Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Xmas Carol Night in Leabank Square

Pic: Zoulla

Pic: Zoulla

Pic: Zoulla

Pic: Zoulla

Pic: Zoulla

A wonderful night was had by all tonight down on the riverbank!!

Thank you to Rev Alan Piggott & friends from St Mary's Church in Eastway for the spiritually uplifting songs. Together with the residents - we almost brought the walls of the Olympics down - maybe next time!!

Thank you to Tracy and Simon for the fantastic mulled wine and barbie!! The evening was actually quite warm - but you four (Cosmo & Chester - their biscon frise's as well) really made the whole evening sizzle with your burning wood & delicious mulled wine!!

Thanks to Zoulla for you brilliant Xmas tree - putting the spirit into the lovely evening!!

Thanks to Stuart, Bella & Debbie - plus Debbie's mum - for the scrumptious cookies!!

Thanks to Nadira for the teas, coffees, hot chocolates, star & Xmas tree cookies & most importantly - glow sticks!!!

But most importantly - thanks to everyone who came along!! This is just the kind of community event the riverside was built for!! A brilliant evening with the best of friends!!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Hackney Wick Community Association AGM

This is a rather formal blog entry - but what it is - is an invite to attend the annual general meeting of our local Hackney Wick Community Association. Remember - this is your local association - and the more of us who attend this meeting - the more say we have over where it heads in the future!

We all have views about how the Community Centre is run - and now is the most ideal time to shape the future of this amazing place.

PLEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZ try and make it down to this very important meeting!!!

Public Notice

The Hackney Wick Community Association gives notice that the Annual General Meeting of the Board is to be convened 19 January 2009 at 7.00 pm.

For business to be conducted at this meeting we require a minimum of 25 Full Members of the Association to attend.

At the meeting it is proposed to elect three (3) Full Members to the Board of Trustees for the Association. Nomination forms are available to collect from HWCA, requested by phone (020 8986 1999) or email (h.w.c.a@btconnect.com).

Nominees must be Full Members of the Association and proposed and seconded by existing Members.

Members of the public wishing to become Full, Associate, Affiliated or Junior Members of the Association are invited to request a membership form using the above contact details or to visit our building to complete the form.

All residents of the local community within the Parish of St Mary’s of Eton are eligible to become Full & Junior Members. Residents outside of this boundary are welcome as Associate Members. Local training, education, sports, and other organisations with an interest in our community are welcome as Affiliated Members.

We look forward to welcoming you at our EGA.
The Board of Trustees
Hackney Wick Community Association
The Old Baths, 80 East Way, Hackney Wick, London E9 5JH

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Well Street Common User Group Photo Competition



Local residents are invited to contribute a photo of Well Street Common suitable for use as a Christmas/seasonal card.

The winning photo will be printed and cards available for Christmas 2009.
They will be for sale in aid of Well Street Common User Group projects.

Black & white or colour.
Preferably digital, by email attachment or on a disc.

Send your contribution to: Well Street Common User Group, c/o 18 Meynell Crescent, E9 7AS

Or email your contribution to: caro@carolinebousfield.co.uk

Give your name, address and phone number

Closing date 31 March 2009.


Thanks to Councillor Christine Boyd for this blog entry!!

Leabank Square Carol Singing

A great bunch of our neighbours know that we could ALL do with some cheering up at the moment!

The amazing folk at St Marys Church in Eastway http://www.stmaryofeton.freeuk.com/) have kindly volunteered to come and sing some uplifting carols for us here in Leabank Square.
On Tuesday 23 December............

They will be making their way down from the Pensioners Club (where we normally vote) at the top end of Hackney Wick Green (next to the Costcutters at the number 30 bus stop) all the way to the Leabank Square Green.

Once here (roughly 7.30pm) - they will welcome any carol singers from amongst us - to join them in cheering the whole Square up from the green. We will all then proceed to the Riverbank to see if we can drown out the Olympic noise with great music. There will be teas, coffees and mince pies for everyone to warm up with.

Once you have sung and had a cuppa - the procession will then make its way to the wonderful community centre at Living Space (41 Felstead Road) for another few songs. You are more than welcome to join the group for the short walk up Felstead Road.

We all know that Leabank Square is made up of many diverse religions, faiths, ideologies & creeds - but we have had a very rough year with all our trees chopped down and noise & dust coming over from the Olympic site - that no matter your personal beliefs - a great sing-a-long will do us all the world of good.

As the Rev Alan Piggott says - It will be wonderful for us all to just simply meet each other and have a cuppa & a few mince pies together!

Come on Leabank Square - lets get into the festive spirit - and have a great evening together.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Trees Trees Trees



As you can see in the pics above - the trees that we all spent years planting, watering, loving & picnicking below - are all gone.

It seems all the more sad to look at now - as the new alternative view is one of sand, trucks & dust!! But to top it all the Olympics seem to think that we can't see enough construction - and put up huge posters of more sand, trucks and dust!?!?

I have written to Georgia Sharp (Community Liaison Officer) and asked if she knows of any plans to Green the Greenest Olympics for us.

I'll let you know what she says as soon as she replies.

Letter sent: 3 December 2008
Hi Georgia

I hope you’re all well.

The time has come to talk trees. Or more importantly – greenery.

George kindly offered to offer me a place on a garden workshop a few weeks ago, but I wasn’t able to get time off work unfortunately. So maybe you have all covered this ground so to speak.

As you probably know – residents of Hackney Wick lost their fantastic trees and gardens all along the tow-path when the wall went up. Although we could see some of the taller trees that we planted for a while, they have now all been felled.

As this is the first winter without our community planted trees – the full impact of what happened has just hit us all with dreadful gloom.

Not only has all the greenery gone - it has been replaced with mud, machinery and construction. To go from one extreme to another in such a short time is having a profoundly negative effect of Leabank Square, especially those of us lucky enough to have waterfront views.

So my question is fairly simple, and I hope it has an equally fairly simple answer. Are there any plans to re-plant the tow-path along the Lea River Navigational Canal soon? By soon – I mean very soon.


Monday, 1 December 2008

Annual Leabank Square Xmas Lights

It's the first of December..... and that can only mean ONE THING!!!!!

The annual Leabank Square Xmas Lights Big Switch On!!!!

Each & every year 'Z' dazzles Leabank Square with her amazingly decorative light display. And it gets better every year!!

What about next year we have a band playing - with maybe mulled wine and mince pies - and a massive switch for 'Z' to turn on?!

Thanks Very Much to you 'Z' for bringing festive cheer and Sparkling colour to Leabank Square during these dark & grey days!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Hackney in Bloom

There have been loads of residents suggesting that Leabank Square enter into the 'Hackney In Bloom' competition next year.

What does everyone think?

We have some of the most talented gardeners living right amongst us all here, and if they all put their heads together, we should do quite well. The most often suggested theme is 'recycled' which seems like a great subject to tackle.

Please could anyone who is interested in entering Leabank Square into this annual competition - leave a comment - or send an email.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Get It All Out!!

Hackney Council have organised a fantastic meeting for all of us to talk about all things Hackney Wick.

It's up to us to ask who we would like to have a chat to. Who would we all like to ask questions of? Maybe representatives of local organisations, some local Councillors, some Olympic Delivery Authority representatives, some of the construction companies involved in the Olympics, Transport for London people, Park User Groups, Meg Hillier (our MP), etc.

Please add any comments suggesting people or organisations you would like to cat to on the day. I'll pass these on to some of the orgainsers, and hopefully we can get them down to Hackney Wick.

It will be at the Hackney Wick Community Centre on the 22nd January - and hopefully it will last late into the evening - so that those of us that work can still have our say.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Dear Jacques Rogge

(Open letter to Mr Jacques Rogge - President. International Olympic Committee)

Dear Jacques Rogge

Hi – you probably haven’t heard of us - but we are the residents of Leabank Square in Hackney Wick – right opposite your Olympic 2012 site.

I wonder if we may trouble you for a couple of minutes. To make this all the more enjoyable – we are writing this while drinking a delicious cup of coffee. Could we suggest you make yourself one as well – and we could pretend that we’re just two friendly neighbours, having a chat over a cuppa.

(Ready? Take a sip – mmmmmmmmmmmm – good isn’t it? Right let’s chat!)

You see Mr Rogge – we are the closest residential neighbours you have to the construction site – and we are very keen to stay enthusiastic about the upcoming Olympic Games.

We have written on these matters before – and to be fair – a few junior managers from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and (our local borough) Hackney Council have been to visit us – and promised us action – but I’m afraid things have only got far worse – which is why we are writing to you.

Leabank Square borders on the Lea River Canal – which in turn borders on the Olympic site. It is one of the only 3 residential estates which are neighbours to the site. The other 2 are also our neighbours – and are due to write separately to you on these matters as well.

(MMMMM – ours is Fair Trade Ethiopian – what’s yours?)

Right! Now - there are 3 main reasons we are troubling you today Mr Rogge:

First: The Noise.

Our Problem: The works on the site start up at 7.00am and finish at 8.00pm each day – from Monday to Friday (until 2.00pm on Saturdays & most Sundays). It is true that we have negotiated this 8.00pm stop – from a previous 10.00pm stop – but we still feel that 13 hours of very heavy industrial noise is far too unacceptable to us.

Here in the UK it is illegal for workers to work that long in any one day (which is why we hope your crews are doing shift work) – so we think it only fair that neighbours are also not subjected to heavy industrial noise for that long.

The ODA set up a noise monitor in our Square, and think that this is the only reasonable answer to the problem. The real problem for us Mr Rogge – is that – what are considered acceptable levels of noise for the ODA on the site – are completely unreasonable for residents who have their bed & living room windows only a few metres from the site.

Unfortunately – Hackney Council have given them permission to work at these levels – without even consulting us – indeed – saying that it was unnecessary to consult us. The environmental health team of Hackney Council promised to set up an independent noise monitor in our Square – but unfortunately - forgot to do it.

Unfortunately we had to resort to Britain’s Freedom of Information Act in order to get the data from your monitors – which are being legally scrutinised as I write.

Our Solution: We would like the works to only start up at a reasonable 8.00am – and to finish at a reasonable 6.00pm. We would like the acceptable noise levels to be brought into line with standard noise levels for a residential estate.

(We’re all taking another collective sip just now – please – join us!)

Second: The dust. (Don’t worry – there’s only one more!)

Our Problem: The levels of dust pollution are way far too unacceptable for a residential estate. BY A LONG WAY!! We now have a recorded increase in asthma and hay fever attacks since your construction work has started.

Again – the ODA feel that by setting up a dust monitor in our Square – that has solved the problem. Again – Mr Rogge - they visited us with flowing graphs & charts showing dust directions, promised dust suppression, photos of sexy bowsers, etc – but the levels are still completely unacceptable for a residential estate.

Again – Hackney Council have given the green light for the levels of dust coming over from the Olympic site – without consulting its residents & tax payers. The promised dust particle monitors they agreed to install – never materialised.

The residents themselves stuck two separate video cameras in two separate blocks to record the dust suppression the ODA promised us they were doing –and on an ongoing weekly basis – we have yet to see any evidence of such machinery or activities.

Again – we had to resort to the Freedom of Information Act – in order to get your British colleagues to release the data from your monitor – not very impressive Community Liaising is it?

Our Solution: Simply - deliver on the promised dust suppression no matter how much it is going to cost.

There must be non-stop spraying of any sand mounds, dust roads & construction.

And a GIANT plea for your Community Liaison team to either stop lying directly to us – or to get the construction companies to stop lying to them (& thus passing it on to us) – we are your neighbours – Mr Rogge – not some irrelevant local yobs - who will go away because the Suits have told us they have solved our problems.

(Whew – after that – we all deserve a chocolate biscuit with our next mouthful of coffee! This is such fun – isn’t it Mr Rogge? Just two neighbours getting to know each other a bit better – enjoying a relaxing chat over a mug of steaming coffee?!)

Lastly: The Legacy:

Our Problem: The whole London 2012 pitch was sold to your International Olympic Committee - and the rest of the world – on the basis of a long lasting Legacy for us here in Hackney Wick & surrounding neighbourhoods.

Some of us actually believed them so much - that we convinced sceptical neighbours of the benefits to come.

The London 2012 Legacy Paper is only due to come out in Spring 2009 – but yet the ODA sees fit to drip feed the British media stories of a diminishing Legacy each week. The cumulative result of this – is a very disappointed local population being readied for a zero Legacy – probably (& conveniently) on the grounds of the current credit crunch.

Our Solution: The ODA (& the London Development Agency & Boris Johnson & everyone else who promised you they would do this) need to actually start doing some very hard work in getting a very real Legacy for the very people who are being severely inconvenienced by the delivering of the games.

The odd glitzy road show or slick local presentation - is simply not fooling us any more. We want to know just what job opportunities are going to be created by which buildings left over from the games. We want to know exactly what leisure opportunities are going to be used by the local population once the games have finished. We want to know what local green areas are being created to replace Arena Fields (our local playing fields that took an Act of British Parliament for the ODA to legally take away from us) for us to enjoy after the games.

A few pathetic rose bushes & one large rock in the middle of an existing local green space – are not a real compensation for losing a massive local park – I’m sure you’d agree Mr Rogge?

We want to be told exactly how all this upheaval is going to benefit the people living through all this dust, noise, traffic congestion, etc.

We ABSOLUTELY DO NOT want another of your junior managers to have tea & biscuits in our lounge with charts, graphs, photos, etc spread out before them – actually lying to our faces with false promises and an empty Legacy chest.

We want to know that all this is worth it!

(Like us – We’re sure you’re down to your last few mouthfuls – so please make it last a tiny bit longer)

Mr Rogge – just in case you’re tempted to ignore or fob this letter off like your British colleagues - please let us assure you that we’re nice kinda people. There are some (not overtly nice kinda) people who are bemusedly watching us writing to you - not believing that you too, Mr Rogge, are a nice kinda guy.

We are trying our best to stave off their real and massive civil disobedience demonstration – that will severely set construction back a few years.

But what should be even more troubling for you Mr Rogge – is the perceived reputation that the Chinese Olympic Delivery Authority had in dealing with their local residents - will seem very reasonable – compared to how the London ODA is handling us.

Mr Rogge – when next you are in London – please do us the proud honour of popping around for a real cuppa. There is nothing like actually witnessing for yourself - the upheaval we are going through – and are due to go through for many years to come.

There is a great brand of biscuits here in the UK called Hobnobs, Mr Rogge – we would even break out a packet of them in your honour – should you take up our genuine offer.

(There…….. that was a great way to spend a few minutes – don’t you think? Let’s do it again sometime?)

Oh – we almost forgot – we have a Leabank Square community blog at:
http://leabanksquare.blogspot.com/ - but – to get a flavour of what the residents have been saying about the noise, dust & legacy lately – go to http://leabanksquare.blogspot.com/2008/10/olympic-noise-dust.html

That’s all – we think – yes! Everyone is due to get another mug of this delicious coffee – so if you’ll excuse us for now Mr Rogge……….

Friday, 31 October 2008

Gainsborough Footbridge Lift

Another piece of Hackney Wicks history disappears under the all enveloping Olympic Juggernaut!
Love it - or loathe it - the Gainsborough School footbridge has gone forever. Leabank Square was almost evenly split on this removal.
Most of the younger residents have fond memories of their classes traipsing through the concrete tunnel - from their playground - & onto the Arena Fields. There - they would either do sports, art classes, nature spotting or just eat their sandwiches.
Most of the older residents began to see it as a bit of an eyesore - let's face it - it wasn't ever beautiful. And when we put a request in a few years ago to plant the hanging gardens of Hackney Wick draping from it's roof down towards the river - we were told it had just been sold to the Olympic Delivery Authority.
Anyway - after a few false starts - (and delicious cakes, pasta bakes, olive & onion bread, teas & coffees) these pictures capture it's final few hours.
If anyone else has any other pics - please email them to leabanksquare@london.com and we can get better ones up here.
Always a pleasure to read the fantastic My London Diary - especially this entry: http://mylondondiary.co.uk/2008/10/oct.htm

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Air Ambulance in Leabank Square!!

There was quite a drama here during the week when London's Air Ambulance landed in Leabank Square.

When we still had Arena Fields over the river, the Air Ambulance used to land there all the time when there was an accident on the A12.

But then the government sold it to the ODA - and now they have to use the green in the middle of our square. Of course we welcome it wholeheartedly - and hope that the patient makes a speedy full recovery.

Beautify Leabank Square!!

And how about this excellent idea put forward from Colette!!

For far too long now we have had the unsightly viewing of the bin areas, re-cycling bins, re-cycling buckets the terraces have to put out in front of their doors, etc - to look at.

Let's face it - they will never be the most attractive part of Leabank Square to see.

What Colette suggests is that we build beautiful wooden structures around them all - and hide them behind with lovely flowers on top of them.

What an excellent idea!!

Not only will we hide the unsightly parts of the Square, but we'll be able to have more space for stunning flowers!!

What does everyone else think?

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Leabank Square Mosaic

Hi everyone

you will have noticed that I have been making small steps towards the completion of the Leabank mosaic (with thanks to my new friend Jackie). I would love to make the weekend the final stage and would like to invite all of you to come along and help finish it.

I will provide hot chocolate and buns if the weather is awful and cold drinks and sun cream if it changes! Lets make it a fun community thing to do.

See you by the bins at 2pm? Wear gloves and old clothes although I have some gloves and aprons.

We also need some interesting things to stick in the "square" part so if you have anything bring it along.

A special thank you to the kind donor of the lovely palm tree ceramics which you left by the wall.

See you Saturday

Please feel free to add any comment about this blog entry! Simply click ‘comments’ below & you can tell us all what you think. You can use your own name, a pseudonym, be anonymous, or even join blogger yourself. The more we all discuss Leabank Square – the more we all feel part of it!!