Thursday, 17 December 2020

The Vaccine rollout comes to Mile End

Today MEOTRA resident and its former Chair, Joan Griffiths emerged from a lengthy COVID-induced hibernation and after a ten minute walk to QMUL had the first of her two COVID-19 vaccination jabs.

It was all over in no time and look who warmed the seat up for her - none other than Wapping resident Sir Ian McKellen.

Joan was somewhat surprised the doctor didn't say "sharp scratch", whilst her companion was more concerned there were no lollipops offered in reward. Nevermind. A short stop at The Coffee Room and Joan was in croissant heaven.

As the year draws to a close it's great to see these small signs of hope. 

Monday, 14 December 2020

Tower Hamlets - ANYONE can now get COVID-19 tested including those without symptoms


On Sunday Tower Hamlets Council announced that ANYONE in the borough is now able to get tested for COVID-19 including those without symptoms. This follows a worrying rise in Covid-19 cases locally.

For MEOTRA residents this is literally a walk in the park, as the Walk-in Test Centre is situated at Mile End Park's Art Pavilion (just behind the Grove Road Texaco Garage).

On Sunday afternoon there were some 400 tests available in the next couple of days at this local centre.

To book a test visit: When you arrive on the website, select... 1️⃣ No - not an essential worker 2️⃣ No symptoms 3️⃣ No - not part of a trial 4️⃣ My council has asked me

It takes around 5 minutes to fill out the online form and I found it easiest to do on a smartphone (less questions it seemed).

I know it may seem pointless to get tested if you don't have symptoms, but it isn't. Around 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic but these folk can still pass the virus on to. So the more testing we do the more we can break the chain of transmission.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Bow West Safer Neighbourhood Team Newsletter & Survey


Attached is the recent Bow West SNT newsletter which summarises what's been happening across Bow West lately. It details the number and type of crimes in our area as well as in the borough as a whole, lists the Ward Priorities and contains the various ways you can report crime or concerns.

The Team hold regular ward panel meetings where the Ward Priorities are discussed (currently ASB and drug use in Newport House, Strahan Road; and ASB and group gathering on Guerin Square, Malmesbury Estate). These priorities are often chosen based of reporting concerns through and this shows the importance of reporting crime or issues that concern you.

There is also a short survey for Bow West residents to fill out (it only takes a couple of minutes honest!) regarding crime in our area. If you have two minutes then please do fill it out. Let's face it there is little else to do these days :) 

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Roman Road LDN


Our friends at Roman Road LDN recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money needed for them to continue operating during this Covid-19 crisis.

This local magazine works to strengthen the community and the high street using local journalism – working to connect people, raise cultural awareness, promote the local economy and, most importantly, increase community spirit. 

There are many organisations affected by the pandemic and we can't support them all. But during 2020 many locals, especially the extremely vulnerable who have been holed-up for most of the year have found the regular RoRd newsletters really stimulating and reading them has enabled many to take a much-needed virtual stroll around Bow.

The campaign has 9 days to go and has so far raised almost £19,000 of their £30,000 goal. Please consider supporting Roman Road LDN by donating or becoming a patron here

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum AGM 2020 -TONIGHT 7-8PM (Wednesday 28th October)


You can never have too many meetings, right?

OK that isn't true, but ahead of tomorrow's MEOTRA AGM there is the Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum tonight at 7PM on Zoom

Further details are available on their website, but you will have to pre-register for this Zoom meeting if you want to attend.

The forum has just reached a milestone and published their [our really] draft plan which if adopted will have a significant effect on planning in our area.

If you can't attend tonight's AGM, then there will be a couple of opportunities coming up to discuss the draft plan and have your input.


Reminder: MEOTRA AGM Thursday 29th October 7PM (via Zoom)

Mark you're on mute
Hello Mark! You're on mute"

Tomorrow sees MEOTRA's first virtual AGM at 7PM. To keep it local to MEOTRA residents only, there is a short (literally 15 seconds)  Zoom registration form.

We are still keen for some new blood on the committee so please do let me know if you are interested - a newsletter editor and secretary are particularly needed.

We have some exciting news, a secret known only to one. So if you want to find out what this earth-shattering news is then please register and come along.

Saturday, 10 October 2020

MEOTRA Annual General Meeting Thursday 29th October 2020, 7PM


MEOTRA will be holding our Annual General Meeting on Thursday 29th October at 7PM. It will be a virtual meeting using Zoom.

Usually, our AGM is held in March/April, but COVID put a stop to that. We could skip a year, but we thought let's slip one in now - it's not like we have flights to catch. 

Who can attend? If you live in the MEOTRA area, then you are a member and can attend.

Where is the MEOTRA area? This is the area bounded by Mile End Road, Lichfield Road, the Regent’s Canal and Coborn Street.

The MEOTRA boundary

How do I attend the virtual AGM? Please complete our short Zoom registration form and closer to the date you will be sent the meeting link and an Agenda.

The AGM is a formal occasion where our resident's association approve the year's accounts, receive the Annual Report from the Chair and elect the committee which comprises of the Honorary Officers:

  • Chair
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
and up to six other members such as:
  • Newsletter Editor
  • Planning advisor
  • Website Editor/Social Media
  • and up to three other members
Our constitution outlines how we work as an organisation and gives a bit more info on how the AGM is structured. 

If you are interested in joining the committee and would consider ANY of the above posts then get in touch via and we can tell you more about what the different committee roles entail etc. 

We hold about 3-4 committee meetings a year (via Zoom at the moment) and meet to discuss any activities (Carol Singing, bulb planting, our annual Fun Day etc), planning issues, and anything else affecting our neighbourhood.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Changes to Parking Permits from 1st September

Tower Hamlets Council has (just) announced changes to the parking Zone system as described above. 

It is a simple change - from 1st September you can only park in your own mini-zone ALL DAY. Other Zones are limited to three continuous hours - but this will have quite a significant impact on some local car users.

At our recent MEOTRA Zoom meeting a resident brought up the matter of non-residents from other B mini-zones driving into MEOTRA streets every weekday and then jumping on the tube at Mile End Station. An urban Park And Ride if you will.

It was noted that someone from Antill Road drives their Porsche around the corner daily and also someone from Tredegar Road drives their car three short streets too.

Now there may be folk who have limited mobility or carers who make use of this extra parking provision. So I hope allowances are made for those. 

Overall it should lead to a small, but noticeable, decrease in traffic coming into our residential streets.

Monday, 27 July 2020

Midnight Wednesday 29th July - Deadline for consultation for Liveable Streets Bow

This Wednesday 29th July at midnight is the deadline for the Liveable Streets Bow consultation. It is cutting it a bit fine to post your response now via Royal Mail, but you can complete it online by heading over to:

The form takes a while to fill out. It isn't a Yes/No referendum, but a series of questions about the various aspects of the scheme with a sliding scale where you can indicate how much you support or don't support the various aspects. You can also suggest other options or detail your reasoning.

The Mayor, councillors and consultants are keen to say "The proposals aren't written in stone" so let them know your thoughts.

You do have to register (this will help reduce unfair bias from any one lobby group). So do allow a little extra time for this (I would say 15 minutes for the whole response?).

For a reasonable article giving the pro- and anti- viewpoints the Roman Road website has a balanced article including the "The Only Way is Bow" video that I strangely have a soft spot for.

Just over a week ago, we held an online Zoom meeting for MEOTRA residents giving them a chance to hear directly from our councillors the reasons for proposing the scheme and then from the consultants on the nitty-gritty of the design options. We then had a lengthy Q and A where everyone had a chance to quiz the panel.

There was a range of views from the ~40 residents who joined in. The meeting was pleasant and it was good for some of the deep-shielders to see and chat with their friends and neighbours whom they hadn't seen since March.  It wasn't the Online Quiz other RAs have had, but thanks to everyone for joining in.

A Streetcar not Named MEOTRA

In the lead up to the meeting, the Zoom address was passed on to non-residents (even though invites expressly asked residents not to do this as Zoom has a capacity limit) and this led to quite a bit of stress as MEOTRA committee members couldn't get into their own meeting that they had paid to put on! We had over a hundred try to gatecrash from the streets above.

So whether you are rich or poor, driver, cyclist or neither, born and bred or only just unpacking your moving boxes; the survey is for everyone: pour a cuppa or something stronger if you prefer and let the council know your thoughts. The more locals that feed in then hopefully the better the final scheme will be.

Deadline Midnight 29th July:

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.