Saturday, 15 January 2022

Where would you like to see more EV chargers?

Tower Hamlets Council has been given some government money to install electric vehicle (EV) chargers across the borough, and the council want to know where you'd like them put.

If you click along to the council's dedicated page at you can read more about the initiative and put a pin where you think new EV chargers should go on a Tower Hamlets street.

As far as I can see from the Zap Map website, the MEOTRA area only has THREE existing street EV points (all in Tredegar Square).

There is a discussion on Andrew Wood's Canary Wharf and Isle of Dogs Facebook Group which gives a community-based overview of the various types of charger and issues surrounding them (non-electric cars parking there, folk overcharging vehicles etc).

Thursday, 6 January 2022

Your Views on the Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Plan - Consultation is Live


After five years of community development and consultation, a draft Neighbourhood Plan for Roman Road Bow has been validated by a meeting of the Tower Hamlets Council Cabinet on Wednesday 24 November, and is now out for public consultation until the end of January. If you can please spend some time responding to the  consultation and give your views on the development and use of land in the area.

Alex, Chair of Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum continues:

If successful, the Neighbourhood Plan will for the first time give local residents the power to shape the planning decisions, economic development and growth in the Roman Road Bow area, by setting neighbourhood priorities that the Borough Council must take into account when making planning and funding decisions.
The Neighbourhood Plan area extends from Globe Town to the west, Victoria Park to the north, Mile End to the south and the London Legacy Development Corporation area to the east. It therefore covers key local landmarks including Roman Road Market, parts of Mile End Park and Bow House Business Centre, as well as tens of thousands of local residents.

How was the Neighbourhood Plan developed?

The Neighbourhood Plan has been developed by the Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum following its establishment in 2016. Over the last five years, the Forum has sought to engage as many different groups and individuals as possible to shape the community’s priorities for local planning and community development.
The key themes and policies in the plan are as follows:

  • A thriving high street and local economy – encouraging the flexible use of premises
  • Green streets that encourage walking and cycling – improving safe walking and cycling routes
  • Beautiful public spaces – enhancing public spaces and designating local green spaces
  • New life for our local heritage – conserving and enhancing Bow Wharf and designating unprotected local pubs as heritage assets
  • High quality affordable housing – supporting affordable, high quality, low-carbon community-led housing
  • A resilient and well-networked community infrastructure – supporting new and improved sports and play facilities, and improving existing community facilities

If it is successfully adopted, it will give local residents significant power over the local area up to 2031, including the ability to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, to have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided, and to grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead.
How can I have my say?
The Plan [is out for consultation until the end of January], through the Council’s website.
Details of the neighbourhood plan and supporting documents can be found at

Due to restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic, hard copies of the neighbourhood plan will not be made available at the Town Hall. Please contact the Plan Making team on the details below if you have difficulty accessing the plan.

Responses to the consultation can be submitted through the consultation web page, or by email to

Responses must be received by 5pm on Monday 31 January 2022.

Please speak up! This is a key time to respond, as after this latest consultation, the Forum will be reviewing and updating the plan in the light of feedback received.

What happens next?
After the consultation, the plan then goes to an independent examiner to consider if it meets certain basic conditions and other legal requirements. The examiner can ask for changes to be made, but if the examiner agrees the plan meets legal requirements, it will be recommended to proceed to a local referendum. Everyone in the plan area who is entitled to vote in local elections will be able to vote to approve or reject the plan in the referendum.
If approved, the neighbourhood plan will help shape developments in Bow up to 2031, and it will be a material consideration in the Council considering planning applications. It will form part of the planning framework, sitting under the Local Plan 2031 for Tower Hamlets, which is under the London Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework.

How can I get involved?

  • You can join the Neighbourhood Forum on our website 

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Meotra Winter Newsletter December 2021

Our latest newsletter dropped through letterboxes 2-3 weeks ago and I hope you managed have a read and find something of interest. If you didn't get a copy through your door then please let us know by email, but here is an online copy of it in any case.

The 8-page newsletter included articles about Liveable Streets, School Streets, a MEOTRA project aimed at rewilding the Holy Trinity churchyard, an opportunity for you to feedback on Tredegar Square Gardens and several other features. Please do take a look and let us know what you think.

Since the newsletter was distributed we have of course had our Carols in the Square. Many thanks to Vivien and Alice for ensuring we had plenty of mulled wine and mince pies and to the Meotra committee for all their efforts. The event was quite well attended, especially considering the state of our Covid-afflicted nation, and I hope those of you who attended (around a 100 or so?) enjoyed yourself. The kids enjoyed Santa and his presents, and grabbing the mic. I must apologise for the amplified singing - all professional singers seemed to go underground - which left yours truly with the mic in hand for the first time ever. Next year we will have background music and more mince pies.

If you have any photos from the carols then please can you email them in. Any other feedback is welcome too. Thanks,

Don't forget we archive all our old newsletters on this page

We would like to thank WJ Meade for their ongoing sponsorship of Meotra and their recognition of the importance of a residents association. You have supported us through a difficult couple of years. Thanks.

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Stan Jones 1929-2021


Stan Jones

Stan Jones of Lichfield Road passed away last Friday the 17th December. He had recently had a couple of falls and although he seemed to be on the mend, he sadly didn't recover.

Stan moved into Lichfield as a ten year old in March 1939 with his mother and father and lived in the same house for over 80 years. His parents were married in Holy Trinity church and he was baptised there.

He had a famous photo published in The Times on Coronation Day in 1953 of his parents standing in their Lichfield Road doorway with their house decked out with bunting and Union Jack flags. Something of a tradition formed with newspapers sending photojournalists for each subsequent Jubilee in 1977 and 2002 to document how Stan and the area in general marked those anniversaries. Many of us will fondly remember a robed Bishop John Sentamu dancing away in the street outside Stan's house.

Coincidently on Friday 17th December I was out walking with a neighbour from Lichfield and the conversation turned to the forthcoming Queen's Jubilee in June 2022 and that it would be great to have Stan at the head of the [very long] table as the longest resident of our area.  Alas, as we were finishing our walk and turned back into Lichfield we saw an ambulance and heard of Stan's passing earlier that day. 

If you have memories of Stan then please do email them.

The Gentle Author has a wonderful portrait of Stan's life written in August 2021. It is well worth a read.

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Carols in the Square - Sunday 19th at 5PM

[PLEASE NOTE: This event is for MEOTRA residents only]

Tomorrow sees Meotra's Carols in the Square event. Which as usual is the last Sunday before Christmas.

The song sheets have been bagged up, the mulled wine is standing by the stove, mince pies stacked by the oven, children's presents wrapped and the Square walked today, like Wembley's hallowed turf before Cup Final.

I do hope you can join us for a 5PM start. Please have a read of our COVID precautions below. The carols are OUTDOORS, which really helps reduce the risk, but in addition:

  1. Please do not attend if you have flu or cold-like symptoms
  2. Please take a lateral flow test an hour or two before attending
  3. Groups are asked to remain in their family/friend bubbles
  4. The carol sheets are laminated and untouched for two years!
  5. Rather than man-handling the song sheets you may prefer to download them to your phone as a PDF (light and carols in one small package!)
  6. Hand sanitiser will be at both entrances
  7. Children’s pressies will be wrapped and bagged the week before
  8. We will have football splats on the ground at 2 metre intervals to aid distancing
  9. Please bring a clean mask to wear as we gather and depart
  10. Mulled wine and mince pies will be laid out on tables ready for to pick-up as you come into the Square. Just like a school-dinner queue, but with booze!

Click on Santa to download the Carols

Sunday, 12 December 2021

Cheering up Tredegar Square Gardens - Lots achieved, but more to do next Saturday 18th December?

Many thanks to all those who came along on Saturday to plant up some of the Square's borders. We managed to plant the following in the south east border:

  • 48 Geranium Cranesbills "Johnson's Blue"
  • 50 Allium "Summer Dancer"
  • 25 Allium nigrum

In the rose bed at the northern end:

  • 8 lavender
  • 8 rosemary
  • 250 hyacinth
In the north-western bed:
  • 8 mahonia
Thanks again to Cheryl and family for negotiating the partially flooded rose bed; Olivier from Rhondda Grove in particular for all the fetching and carrying on Friday and manning the drill; Jean-François from Lichfield Road who managed to do lots of strenuous planting despite having to keep checking his wife hadn't gone into labour::"I've got time to plant a few more mahonia"; Diana for negotiating the locked gate and planting all those alliums; Steph and Chris from Aberavon Road for the encouragement.
"I can't wait till we move in and get to bring out tea and biscuits" Cheryl who has yet to officially move in to her house on the Square.

Saturday 18th December - "Once more unto the [borders] dear friends"

We have something like  500 tulips. hyacinths and daffs (some lovely "special" varieties) still to plant. Please pencil in this Saturday for what will be the last planting session of the year. Any bulbs left over you can have - there are some lovely varieties

Friday, 10 December 2021

Come Join Us! Planting in Tredegar Square Gardens tomorrow (Saturday) 10-12

Tomorrow (SATURDAY) in Tredegar Square Gardens we have some perennials and shrubs to plant in the borders. We will be there from 10 until approximately 12 (depending on numbers!).

Please do come along and help out if you can. It is a lot for 2-3 to do, but with more help it will much quicker and more pleasant. In any case pop along and say "Hi" if you are out and about.

We have 48 hardy geranium cranesbill (Johnson's Blue), 8 lavender, 8 rosemary, 8 shuttlecock fern and 8 Mahonias. 

We have tools, and gloves etc; but if you prefer to bring your own trowel/shovel that would be great.

Hopefully the light and weather will be as wonderful as it has been today.

In terms of COVID precautions:

  • Please don't come if you have cold/flu-like symptoms (sorry 😒)
  • If you can, please do a LFT before coming
  • Masks are optional (it will keep your face warm though!)
  • We are outdoors and will be spaced out too, which dramatically reduces any risk
  • Please bring your own shovel/trowel if you can (though we have disinfected ones)