Monday, 30 June 2008

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

I am in no way saying that it is good to gamble & I need to warn you that the chances of winning are a Squillion to one - but the lovely people at Premier around the corner need your help.

They have a petition on their counter to raise a thousand signatures to help get a lottery machine into our local newsagent.

I said I would tell you about it - so if you want an easily walkable trip to do your lottery - then please pop down to add your signature.

Food For Free

The first few edible fruits of ALL your children's labours are starting the ripen.

We will have our first peas & blackberries along the Lea Bank any day now. I know that some of you have been a bit doubtful about Leabank Square actually producing some food - well in the next few days you will be able to start tasting the fruit of your children's labours!!

Watch this space.........

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Leabank Square

Please have a peek at Tom T's excellent photos:

He has taken a brilliant one of the middle block of Leabank Square.

If you enlarge it & look closely at the top left of the block you'll see a stunning hunk of a man relaxing at the balcony!!

Tom - thanks for the link.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Wick Bazaar

We all know & LOVE the Hackney Wick Community Centre down the road in the Old Baths!

But - like everyone during this credit crunch - it needs a few more pounds. So they have decided to put on a fantastic Bazaar for all of us.

There will be everything on sale - from the kitchen sink - to carpets, bicycles, clothes, bric-a-brac, accessories, books, music - something for everyone!

So please come down the the Old Baths, 80 Eastway here in Hackney Wick - on Saturday July 5th - between 1.00pm & 5.00pm.

Terry & all the team are dying to meet you all - and you'll pick up a bargain at the same time!

Nelson Mandela

Happy Birthday!!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Hackney Wick Henge

I've just come back from the question & answer session with John Frankland - the artist who is planting the massive rock in Mabley Green.

Well - a couple of things: I don't really get the ART part of it all. It's just a rock on the lawn. And - it's not actually going to look like the leaflet Hackney Council have given out - actually it's going to look a lot different.

But the good news is that it's BIG - and that we can do anything we want with it!

Some of the excellent team at Mile End Climbing Wall ( are going to put climbing hoops on the top - so that we can use ropes to climb it!

And as we've already discussed ( - some of the people here in Leabank Square want to use it as an alternative solstice stone (instead of Stonehenge), some are going to have wedding, birthday, family celebration photo shoots at it, of course most of the kids are going to use it for footie target practice (pity there couldn't be two to make goals!), we are going to tie a massive red ribbon around it for World Aids Day (December 1st), we are also going to attempt a maypole dance around it on May 1st (although the artists impression rock looked better to do it with) - and then - of course - we are going to climb it!!

At least there is some positive spirit here in Leabank Square - there were a few grumpy residents from surrounding estates who were not too pleased to have such an amazing landmark in our local park!

But - unfortunately - I was unable to find out how much of the £1 million that REAP promised us - was being used on this rock. There was no REAP person there (plus some health & safety fan was hogging the time) - but as promised - I'll try & find out how much of our money for local improvements is being used.

Aaaaaaaanyway - it was great to meet John - even if I didn't get the art part. It's really amazing that such a well respected & admired artist is choosing Hackney Wick to site his work.
PS: I found out that the rock took out a £51 000 chunk of the REAP grant. Whether that's cheap or expensive for art at the moment - I have no idea! Whether it cheap or expensive for quarrying a large rock & transporting it from Cornwall to Hackney Wick - again - no idea! Weather Hackney Wick could have had something better for the money? Plenty ideas!!!
PSS: I am one of the worlds luckiest fellas in that I have a truly inspirational friend in Tom Cook ( - a wonderful human & artist. I had a cup of coffee with him yesterday and asked him to help me understand the 'art' in this rock.
You know what - I sort of get it now.
Tom's take (if I got this right) - is that John Frankland is actually a 'facilitator' of art - rather than an actual artist. He is gifting an object for us to use in any way we want to in the 'name' of art - but the art is what we actually do with it!
Anyway - thanks Tom - I hope I haven't misinterpreted what you said - feel free to correct me by commenting - and thanks for the chat!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Litter Patrol

Have you seen just how neat & clean Leabank Square looks recently?!

Well - it's all down to these incredible Litter Patrollers!!

Thank you so very much to Tom, Kevin, Mustafa & Brigit!! You're all making Leabank Square a beautiful place for us ALL to live in!!

New Lawnmowers!!

Thanks to to Real - we now have two new volunteer lawn mowers for the green.

Rafael & Donatello have been put into service on the green in the middle of Leabank Square - keeping the lawn very trim & tidy with their ultra-sharp teeth!!

Real - thanks heaps for keeping all the kids so happy with your great pets!!

Anyone else in Leabank Square got any unusual pets they want to show us all?

More Fame!!!

We are famous!!!

We got a mention on London's most famous blogsite!!!

I wrote about Diamond Geezer's blogsite a few weeks ago - but this time Diamond Geezer put a link on his site to

Remember how many of us were upset about all the fast food adverts facing us on the Olympic hoardings? Well - on the day that Hackney was declared the borough with the highest childhood obesity rates IN THE COUNTRY - Diamond Geezer upped the pressure on the ODA to think more about the adverts for the worlds most famous sporting event being linked to junk food.

Not only that - but he guessed what some of us were up to by planning a painting raid over the adverts. I know that none of us wanted to get done for vanadalisement - & thought better of it - but how spooky of him to bring it up.

Anyhow - thanks for the link Diamond Geezer - I know it's a small gesture - but we'll reciprocate with our tiny readership as well:

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

The Mabley Green Boulder by John Frankland!!

Thanks to Councillor Christine Boyd for the heads-up on this great opportunity to chat to John Frankland at the Hackney Wick Community Centre (that's the Old Baths to some of us) on Thursday 26th June @ 7.00pm.

Please - I urge you - get down the road to find out more about our new local attraction!

John has got hold of two MASSIVE pieces of Cornish granite & is planting one here in Mabley Green (that's right next to the astro-turf footie field around the corner to some of us) - and the other in Shoreditch Park up the road.

What we do with it is up to us......

Stare at it, picnic under it, climb it, kick a ball against it, photograph it, light candles all around it at night, wrap a giant red bow around it on World Aids Day (1st December every year), go get your own in Cornwall & plant a replica in your own back garden - whatever!

But please take to 1 minute walk down to the Community Centre on Thursday to chat to John - he's is truly one of the art community's amazing people!

Oh yes....... I forgot to mention - this is one of the first improvements to our streets from the money those Olympic people are giving out. Remember the article about REAP (Recreational & Environmental Action Program) that we wrote about back in November 2006 ( - well...... this is the first bit of landscaping!

Amazing Talent!!

I thought I just HAD to share this amazing talent with the rest of Leabank Square!!

But how's this for brilliant artistic talent?!

This very good-looking dog (Amy) slunk onto the green yesterday during Gardeners Club & immediately made ALL the kids very jealous!!

But a few minutes later - the artist Lucy (also the cat's sister) popped over too! And I cannot tell you how modest she was!

Now for the REALLY good news.....

She's agreed to do Leabank Square's kids faces when we have our annual Leabank Square Fun Day (keep checking the blog for details) in the summer holidays!!!

The excitement amongst the kids (& some of the adults!) in the Gardeners Club was uncontainable!!

Playground Anyone?


I thought there was a credit crunch going on somewhere!

Hot on the heels of the Mayor of London wanting to give money away for London's parks - news today of the Mayor of Hackney wanting to do the same for playgrounds in Hackney!!

It turns out that he has won £2.5 million from the government to do up - or build new playgrounds for Hackney's kids.

Well........ what do you reckon?

I know that this question was asked a few years ago - and that some residents definitely did NOT want a playground in our green.

Well - maybe it's time to ask the question again for 3 reasons:

1. There are a whole heap of great new residents in the square

2. There are a whole heap of new families living in Leabank Square - some of whom have toddler age kids

3. Leabank Square was specifically designed as a family-friendly square - with it's very safe traffic calming measures, one entrance/exit & every flat or house having a clear view of the green (where most of the kids play).

The main objections last time were
....... that kids from outside Leabank Square would come in to play as well - well - so what? If it is safe for our kids - why not share it?

.... and that the older kids (teens I think) would hang out on the equipment & vandalise it. Well - I can't think of a single teen or older person who would spoil the fun for their younger siblings. Plus - it wouldn't be seen as cool for teens to hang out on miniature swings & climbing frames!

Anyway - please feel free to share your thoughts here on this blog by commenting - or send us an email to & let us ALL know what you feel.

If you want to email the Learning Trust (Mayor's department responsible for spending all this lovely money) direct to find out more - please go to & go to 'Contact Us'.

But pleeeeezzzzz - let's all talk about this idea - the more we chat - the better we know each other!

Hackney Olympics Legacy Event

I know I've left this a bit late - & I know some of us are going to this already - but if anyone else in Leabank Square is free at sometime tomorrow - please come down to Hackney Town Hall.

I guess the most important thing for me is to find out more about the media centre (& it's road!) - but for some in Leabank Square - it might be to find out more about jobs on the site - or just about what it's all going to look like.

Whatever your reason - please get down there - it's well worth finding out more!

This from the Hackney Council website:

Hackney residents are invited to find out more about major legacy opportunities from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Olympic Park will be Europe’s biggest new urban park for 150 years and planning is happening now.

The London Development Agency is consulting on the design and features of the Park and wants to hear local people’s ideas to ensure it meets their needs.

Take your ideas to Hackney Town Hall Square, Mare Street, between 10am and 7pm, Wednesday 25 June.

International Broadcast Centre/Main Press Centre
In 2012 all eyes will be on London. The 20,000 journalists covering the Games will need state of the art facilities to broadcast the Games to the world. After the Games, the buildings will remain as high quality office space focused on the media and creative industries.

The Olympic Delivery Authority will outline its plans for the media centres – and how they fit into the legacy Park.

They will also answer questions at the session in the Town Hall Assembly Rooms, from 6.30-8pm on Wednesday, 25 June.

Olympic Opportunities
Training for Games-related work, jobs building the Olympics and volunteering are among the many opportunities 2012 is bringing local people.
Find out more at Hackney Town Hall Square, between 10am and 7pm, Wednesday 25 June.

Hope to see you there!!

Chamomile in the Meadow

Those of you with a keen eye for flowers may have noticed that we have wild chamomile growing in our mini-flower meadow.

Amongst the vibrant poppies, coriander, and sea lavender, we have this rather delicate yet incredibly familiar plant belonging to the sunflower family.

You may have overlooked the chamomile as just another daisy, but here are some interesting facts that may change your mind!

The word chamomile, translated from Greek means "earth-apple", refering to the apple-like scent of the plant.

Chamomile has been used through out the ages as a herbal tea. It’s probably one of the most well known herbal drinks around and can easily be found at your local supermarket.

Its medicinal uses include treating sore stomach and irritable bowel syndrome.

Chamomile Tea is also mildly sedative and so may be drunk before bedtime to help as a sleep aid.

So why not check out the flowers in our meadow or even try some Chamomile tea today - see if you can identify the chamomile plants from our pictures!

Monday, 23 June 2008

Vote for Viccie Park!

Boris Johnson - the current Mayor of London - has promised £6 Million to spruce up London's parks.

Wouldn't it be great if some of that money could be spent down the road here in Viccie Park?!

Although it is a great park with loads of great amenities (see - it would be fantastic to see more money spent on our local green oasis.

Could you imagine a bigger sk8 park? Or a better swimming splash pool? Or even a more organised picnic area? Whatever you want for Viccie Park - we have got to work a bit for it!

The mayor has decided that we have to vote on the Internet for the parks that get some of the £6 000 000 spent on them.

Now....... I have spent over an hour trying to find out just how & where to do this voting - but can't seem to find the website that we need to use. So please - in the meantime could we ALL start sending him emails at saying that we want Viccie Park to be one of the winning parks!!


And then when the mayor decides to get the website up & running - I'll post another blog with the details. But please send heaps of emails STARTING NOW to - & we might be lucky!!

Oh - and see for more details.

Go for it!!

Starting Young!!

The gardeners of Leabank Square start soooooooo young nowadays - and this is great for us - 'cos when they get older - they are going to have years worth of green-fingered experience!!

Can you imagine what an oasis Leabank Square is going to be when ALL these amazing kids grow up & turn into incredible gardeners? We are going to have the most beautiful square in the whole of Hackney - if not London!!!

The newest gardener to start getting his fingers wet & green is Jauquan. He simply wondered up into the group of gardeners today and VERY politely asked if he could help.

Never one to turn down a new pair of helping hands - he was put to watering the green - and did a fantastic job of it!!

Just you watch the green & the meadow in the next few days! Jauquan has given all the flowers a new lease of life & will soon be delighting the whole of Leabank Square with brilliant colours!

Thanks Jauquan (& of course - VERY proud mum Marina) for helping out today - you're welcome back anytime!!

Gainsborough Leabankers!!

Did you know that we have famous people amongst us?!

The latest edition of the Hackney Gazette has got an amazing picture of some of our kids! You have got to admit that it is a very cute pic of this great bunch of our future.

You are looking at the future Prime Ministers, Supermodels, Nuclear Physicists, Inventors, Celebrity Chefs, Airline Pilots, Brain Surgeons & Big Brother Contestants.

Study them well - fellow Leabankers - and Google them all in about 20 years to see if I'm wrong!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008


Has anyone else noticed just how beautiful our mini-meadow is looking nowadays?

I hope all you gardeners remember planting all those seeds way back in April.

Well - just look at what you did?!?

I couldn't pretend to know the names of any of the flowers growing - but I really love the way they welcome all of us into Leabank Square as soon as you turn into the entrance!

Please go up to the nearest person to you right now - and ask them to give you a massive (but gentle) pat on the back!!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Calling All Artists

This amazing message has just been sent by Councillor Christine Boyd - especially for the artists here in Leabank Square & all our friends in Hackney Wick:

Calling all ARTISTS
Put yourself on the map… and make arts happen!

Arts Space of the Future

The nation is awash with hypothetical discussion about the future of the creative industries. Meanwhile, in Dalston, real decisions need to be made about what is required for the arts to truly benefit from regeneration and the Olympics.

The Mayor of Hackney is committed to making culture integral to the future of Hackney and a 5-Borough Festival of the Cultural Olympiad aims to bring art to all.

How can we contribute?
How can we make it happen?

Join us to see the winners of the Arts Council England / RIBA London competition Arts Space of the Future and to put yourself on two new maps of Dalston showing our cultural assets and public spaces. These maps will be used in developing a new cultural strategy for Hackney and to launch cultural Olympiad projects.

You are a cultural asset!
Come to Arcola to contribute to the creative future of Dalston!

Friday 6 June 2-3pm

Arcola Theatre
27 Arcola St
E8 2DJ
020 7503 1646

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Lea Bank

I know not everybody has been able to get to our Lea Bank to check out the flowers in the re-cycled handbags so I am going to put up a few pics of some of the bags.

Also - just to prove that it is starting to look like a garden - we have had our first ever squirrel coming over to visit!!

Not bad huh?!