up?
Centre of attention at Bakers Arms were the disused lavatories that have been an eyesore for a number of years. On-the-spot recommendations to Mr Hanson were for a chestnut tree or a fountain. He pointed out that these would not be practical, but said the council has plans to plant some urban trees in the autumn.
Outlining the Society s concern, vice-chairman Louis Abbott said: " Areas on public view have been left for a long period. They are now in an unsightly state”.
Next stop was Leyton Baths where the possibility of planting shrubs or trees was discussed.
Among the dozen or so other points visited were Leyton Cricket Ground, Walnut Tree House and Leytonstone’s Gainsborough Road car park.
Secretary Adrian Stannard admits the Society’s contribution can only be a small one.
He says: “We want little jobs that can be done over the weekend. We can put groups to work and produce a lot, but we need instant results. That is why tree and shrub planting is good for us."
But finding out what needs to be done is only a small part of Mr.Hanson’s job. He said:”Then I have to go back and do some costings. After that we see what is possible”. Money is the big stumbling block that stands in the way of area improvement.
"Our budget has been trimmed – in fact we do not have a budget at all – but we can divert from other similar projects” he says.  A big package can be presented to the council for consideration as a complete scheme.
Joining the small group for the morning was English teacher John Shepherd, from Tom Hood Senior High School Leytonstone. He hopes to get his sixth form pupils involved in the clean-up campaign.

John says :”We want the students to get involved in the community – it’s their environment”.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Council Vandalism again

Back in the good old days in the 1980s when councillors were not paid and they really wanted to work with their residents they employed a community liasion officer, Larry Hansen, who really wanted to improve the street scene and would walk around the Borough with members of the Civic Society at weekends. One of the areas we identified as needing improvement was the Bakers Arms where the underground toilets were in a very poor state. Even in those days public loos were not looked after and it was agreed they should be closed. Instead of just filling them in Larry suggested planting a tree in each of the loos. We agreed to the idea of a Hornbeam tree being planted as a symbol of nearby Epping Forest.

After awhile the trees were planted and the current layout came about. The tree in the Gent's thrived until the council decided to cut it down this week for no obvious reason or consultation with anyone. The tree in the Ladies never thrived and despite being replaced eventually died. Not content with leaving just paving, the then council decided on a competition to find a suitable piece of street art and the 3 pillars with a ball was installed and has enhanced the area ever since.

The current plans look bland and as far as I can tell have not involved any consultation with the local community. No doubt it is just another excuse to squander  money on street improvements with little sign of improving an area - Leyton High Road being an exception.

Bakers Arms in 1972

Big Screen Entertainment

This is expected to be shown on the Big Screen in Walthamstow Town Centre.

There is only one week to go before the first BP Big Screen of the summer, and the sun is shining, so make the most of these completely free events and introduce your friends to the extraordinary world of the Royal Opera House and world-class opera and ballet. With 22 screens all over the UK from Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets, Londonand Duthie Park in Aberdeen to Talaton House, East Devon, and MediaCityUK, Salford, the chance to see opera and ballet for free might well be on your doorstep! Come early to get a good spot and relax into the festival feel.

Find out if there is a BP Big Screen near you

The Royal Ballet |  MacMillan’s MayerlingThursday 13 June at 7.30pm
The Royal Opera |  Puccini’s La rondineThursday 11 July at 7.30pm

The Royal Opera | Puccini’s ToscaThursday 18 July at 7.30pm


Featuring exclusive backstage films, competitions and live interaction, these screenings bring the best performances live to the UK absolutely FREE! Bring your friends and share the experience.

We look forward to seeing you at a BP Big Screen soon.

Please note
: No glass at any venue please. No portable furniture at London venues. For seating requirements at Trafalgar Square please contact Access Dept. Box Office, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD