Sunday, 28 February 2010

Last Chance to see Lesney's Matchbox Factory

The historic Matchbox factory - Lesney Industries Ltd - is going to be completely demolished this week.

I know 2 separate residents here in Leabank Square who used to work there - and a whole lot more in the wider Wick. If you want to say your goodbyes to this iconic building - a few of us will be taking a few flasks of tea to the towpath opposite - tomorrow at 3pm.

Even if you never worked there - you would almost definitely have pushed around a Matchbox car as a girl or boy. If you still have one or two - why not bring it along to show the rest of us.

The Matchbox name started in 1953 as a brand name of this British toy company - Lesney Products (named after its co-founders Leslie and Rodney Smith), which had been founded in 1947 as an industrial die casting company.

I know we are all going to welcome our new neighbours who will occupy the new creative/residential development - but it is still a sad time for some of us.

See a few more pics at:

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Hackney Wick Flea Market a Great Success!!

Hackney Wick bid a fond farewell to the Main Yard Gallery today with a great Flea Market.

As we all know - the building is due for imminent demolition - and that's why it was lovely of Man Hon Luk to site one of his amazing Flea Markets in this gallery. There were many amazing stalls - but of course - we need to big up Isabelle and her delicious French (of course) onion soup. She did Leabank Square proud while Martin kept MartabelleK open for the rest of the Wick.

I was particularly chuffed to bargain an amazing saw for the gardening club - Wow - thanks Dirk!

Anyhow - if you missed the Flea Market - check the pics out. There are more at:

Wick Woodland Management Day - Sunday 28

Heaps of green volunteers are hosting a woodland management day around the corner at the Hackney Community Tree Nursery tomorrow.

Steve and Annie are great friends of Leabank Square - and have donated many items for our gardens - so the least we can do is return the favour - and help out between 10.30am and 2pm tomorrow.

So if you are interested in this lovely way to spend a Sunday morning - please meet at the Tree Nursery in Hackney Marshes. Just turn off Homerton Road - into the car-park where we all get our compost. On the right hand side you'll see the nursery.

You will be amazed at what you can learn about coppicing, wood management, mushrooms, and of course - just how much more space is being taken away by the Olympic Juggernaut!

Please come on down.

Friday, 26 February 2010

‘A Great African Scandal’ a film by Dr Robert Beckford

We are currently in the midst of the annual fairtrade fortnight where all the great people, groups, charities and foundation, get together to promote the many invaluable reasons why we should all buy as much fairtrade products as possible.

If you’d like to know more please check out

As a celebration of fair-trade fortnight, Hackney’s famous Arcola theatre has got together with the tower hamlets and hackney FT groups to present a free screening of ‘The Great African Scandal’. The film sees lecturer and broadcaster Dr Robert Beckford investigating Ghana’s economic poverty despite its natural wealth in minerals and stable democracy.

The film will be screened at

St Mark's Church Hall,
Colvestone Crescent, Dalston,
Hackney, E8 2NL (between Sandringham Road and Ridley Road)

Tuesday 2 March 2010

6.30pm -7.30pm

Film goers will be invited to stay and chat after the film screening and enjoy a cup of Fairtrade tea or coffee and a slice of cake.

For more information, please contact Rachel Carless, Arcola Theatre’s Sustainability Projects Manager, at

0207503 1645

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Hackney Wick Flea Market - Sat 27.10

The next Hackney Wick Flea Market is on again this Saturday in 2 locations this time!!!

Locations - Main Yard Gallery, 90 Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, london E9 5LN and the Stour Space Designers Market

This message from the unstoppable Man Hon Luk:

Hey you,

Unlike Brick Lane Market, one will need determination and desire to be at these
two markets in Hackney Wick this Saturday.

Beside the overground is not running (Until late May), Wallis Road market is
located on the second floor of a building that is scheduled to be demolished
very soon, while at Stour Space you will find yourself unable to escape the
continuous consumption of mulled wine.

There are over 20 stalls from home made foods to hula hoops, already signed up
for Flea market, though there are still space if you wish to join us. At Stour
Space Designers Market you will see the best up and coming talent from London
based Designers/Makers!!

So if you feel you are up to it, please invite ALL your friends through Facebook

Hackney Wick Flea Market -;

Stour Space Designers Market -;

Best of luck finding the strength to see us this Saturday,

Hon AKA Vinyl Pimp

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Invitation to debut show @ Formans Smokehouse Gallery

Your Invitation to the Opening Reception of East Meets East
the debut show at Formans Smokehouse Gallery

Thursday 4th March 2010

Please RSVP to:

Formans Smokehouse Gallery
Stour Rd
Fish Island
E3 2NT

Nearest station: Pudding Mill Lane DLR
Or for Leabank Square Residents – just over the ‘O’ Bridge which is opposite Omega Works

For more information see:

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Kung Hei Fat Choi!! 2010

Have a brilliant New Year - especally all you tigers out there!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Fly Tipping - AGAIN!!

It seems that - no sooner have we cleaned up the last lot of dumped rubbish - than the scumbags have been at it again!

Please - everyone - please be on the lookout for whoever is driving into Leabank Square - and making our lives that little bit messy. All the cops want is the number plates - but if we can take a pic or two - without being caught - then all the better.

If we don't get these people stopped - then it will only get worse.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Help Clean Up our River Lea!! Towpath Tidy 2010!!

We've just had a brilliant invitation to help clean up the canal with British Waterways.

I know some of us have been invovled in these annual clean-ups before - but we need many more volunteers to help out this year. It is always a lovely fun-filled day - and we get to meet many more of our neighbours from up & down the canal!

Felicity McClintock from British Waterways says: Hackney’s event will cover the stretch from Leabridge Road (Princess of Wales Pub) through to the towpath opposite you on Saturday 13th March.

*********** Towpath Tidy London 1st to 14th March 2010 *****************

We are calling on volunteers to come and help us spring clean our waterways.

Volunteers are needed to put on their boots and take part in British Waterways’ Towpath Tidy 2010 – coordinated activity days which will take place along targeted stretches of the capital’s waterways between Monday 1st and Sunday 14th March 2010.

Everyone is welcome, with activities ranging from litter picking, planting, painting and graffiti cleaning, floating litter removal to cutting back towpath vegetation.

To find out how you can get involved and to register for one (or more) of the events, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Karen Fishwick on

mob 07917 424590, email:

to visit all Towpath Tidy listings and locations in the country. You may also want to follow Towpath Tidy on Twitter and Facebook.

Eight London locations

Brent Reservoir (Monday 1st March)
Bishop’s Stortford, Stort Navigation (Monday 1st March)
Ealing (3 sites), Grand Union Canal, Paddington Arm (various dates)
Hackney, River Lee Navigation (Saturday 13th March)
Kingsland Basin, Regent’s Canal (Saturday 13th March
Slough Arm, Grand Union Canal (Wednesday 3rd March)
St Pancras, Regent’s Canal (Saturday 6th March)
Stockley Park, Grand Union Mainline Canal (Thursday 18th March)

Please note numbers may be limited at some locations depending on works and facilities so it is important you let her know if you would like to join us.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

Felicity McClintock
Water Quality & Environment – Project Coordinator
Lower Lee Valley Waterways

British Waterways London
1 Sheldon Square, Paddington Central, London W2 6TT
Mob: 07 500 226 139

Come on Leabank Square - let's get the other side of the canal all cleaned up as well!!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Overground Closes for 16 Weeks.

As we said way back in October last year ( - our beloved Hackney Wick Station closes for 16 weeks from this Monday.

It's one of those 'jam for tomorrow' stories - 'cos when it re-opens - we should have the best service of any line in London!! So please look at previous blog entries for very helpful hints during this time.

Of course - we could all beg & borrow (never steal!! a bicycle from friends & neighbours - and join about a quarter of the Square cycling around the Wick.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Starlings of Brighton Pier

During the middle of this week, the family decided to take an impromptu trip to the seaside. Brighton was the seaside of choice as we hadn’t been for so long and it’s convenient to get to, being only a short journey from Waterloo.

Not many people would consider venturing out to the coast during one of the coldest London winters but a primal urge was calling us to be by the sea. All Londoner’s should make an effort to be by the sea at least once a year. In winter the sea air and sea views will distress and calm your London spirit. You will leave feeling relaxed, invigorated and soothed, even if you’ve only just spent a day there.

But if you visit Brighton for no other reason than to see the natural spectacle of the Brighton Pier starlings, then this alone will make it truly worthwhile.

It was nearing dusk and we were skimming pebbles by the beach, when we noticed a few faint black clouds in the crisp winter sky. As we observed the clouds intently, further black clouds blew in and merged together to form an enormous cloud that appeared to be moving in an erratic but fluid motion. We were totally enthralled and rushed up to the East Pier to take a closer look. We soon realised, that these smoky clouds were in fact a gigantic flock of starlings. There must have been tens of thousands of starlings putting on the most beautiful sunset dance for us.

We watched and watched until the sun dipped below the sea and these amazing birds eventually took cover underneath the pier and settled in for the night. The show may have come to an end but as we walked across the pier we could still hear their noisy, chattering, bedtime conversations.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Make Your Hackney Council Tax Work!!

A couple of years ago, Maria gave us a brilliant website called FixMyStreet ( to use to report any broken street lights, fly-tipping, dog poo,potholes, abandoned cars, graffitti, broken paving, businesses spilling out onto sidewalks, etc in Hackney Wick.

Please use this amazing website to get more value for your council tax. All you do is report something you don't like around our streets - and they send it to the relevant department in Hackney Council - and keep reminding them to fix it - until they do.

And today, José told the team cleaning up this weeks fly-tipping about a mobile phone App coming soon as well. It's called Citizens Connect - and it will do the same thing. Apparently - you can take a photo with your phone, send it in, and it will work out exactly where it is through some clever GPS software.

Please don't assume someone else is going to do it, please just do it yourself, and then sit back & watch Hackney Council work on your problem.

Take That!! Fly Tippers!!

Thank you so very much to everyone in block 62 - 73 who turned out this afternoon to clear up the horrible mess dumped in front of our door.

What would have taken us a whole day to clear up - was done in a couple of hours!

Thanks to Matt, Adam, Wayne, Paul, Tony, Dee, Sóna & Nadira - who all really worked hard making the sidewalk and road clean and sparkly again. With neighbours like these, Leabank Square is a lovely place to live in.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Birds of Leabank Square - Kestrel

High Up in the Tree

A Poem by Shanthi, Safiri & Nadira Abantu-Choudhury

He sits perched high up in the tree
Such majestic presence and beauty
Watching, waiting, until oblivious ones stir
Be very careful, little ones of fur

Eyes that can see far and wide
There will not be much time to hide
And yet he sits and waits amidst the urban blare
Quietly focused with a stealthy glare

Now that we have glanced upon this creature of prey
We long to glimpse his beauty for just one more day
But who knows if he will return to the old Sycamore
We cannot say, for this is the way of nature’s law

He sits perched high up on the tip of a tree
Below him flows the River Lea
And beside the lost fields of Hackney Wick
He’s probably feeling slightly sick