Sunday, 26 April 2020

Council Food and garden waste collections resume 27/4/2020

As many of you will be aware, since around early March the council refuse collection service has been patchy. This was due to a combination of industrial action, vandalism of the refuse trucks and coronavirus-related staff shortages. 

The good news is that from tomorrow, Monday 27th April the collection of garden and food waste resumes across the borough. 

If like me you have forgotten the day particular waste is collected, the council have a useful form you can use to find out:

For most of the MEOTRA area, collections seem to be Tuesdays (Food/Garden) and Thursday (residual -aka black bags)

Unfortunately, the council are still not collecting bulky waste and the council skip (known in council jargon as the "Reuse and recycling centre or RRC") is closed until further notice.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park Needs Your Help

Many of you will be familiar with Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (THCP) in Southern Grove. Oddly, I just about always think of it and Mile End Station in the same breath, possibly because I pass the station on the way to it. The stark contrast between the noise, pollution, greyness, concrete and hustle and bustle of the station with the peace, tranquillity and the lush greenness of the Park couldn't be any more different. Minutes from each other and yet worlds apart.

The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (FoTHCP) who run the Park only receives 25% of its funding from Tower Hamlets Council, the rest comes from fundraising, events, and corporate volunteers. The effect of the COVID-19 outbreak has had a massive impact on FoTHCP as they have had to cancel events and their volunteer program which in total amounts to a loss of around £40,000 in income. 

FoTHCP's income enables them to care and protect the Park and the other green spaces they work in across Tower Hamlets. It ensures they can pay their three full-time members of staff, provide tools and equipment to volunteers and ensures they have resources to deliver events to the community. Right now, access to green space is even more important for both our physical and mental wellbeing.

This short video from Ken Greenway, the Park Manager, explains the situation:

Ways you can help

Donate to the appeal - please go to

Look out for the park - If you visit the Park during lockdown whilst the staff are absent, please take all litter home and make sure dog mess is binned. The Park is looking wonderful at the moment with masses of flowers and the birdsong is tremendous (especially without those fuel-guzzling big metal birds flying overhead)

Share the campaign with your family, friends and neighbours. 

Locked In But Not Locked Out - The FoTHCP have started a series of online talks on Zoom (which is really easy to do). Last night Michelle shocked and amazed us in equal measure with tales of Hyenas and what goes down in their dens. The talks are free, but donations are very welcome.

Join the FoTHCP - Whether as an individual, joint or concessionary; membership is a great way to support them

If you shop on Amazon (and lots of that is going on at the moment!) then if you go via and choose the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery as your chosen charity then Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Stay at home as much as possible

Dear Neighbours,

Over the last couple of weeks, it has been amazing to see the massive growth of kindness and neighbourliness around Tower Hamlets and the UK amidst these most worrying of times.

People have started to pop notes through neighbours' doors whom they may not even know, offering to get food, medicines or just to give them a ring if they are self-isolating and feeling down.

I am sure you have already been inundated with emails, news broadcasts, social media posts etc; but if you want to help, or indeed need help yourself, then the Roman Road Trust has compiled a thorough list of organisations on a dedicated page that is being regularly updated:

Stay at home as much as possible

Something I have found particularly worrying is how much people are going out. Cars have been shooting up and down Grove Road all day; groups of 6-8 (and I'm not talking families) are walking up and down the road and folk are going in the Park in large groups as if it is a Bank Holiday. It is SO important we slow the spread of this virus down by staying at home and give the NHS the best chance we can of being able to cope with it. Surely people don't need to be told to put people's lives before their social lives. Do people really need to queue up to jet-wash their car? Of course people need fresh air and children can't be holed up like prisoners forever, but this is only Day One.

This pandemic has been described as the biggest crisis the world has faced since WII, where millions went off to war to fight one another. All we are being asked to do is sit on the sofa and watch Netflix. 


Compare the scene in Burdett Road (below) with that in Italy. Yes, it is shocking - If you get to a shop and find a big queue - just walk away. Minimise your exposureThere is plenty of food (especially at the local corner shops actually). And why go shopping as a group or family?

We all know how much Italy is suffering. Let's learn from them. Listen to this Channel 4 interview with a doctor at the epicentre of the Italian outbreak. She has learnt the hard way. Let's listen to her wise words.  

Monday, 30 December 2019

£310 raised for Bow Foodbank - Thank You!

It was great to see so many of you at our Carols in the Square just before Christmas. There were around 150-200 of us. We had the usual drama of missing song sheets, the heavens decided to open up for a bit, but we soldiered on and had a great time. The professional singers helped to keep us in time and gave it more of a West End rather than West Ham sound.

Thanks to David for manning the collection box, Nicky for acting as compere, Sarah for getting presents together for Margaret (the high-viz elf) to distribute, Alice for the mince pies and Vivien for the liquid refreshments.

All told we raised £310 for the Bow Foodbank and our Treasurer Jakki has dropped this off.

Friday, 13 December 2019

CAROLS IN THE SQUARE - This Sunday 15th December, Tredegar Square at 5.30PM

Meotra's annual carol service is this Sunday 15th December at 5.30PM in Tredegar Square.

It is a great event and we'll be there come rain or shine, with songsheets and some presents for the little ones.  Although the event is free, every year there’s a collection for charity. This year as last year we’ve chosen Bow Food Bank to help families in need have a better Christmas.

Entrance to the event will be through both gates of the Square. Please do bring a torch, and an umbrella in case of wet weather.

It’s a wonderful chance to catch up with your neighbours and get into the Christmas spirit. In keeping with this, the MEOTRA committee will be going to the pub afterwards if anyone would like to join us.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Forthcoming Music Events at Bow Church (1st and 6th of December)

This Sunday sees Bow Church's final Lunchtime Recital of the season put on by students from Trinity Laban. Entry is FREE and the concert begins at midday.

The following Friday 6 December @ 7.15pm, Bow Church welcomes the Queen Mary jazz musicians for an evening of jazz in the company of QMJazz and their music director, Jamie Rogers. QMJazz brings together the cream of QMUL jazz. With a mix of jazz and song, get into the spirit of a Swinging Christmas! Includes jazz classics such as Song for my Father, A Night in Tunisia, Take the A Train, Dolphin Dance, Besame Mucho, All the things you are, Take Five, In the wee small hours. Tickets for this event are £10 (£3 students) and are bookable here:

Sunday, 24 November 2019

FREE heritage talk at Bow Church this Thurs 28 November (19.30)

This Thursday 28th November, Professor Arthur Burns will be giving a free talk at Bow Church entitled: "The urban challenge: life for clergy in Hanoverian and Victorian London"

By the end of the nineteenth century it was a common assumption that a clergyman’s task was far harder in the town than the countryside. But did earlier London clergymen share this view? What kind of clergymen took on the challenge of the metropolis? This illustrated lecture explores the sometimes surprising story of how an urban clergy emerged from an urbane one.

Entry is FREE, though booking is strongly advised.  Tickets are available via Bow Church's Eventbrite site: 

All welcome!