Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Flats Proposed to replace Texaco Garage in Grove Road

A planning application has just been submitted by Sherrygreen Homes Ltd to build flats on the site of the existing Texaco Garage in Grove Road. The application proposes 17 new dwellings (4 x 3 bed town houses with roof top terraces and 13 flats (5 x 1 bed, 7 x 2 and 1 x 3 bed) together with associated amenity space, refuse store and cycle store.

FOMEP have looked at the plans in some detail, but would greatly welcome your views on them. Certainly the flats are higher than anything in the vicinity and seem to, metaphorically at least, encroach upon the park.

With some of the southern parts of the park being given over to CrossRail, and the northern end of Wennington Green dissected by huge wooden boardings whilst flats are built at Bow Wharf, it seems we may also have this middle section turned into a building site for at least 18 months.

Please do let us know what you think. 

Monday, 19 October 2015

Small but perfectly formed litter-team

Well our last litter-picking session was a bit of a poor show, which was a pity as it was wonderful weather. Even so Team Coffee Room led by Pamela and myself assisted by Princess Fendi of Grand Union Place ,managed to fill 5 bags from the area bordering Copperfield Road.

There wasn't a single litter bin in this area and so I'm going to put in a request for one to be sited there. Most of the litter seems to originate from drivers parking-up and throwing litter out of their cars and there was also a large number of small resealable poly bags discarded by drug users.

Next time let's see if fok from Grand Union Place and Mile End Residents Associations can  join us.

Halloween Adventure: Zombie invasion

Monday, 5 October 2015

Our 3rd Litter Pick - Sunday October 11th 10-12 midday

The Friends of Mile End Park's 3rd Litter Pick will be next Sunday 11th October 10-12 midday. Meeting by the Ragged School Museum we will make our way northwards, litter-picking as we go, and hope to "deep clean" the park all the way to the Green Bridge. We'll then swap litter for lattés as we relax for a coffee [and cake!] courtesy of Pamela and the crew at The Coffee Room.

If you'd like to join us then please drop me an email or just turn up. Litter pickers, bin bags and gloves are supplied. Please dress appropriate for the weather and I'd suggest wearing sturdy boots rather than heels or flip flops.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Eureka! Art Pavilion

Eureka! Art Pavilion is the final group exhibition of the Osmosis Machine tour which is a kinetic glooping tower installation which evolves and grows into colourful patterns and stalactite formations. The critically acclaimed art work received the visitors choice award for "The Neo Art Prize 2013" and since then "Osmosis Machine" has toured extensively from the Newcastle "Centre for Life Museum" to "The Newlyn & Exchange Gallery" Cornwall.

The exhibition should be especially appealing to young people and families with its exciting use of colour, motion and sound to stimulate interest in science, discovery and the Arts and includes free gloop-making workshops (see below).

The exhibition runs 10-5 daily from the 21-31st October in the Art Pavilion, which encompasses Tower Hamlets' half term.

Eureka! Art Pavilion is a coming together of many arts and science enthusiasts. All the artists’ works are inspired by science and discovery in some way and between them deal with or suggest fundamental physics, liquids, kinetic energy, sound frequencies and light waves. 

The Exhibition will have a festival feel with a focus on making the arts and sciences more accessible to families and encouraging young people into science, engineering and the arts. 

The work comes from diverse backgrounds and disciplines and includes award winning artists Grenville Davey winner of the 1992 Turner Prize and Virginia Verran winner of the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2010. The show also celebrates up and coming artists like Zoe Schoenherr the Leverhulme Trust Artist-in-Residence 2015 based at UCL engineering. Other cross disciplinary engineering based artists include Tom Wilkinson, Samuel Zealey and Tine Bech. 

2015 also sees the UNESCO International year of Light which is a global initiative which highlights the importance of light and optical technologies in the lives and futures of developed societies. As part of this celebration Eureka! has invited David Medalla to make a new version of his famous interactive piece entitled 'THE COSMIC TYPEWRITER : homage to dsh', 

A launch event will contain music and projections followed by two days worth of workshops and an open discussion debate with Physicists from Queen Mary School of Physics and Astronomy. 

Participating artists: 
Adrian Pritchard, Dr Jasmine Pradissitto, Grenville Davey, Michael Ward, Tine Bech, David Medalla, Robert Moore, Tom Wilkinson, Samuel Zealey, Zoe Schoenherr, Andrew Stahl, Virginia Verran, Clare Chapman 

Scientists Talks
29th October 6pm-8pm Dr Kostya Trachenko. Open discussions Physics - Lazy Liquids 

24th & 31st October Free Gloop Making Workshops 

The workshops are free and are specifically aimed at encouraging younger audiences into physics and the arts. The workshops are run on a first come first serve basis and are designed specifically for younger audiences ages 7 upwards who must also be accompanied by an adult. Class sizes can accommodate up to 30 people and are performed twice daily on Saturdays 24th and 31st of October. The workshops are at set times only 10.30am-12pm & 2pm-3.30pm 

The exhibition and workshops will be held at "The Art Pavilion" which is a deluxe arts centre set amongst a green park close to Mile End tube station and which is owned and managed by Tower Hamlets Council. 

This event is brought to you by Osmosis Projects Supported by Tower Hamlets Council and Arts Council England

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Our Second Litter-Pick

21 bagfuls of litter collected
Sunday the 13th September saw FOMEP's second official litter-pick. This time we concentrated on the area of the Park between Roman Road and the railway line just south of the Climbing Wall. We collected 21 bagfuls of litter including oddly lots of Growing Concerns plastic pots which made a change from the usual haul of Rubicon Mango cans and 350ml Smirnoff Vodka bottles.

We also found a large amount of dumped carpet rolls and a couple of coffin-sized polystyrene blocks (presumably used by boats for additional buoyancy. We have reported both of these on FixMyStreet for Tower Hamlets Council to deal with.

The most shocking find of the day was the huge amount of "officially" dumped rubbish behind Grove Road's Britannia Fish Bar. The shop stores it's waste in a couple of "euro" bins just inside the park. The problem is more food waste and general rubbish seems to have found itself into the undergrowth than in the bins. We have reported this tip to Tower Hamlets Council as it will undoubtedly attract rats.

And finally a favour.... I help run a group that, on a voluntary basis, helps remove litter from the Hertford Union and Regent's canals. If you pop into the new Tescos in the Roman please can you cast a vote for the Lower Regents Coalition (at customer services desk) as we are in with a chance of winning £1000 which would really help us in our work and help make the waterways of Tower Hamlets nicer places to visit. Many thanks.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Our Clean Sweep

Thanks to those who came along yesterday morning for our inaugural Friends of Mile End Park Litter Pick. It was a friendly, social occasion and we were blessed with scorching hot weather.

There were eight of us (Catherine missed the group photo as she was still litter-picking away) and it was so hot we had to alternate between climbing Mile End Mound and the refreshing coolness of Chris' Wood. We collected so much litter that we used up all the Capital Clean Up refuse sacks and Ken had to go and shop for more.

We concentrated on the area between the Grove Road railway bridge and the Green Bridge. As you might guess there were lots of tin cans, drinks bottles and (my pet hate) styrofoam kebab & chicken containers; but we also found two pairs of shoes, an inflatable bed, two chairs, a Co-Op shopping basket and a roll of blue barrier fencing. We even managed to recruit another volunteer on the hoof, Bart from Clinton Road, and we hope he can make the next event.

We clocked off a little bit earlier than planned and then had a well earned iced-coffee or two courtesy of Pamela, Awet and the crew at The Coffee Room.

We plan to continue these litter picks throughout the year and I'll let Friends know when the next one is. We will probably concentrate on the area between Roman Road and the Grove Road railway bridge.

Postscript: Just after Bart took the group photo I managed to lose the brand new camera which put a real downer on the day. But low and behold, this morning I got an email from a cyclist Pete who had found it. Camera and owner are now reunited. Thanks Pete. Excellent detective work.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Park Litter Pick - Sunday 9th August 10-12PM

Thanks to all those who replied suggesting dates and times for litter picking. We have gone with the most popular time slot: this coming Sunday 9th August between 10-12PM. 

Please meet by the Art Pavilion in Clinton Road (behind the Grove Road Texaco Garage).

Litter pickers, gloves and refuse sacks will be supplied. Please wear suitable footwear and clothing. 

It isn't too late to sign up. Just drop me an email, but don't forget children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Afterwards we will pop to the Coffee Room for a drink and some cake.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Help keep the park litter-free: Monthly litter-pick

We are always looking to help make our Park a better place for both people and wildlife. Recently we were given a litter picking kit by the Mayor of London and are now looking to organise our first litter-picking/cleanup event.

Ideally we would like to meetup once a month reaching the areas other litter pickers don't reach. Each event will last around two hours with all equipment (ie refuse bags, gloves, litter pickers) provided. Please wear suitable footwear and clothing. To start with we will limit numbers to 12 volunteers. Under 16′s must be accompanied by an adult.

Afterwards we will pop to the Coffee Room for a drink and some cake (thanks Pamela!)

Interested? What time slot works best for you? Click on the litter picker below and you'll be taken to a page where you can tick what dates/times work best for you and we'll go with the consensus.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Five-year-old girl Alexia Walenkaki killed by falling tree in Mile End Park's Children's Play Area

A five year old girl has been tragically killed whilst playing in the children's play area off Locksley street. Alexia Walenkaki was playing in the park on Friday when the accident occurred involving the collapse of a tree supporting a zip wire.

The police and an ambulance attended and found the girl was in cardiac arrest. She was taken to the Royal London hospital where she died  at 18.43hrs.

Further details are available from the Metropolitan Police and Evening Standard websites

Anyone who witnessed the incident should call the police on 020 8345 3715.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Mile End Sports Hub: Every Wednesday 4.30-6.30PM

Every Wednesday 4.30-6.30PM a group known as the "Mile End Hub" meet up. Michael Gainsborough-Adam explains:

"We believe that life in Tower Hamlets should be much more than just computer games, school and TV. We’re here to offer young people in the borough a whole range of sports, physical activities and excursions that are stimulating, exciting and, above all else, fun! Come along and get involved in BMX, delivered by Tower Hamlets BMX Club, for everyone aged 12+ and for all abilities. The hub also includes the Urban Adventure Base who offer opportunities to get involved in skateboarding, climbing, kayaking, archery & many more!"

If you want to get find out more then give AccessSport a call on 020 7993 9883

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Our Community Fair & Dog Show: Saturday 20th June 12-4PM

Our Annual Community Fair and Dog Show is just days away - NEXT SATURDAY.

We will have something for people of all ages including: Bouncy Castle, children's rides, coconut shy, facepainting, the "smoothie bike", food stalls & vans, the Women's Institute with their legendary cake stall,  the Tower Hamlets Wheelers with their Dr Bike, and a belly-dancing troupe!

Of course there will be the Dog Show which is always great fun. Don't worry if you haven't been before - it's no Crufts (unless they too have a best thing on 6-legs categories). The Dog Show starts at 2PM with registrations from 1PM. There will be Dog Agility demonstrations from 1PM. The PDSA will be on hand and will have a range of doggie treats for sale (all money goes towards their work).

Premier Pet Care from the Isle of Dogs are providing the Dog Show prizes for winners and runners up.

I look forward to seeing you there - I tend to loiter near the ice cream van.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Art Pavilion Exhibition: PhotoSpeak "Changing Places" 16th-24th April, 11-7PM

PhotoSpeak 'Changing Faces' is a collection of very special portraits, self portraits and photographs revealing the essence of 15 East London families. taken over 12 weeks by members of those families. A colourful and personal insight into the photographers, their loved ones and their world. 

Due to the vast range of ages taking part in the project we can see clearly and honestly, ways in which our communities have changed through the generations and what it is that truly makes our communities what they are. 

'PhotoSpeak' Changing Faces' was led by artist Liz Clough, photographer Jacqueline McCullough and theatre practitioner Leanne Mcleish. It was hosted by Community Links and sponsored by the London Legacy Development Corporation and London & Quadrant. 

Initially PhotoSpeak was a project designed by community education specialist Trina Geasley, and aimed to combat issues affecting local women by applying a community education method to the running of a photography project. 

It ran for the first time in 2013. Working with 8 local women, Artist Liz Clough, photographer Jacqueline Mccullough and Community Education Specialist Trina Geasley ran a 10 week project rooted in respect and collaboration between all those involved. It culminated in beautiful photographic portraits of 50 East London women. The beauty of the project was its true representation and celebration of real women in real communities in London, created not by one Artist but by members of those communities. An empowering and unusual method of working and one that has been continued throughout the latest project. 

Conversations took place with over 100 women and their hopes for a future generation were recorded. It was this text that truly illuminated their portraits and touched those who came to see them. 

Opening Times: 11-7PM

Monday, 9 March 2015

Our Annual General Meeting: Monday 30th March, 7.30PM at the Eco Pavilion

The Friends of Mile End Park AGM is on Monday 30th March at 7.30PM in the Eco Pavilion. Please do come and join us if you can.

As well as the short formal proceedings outlined below, it is also a good opportunity to meet and socialise with fellow park users and some of those who look after and manage our park.

1. Apologies for Absence  (to our secretary Joan in advance)
2. Minutes of last AGM
3. Matters Arising
4. Election of Officers
5. Confirmation of revised Constitution
6. Chair’s Report on Activities & Developments
7. Treasurer’s Report on Finance: Annual Accounts
8. Future Events:
a) Dog Show &  Fair (delegated to its planning group)
b) Suggestions invited
9. Any Other Business
10. Date of next Committee Meeting

Light refreshments provided.

I hope to see you there

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Art Pavilion Exhibition: Between Faith and Art (5th - 29th March)

How relevant is religion today? And how relevant is it for contemporary art? 

This is a large collaborative show with international artists which focuses on the relevance of religion in our society today, and the relevance of religion in contemporary art expressions and how artists choose to approach the purposely broad umbrella very individually.

Launch event on Thursday 5th March as part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s First Thursdays Programme, with a formal opening from 6-9pm. Many of the artists will be present including Norwegian artists Benjamin Ellingsen and Tara Rolfsen and UK based artists Kris Emmerson and Dallas Seitz. In addition, curator Synnove Ellingsen who will perform an excerpt from a performance piece in the directly adjacent Art Park called "Meet Me At Checkpoint Eternity".

On the 8th March, just a couple of days after the opening, there will be a panel debate on religion and art in our society in the Art Pavillion 6-8 p.m. Participants will be a Norwegian Priest, Interfaith activists, Islamic scholar from East End mosque and other faiths and artists from the exhibition. All invited.

Opening Times: Tuesday to Sunday 11am - 7pm, with late opening on Thursdays until 9pm

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

MISBEHAVIOUR Art Exhibition & workshops: 14-22nd Feb, 11-7pm most days

The Exhibition will have a number of events and workshops, with stuff  being added all the time, so check their website to keep up-to-date and for more information about the exhibition.

Twitching Fri 13 February 2015, 8pm
An opera happening by Catherine Kontz
The performance is a free aspect of the exhibition opening.

The Book Thieves Sat 14 and Sun 15 February, 2–4pm both days
Paper cutting workshops by artist Caroline Misselbrook. Books and craft knives will be provided for you to create literary mischief, cutting words and illustrations into pages and changing meaning and context.
This creative and mischievous workshop is suitable for beginners as well as those wanting to brush up their skills. All tuition, tools and materials are included in the contribution.

£5 per person

Mischief-Makers and Furry Dogs Tue 17 February, 1–3pm
A practical workshop afternoon with Arteast, a public art and enterprise group based at Bromley by Bow Centre run by people with learning disabilities together with artist Frank Creber. 
Arteast look forward to meeting you and involving you in their Papier Mache workshop, where you will design a misbehaving creature and learn the basic skills enabling you to realise your design in 3D. Suitable for families and children 5+. 
This event is free but voluntary donations to support the work of Arteast are gratefully received.
Booking and information

Where’s My Boozer Gone 2–4pm
Conversational afternoon with The Geezers, a group of senior gentlemen who are running a project about the disappearance of pubs in the local area together with artist Lucy Schofield.
The Geezers look forward to meeting you and sharing their stories, and their findings of how the disappearance of social focal points affects the Bow and Mile area – as well as many others.
This event is free but voluntary donations to support the work of The Geezers are gratefully received.

Screenprint Your Very Own Misbehaved Friend
Sat 21 and Sun 22 February, 11am–2pm and 3–6pm both days

Screenprinting and collage workshop by Jairo Zaldua and Nicola Green.
Join Jairo and Nicola to create your very own wild and whacky misbehaved characters.  A creative and imaginative workshop that combines screenprinting and collage and is also suitable for beginners.
All materials and tools are provided as well as the opportunity to complete and take home your eye catching creations.

£8 per adult, £5 per child
Booking and information

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Najma Akter : Songs From The Abyss

A collection of abstract artist Najma Akter's work entitled "Songs from the Abyss" opens the Art Pavilion's 2015 season this weekend.

Najma is a modern artist from Bangladesh and is one of only a few whose forte is abstract painting. The diverse and energetic body of work on display at the Art Pavilion is a testament to the skills she has acquired along with a wide range of influences from the key figures in 20th Century art from across the globe. She completed an B.F.A (Bachelor of Fine Arts) and M.F.A. in the Oriental Arts Department of Institute of Fine Arts at Dhaka University, the city where she still lives.
Her early training allowed her to master a variety of techniques including water colour washes which have fed into her later works in terms of layering and transparency and though she has developed her oeuvre from the figurative to the abstract while always utilising the lyrical fluidity which is not only central to Oriental Arts but reflects the monsoon climate which is typical of Bangladesh. 

The power of nature as exemplified by the rainy season ties in with her love of landscape and the watery liminal spaces inhabited by marshland and rivers which were the outdoor backdrop to her childhood. Indeed nature, memory, and emotional states of being are all prevalent themes which are reflected though her use of textures and colours which range from evocative but dark and sombre palettes to more vibrant and joyful hues which sometimes allude to the earth or sky and are sometimes more obviously rooted in the urban environment. 

In addition to having attended workshops, symposia and artists residency programmes in a number of countries, her international stature is growing through solo exhibitions in Kolkata (India), Agartala (India) Penang (Malayasia) and Berlin. This is her first exhibition in London. Most of her work is acrylic on paper or canvas
The exhibition runs from Sat 7 Feb 15 - Mon 9 Feb 15 at The Art Pavilion, Mile End Park, Clinton Road, 12.30 -9.30PM

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Some Titbits of news

Palm Oil
"The Palm Tree. Regent's Canal" London. 8"x10" oil on canvas. "Painted in the rain and cold but so worth it." @josedejuanart  

First off, sorry it's been so long - I can't believe the last posting was Halloween. Here's a wonderful oil painting of the Palm Tree which I hope makes up for my silence.

Fingers crossed 2015 will be a good year for the park. Usually this time of year we are busy applying for grants, and whilst we are still doing that we are also trying our hardest to find a sponsor for our annual Park Life event (yep that's the Dog Show to you and me). We are also trying to get some funding from the Bow community ward forums (they have a combined pot of £20,000 to distribute to suitable causes operating in the Bow East and Bow West wards).

In December we applied for funding for a series of guided walks in the park, and whilst we were unsuccessful with that application, we have another on the go -fingers crossed we will get it.

In just a few days time the Art Pavilion starts to host some art exhibitions for what I think is only the second exhibition in almost a year. I'll be posting about this exhibition and the programme of shows shortly. Let's hope the venue returns to its former glory.

Finally, if you would like to get more involved in helping our Friends group then please do drop us an email: info@fomep.org.uk We only meet around three times a year for at most a couple of hours each time.