Tuesday, 21 September 2021

A new Walking Route - linking lots of Tower Hamlets blue and green spaces


This week sees the launch of GoParksTowerHamlets which is the local (Tower Hamlets) part of GoParksLondon, a project which aims to promote all of London’s parks and green spaces (over 4000 of them!) as well as the park friends groups who help make them so wonderful.

Tower Hamlets has more than 130 blue and green spaces across the borough and you can visit GoParksTowerHamlets to find out more about them, things to do, what facilities they have, and find out more about the Park Friends groups involved with them.


To celebrate the launch, GoParksTowerHamlets have put together a walking route linking most of the parks. The image below links to the google map of the route.


On Sunday 26th September at 10AM the walking route will be launched, with a two hour walk along a section of it, starting at Sir John McDougall Gardens on the IoDs. If you'd like to join this FREE walk then please book on Eventbrite.







Changes to Bus routes D7 and 277


On Saturday 18 September, TfL made changes to the frequency of the D7 bus route:

  • Buses now run every 10 minutes instead of every 8 minutes on Monday to Saturday during both the peak hours and during the day
  • There will be no change to the evening or Sunday service

On Saturday 25 September, they are also making changes to the frequency of the 277 bus route:

  • Buses will run every 10 minutes instead of every 6-7 minutes on Monday to Saturday during both the peak hours and during the day
  • Buses will run every 12 minutes instead of every 10 minutes during the evening and all day on Sundays


The TfL Go app provides information on real-time bus arrivals, status updates and the quieter times to travel. 


Sunday, 5 September 2021

Holy Trinity Church Open Today (Sunday 05-09-2021) as part of Open House London


Today (Sunday 05-09-2021) Holy Trinity Church in Morgan Street is open as part of the Open House London festival for guided tours on the hour and at 2PM there is a talk on recycling restoration waste.

Holy Trinity Bow is a magnificent Grade C listed Church built between 1834 and 1839 to designs by Daniel and James Austin local surveyors that lies within the Tredegar Square Conservation Area on a site given by the developer of Tredegar Square, Sir Charles Morgan. It is surrounded by an unused church yard filled with interesting monuments and gravestone. 
After decades of closure and falling into disrepair Holy Trinity Church Bow has undergone extensive restoration work funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and has been transformed into a stunning venue.


Guided Tours

Our tour guides will tell you about the history of the building, the surrounding area and the community.

The guided tours, run by local volunteers, will begin on the hour each hour from 11am - 2pm on Sunday. No booking is required, please drop in.



Talk: Recycling Restoration Waste

The talk will be held on Sunday at 2pm. No booking is required, please drop in.

Designer/researcher Mala Siamptani will present one of HAC 's ongoing arts project: the process of converting building renovation waste into a valuable material resource.

During this short talk Mala will discuss the different types of recycling waste and their applications, as well as presenting samples she has created with previous workshop participants.

Mala Siamptani is a design practitioner with substantial experience in the research, development and delivery of creative projects in Fashion, Design and Art sector. After obtaining two Masters degrees and currently conducting a PhD research, Mala runs her studio in east London specializing in the design and manufacture of products and sculptural objects



Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Redevelopment of Onyx House, 401 Mile End Road

Conversion works approach completion

In January 2019 Tower Hamlets Council, proposed to lease 401 Mile End Road (aka Onyx House) from Gateway Housing. A planning application was submitted for the:

 "Conversion of the existing college/teaching institution to temporary accommodation units. Change of use from D1 (non residential institutions) to C3 (dwelling houses)"

and this was approved in March 2019. The plans include secure bike storage at the rear, accessed from the east side of the building boundary near the Territorial Army Centre, as well as concealed bin storage inside the southwest boundary fence. The development is car-free.

The redevelopment will consist of 15 self-contained flats and this temporary accommodation is scheduled to last for five years and provide temporary accommodation to allow the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to reduce its homelessness. The application received two objections which were chiefly concerned about parking issues and the potential for increased ASB and drug use. The council will have a management plan in place which will mitigate these issues. Additionally LBTH have stated: "No offer of accommodation will be made to a household where there is a known history of behaviour that would make a placement inappropriate. This will include anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol misuse, violent and other criminal behaviour".

The conversion is on schedule to be completed in the first two weeks of August.


The first known building that was standing on this site was the so called Essex House, an early 18th century mansion. The building was facing Mile End Road with a large garden behind. After 1891 it was the home of Charles Robert Ashbee, of the Arts and Craft movement, who had here workshops producing metalwork and jewellery for which he became famous. After he moved in 1902, Essex House survived another 35 years, but was demolished in 1937 to make way for an art deco style Odeon cinema that opened in 1938. The cinema survived the war and although changing function later in its life, it occupied the site until 1984 when it was demolished. The present building with its unusual façade is attributed to Piers Gough, who lives locally, and is the architect responsible for the nearby Green Bridge. 


Essex House, demolished 1937



The 2,304 seater Mile End Odeon cinema demolished in 1984

Monday, 19 July 2021

COVID-19 in Tower Hamlets - Local vaccination info



Across the UK, as a percentage, more adults have had their second jab than those in Tower Hamlets who have had their first (see the graphs below). Many ideas have been suggested for this lag including the relative young age of the borough's population and vaccine hesitancy due to misinformation.

One other reason is finding the time to get the jab. Tower Hamlets Council have lots of locations where people can go, including the Art Pavilion in Mile End Park which is the borough's principal vaccination site with vaccinations available from 8.30am to 7.20PM daily without a booking, making it easier to fit around work. You don't need ID.





Vaccination Data taken from UK Government COVID-19 dashboard 4pm 17th July

Sunday, 18 July 2021

MEOTRA - Location, Location, Location

I recently came across a triplet of  videos filmed on location in the Meotra area. Admittedly they are getting on a bit, but I thought you might enjoy a gander. (You may have to view this post  via our website to see the YouTube links)

First off is comedian Holly Burn, who used to live in Morgan Street, with her spoof  "73 Questions with Victoria Beckham Vogue "(3.20 mins).  Filmed in Ye Olde Corner Shoppe, Robert even gets a speaking part in between grinning away. The real Victoria Beckham liked it so much she tweeted it to her followers



Holly is back in Robert's shop for a Line of Duty spoof which is brilliant (2.20 mins). We see the return of Robert's grin, but the scene stealer is the roll of carpet. Lichfield, Morgan, Aberavon and Alloway are all featured. Enjoy.




Finally we have Russell from WJ Meade in an episode of Unsellables UK. (27 mins). The whole episode is about a house in the Meotra area that is difficult to shift and has been on the market for 10 months. Russell does manage to get a Gene Wilder reference in there when discussing the fourth bedroom and it all ends well after electric blue and pink are swapped for more neutral colours.

The house prices mentioned are light years away from current ones. See if you can work out when it was filmed? The absence of black masonry paint might help you date the programme?



Saturday, 17 July 2021

Free Exhibition: A PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY OF HOLY TRINITY BOW (24th and 25th July)



Next Saturday and Sunday 24th and 25th July there is a newly curated photographic exhibition at Holy Trinity Church Bow (now renamed The Arts and Heritage Centre Bow (https://thehac.org)).


The exhibition will enable you to find out the story of the building and the community it served for almost two centuries. Guided tours will bring memory, history and images to life in an event celebrating the heritage and the people of Bow.


You can book your place for free via the dedicated Eventbrite page or just attend on Saturday 24th or Sunday 25th July  any time between 11-4PM