Saturday, 10 November 2012

Free Guided Walks - Stories from Mile End's Parks

Mile End Park's Art Park and the towpath besides Victoria Park
Discover the hidden history around Mile End on a series of free guided walks

As we explore the local parks and stroll beside canals, walk guide Graham Barker will uncover the area’s social history and industrial heritage, using old photos, maps and stories. Join us on one, two or all three of these walks.

Thursday 29th November
See how the landscape has evolved from the New Globe pleasure gardens to today’s Mile End Park, discover the People’s Palace and a Jewish cemetery, wander by a tempting farmers’ market, and meet  suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst. (Meet by the bus stand on Grove Road, close to Mile End crossroads).

Thursday 6th December
Look out for coots and herons on the canals and lakes, discover Duckett’s Cut and Whiteread’s ‘House’, and explore the newly‐renovated Victoria Park – including the Chinese pagoda, Burdett‐Coutts fountain, play spaces and the Hub. (Meet at the ecology pavilion, just inside Mile End Park, opposite Thoydon Road).

Thursday 13th December
Encounter some remarkable East Enders at one of London’s 'Magnificent Seven' cemeteries, hear about the businesses that once flourished beside the Regent’s Canal, and visit a Victorian classroom at Dr Barnardo’s Ragged School. (Meet on Mile End Road, at the junction with Southern Grove).

All walks start at 10.00 am, last approximately two hours – with stops along the way and coffee at the end. The walks are open to all; over 60s are especially welcome thanks to the St Katharine & Shadwell Trust’s ‘Active at 60’ project and the Friends of Mile End Park. It’s helpful, but not essential, to book ahead.

Contact: 0791 9221806

To download the flyer click here.

Friday, 2 November 2012

New BMX Track Opens in Mile End Park

A fantastic new BMX track has opened in Mile End Park. It is open to the public and used several times each week by Tower Hamlets BMX Club, both for club sessions and sessions with local schools, youth clubs and community groups. The track will also hold competitions as part of the London BMX Time-trial Series and between school teams from across London.

Tower Hamlets BMX Club Logo

The Tower Hamlets BMX club meet every Saturday from 1pm-3pm for BMX coaching sessions at the track which is off Burdett Road in the section of the park between the Leisure Centre, Ariana Afghan restaurant and the hockey astro courts. Sessions cost £2 for members (membership is £10 per year with a free club t-shirt). There are limited bikes and safety gear available to use.

This track is the fifth BMX track to open as part of Access Sport’s BMX Legacy Project with a new community BMX club and a brand new track being created in each of the Olympic host boroughs. Both the BMX Legacy Project and the Mile End track received financial support from Tower Hamlets Borough Council and the Mayor of London's Sports Legacy Programme.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Volunteers needed to help look after the Regent's Canal

It is hard to think of Mile End Park without thinking about the Regent's Canal which forms the Park's western border. Who hasn't gone for a walk in the park and had a welcome distraction on spotting a family of coots at play or been lucky enough to see a kingfisher dart past?

Whilst the Canal & River Trust (formerly British Waterways) have overall responsibility for the canal, Thames 21 run regular volunteer clean up events on the canal and these help to improve this waterway for both people and wildlife.

Some residents living in nearby developments such as Grand Union Place have volunteered with Thames 21 on one of their regular clean up events on the section between  the Mile End and Ben Jonson roads.
The clean ups are good fun, sociable and all you need is some time and energy. All equipment is provided. If you are interested then contact Ben Fenton (or 07920230970).

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Wednesday Walks in the Park

As Summer slips into Autumn we are holding two guided walks in the park for the over 60s.

Walk 1: Wed 26th September (Meet 11am at the Ecology Pavillion - between the Britannia Fish shop and the Grove Road/Roman Road crossing). Walk finishes around 12.15.

Walk 2: Wed 10th October (Meet 11am at the Art Pavillion - behind the Texaco garage in Grove Road). Walk finishes at 12.15

Walks in the Park is funded by Active at Sixty

Monday, 9 July 2012

Free Guided Walk in the Park

The Friends of Mile End Park invite you to join our friendly group for a short, leisurely, free guided Walk in the Park for the over 60s, including light refreshments.

Meeting place for start and finish:
Wednesdays July 11th and 25th (11am ending at midday): Art Pavilion near Green Bridge behind the Texaco petrol garage in Grove Road.
Wednesday July 18th  (11am, ending at midday): Ecology Pavilion near Grove/Roman Road traffic lights.

(Bus numbers 339, D6, 425, 277, 8 stop nearby)
For more information phone 020 8981 8104 or email Joan or Teanne 

Walking in the Park is sponsored by Active at Sixty

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Two Weeks to Park Life 2012

We've just two weeks left until this year's Park Life. Lots of activities including children's arts and crafts activities, face painting, a bouncy castle, t-shirt printing, outdoor sports, bicycle maintenance and artist stalls.

Park Life 2012
The Tower Hamlets Warden Service return with the extremely popular dog show which this year has, you guessed it, an Olympic theme. Our very own  'DOGOLMPLICKS' may not have the budget of our E20 neighbours but I bet they can't match us for creativity:
Men's 20m sniff'n'stroll 
Ladies' 15m strutt'n'pout 
Veterans' 10 m pant'n'flop 
Puppies posing 
Tail wag 
6 inch smile 
7 leg sprint 
Pairs legs display 
Owner look-a-like 
Olympic Fancy Dress 

You can download the flyer by clicking on the picture above or click here

If you are able to help in any way on the day then please get in touch. We need volunteers to help with tasks such as: helping to set up (10-12); T-shirt design table; Wardens for an hour or longer; manning the Help Desk; collecting Feedback; clearing site and rubbish collecting (4 onwards).

Hope to see you there. It should be great fun.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Free 'Photos from the Footpath' Course for the over-60s

Heron by the Ecology Park
Take a closer look at Mile End Park and the surrounding areas on a free 'Photos from the Footpath' course, organised by FOMEP in conjunction with Walk East

This five-week course is specifically designed for over-60's to look afresh at Mile End Park, using photography as a focus. On different walks each week, you'll discover the wildlife, waterways, sculptures and street life around and about Mile End Park. There's always something new to photograph, whether that's water beetles and wild flowers in the ecology park, architecture at Queen Mary University, cyclists on the Regent's Canal towpath, or a Victorian classroom at the Ragged School Museum.

The course runs on Friday mornings (10am - 1pm) between 22nd June and 20th July.   

You'll experience a mix of photography tuition, local interest and working together to create a group photo-book. The tuition is pitched at beginner level, though more experienced photographers are also welcome. Cameras will be provided if you need one, refreshments are included, and at the end of the course you'll receive your own copy of the group photo-book. 

To book a place, please contact Graham Barker by email ( or phone (0791 922 1806) as soon as possible. Please provide your name, address, contact number(s), age, and whether or not you own a digital camera you'd plan to use on the course. Based on past experience, these courses can fill up pretty quickly.

Here's the flyer with more information

Sunday, 20 May 2012


This year's Dog Show on the 8th of July is going to have an Olympic theme. Instead of the usual categories we have:

          • Men's 20m sniff'n'stroll
          • Ladies' 15m strutt'n'pout
          • Veterans' 10 m pant'n'flop
          • Puppies posing
          • Tail wag
          • 6 inch smile
          • 7 leg sprint
          • Pairs legs display
          • Owner look-a-like
          • Olympic Fancy Dress

I confess I've got no idea what most of these mean? Feel free to have a guess....

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Occupy Protesters in the Park

Fully Erect - but for how much longer?
Around 20 protesters from the Occupy anti-capitalist movement have been encamped in Mile End Park since the beginning of April.

On Wednesday, 9th May, Tower Hamlets Council obtained a court order to have the camp removed and this looks likely to happen within the next few days.

Whilst the Friends haven't received any complaints from members of the public about the camp, there have been reports in the press and on various websites that the protesters have been taking fallen wood and felling sycamore saplings from the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Nature Reserve without permission.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Active at 60

“I’d have liked to go for a walk in the park…but I’d no-one to go with…”

Could this be you, or someone you know ? It’s what someone elderly said to us last summer.

Look out for details of our free weekly walks, due to start this spring and carry on through the summer. We’ll be a friendly group on a short, leisurely, guided walk for the over 60s, including light refreshments, starting and finishing in the same place in about an hour.

Volunteers to lead the walks in partnership with Park Rangers are welcome.

Find out more from Teanne at or Joan at 020 8981 8104

Walking in the Park is sponsored by Active at 60, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions

Friday, 13 April 2012

Countdown to the 2012 Fun Day - Sunday 8th July

Photos from the 2011 Park Life

 We have just began organising the 2012 Friends of Mile End Park  (aka. Park Life). Make sure you pencil Sunday the 8th July in your diaries. I've already had friends ask "When's the dog show?". So now you know.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Music in the Park

I was doing the [quarterly] ironing the other day, with 4MUSIC on in the background when lo and behold I saw Mile End Park in a video from 19 year old Conor Maynard. Conor is being touted as "Britain's answer to Justin Beiber". It got me thinking, what other videos have been shot in the park?

I can only think of two others: Olly Murs' 2011 track "Heart Skips a Beat" (ft. Rizzle Kicks) which was also filmed near the skateboard park and David Gray's wobble-head self-parody "Be Mine" from 2003 filmed in my local, the Palm Tree.

Can you think of any other videos shot in the park? Let me know.

Thursday, 5 April 2012


 I regularly cycle use the towpath that forms the western border of Mile End Park either for a casual weekend stroll to the Pavillion Cafe in Vicky Park or on those days when I cycle to work. And I gave a Boris bike a test drive along it the other day.

Rarely does a trip go by without some kind of "incident". I've had dogs chase me, fishermen's poles trip me, migraines induced by cycle-mounted flashing strobe lights that seemed to be pointed right at my blue eyes. I do seem to have more mishaps than most.

The British Waterways towpath rangers are currently running a short online survey which gives all users of the towpath a chance to air their views. Last week I spent 2-3 hours giving out flyers for the survey and was amazed with the range of opinions people held. So whether you're a runner, [dog] walker, angler, cyclist or a mix of the lot spend a few minutes completing their survey. You never know you might even win the GPS prize.

Thursday, 8 March 2012


5 Docking stations within a stone's throw of the Park
 Today the Friends of Mile End Park, FOMEP to its friends, launches this our new website. Whilst Mile End Park has a facebook page already which is regularly updated, we feel it is important for the Friends to have our own independent site representing the views of park users. We have uploaded lots of photos from last year's Park Life Fun Day - dogs and all - and look forward to being able to speedily upload those from the forthcoming 2012 Fun Day.

It's good to see the Boris Bikes docking stations up and running (around 2,300 bikes in our borough) and I for one look forward to trying them out. There's a great little site that even shows which docking stations are busy to lessen the chances of me having to walk 300 yards only to find no bikes for hire.