Thursday, 30 September 2010

Purple Garden Open Day!!

By now everyone should have got their invite to the open day up in the Purple Riverbank Garden - this Sunday 3rd October 2010 @ 11am.

Remember back in Spring when the Leabank Square Gardening Club consulted the whole square about the gardening? Well amongst some other excellent suggestions - notice boards, maps, extra bins, shorter flowers, etc - was an open day for all residents to come & see the Purple Riverbank Garden.

Well......... The 1st phase of the garden is complete, and the time has come to show every resident just what goes on up there.

Among the things you'll find out is

> How to apply for a key to the garden
> What are the terms & conditions
> More about the recycling project
> How sustainable the garden is
> What we are growing in the nursery
> What are the plans for the future

Unfortunately - we have seen a weather forecast - and it looks filthy!! But we have got a brilliant marquee to shelter under - with some delicious soup & bread to help keep warm. This will be at the bottom of the stairs. Thanks also to Tom who helped plan this site.

We will also be making seed bombs for blowing up the whole of Hackney Wick with wildflower meadows. This activity is even more exciting as it is a partnership with another community garden (
) - similar to the previous ones with the Mabley Green Meadow ( & DigFood ( in Viccie Park. The more we link all our local community gardens up - the better this planet will be!

Aaaaaanyway........ Be brave this Sunday - come out of your doors & up to the Purple Riverbank Garden - you're going to have great fun.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Leabank Square Map

Following up from many of the comments made during the last Leabank Square Garden Survey - we have finally saved up enough re-cycled material to make our very own........

Leabank Square Map!!!

Made mostly from estate agent for sale signs - the map shows the geography of Leabank Square - as well as loads of useful information for all of us. Things like our community associations chairs, managing agents contact details, what to do if you want to get rid of a bed or sofa, etc.

But the map is designed to be altered & changed easily - so if you have any additional info you may want up there - please send us an email.

Thanks to Dee, Joe & Lauren who have already given us very positive feedback - even before the map was up!!!

Anyway - just in time for the Hackney Wick Festival - please enjoy the latest addition to the Leabank Square Gardens!!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Winter Crop - Delicious Chard!!

The gardening club has some spare Rhubarb Chard seedlings for anyone to pick up! This delicious winter crop is very hardy - so is ideal for our window boxes & planters.

Of course - if we have another stinker winter like last year - it probably wouldn't survive all that frost & snow. If it gets really cold - then some fleece would be a good cover. If you don't have fleece - the some light coloured plastic shopping bags worked for us last year. But on the whole it should feed you for many more months.

Thank you to all the gardening club members who planted this lovely crop. If you would like a few plugs - please email - and it will be 1st come 1st served.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Olympic Catering Centre will be MASSIVE!!!!

Thanks to Matt who told me about the poster on the Gardening Club noticeboard yesterday! Otherwise I would never have found out about this. According to Georgina (ODA PR person) we were supposed to have had a leaflet drop about toady's bit of spin a few days ago. Once again - someone messed up!

Anyway - I squoze a few minutes over there today - and we are in for a MASSIVE shock when the journo's catering facility & satellite compound are built next year!

It will come right up to the road - and get this - will be double the height it is now!! No wonder they gave us such short notice to come & check it out today!?!
Anyway - this is all in the name of so-called 'consultation'. We all know that the Olympic planners have to submit their plans to........... the Olympic Delivery Authority. So - whatever we say - doesn't ever mean a thing anyway. But - as usual - feel free to try the usual channels to voice your concerns.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Is Leabank Square not gritty enough for Mike Leigh?

Remember all those location scouts asking questions over the last few weeks? Well they were checking out Leabank Square for Mike Leigh's new 'bloke trying to eke out a living in the shadow of the giant Olympic development' movie.

But guess what?! They chose a location a few metres upstream.

Mike Leigh is famous for his gritty, working class, ordinary person, learn your lines - then forget them - kind of movies. Most are set in & around council estates in very deprived areas.

Some of us are very happy that Leabank Square doesn't look gritty enough - while some chatting in the Purple Garden last night - were quite upset that Mike Leigh rejected us. Sort of 'what's wrong with Leabank?!? Not gloomy enough for ya?'
Anyhow - look out for the crew all over the place. I almost cycled into this pink shirted actor in Broadway Market last night. They are shooting in many locations all around the Hackney border of the Olympic site - see how many of us can get into the backgrounds when the movie comes out!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Hackney Wick during the Blitz by Matt Woods

Seventy years ago today, London came under fire from the Luftwaffe, with bombs raining down on the capital, in what became known as the Blitz, during which 43,000 civilians were killed.

Today I discovered on this day, 7 September 1940 (first day of the Blitz), Hackney Wick suffered three German bombs, including an explosive bomb, which landed on Prince Edward Road, damaging the road and three houses. Other bombs landed just outside what is now Leabank Square by Gainsborough School and on the industrial buildings just by the canal.

I also found this account of “Hackney Wick at War”, on the BBC website, an account by Frank Munns of his wartime experiences (as told in 2004):

“I was not quite two when the war broke out. We lived over the bike shop next to the White Lion pub. My earliest memory must have been about july 1940 (just after Dunkirk ) when i can still hear my father saying that if "they" got here he would shoot me , mum and then hinself. Luckily that didn't happen.
WE used to shelter in the cellar of the pub at first but later on we used a shelter cut into the bank in Eastway next to St Mary.s church .On one occasion we were all inside completely oblivious to what was happening on top ,it seems that the top was getting a right pasting but we felt nothing.
Dad was called up into the REME and ended up in India .Mind you Our neighbours The Knowles family didnt, see their dad for the whole of the war .He spent it all in the far east.
All through the war4 Harry Thirkettle kept the forge opposite our shop going and I spent hours watching him shoe horses.
As the war progressed we began to see POW's ,Italians in Victoria park And Germans out on Waterden road.
I went to Gainsborough Road School (who recalls Mrs Sneddon, Mr Reynolds (polly),mrs Cray and mr Evans?) and played in Victoria park .In the park earlier on was an AA unit but later in the war we had the infamous rocket guns ,the ones that caused panic at Bethnal Green Station. I saw them go off one night ,no firework display that I have seen since has been more awesome.!
My mates at that time were Jimmy & Terry Knowles,Harry Strutt,Roy Garnham And Albert Highinton. Where are they now?
Throught the war Mum kept our little shop going and in !944 the front got blown out by a V2. We were away in Northampton at the time where I witnessed sheer panic when the only flying bomb to get to that town turned up and no one in the street where we were staying could find the key to the Air Raid shelter.
In 1945 I woke up one morning and Mum said "Its All Over " my reply was "Does that mean that we'll not get any more news on the wireless?'
We like many ,many others had had a rough time ,there were acres of bomb sites to play on and we lost some good local people .Thankfully as far as I could tell all the servicemen in our part of the Wick returned. My Dad, Jimmy,s Dad, Jim Dewis ,one of the first paras.and Mick Thirkettle from a POW camp but regretably minus a hand.
Parties and bonfires marked the end and the scar of the bonfire in Chapman Road was still visible in the sixties”.

If anyone knows any of the people named in the article or their descendants, it would be great to hear from them so we can build a history of Hackney Wick at War to preserve those memories and accounts for future generations and perhaps even make some kind of permanent tribute in the Wick to those in this area who gave their lives for King and Country.

The Blitz interactive map of London is available on the Guardian online website