Thursday, 11 July 2019

Mile End Park: Community Fair and Dog Show: This Sunday 14th July 11-4PM

This Sunday's Dog Show and Community Fair is just a few days away and is going to be jam-packed with something for everyone. It takes place just off Grove Road between the Texaco Garage and the Brittania Fish Bar.

Activities Galore
Face Painting | The Ice Run Adventure | The Horizontal Bungee | Go Karts |
Coconut Shy | Bouncy Castle | Inflatable Mid Dragon Slide
Climbing Wall | Inflatable 5-a-side Football Pitch | Jewellery Making | Rollapaluza

  Animal Wardens' Advice Stall | Friends of Mile End Park | Arts and Crafts 

Smoothie Bikes | Ice Cream Van | Onion Bhajis & Samosas | Free Fruit 

And of Course The Dog Show which this year is being looked after by The Tower Hamlets' Animal Warden Service. There will be TEN categories including:
    1. Most Fabulous Fella
    2. Loveliest Lady
    3. Most Endearing Rescue Dog
    4. Most Courageous Golden Oldie (7 and over)
    5. Best Puppy (under 12 months)
    6. Best Trick
    7. Look-a-like (Dog most like their owner)
    8. Dog and Bone race (dog on lead)*
Prize rosettes for the top four in each category with each winner receiving a gift donated by Hounds of Bow. Each category winner will be entered into the Best in Show competition at the end to win a trophy.

*Still working on this one, but it is likely to be a "treat and spoon" race with a statutory sit halfway. No eating the treat until the end!

Fendi getting her fur done ahead of the Show

Friday, 5 July 2019

MEOTRA Fun Day - Sunday 7th July 2-5PM FREE (Tredegar Square)

This Sunday, 7th July, we are holding our annual Fun Day in Tredegar Square from 2-5PM

This is a FREE event organised by the MEOTRA committee for residents.

There will be free bouncy castles, splat the rat, face painting and music. It is a very child-friendly event.

Residents can bring along items they'd like to sell and set up their own stalls (or use a blanket). They can keep the money the proceeds or donate them for their favourite charity. There will be a variety of book, plant, cake, and refreshment stalls so bring some money if you want to buy anything.

The afternoon is a great chance to have a chat with neighbours, let the kids find new local friendships or have a picnic if you like.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Holy Trinity Church Morgan Street - Exhibition finishes this Sunday 30th June 13.00-17.00) Admission Free

Image: John White

Many of us walk along Lichfield Road or Morgan Street and cast a gaze at the rather imposing bulk of the Holy Trinity Church. In Winter we ignore it, and hurriedly shuffle passed, head down en route to the tube; or perhaps the Lord Tredegar Quiz Night? At dusk, we may spot a fox slipping through the fencing with a KFC takeaway to be enjoyed, undisturbed, in the graveyard. In Spring no doubt the fox is still there but lies hidden by the long stems of the cow parsley with its soft aniseed-like fragrance.

THIS SUNDAY from 1-5PM, for the first time in 30 years, there is a chance to step inside Holy Trinity. Not only can you marvel at the architecture of this Grade-II listed building, but you can enjoy a delightful art exhibition "Gathered Relics" organised by Stepney Green resident and architect Julian McIntosh where items of significant architectural interest will be on display in the church revealing the buildings unique history.

Image: John White

Image: John White

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Liveable Streets Bow - Deadline for comments Tuesday 21st May

Tower Hamlets Council's Liveable Streets Bow programme aims to improve the look and feel of public spaces in Bow. By creating a better environment, the council wishes to make it more convenient to get around by foot, bike and public transport.

You only have a couple of days to submit your thoughts.

Maybe there are areas you'd like to see turned into pocket parks, or you have ideas to reduce rat running, encourage more walking or cycling in the area, or you've pet peeves about traffic issues? Whatever, your ideas the council wants to hear them.

As you can see from the screenshot above, lots of comments and suggestions have already been put forward as part of the consultation process. Please take a few minutes to add your ideas/comments about a particular area of Bow, via the consultation page.

Some ideas that we've heard are:

  1. The blocking off to vehicles of Coborn Road at the railway bridge. This would reduce rat running along MEOTRA streets significantly by traffic "doing a left" at the corner of Tredegar Road and Coborn Road; or conversely by traffic using Aberavon/Rhonda/Tredegar and Coborn Roads to by-pass Bow Roundabout.
  2. CHEAP on-street cycle storage
  3. Making Holy Trinity's churchyard a permeable pocket park linking Lichfield Road and Morgan Street.
  4. Perpetrators of ASB currently feel they "own" the streets, Heavily graffitied streets discourage walking, especially of an evening. The council needs to adopt a zero tolerance approach to "tagging" and find ways to speed up removal, especially on walls to private-rented properties where the current process of waiting for an absent landlord to give permission take months.
  5. Turning the car park bound by Ford/St Stephens/Roman Roads into a pocket park and Village Green 
  6. Turn all of Bow schools into School Streets (ie a complete closure to motor vehicles at school drop off and pick up times) to reduce pollution and create a space for parents and children to socialise.

Of course, you can email as well and we will absorb these into our grouped suggestions to the council.

Friday, 10 May 2019

TfL flesh out Hackney to Isle of Dogs Cycle Route

TfL has provided further info on the proposed Hackney to Isle of Dogs Cycle Route. Yours truly has work in the morning and so a detailed appraisal will follow at the weekend, but a quick assessment notes:

  1. Grove Road through Victoria Park will become cycle/bus/taxi only 7am-7pm
  2. They've got the Bow Liveable Neighbourhood area wrong! It should reach all the way down to Mile End Road and include the MEOTRA region too.
  3. No left turn from Mile End Road into Burdett Road (this will add to the Southern Grove/Hamlets Way rat run that has already led to a number of serious accidents). LBTH have been asked to sort this out.
  4. The right turn from Burdett to Mile End Road is reintroduced.Yippee! 
  5. Mile End Junction has its own page
  6. Removal of the loading bay on the south-east corner of the junction will have a massive effect on the Benjy's Tower development. This was, if I recall correctly, their main area for deliveries.
  7. The awful location of the bus stops near Mile End Station hasn't been looked at:  the westbound bus stop leaves pedestrians blind to oncoming traffic, whilst the eastbound bus stop has buses backing up right on to Mile End Junction especially when National Express buses are loading suitcases. This often blocks the movement of Grove Road/Burdett Road traffic.
  8. Widening of the east side of the Grove Road pavement (again!)

The detailed plans are here

It is great to see some joined-up thinking between LBTH and TfL so that our borough's Liveable Neighbourhood plans for Bow, and the TfL plans from Old Ford Roundabout to Mile End Junction are going to be looked at alongside one another.

Don't forget this Saturday at the Bow Idea Store, 1 Gladstone Place, Roman Road E3 5ES,  10-12 noon is your chance to meet those drawing up plans for how to spend the £3.3 million pound grant on encouraging active travel in Bow. ie More walking, cycling and public transport.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum Workshop and AGM 27th April (2-4.30PM)

The 27th April sees the AGM of the Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum at St Paul's Church, St Stephen's Road. The AGM is combined with a workshop and should be an ideal opportunity to find out more about the Council's Liveable Neighbourhood initiative.

The initiative, which is due to go out for consultation this month, seeks to transform the way people move around Bow by encouraging more walking, cycling and use of public transport and reducing car use. It aims to reduce rat running, will likely incorporate the introduction of "school streets" to our area (e.g. Malmesbury School) and the proposal that has got all the attention: making the Roman Road a one way.

Friday, 12 April 2019

This coming Monday 15th April is the Friends of Mile End Park's AGM at the Eco Pavilion (which is just off Grove Road between the Brittania Fish Bar and the Grove/Roman Road junction). 

Yes for those of you that missed the MEOTRA AGM there is another chance to swig wine from a plastic cup whilst enjoying the ergonomics of plastic folding chairs

The past year has been a busy year for the Friends with lots of activities including: litter-picking, planting thousands of bluebells, snowdrops and wild-flower seeds, their Annual Community Fair and Dog Show, closer links with Tower Hamlets Cemetary Park and the Friends of Meath Gardens and of course keeping an eye on the Park. At the AGM there is a chance to hear about these topics and their future plans.

The Park Management will also be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Free nibbles, soft drinks and wine will be available.

Think this: Seven Cygnets Swimming 

Not this:

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

St George’s Day Over 50s Tea Dance - Wed 24th April 2019 (2-4PM) at the Art Pavilion

Tower Hamlets Council is hosting its St George's Day Tea Dance for the over 50s on Wednesday 24th April (2-4PM) at Mile End Park's Art Pavilion. This annual event is always popular and where else can you devour a French Fancy and dance to New Orleans Jazz on St George's Day.

There will be live music from The Sunshine Kings, dance host Tony Lane, and refreshments to help you dance the afternoon away! 

Free but advance booking essential.  Please call Regina on 020 7364 7916 from 9.30-1pm Mon—Fri or email 

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

DENNIS ERDWIN 17th July 1928 - 28th February 2019 R.I.P.

Dennis Erdwin who played Father Christmas at our annual MEOTRA Carols in the Square for many years recently passed away.

As an enthusiastic amateur actor, especially in the local Players of St Peter’s mediaeval mystery plays, he was invited by Margaret Winniak to come by public transport from Gidea Park and would don the red robes at her home. She recalls that we were able to boast that our MEOTRA Santa’s long white beard was a real one and how magical it was for her, as his trusty Elf, to watch him engage in conversation with each and every child who had patiently lined up to receive their gifts. As a widower without children of his own, he was an active lifelong supporter of the National Children’s Home, now Action for Children, where he had himself been fostered with his brothers and sister after the death of his mother. He spent several holidays helping at a linked Children’s Home in Armenia.

He was a passionate enthusiast of Country dancing…what an opportunity we missed for a Dancing Father Christmas!

Below are some photos of Dennis performing with the Players of St Peters

MEOTRA AGM this Thursday 11th April 7.15PM with a 7.30PM start

This Thursday 11th April is the MEOTRA Annual General Meeting in the New Testament Church of God, Lichfield Road from 7.15pm with a 7.30pm start.

There will be wine, soft drinks and nibbles and a chance to hear what MEOTRA have been up to in 2018 and discuss what the future holds for us.

The meeting will begin with a five-minute update from Julian McIntosh from the New Testament Church of God about the church's restoration work. We might even get a peek inside the old church itself.

Bow is in for a very busy year or so, with the introduction of School Streets, the new Hackney to Isle of Dogs Cycle Superhighway, some key planning decisions are due and the £3.3 million Liveable Neighbourhood Programme will begin to take shape. Come along to discuss these issues.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Bow awarded £3.3 million by TfL as part of the Liveable Neighbourhood Programme

Bow has just been awarded  £3.3 million by TfL as part of its Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme. Exactly which parts of Bow will benefit from the grant has not been fully detailed, although it will include the Roman Road town centre.

The scheme aims to reduce pollution, increase the proportion of people walking and cycling and reduce traffic.

This scheme, together with the Tower Hamlets  "Love your neighbourhood" programme and the forthcoming Hackney to the Isle of Dogs Cycle Superhighway, are likely to have a huge impact on our area.

You can find out further general information about the TfL scheme here.

We will publish further details when they become available.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Bow Church Chocolate Morning Saturday 2nd March 11am-1pm

St Mary's Bow Church is having a "chocolate morning" on Saturday 2nd March from 11am to 1 o'clock.

The event is part of FairTrade Fortnight which raises awareness about the issues affecting cocoa farmers.

Chocolate cakes, tasting and drinks - what's not to like?!

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Bells have been cast in Whitechapel since 1363, and the developers Raycliff Capital are attempting to end this tradition by turning the truly historic Whitechapel Bell Foundry into a "boutique hotel".

Further background information (which stretches to some 182 documents) is available on the council website (PA/19/00008/A1) and the ever excellent Spitalfields Life blog whose writer The Gentle Author gives the following advice on how to object to the scheme:


Use your own words and add your own personal reasons for opposing the development. Any letters which simply duplicate the same wording will count only as one objection.

  1. Quote the application reference: PA/19/00008/A1
  2. Give your full name and postal address. You do not need to be a resident of Tower Hamlets or the United Kingdom to register a comment but unless you give your postal address your objection will be discounted.
  3. Be sure to state clearly that you are OBJECTING to Raycliff Capital’s application.
  4. Point out the ‘OPTIMUM VIABLE USE’ for the Whitechapel Bell Foundry is as a foundry, not a boutique hotel.
  5. Emphasise that you want it to continue as a foundry and there is a viable proposal to deliver this.
  6. Request the council refuse Raycliff Capital’s application for change of use from foundry to hotel.


You can write an email to


you can post your objection direct on the website by following this link to Planning and entering the application reference PA/19/00008/A1


you can send a letter to:
Town Planning, Town Hall, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, London, E14 2BG

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Guest Post: Accidents caused by the Mile End Junction Configuration

Readers will know that the no right turns fiasco at Mile End Junction has been something MEOTRA, Mile End Residents Association (MERA), councillors and others have tried repeatedly to resolve. In this guest post, a resident of Grove Road describes a recent deeply-worrying incident.

If you have walked down the south end of Grove Road in the last couple of months you will have seen the sorry state of our railings, walls and front garden. This was the result of a road traffic accident on a Sunday night in October. A northbound car pulled out to do a U-turn without checking the mirror; the speeding car behind swerved to avoid it, crossed the road and ploughed into a traffic sign outside our front door, uprooting it and projecting it with considerable force into our railing, demolishing the upper wall, twisting the handrail so that the lower wall was also dislodged, causing damage to the tiling and poking a big hole in the boundary wall with our neighbours.

Luckily no one was hurt, though any pedestrian who happened to be passing would have sustained serious injuries if not worse. An alarming aspect of this was that because we had just had the front decorated, there was scaffolding covering the property, and the impact of the accident shifted the ground beneath one of the scaffolding poles. Happily the structure was robust and remained stable. What shook us the most, though, was the realisation that, with a larger vehicle, or a little more speed and force, the whole lot could have ended up in our daughter’s bedroom.

The blame for this incident clearly lies in several quarters. An underlying cause, though, must surely be the ridiculous no right turn at the Mile End junction. I know that MEOTRA and others have been campaigning for years about this. What happened that Sunday night is further evidence of the idiocy of this policy. A large number of vehicles coming up Burdett Road need to turn eastwards. Though a U-turn immediately after the lights was illegal, many performed it, and it regularly caused traffic problems for those coming down Grove Road to Mile End – already a traffic black spot for much of the day, as you will all know.

I wrote to TfL, as did our neighbours, and we got the same polite but bland standard letter. When I wrote back to explain that they had completely missed the point of my first letter, I got virtually the same reply back again! However, shortly after that they did change their policy to allow U-turns after 150 yards. But that means that the first legal opportunity for a U-turn is after the traffic lights for the bus station, and unsurprisingly that is where most people do it – just at the place where traffic accelerates after the lights. It is a recipe for disaster – we feel like sitting ducks here. Indeed, a couple of months after our incident, exactly the same thing happened again, at exactly the same place – luckily this time with only minor damage to the vehicles involved.

It is still completely beyond me why TfL cannot see how crazy the Mile End traffic lights are. Every wave of northbound traffic results in some U-turns – there must be hundreds of people performing this dangerous manoeuvre every day. This is a clear indication that the no right turn from Burdett Road is unrealistic and unacceptable. A lot of drivers coming up from parts of Poplar, Limehouse and South Bow need to journey eastwards. The no right turn policy makes the U-turns inevitable; the alternative would be a long journey through Bow’s already often clogged and polluted smaller roads. Allowing U-turns, as they have now done, is a tacit acknowledgement of this, but it is unsafe and doesn’t solve the real problem. A wide arterial road such as Mile End Road/Bow Road is much more suited to such through traffic.

I also fail to see what the issue at Mile End can be. Surely with the very careful and slow sequence of traffic lights, an additional 15 seconds or so for a filter light allowing traffic to turn right from Burdett Road would not add dramatically to the waiting time, and could be added without risk to cyclists or pedestrians.

We’d love to hear if anyone in MEOTRA has any suggestions as to how we can take this further. TfL really need to acknowledge now that the big traffic light experiment at Mile End did not get it right; it failed to take into account local needs, and all of us – residents, pedestrians, cyclists and motorists – are paying for their mistake in increased congestion, pollution, and risks to safety. We would really like to see a change of heart here – before someone gets hurt. I fear that may only be a matter of time.

[If you do have an ideas to help resolve this ongoing issue, please email]