Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Parks after Dark: Ditch the Witch (Friday 31st October - 6-9PM)

This Friday is the annual Halloween "Parks after Dark" tour. Details are below and don't forget booking is essential. The event consists of a scary tour around both Victoria and Mile End parks with stories at certain points and scares throughout the tour. If you are a big kid there are varied volunteer tasks from helping to set up earlier in the day to dressing up to be a scare along the route and storytelling.

Please let Dave Hime at Victoria Park know asap if you are interested in helping out with any of the above tasks on 020 7364 7968 or

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wakeboarding on the Art Pavilion Pond

Mile End Park features in a recently launched promo for Monster high energy drink. It was filmed during August. I  hope you enjoy the video.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

FOMEP Committee Meeting - Ecology Pavilion (7-9PM)

The next Friends of Mile End Park Committee Meeting is this coming Thursday at 7PM in the Ecology Pavilion, Grove Road. The agenda is below:

Agenda Item
Apologies for Absence (please send in advance to Secretary)

Minutes of Committee January 2014
Matters Arising
Dog Show & Fair feedback and future events -  
Niki Stevens, John White, Debbie Frazer, Mohammed Raja
Finance – John White
Arts Pavilion development  - John White
Condition of the Park – John White
Constitution revision – John White
Proposed Winterville Festival – Jane Preston
a)Website blog & membership  - John White
b) Committee membership: more needed
Date of AGM, next Quarterly Meeting in Spring 2015
and future meetings.

The time-scale is a guide showing the latest time each item would end approximately if we are to complete the Agenda. Some items may be shorter and some may need to be referred to a sub-committee for fuller discussion. 

PLEASE NOTE: This is an OPEN meeting and you are welcome to attend (for all or part of the meeting if you prefer). If you are unable to attend but would like to comment on any item above then please email Joan our secretary.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

In June, a few weeks before our July Dog Show & Fair, I saw a plea on Streetlife from a mum whose 7-year-old daughter, Lulu, was keen on slipping her [small] toes into the world of business.

A few emails later and before we knew it the day had arrived with Lulu one of the first to layout her stall. The midday downpour didn't dampen her spirits and within an hour Lulu was busy serving customer after customer. This is Lulu's story.....

Really well done Lulu! - You are an inspiration to us all to just get out there and make our dreams happen!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Park Life 2014 - Dog Show & Fun Day

It is just a week to go until the 2014 Dog Show & Community Fair. This year we have a good mix of rides and things to do including fair rides, face painting, a magician and clown, lots of community stalls, Dr Bike and last but not least the Dog Show, which has been totally revamped this year.

Please do come along it looks like as great lineup.

If you are able to help setting up in any way (e.g setting out the dog show area or putting out tables and chairs then please email me

Monday, 19 May 2014

Art Pavilion Update: Council threatened with enforcement action by the council!

Two regular towpath walkers discover the venue locked up of a weekend. 

At our public meeting on the 10th of April the Council claimed converting the Art Pavilion to a wedding venue didn't require planning permission. WRONG! The Council has just written to the Council threatening itself with enforcement action for an unauthorised change of use from an Arts Pavilion to a wedding venue. (Yes you read that right!)

The letter can be viewed here (I have redacted the council officer's name for privacy reasons).

The meeting was very well attended with 56 members of the public coming along and a large proportion of those speaking. Not one member of the public spoke in favour of the plans. Many arguments and views were put forward including: concerns about noise, parking, anti-social behaviour and the general effect on the local residents; artists objected to the loss of a wonderful venue; the loss of access to the Pavilion loos; the loss of access to the island - the list was long.

Many of you will have noticed that the island has been fenced off already and the works begun with the distinctive Art Pavilion sign being boarded over.

Meanwhile our letters to Mayor Rahman and our Freedom of Information Requests remain unanswered. The FOI requests were submitted on the 21st March and are now massively outside the 20 working days statutory reply period. This means the council is in breach of the Freedom of Information Act 2000

John Biggs, the Labour Mayoral candidate, has personally promised to review the plan if he is elected on Thursday.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Art Pavilion Meeting - from 7PM

This meeting of the Friends of Mile End Park is your chance to let Tower Hamlets Council hear your views on turning the Art Pavilion into a wedding venue. Light refreshments will be available in the Eco Pavilion from 7PM with the meeting starting at 7.30PM prompt.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Art Pavilion to become a Wedding Venue

Tower Hamlets Council have decided that the Art Pavilion in Mile End Park is to be used for weddings instead of Art exhibitions every year from June to August inclusively and perhaps running into May and September.

This decision was made in a closed session of the King George's Field Charity Board (which is a committee consisting of the Mayor and his cabinet) on the 29th of January in a meeting attended by 3 out of the 10 members of the board. The meeting, which had a very long agenda, lasted 40 minutes. The Friends of Mile End Park were not consulted about this proposal and were informed of the decision afterwards on the 4th of March. We were also informed:

  1. Extra catering facilities including taps & sinks, a cupboard for cleaning equipment, a storage room for tables and chairs, and a room to accommodate five people in privacy signing the marriage register;
  2. Metal gates to be closed to exclude park users from the island area and Pavilion, including the toilets, during  private functions.
  3. A marquee will be an option to be erected on the Park.

FOMEP have numerous concerns:
  1. Why was the decision made in secret?
  2. Why weren't park users or those living nearby consulted?
  3. Why was the application to the Superintendent Registrar for a license to conduct weddings at the venue made months before the Charity Board approved of the proposal? 
  4. Is this change of use to our Millennium funded building legally permitted?
  5. The withdrawal during weddings of toilets needed by park users, especially the elderly and young children will greatly affect park users. 
  6. What affect will this have on Regents Lake, the wedding venue located in Bow Wharf on the former Jongleurs/Bar Risa site?
  7. Should the council be setting itself up in direct competition to a nearby growing business?
  8. Parking by wedding guests will cause great inconvenience to the residents of Clinton Road
  9. Undoubtedly what is at present a peaceful and calm part of the park will be become noisy.
  10. Most of the Art Shows take place over the summer (lighter) months and to limit its use to the winter period would effectively lead to its closure as an art venue. 
For many years the Art Pavilion was underused, but for the last two years or so it has been transformed by a volunteer curator, so that more often than not, there are free public exhibitions on every week. These bring in quite a substantial income (the Art might be free to look at, but it isn't usually free to exhibit!).

Above all else we, The Friends of Mile End Park, regret the loss of what has become a great free local art venue where you can pop in, grab a coffee, and have a look whilst having a walk in the park. To fence off the lake area, erect a marquee, bar access to the toilets and drinking water will affect park users greatly and would ruin this area of the park.

If you share our concerns regarding this change to the park please do come along to the next Friends of Mile End Park Meeting on Thursday 10 April at 7.30 pm in the Eco Pavilion (as the Art Pavilion is closed from the1st of April to allow the necessary building work to begin). Steve Murray, Head of Arts and Parks has confirmed he will attend.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

IRAQ: A Hidden Legacy (3rd-9th February at the Art Pavilion)

Tomorrow sees the launch of the Art Pavilion's first exhibition of 2014. Entitled IRAQ: A Hidden Legacy, it is London based photojournalist and documentary photographer, Matt Cetti-Roberts' reflections on his time in Iraq over a ten year period:  firstly as a British soldier on tour and more latterly working as a photographer with Iraqi journalists. The exhibition runs until next Sunday.