Thursday, 30 November 2006


"It doesn't matter to what degree you become involved whether it be as a runner, organiser, or social supporter. We want you. Remember though that being a member of VPH&THAC isn't just about fitness, it isn't just about friendship; it's more than that, it's truly a way of life."
Wayne DuBose, Life Vice President

So – the Olympics are just around the corner! Do you have a 9 year old & up son or daughter who you reckon could be a Gold Medallist?!

Well – why not get them around to Victoria Park Harriers for a life changing event? Not only will they bring home a Gold Medal for Leabank Square – and let’s face it – they can walk home from the stadium with it – they will start on a healthy & fun road to life-long happiness. Just ask Chris Akabusi!!

Victoria Park Harriers & Tower Hamlets AC formed in 2001 bringing together two well-established clubs with over 100 years' experience of providing athletics for the local community in Tower Hamlets, Hackney and the City of London. The Club is a charitable trust (Registered Charity No.1091712) which aims to provide a friendly environment for the local community to take part in athletics and associated social activities.

VPH&THAC membership is open to anyone, regardless of standard, ages 9 years and older.

The Club has its own substantial headquarters at St.Augustine's Hall, Cadogan Terrace, Victoria Park which provides changing, showering, a hall for indoor training, a weights room with multi-gym and free-weight equipment, a meeting room and a licensed bar. The Clubhouse is open five days a week and its use is free to all full Club members.

The Clubhouse is located on the edge of Victoria Park giving direct access to the traffic-free running environment provided by the Park, the local canal towpaths, Hackney Marshes and the River Lea towpath.

In addition, the Club uses the 8-lane, floodlit track at Mile End Stadium, Rhodeswell Road for track & field training on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and at weekends.

The Club provides numerous coached groups for a range of different athletic events and also brings in outside coaches in the few events it is unable to cover itself.

How to join
There are two types of members we're looking for.....road runners and track & field athletes. Any age from 9 upwards, male or female. Any ability.

If you're aiming to run a mile in 10 minutes or aiming to win an Olympic Gold Medal, we want you to join our club. Actually, we're also always looking for people to join and be trained to become officials, coaches, timekeepers, starters, whatever is needed to run a club of hundreds of members. No experience necessary.

If you're interested in road running, simply turn up at our Cadogan Terrace HQ on a Tuesday or Thursday and be ready to run at 7 pm. Ask for the training organiser and he/she will ensure you're put with those of similar ability.

If you're interested in track & field, simply turn up at our home track, Mile End Stadium on Rhodeswell Road, E14 on a Tuesday or Thursday at 6:30 to 7 pm. Click
here for more specifics of the track.

Ask to speak to one of the VPH&THAC coaches who'll give you advice as to which group to train with.

If you're interested in joining to get involved more on the organisational side, then send a note to the e-mail address below.

Bear in mind that the first two weeks are absolutely free to give you the time to decide whether you want to join or not.

Annual Subscriptions:
· First Claim Senior Men and Women - £80
· OAPs - £50
· Second Claim, Associate, 18 - 19 year olds, full-time students, unemployed - £20
· 13-17 - £20 plus a free club vest
· Age 17 and under - £5
If you have any questions, please send them to

See you at the club!

Please see:

Seize the moment.

‘Be the change you want to see in the world’
Mahatma Gandhi

Salsa Dancing

Did you know that there are salsa dancing lessons just right down Berkshire Road – at the Old Baths?!

What are you waiting for?

This is a great way to learn a new vibrant dance style – and make great new friends from around Leabank Square & Hackney Wick.

Who knows – we may all see you representing us on Strictly Come Dancing soon – and you can definitely count on our vote!!

These are on Thursday evenings from 7-8pm.

For info call 020 8986 1999 or e-mail:

Report dumped rubbish to Hackney Council.

If you see some rubbish on the streets around Leabank Square – it’s very easy just to go ‘tsk tsk’ and do nothing about it.

And quite good fun too – because going ‘tsk tsk’ is strangely addictive.

But if you ring up Hackney Council – they’re obliged to come & clean it up.

Simply store this number 020 8356 4810 in your mobile – and next time you spot some rubbish on our streets – give them a quick call.

It’s a win-win because the street looks nicer – and you get something back for your council tax.

Spend time with someone from a different generation.

Talk to old people – they know cool stuff you don’t.
Talk to young people – they know cool stuff you don’t.

Did you know that there are 5 full sized tennis courts right down the road in Viccie Park?! And did you know that they are the cheapest around?

For only a few quid an hour – you can have as much fun as you want knocking the ball around.

Whether you are a serious Wimbledon contender – or simply just want to get a bit of exercise – these are ideal courts for you to have a go on.

The courts are not bookable – so you just go down & play. Sometimes in summer you may have to wait a while for a court. But for most of the year you could really just turn up and pay at the court.

Hey!! – if there are any tennis players in Leabank Square – please make yourself know to the rest of us – so that we can get a regular group together.
There are also a few tennis coaches who use the courts – so if you think that your daughter or son could be a future Wimbledon champ – just ask around for a couple of coaches numbers – and you could be at centre court cheering them on in a few years time!

Turn off appliances at the mains.

A TV that’s on standby is still using half the electricity of a TV that’s turned on.

And a video recorder on standby – uses almost as much electricity – as one playing a tape.

Switching that little ‘standby’ light from green to red – doesn’t actually do you – or the planet – much good.

It’s still costing you money – and wasting electricity.

Fancy a movie?

You don’t have to travel up to the West End to catch the latest blockbuster – we have fantastic movie houses a few minutes from Leabank Square.

The closest are just one stop from Hackney Wick – at Stratford.

Just get off at the Stratford Station & walk through the shopping centre to Stratford Picture House. There are 4 screens there so you are assured to catch a movie that be to your tastes.

If you are over 60 – then you’re in for a great treat! Each Wednesday you can see any of the first matinee performances of any film for just £2! And this includes a complimentary tea or coffee & biscuits at the very relaxing café/bar upstairs.

For kids between 3 – 10 year old there is a fantastic Kids Club on Saturday mornings at 10.30 am. There is a half hour of fun & games & activities – with the movie starting at 11.00am. This is £3 per child or adult – but there is a concession if you join the Kids Club membership.

Please visit:
for an up-to-date listings of the current movies.

Then there is the Rio Cinema at 107 Kingsland High Road in Dalston, Hackney.

Just take the number 30 bus from St Mary’s Church – and get off at Dalston – and walk down for a couple of minutes – and you’ll see this beautiful Art Deco building. That’s it!!

There is a children’s morning show on Saturday morning again – starting at 10.30. This costs £1 per child – and £2 for the accompanying adult – very cheap! This is brilliant fun for kids – and adults too!

There is also a fantastic Parents & Babies Club – where you can get a few friends who also have babies – and all go down – and not have to worry about normal cinema go-ers shushing when Precious decides to shout for milk! These are on different days – so you need to check the website for days (see below).

Please visit:
for an up-to-date listings of the current movies.

So there you are – why not knock on your neighbour’s door and ask them if they fancy a movie sometime. It only takes a few minutes to get to them.

It’s impossible to sing out of tune in the bath.

Chats Palace

If you think you are a creative person & are looking for like-minded people to bounce ideas off of – then look no further than Chats Palace.

All you have to do – is hop on the S2 bus at the end of Berkshire /Wallis Road – and it’ll take you straight there.

Chats Palace is a community arts centre in Hackney in the east end of London. They have occupied and developed the striking former Homerton Library building since the mid-1970s, and have been a registered charity since 1981.

The Centre currently comprises a flexible performance space (capacity 96 seated or 250 standing), a bar area which is also used for informal performances, a rehearsal studio, a meeting / study room and a workshop, as well as office space. The ground floor (main hall and bar) has full level access, but there is unfortunately no wheelchair access upstairs.

The Centre hosts over 200 performances a year in various disciplines including music, cabaret, theatre and dance. Thier performance programme blends professional companies with local talent and self-generated events, including performances by Chats’s Youth Live! performance groups, outreach projects, workshop participants, and the Carnival Club, which brings out a MAS Band for the Notting Hill Carnival every year.

Chats Palace also develops arts-based programmes and events with, for and by people old and young from a range of different ethnic, cultural and geographical communities in the Borough of Hackney and its immediate surrounds.

Hackney is the second poorest borough in the UK with one of the most diverse populations. Chats is also situated within the Homerton / Hackney Wick area, a densely populated inner city zone with three priority housing estates and many of the indicators of social exclusion. The Centre is funded by Hackney Council for work with children and young people, and by the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund for outreach work within the Hackney Wick communities.

Chats has a longstanding reputation combining excellence and inclusivity, as a "Beacon of Light" to the surrounding community. Where there is such diversity alongside severe poverty and deprivation the need for creative expression and assisting people to make their voices heard and communicate their message is paramount.

Please, PLEASE, PLLEEEZZZZZZ go & have a cuppa in their café & have a look around – there is something for everyone there!

Check out:

Why not turn your thermostat down by a degree?

Spot the difference?!

If you turn your thermostat down by one degree – you can save on average £25 a year.


Anyone interreted in a regular game of golf? Did you know that there is a 18 hole par 3 golf course in Hackney Marshes?

It is an amazing course with a friendly café attached to it. There is a driving range for whacking the balls as hard as you can into this massive net. Then there are the wonderful greens and course ways set into & around a bird sanctuary & the River Lea.

It is a great course for all ages to get to grips with golf – even if you’ve never played it before. You never know – there might just be the next Tiger Woods living right amongst us in Leabank Square!!

For more info on this amazing golf course – please visit:

All this is only a 15 minute walk from Leabank Square along the canal & through Hackney Marshes footie fields, over the red Friendship Bridge – and turn right.

If you don’t want to walk – then why don’t a few of you jump into a car and follow this map:
Is there anyone in Leabank Square that is good enough at golf to show the rest of us which way round to hold the clubs? If so – please leave us all your name & contact details for us all to get in touch with you.


It takes half as many
muscles to smile
as it does to frown.

And it makes you
and others feel twice as good.


If you are ever stuck with what to do with your toddlers in the colder winter months – then here are a few warm indoor ideas you may want to consider:

The first is a trip to the fantastic Museum of Childhood. It’s very easy to get to by foot or by bus.

By foot – you simply go through Viccie Park – and go out of the Approach Road gate – go down approach Road and then right into Old Ford Road. At the top where it intersects with Cambridge Heath Road you’ll see this magnificent building on your left – that’s it!

By bus – just get the number 26 or 388 from St Mary’s Church – and after 10 mins - get off at the Museum.

This great building is absolutely brilliant for kids & adults alike. There are displays of what kids played with ages ago – and then there are indoor sandpits, oversized games, costumes for dressing up in, loads of floor space to run around in & even a café if you want to have a tea break.

Check the website out (below) for soft-play times, craft sessions, and talks:

Then there are two indoor play centres about 20 mins travel from Leabank Square.

The first is Zoomaround in Stoke Newington. Simply take the train westbound from Hackney Wick & get off at Cannonbury stop (5 stops away) and it’s 10 minutes walk down through very posh houses.

This indoor play centre is brilliant for your toddlers - & will keep them moving & entertained for hours while you sit back and have lunch in the café. There are kids portions of the excellent food as well – so they won’t get hungy.

In summer the courtyard is opend as well – and there are a few rabbit hutches & a sand pit too.

For directions on how to get there – please visit:

A bit closer to Leabank Square is Kidzmania. It’s in Clapton E5 – so you need to catch the number --- bus from just outside the square – and get off at Lea Bridge Road - & it’s a minute’s walk from there (check out the directions at their website below).

This is also a fantastic indoor play centre – with three different slides all ending in the ball pool. It has a separate section for babies where the older kids can’t accidentally bump them while going mad & working off steam.

The café is brilliant as you can keep an eye on your kids while have a cuppa & sarnie.

For directions on how to get there – please visit:

Then just one stop away from Hackney Wick – in Stratford is the incredible Discovery Centre. When you get out at Stratford Station – simply follow the signs to the Discovery Centre.

It is a fantastic place to stimulate a young child’s imagination with incredible staff telling stories & making crafty things with you & your kids. There are different rooms filled with touch-screen displays, mood lighting, exciting noises & even indoor dens.

It has a fantastic garden with lovely playground for those not too cold days.

Please check out:

Another great place to take your toddlers in winter is the library in Stratford. Just hop on the east-bound train here in Hackney Wick one stop to Stratford – and walk through the shopping centre & follow the signs to Stratford Library.

It has a massive separate children’s room – with loads of floor space to run around in. There are soft play areas, story telling sessions, craft trays, and of course millions of books for all ages.

There is also a café attached to the library – but you have to go through the adult section to reach it.

Check out: for more details.

Well – as you can see – there is plenty to do during the colder winter months – for you & your toddlers. Before you go – why not knock on your neighbour’s door to see if they would not maybe like to go with you too.

Try watching less TV.

Rearrange your pictures.

Make a card.

Write a song.

Go swimming.

Revert to childhood.

Stay up all night.

Go visit someone else in Leabank Square.

Change your hair colour.

Turn left instead of right.

Massage someone.

Shave something off.

Read a book.

Plant a seed.

Listen to the radio.

Play badminton in the middle of Leabank Square....

WOW!! Check this out?!

Aren’t these amazing statues to have in your square?

Not everybody is a fan of giant modern art sculptures – but you have got to admit – these look pretty spectacular!

This particular sculpture comes from just across the other side of Viccie Park in the ------------ estate. You can see them from the entrance at the top of Bethnal Green market – and they really do draw you down to the square.

Can you imagine how unique & welcoming a sculpture like this would be in the green at our entrance would be?!

We could have say – posy of purple forget-me-nots, or a bunch of massive yellow sunflowers, or how about an oasis of giant green palm trees – anything that will make our fantastic Leabank Square look very different from every other estate around!?

Of course – none of us could afford it – but if enough of us really want to make our square memorable to everyone who visits it – then surely we could start asking around for a regeneration grant, an artist to donate a design, some of the Olympic money that that seem to want to spend on us – that kind of thing – and maybe – just maybe………..

Take public transport when you can.

A double-decker bus carries the same amount of people
as 40 cars.
And it’s going there anyway.

Victoria Park

Victoria Park

Or Viccie Park – as almost everyone in Leabank Square calls it – is a wonderful oasis of calm, peace & tranquillity just 5 mins walk from your door.

One of London’s best kept secrets, Victoria Park is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon. Inside the park's boundaries countless varieties of trees stripe the skyline: oaks, horse chestnuts, cherries, hawthorns and even Kentucky coffee trees. The park is split in two by Grove Road.

The smaller, western section contains the most picturesque of its lakes with a fully functioning fountain and the imposing Dogs of Alcibiades, two snarling sculptures. Retreat to the quiet of the Old English Garden, a floral haven brimming with flowers and shrubs. Have a peek into the deer enclosure and let the kids run off some energy in the children’s playground. In the 1830s, a local movement was formed to campaign for a park in the East End, one to rival the Royal Parks of the West End. A park - it was argued - would benefit the local population by making them healthier as well as helping to fight disease, an important social concern for Victorian society. The campaign was successful and Queen Victoria, an active supporter, gave permission for the park to be given her name.

The 218 acres of land for Victoria Park was purchased by the Crown Estates and James Pennetone appointed the designer. This area was known as Bonner Fields, named after Bishop Bonner, the last Lord of the Stepney Manor. Bonner Fields was spoilt land with brickfields, gravel pits, waste ground, market gardens and through it ran Grove Road.

Victoria Park started to be laid out in 1842. There was never an official opening! For even while it was being built, the Park began to be used by the public. By 1845 Victoria Park was in general use.

Magnificent Victoria Park from the start offered the public a variety of attractions: swimming, cricket, gymnastics, rowing, model yacht racing, a sandpit, aviary, athletic track, paddling pool, bandstand and dancing, just to name a few. The Park also had wide avenues, beautiful gardens, lakes, bridges, pagodas, aviary and a palm house, as well as two stone seats from Old London Bridge.

A magnificent gothic drinking fountain , with four clocks, green copula and purple slate roof, was donated by Angela Burdett-Coutts in 1862. In 1936 an outdoor art-deco swimming pool, The Lido, with blue and white tiles, was built on the eastern side of Grove Road.

Administration of Victoria Park passed through a number of hands: 1851 Board of Works, 1855 Metropolitan Board of Works, 1888 London County Council, 1965 Greater London Council, 1986 the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney.

Victoria Park from its opening became famous for its public meetings. In 1848 the Chartist rallied there. Then during the Great Dock Strike of 1889, the striking dockers were addressed by Tom Mann, Ben Tillet and John Burns. In fact, it was a tradition that whenever an important proposal was to be voted on local dockers would rally at the Park.

During the Second World War Victoria Park, with allotments, anti-Aircraft Batteries, Barrage Balloons and the Home Guard, became part of the Home Front. Also the land was used to fill thousands of sand bags. After D-Day it housed German-prisoners-of-War.

The Lido was closed and demolished in 1989 and is now a car park. In 1994 the whole of Victoria Park came under the administration of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Why not boost your constitution and have an enjoyable day out at the same time, as you explore the many attractions of this glorious park.

Please check out:

Learn one good joke.

Make people laugh at you.

Laughing tones your stomach – lowers your blood pressure – and makes you healthier. It’s scientifically proven.

Even the concentration of salivary immunoglobulin A is raised by laughing – and this guards our respiratory tract from infectious organisms.

But that in itself isn’t very funny.

Unlike the story about the bloke who goes into a department store & asks a sales assistant ‘Do you have a complaints department here?’

‘No we don’t’, replies the assistant, ‘you ugly fat git.’

Ice skating?!

Did you know that there is a massive ice skating rink just ten minutes cycle along the canal from Leabank Square?!

Of course it’s an ideal way to cool down on those hot summer days – but it’s equally a fantastic day out for the horrible winter days – to get some energy worked out of our kids. Don’t worry if you’ve never skated before – there are professionals to make sure you get all the help you need.

There are also Disco Nights where loud funky music played with a great light show & heaps of new friends to be made. This is a perfect evening out for our teenagers in Leabank Square!!

Please get a great bunch of Leabankers together and head off to: a great time!!

Give your phone number to 5 people in Leabank Square.

Talk to strangers.

Start next door.

They could help you
You could help them
You could make new friends

Plant a tree.

Here’s something fun for you & your kids to do.

Pick up an acorn, or a conker, or save a mango pip, squash a fig & gather some seeds, spit out some apple seeds – whatever tree you’d like to grow – just put the seeds in a small pot with soil – and watch the magic.

Then keep re-potting until it gets big enough to fend for itself.

Now do something radical – like finding a patch of unloved ground in & around Leabank Square – and plant it!

You will make all of us neighbours so very happy in a few years time when a stunning oak tree gives us shade – or we can pick some figs or apples.
And you can sit back & smile at how you’ve contributed to our fantastic neighbourhoods well-being!

Leabank Square is surrounded by fantastic markets in all directions – so get out there and snap up very cheap bargains!

Bilingsgate Fish Market - Tue-Sat 5am-8:30am
Take the train from Hackney Wick to Stratford – the hop on the brilliant DLR driverless train to Canay Wharf – and you’ll see the market below you on the left hand side.

If jellied eels, potted shrimps, winkles and cockles all take your fancy, then London's most famous fish market - Billingsgate - is well worth a visit! As the UK’s largest (it covers an area of 13 acres) it trades a huge amount of fish and crustaceans each year, in fact over 35, 000 tonnes worth. Although mainly restaurant owners, hoteliers and those in the catering trade buy here, as it’s an open market, members of the public are also welcome.

Please check out:

Brick Lane Market – Sundays only – very early to about 2.30pm
Take number 388 bus from St Mary’s Church & get off at Brick Lane stop.

Part of the fun is following the side streets to see where they lead and picking the jewels out from the junk. You'll find things to wear (leather is a speciality) and eat as well as lots of items that might "come in handy one day". It's easy to get side-tracked by the many stalls and boxes of collectables.

If the aroma from the beigel bakeries doesn't tempt you, the Bangladeshi restaurants probably will. Expect to find anything from furniture to fruits, kitchenware to kitsch and odd boots to bangles.

Open from early morning until about 14.00 (Sundays only) - allow plenty of time to see it all as the market stretches into Cheshire Street and Sclater Street.

Broadway Market - Saturdays from 9am to 5pm
Take either the number 26 or 388 busses from St Mary’s Church & get off at the Regents Canal stop – walk along the canal to the next lock & follow the sign for Broadway Market. Alternatively – cycle through Viccie Park and along the canal to the well sign-posted Broadway Market.

Organic rare breed pork, veal and venison. Sea food and fresh fish. Organic and conventional tomatoes. Handmade cheese butter and butter milk. Organic fair-trade coffee. Organic breads, cakes and pastries. Health products and clothing, including USA street clothes and vintage clothing from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Broadway is a great little market that is expanding rapidly and enjoys a tremendous reputation among food fans everywhere. It's worth the trip down there as there are a tremendous variety of goods and the prices are well below those at the more famous markets in town.
Please check out:

Chapel Market - Tue-Sun, 9am-6pm
Take the number 30 bus from St Mary’s Church to the Angel stop in Islington & follow the signs to Chapel Market.

Despite the market's stall holders worrying that Islington's new N1 Centre will adversely affect their trade, Chapel Market remains (for the time being at least) a popular shopping haunt with locals and tourists alike. Selling a wide variety of goods, including clothes, fruit/vegetables and household goods, it's also just a stone's throw from restaurants on Upper Street such as Walkabout, Cuba Libre and Granita.
One great tip – there is a key-cutting stall that has got to be the cheapest in all London half-way down the market.

Colombia Road Flower Market – Sundays Only – very early to about 2.30pm
Take number 26 bus from St Mary’s Church & get off at Colombia Road stop.

Columbia Road has a wonderful atmosphere and the market is fringed with quirky shops and cafes, where customers compare purchases and swap stories of gardening triumphs.

Tucked away in an unlikely side street in the heart of the East End - Columbia Road feels like your own secret bit of London. The magic starts as you spot the first signs of the market - people whose faces are hidden by great armfuls of plants and flowers they've just bought.

Follow the trail and immerse yourself in a colourful world of plants and pots, flowers and fresh coffee. There are over 50 flower and plant stalls selling quality and often unusual, plants at bargain prices. Columbia Road's characters are just as colourful as the plants, with their ready patter and gardening advice.
Come early to beat the crowds - or late for a last minute bargain!

Islington Farmers' Market - Sun 10am-2pm
Take the number 30 bus from St Mary’s Church & get off at the Angel stop in Islington & follow the signs to the Islington Green.

This is a very popular Sunday market with a wide-range of produce, including meat and cheeses from farms within 100 miles of London. As well as fruit and vegetables, you'll also find specialist butchers (selling traditional English sausages), egg sellers, jam stalls, mustards/sauces, ciders, wines and fruit juices.
Also check out:

Petticoat Lane Market - Monday to Friday, and on Sundays from 9.00 to 14.00
Take the number 26 bus from St Mary’s Church & get off at Liverpool Street Station & Follow signs to Petticoat Lane.

Probably the most famous and oldest of all London's street markets, Petticoat Lane was established over 400 years ago and still attracts visitors from all over the world. The Huguenots who came to London from France sold petticoats and lace here but the prudish Victorians changed the name of the Lane and market to avoid referring to woman's underclothes!

The market actually takes place in Wentworth Street on Monday - Friday, spreading on Sundays to become even bigger with 10 separate trading streets including Middlesex Street. You'll find bargains of every kind, including new clothes from well-knows chain stores as well as leather goods, watches and toys.

Ridley Road Market – Mon-Wed, 9am-3pm, Thu 9am-midday, Fri/Sat 9am-5pm
Take the number 30 bus from St Mary’s church & get off at Kingsland High Street stop. Turn right – walk along for a couple of minutes & it’s on your right hand side!

Known to locals as Dalston Market, this is the place to come if you've a penchant for Asian, African, Caribbean and Mediterranean food stuffs. This market is absolutely fantastic for browsing & people watching. It’s a great place to come for cheap fruit 'n' vegetables, exotic spices and Asian specialities.

There is also a super beigel shop half-way down the market. Don’t forget to check out all the shops behind the stalls as well – you’ll be so happy you did!

Roman Rd Market - Tue/Thu/Sat 9am-5.30pm
Take a walk through Viccie Park – and go out of the Parnell Road gate over the canal – along Parnell Road & turn right into the market.

Great to visit, and so easy to get to, Roman Rd is a traditional East End market which hails from the turn-of-the-20th-century. With stalls selling all manner of goods, including fruit 'n' veg, beauty products, shoes, clothes, hardware, records, army surplus and souvenirs, its enhanced all the more by decent food stalls and the East End favourite - pie and mash shops!

While you’re there check out the amazing charity shops as well – you’ll pick up even more bargains!

Spitalfields Market - Mon-Fri 11am-3:30pm, Sun 10am-3pm
Take the number 26 bus from St Mary’s Church – and get off at Liverpool Street Station & follow the signs to Spitalfields Market – it’s only a minute away!

Whilst the future of Spitalfields is set to change dramatically in the next few years - this late 19th century market is a great place to find yummy Italian/French breads, German cheesecakes and organic food, together with gifts clothing, crafts and knick-knacks. The food court, where most world cuisines are represented (including Chinese, West Indian and Hungarian) is among the best you'll find at any London market. If visiting on a Sunday, be sure to visit the Brick Lane market too!

The posh restaurants are starting to push the food stall out – but there are still enough of them to have a decent cheap meal – and make new friends at the communal tables too!

Walthamstow Market - Mon-Sat 8am-6pm
This is a bit trickier to get to if you don’t cycle – but well worth it! Take the tube from Stratford to Walthamstow Central – or the overground from Hackney to St James's Central. If you’re lucky enough to be on your cycle – then go along the canal to the Café @ Springfield Park – and follow the signs to Walthamstow Market.

As Europe's longest street market, Walthamstow boasts over 450 stalls selling everything from clothing, shoes and costume jewellery to traditional fruit 'n' veg, knick-knacks, fabrics and books. Along the way you'll find restaurants, cafes and pubs, while on Sundays there is also a farmers/arts and crafts market.

There are also heaps of charity shops along the market so be sure to check the shops behind the stalls too.

Whitechapel Market - Monday to Saturday from 8.00 until 18.00
Take the number 388 bus from St Mary’s Church & get off at Brick Lane stop. Walk down to the other end of Brick Lane & turn left – ta daaaaa!

Whitechapel is a long established, thriving local street market opposite the famous Royal London Hospital, right by the Whitechapel underground station.
It offers bargains galore for people working in the area and the local Asian community. Come to grab a bargain everyday from Monday to Saturday from over 80 stalls selling everything from fresh fruit to fish, clothing, bedding, carpets, jewellery and electrical goods, all at unbelievable prices.

The nearby East London Mosque ensures a steady stream of visitors and many stalls now sell Indian spices and exotic vegetables as well as great quality silks and saree fabric.

So as you can see - Leabank Square is spoilt for choice when it comes to getting bargains. One of these markets is open every day for you to invite your neighbour - and get some treats in for you & your family.

Change a light bulb – and see what you can save.

An energy saving light bulb might not seem cheap – but over it’s lifetime – it could save you £65 – and a lot more besides.
Like the planet – for example.

Hackney Wick Community Association

Why don’t you nip down Berkshire Road to the Old Baths one day MON to FRI: 9am - 10pm?

This is our very local Community Association – and they would be only too happy to let you know all the things that go on there.

But – if you have a great idea for us all to become involved in like chess tournaments, ballroom dancing, karate, drama classes, music lessons, film clubs, still life painting, whatever you have an interest in – why not run an evening event there.

All you need to do is chat to the amazingly helpful staff there about it – leaflet Hackney Wick & Leabank Square – or put up a page on this site – and see us all flock to join up!!

For more information about the Hackney Wick Community Association – please check out:

Come on…….. lets make Hackney Wick the Wickedest place to live!!

Bake something for a neighbour.

Ready, steady, give.

Here’s a sure fire way to make more friends in Leabank Square:

Gingerbread People.

110g of softened butter
110g of sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
220g of plain flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground ginger

Heat oven to 180°C.
Cream the butter & sugar.
Beat in the egg & syrup.
Sift in the dry ingredients & mix.
Chill the dough before rolling onto a lightly floured board – to 5ml thickness.
Cut into shapes of people.
Bake on a lightly greased tray for 8-10 minutes.

Then knock on anyone in Leabank Square’s door – and give them a delicious surprise.

The fishing pond in Viccie Park is now fully stocked with all kinds of healthy specimens.

For anyone who hasn’t been down the road & over the bridge recently – the fishing pond had a beautiful landscaping done to it last summer. There are loads of decking areas to cast off from – and the fish they stocked up with last year should all have grown considerably.

There is nothing as relaxing as spending an afternoon at the lakeside – with a hot flask in winter – or a cool drink in summer. Time just drifts by & you feel the whole weight of the world lift off your shoulders.

As there are some very enthusiastic anglers from all around Viccie Park – you’ll never be short of friendly advice should you need it?

But also have a chat to some of your neighbours – there are loads of Leabankers who know a thing or two about fishing along our bankside as well – so they’ll give you loads of tips for catching ‘the Big One’.

Check out:

Just remember to take your camera – and record your massive catch for this blog-site – so that the rest of Leabank Square really has to believe you when you say it was ---------------------------------- this big!

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Give blood.

The medical side effects of giving blood:

Slight Euphoria
Puffed up chest
Broad smile

Please visit:

Number 26 Bus!

This bus route starts outside St Mary’s Church – in Eastway – and ends all the way down at Waterloo Station across the Thames.

From start to finish – it takes about an hour – and it’s a great bus to get for people watching – as it goes through so many diverse boroughs of London.

One tip – no matter how uncool you feel – bags the front row upstairs seats!

From the start in Eastway – grab yourself a bottle of orange juice at the newsagent at the bus stop – and then you’ll head out up Wick Road for 3 stops.

It then turns into Valentine Road where you can hop off if you need to stock up at the Tesco supermarket.

It then carries on up Well Street – which is handy for the Lidl supermarket – far cheaper than Tesco’s – and with really interesting goodies.

At the top of Well Street – you head left into Mare Street – but jump off for the Iceland supermarket & some very delicious Vietnamese Restaurants. This is also the stop for London Fields British Rail Station.

But get off to explore London Fields anyway – especially for the Lido. This is an outdoor heated swimming pool in a fantastic park.

A little bit further down the road you’ll cross over the Regents Canal – but if it’s a Saturday – hop off – and walk along the canal for 5 minutes to the Broadway Market. This is a great market to pick up fantastic goodies for a picnic – or in winter – laze in one of the excellent cafes.

You’ll then turn right into Cambridge Heath Road - which also has a British Rail Station. It also has heaps of leather shoe & handbag wholesalers – but they’ll all sell the odd bag of pair of shoes if you ask nicely.

At the bottom – you’ll turn left into Hackney Road. This is a great road for all types of exciting reasons. First off – look out on your right for the Hackney City Farm.

This is a great place to spend an afternoon. There is a delicious café (I recommend the full English breakfast made from eggs laid that day!), a vast selection of farm animals (but watch out for a bad tempered turkey), a peaceful herb garden – and alongside – a great pond, playground & bicycle circuit.

A little further on your left is Colombia Road Flower Market – which you have got to visit on a Sunday morning!! You don’t have to buy anything – just look & listen! Great entertainment!

You are then in the heart of swinging, creative & utterly pretentious Shoreditch. It’s worth getting off & strolling around – soaking up all the meaningful graffiti, earnest art galleries, latest creations & interesting conversations.

About 2 more minutes & you’ll be passing Liverpool Street Station. Get off here for all the major markets:
Brick Lane
Petticoat Lane

From there – you’ll turn right into the City of London proper – with all the trading buildings, Bank of England
Monument (to the Fire of London)
Mansion House

Beware though – ‘cos sometimes this bus terminates here for some reason. Ask the driver for a Connecting Pass – so you don’t have to pay twice!

Then – just a little further along – you round the corner and St Pauls Cathedral looms high above you! This is where it counts being in the front row upstairs seats!!!

You’ll then go downhill on Fleet Street to Ludgate Circus. Get off here if you fancy a great stroll along the Thames. Just turn left at Ludgate Circus & you’ll see the bridge over the river.

If you stay on – you’ll then go uphill on Fleet Street – with great architectural buildings left & right. Please look out for the amazing 1932 Daily Express art deco masterpiece at numbers 700-853 Fleet street.

Soon you’ll come to the Aldwych stop (outside Kings College). This is the last stop for the West End – with Trafalgar Square if you carry on straight down & Covent Garden & all the theatres across the road.

Staying on the bus – you round the corner – and now you’ll be so happy you nabbed those front row upstairs seats – as you’ll be crossing the Thames over Waterloo Bridge – with the London Eye on your right – and South Bank Centre on your left.

Wow – what a sight! I know nothing compares to Leabank Square – but this comes close.

There’ll be one stop on the south side for the South Bank Centre
before your last stop outside Waterloo Station.

So there you are – one hour from Leabank Square – and a world away. This number 26 bus journey is really well worth taking – especially with children – as you end up at the Thames – with the London Aquarium a short walk along the river.

How about a cuppa?!

If you’re putting the kettle on soon – how about popping next door and asking your neighbour over for a cup of tea or coffee?

If more of us here in Leabank Square had more of our neighbours around for teas & coffees – think about how much more friendly it would be?!


There is not one of us here in Leabank Square who is not going to be affected by the London 2012 Olympics.

Whether it means that we are all going to see one of the events – or whether we are going to be covered in dust for the next 6 years.

Whether one of our children is going to be competing in an event – or our parking spaces are going to be used by construction site workers.

Whether we are going to have our centre green beautifully landscaped by REAP – or there is going to be an increase in trucks thundering down Berkshire Road.

Whether the value of our properties triple – or we are going to have a multi-story car park directly opposite our square on the canal.

Whatever is going to happen as a result of the Olympics – we should all keep as informed as possible.

Please attend as many meetings as you can – and then let all of us know what you heard. Please write to the mayor, MP’s, councillors, Olympic Delivery Authority, London Development Agency, International Olympic Committee, etc, and don’t stop until you’re satisfied with their answers.

We all know that this is going to be the most incredible party that London has ever had – so be a part of it right from the start.

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Swimming Anyone?

Want to get a group of Leabankers together & go swimming?

Well we are very spoilt for choice in where we are located.

For the toddlers – there is the most amazing splash pool right down the road in Viccie Park. This is situated in the very large playground next to the Deer enclosure.

Of course – as it is outdoors – it is only available in summer – but well worth waiting the whole of winter for. It is a beautifully landscaped series of pools - which run downhill into each other – with loads of knee high ponds to cool off in.

Check out:

Then there is the newly re-opened London Fields Lido. Just get the number 26 or 388 bus from St Mary’s church – and in ten minutes you get off at Mare Street – walk for 5 minutes to London Fields – and you have a luxuriously heated lido – even in winter!!

Check out:
& map at:

There is also the new swimming pool at the Mile End Park Leisure Centre – which is a 15 minute cycle along the canal upstream. Or you can catch the No. 277 bus from Grove Road in Viccie Park – which stops right outside the Leisure Centre

Check out:¢re=true&title=Mile+End+Park+Leisure+Centre
& map at:

Closer than that is York Hall Leisure Centre. This is literally on the other side of Viccie Park. If you go out of the Approach Road gate in the middle of the park – then just walk up Approach Road – turn right into Old ford Road - & it’s on your right hand side.

If you don’t fancy walking through Viccie Park – then take the number 26 bus from St Mary’s Church – and get off in Mare Street near the Childhood Museum. There is a sign pointing to the York Hall Leisure Centre across the road

Check out:¢re=true&title=York+Hall+Leisure+Centre
& map at:

Then there is the Kings Hall Leisure Centre in Hackney centre – right opposite Hackney Police Station. Although it was damaged by fire in early 2006 – it has not affected the swimming pool. This is still operating smoothly and is a great place to cool off.

Simlpy get the number 30 bus from St Mary’s church – and after 15 minutes - get off at the top end of Mare Street – walk through the pedestrian/bus part of Mare Street – and turn right into Lower Clapton Road – and it’s on your left hand side.

Check out:
&map at:

Then the Brittania Leisure Centre re-opens in January 2007 – with a completely new look! This is a great pool to take toddlers as well - as it has a shallow splash area too. It is easy to get to if you cycle along the Regents canal by simply getting off at the Whitmore Road bridge – but it’s a bit complicated to explain how to get there by car or bus – so check out the map at:
& map at:

Then a bit further – but great fun if you have kids is the fantastic leisure centre in Woolwich. This is brilliant as it also entails a trip across the Thames on the famous & free Woolwich Ferry.

Although it sounds far – it actually takes just as much time to get to some of the nearer pools because all you have to do – is hop on the train here at Hackney Wick. Take it all the way to North Woolwich. Get on the ferry – and the pool is in front of you.

This pool has a series of water slides – but the huge python slide actually goes out of the building for a few meters and comes back in to splash you into the pool.

There is a separate shallow pool for babies & toddlers – and a few more linked pools for swimmers of different capabilities. Of course then there is a laned pool for any future Olympic swimmers in Leabank Square.

Check out:

So – as you can see – we are right at the centre of heaps of swimming pools & leisure centres – there really is no excuse to get swimming.

And remember – the Clissold Leisure Centre should also re-open soon – so that’ll add another to our list.