Saturday 28 April 2018

Bow Church - Meridia Piano Trio (Sat 5th May 4-6.30PM)

Photo of musicians Jay Parte, Heather Anne Stewart and Theodore Balkwill

There is a piano concert on Saturday 5th May at Bow Church. Refreshments at 4 pm are followed by the recital (5-6.30 pm). Members of the audience are welcome to join the recital at any time subject to a suitable break in the music. Admission is free and no ticket is required, although there will be a voluntary collection in aid of the church building fund. For any further information contact 020 8981 3722/ 07563 757 628.

4 pm: Refreshments
5 pm: Beethoven’s “Archduke” Trio
Shostakovich Piano Trio. 2 (movements 1, 3 and 4)

About The Performers

Jay Parte is an Indian concert pianist. Born in 1993 into a musical family, his father, Tushar, is a professional composer and arranger in the Bollywood (Indian film) industry and his mother, Suchita, is an Indian classical singer and music teacher.

Jay is currently pursuing a masters degree in music at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Greenwich, London, after being awarded the ‘Great Scholarship’ in 2016.

A 1st prize winner in the Con Brio 2014 Piano Competition, India, Jay has performed in classical, pop/ prog rock and classical contemporary styles for private and fundraising events. He performed a solo recital at Bow Church last year.

Canadian violinist Heather Anne Stewart loves to entertain and has performed throughout North America and Europe. Recent performances include playing live on BBC Radio, jamming with Nigel
Kennedy, and performing at the St. Petersburg Philharmonia.

Heather has performed as a soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on eight occasions, and at such halls as the Royal Festival, Queen Elizabeth, Roy Thompson, and the National Arts Centre.
Artists she has worked with include Pinchas Zukerman, Vladimir Jurowski, Sir Andrew Davis, and Yan Pascal Tortelier.

A passionate chamber musician, Heather recently won the Cavatina Competition as a member of the Nemesis Trio. Heather completed her studies at McGill University, the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She has been taught by such artists as Maxim Vengerov, Zakhar Bron, Pierre Amoyal, Cho-Liang Lin, and Igor Ozim.

Heather performs on a 1780 Vincenzo Panormo violin, kindly on loan from the Harrison Frank Foundation.

Theodore Balkwill began playing the Cello at the age of nine, studying at the Royal College of Music with James Halsey and William Bruce, and later at the Royal Academy of Music with Josephine Knight and David Smith. During this time he performed regularly in masterclasses, with many leading cellists such as Alexander Boyarsky, Mats Lidstrom, Alexander Bailey, Guy Johnston and many others.

As an orchestral musician, Theo has performed under the baton of many esteemed conductors, including Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Colin Davis, and has toured with orchestras throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Theo has also worked extensively with choirs and smaller groups of singers, touring Europe and the Baltic states, culminating in the world premiere of works by composer Gabriel Jackson.

Friday 27 April 2018

Local Elections - Bow West candidates reply to MEOTRA's concerns

Copy of MEOTRA's letter to local election candidates
Excerpt from Meotra letter

You may remember that the MEOTRA committee wrote to all the Bow West local election candidates a couple of weeks ago (see here for the post and here for the letter) and asked them what they would do, if elected, to deal with a range of local pollution, traffic and rat-running issues that affect us in our part of Bow West..

We have now had detailed replies from three of the parties: the Greens, Labour and the Lib Dems. It is good to see that these three parties have all given detailed and knowledgeable responses that are broadly in line with one another.

Additionally, they have each put forward some new ideas too (such as partially blocking off part of Antill to stop the St Stephen's Road to Grove Road rat run; introducing a workplace parking levy; enforce the 20mph speed limit through speed cameras and ANPR).

The replies can be found here:

The Green Party
The Labour Party
The Liberal Democrats

We have had no replies from the other parties.

Friday 20 April 2018

This Weekend's Events in Bow

Flyers for this weekend's events in Bow

This weekend sees a medley of events in our area:

Urban Makers Spring Eco Market (Sat-Sun 11-5)
Breath Clean Workshops (2.30-4.30)
Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum AGM (3-5)

Urban Makers Spring Eco Market (Sat-Sun 11-5, Ecology Pavilion, Mile End Park)
Spread over two days this event has been carefully curated to have a green focus. As well as lots of handmade goods and designs, the makers have been carefully chosen for their eco-credentials.

Alongside the market there are lots of activities both inside and outside the Pavilion for the younger ones, including sewing workshops, pond dipping, an Art workshop with Dulcimer Draws, make your own soap with MBotanicals.

Breath Clean Workshops (2.30-4.30, Idea Store Bow)
Breathe Clean are providing Tower Hamlets residents with the materials & training needed to monitor nitrogen dioxide levels around the places that matter to them. Participants will measure the air quality at a number of locations over a period of six months, to get a more granular picture of the situation in the borough. The data from the Breathe Clean project will be made available on Mapping for Change’s community maps webpage. This workshop introduces the methodology used.

Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum AGM (3-5)
The Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum will be holding its first Annual General Meeting on Saturday 21st April from 3-5pm at St Paul’s Church, E3 5JL. Pop along to meet your Neighbourhood Forum, find out learnings from previous consultations, and discover the Forum’s plans for 2018.

The Forum is a group of local residents, businesses, and community groups who share an interest in planning issues that impact the local neighbourhood.

As a Forum member you can have as little as much involvement as you like. This can range from joining the Steering Group to attending the occasional consultation events. All Forum members receive newsletter updates and will have the opportunity to Vote on planning policies when they come to be written.

Sunday 15 April 2018

Beer Barrels & Brewhouses - Exploring the Brewing Heritage of the East End

Photomontage showing the Brewing Heritage of the East End

Over 200 breweries - including household names such as Truman's, Charrington's and Taylor Walker - have brewed beer in London's East End. Yet today, much of that heritage remains hidden. 

A new 80-page booklet - developed by local residents - uncovers this remarkable heritage and allows us a glimpse into the emergent new micro-breweries, championing the art of brewing beer once again in the East End.

Cover of the "Beer Barrels and Brewhouses" booklet

The booklet is available online (click here or the image above) and I've found it a really wonderful read and it managed to leave me with quite a thirst.

I have also dropped off some free hard copies with Robert at Ye Olde Corner Shoppe in Morgan Street who stocks a fine range of the new craft beers mentioned towards the end of the booklet.

Friday 13 April 2018

Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum AGM (April 21st, 3PM)

Photo looking east along Roman Road, Bow

On Saturday 21st April the Roman Road Neighbourhood Forum are holding their first Annual General Meeting. This is preceded by "Build the Neighbourhood" workshop which begins at 3PM.

During the Workshop, people will be split into teams, with each team focusing on their given area of Bow. Existing feedback will be looked at and teams will work together to identify the area's priorities.

Afterwards is the Annual General Meeting where you can hear all about the Forum's achievements so far and their focus for 2018. If you're a member of the Forum and want to stand for a place on the Steering Committee, please let them know before the 15th of April.

When: 21st April, 3PM
Where: St Paul's Old Ford, St Stephen's Road, E3 5JL
Who: Anyone who lives or works in the Roman Road Bow area.

Thursday 12 April 2018

Pollution Focus - Letter to election candidates

An extract from MEOTRA's letter to the local Bow West election candidates
Extract from Meotra's Letter

The MEOTRA committee has written to all the Bow West local election candidates (see here for a copy of the full letter) highlighting some of the key issues around pollution and rat-running that we experience.

Also, at the recent Mayoral hustings in Southern Grove, the somewhat infamous Mile End Junction no-right turns got a mention.

It would be great if we can secure pledges from both Mayoral and councillor candidates to look at these matters should they get elected.

Sticking with pollution, if you have a spare moment you might want to take a look at "How polluted is your street?".....

The BBC and EarthSense have worked together to map concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) across the UK. Diesel vehicles are a key source of NO2 gas.

While this study only concentrates on NO2 pollution, scientists advise that high concentrations of NO2 are generally a good indication that other pollutant types may also be present.

You can see what air quality is like in your street by clicking on the above graphic (or here) and then entering your postcode. The data represents an average for 2016.

Sunday 8 April 2018

The Friends of Mile End Park AGM (Wed 11th April, 7.15PM, Eco Pavilion)

Flyer for the Friends of Mile End Park AGM

This Wednesday is the Friends of Mile End Park Annual General Meeting at 7.15PM in the Ecology Pavilion, Grove Road. The agenda is below.

I do hope you can come along. It should take under an hour.

The Friends' committee is keen to get more people involved in running the Friends. Nothing too onerous - the committee usually meet for an hour or so about 4 times a year in one of their houses. If you are interested and want to find out more, then please just pop along on Wednesday. They don't bite!

The Mile End Park Management Team will be providing an update on the Park, and there will be a chance to ask them any questions you might have, or perhaps you might have some ideas you'd like to put forward?

Cover artwork of the "Beer Barrels and Brewhouses" booklet
At the AGM there will have a selection of free refreshments such as nibbles, wine and soft drinks to help the evening go along.

Also, free copies of the recently published 80-page booklet Beer Barrels and Brewhouses (which explores the brewing heritage of the East End) will be available to the first 25 attendees. It is full of local history and an excellent read. 

Attendees will also be entered into a free prize draw to win a £30 voucher valid at  The Greedy Cow in Grove Road. Thanks Reg for donating the voucher.

  1. Apologies for absence (to Secretary in advance)
  2. Minutes of 2017 AGM
  3. Matters arising
  4. Chair’s Report on Activities and Developments
  5. Treasurer’s Report on Finance and Annual Accounts
  6. Alexia Walenkaki
  7. Update on Future Events: 
    1. Community Fair and Dog Show 
    2. Monthly litter-picking get-togethers
    3. Any other suggestions invited 
  8. Election of officers:
    1. Chair
    2. Treasurer
    3. Secretary
  9. Update from Mile End Park Management Team 
  10. Any other business

Wednesday 4 April 2018

Tower Hamlets Cycling and Walking Mayoral Hustings (April 5, 6.45PM)

Flyer for the forthcoming cycling and walking Tower Hamlets Mayoral Hustings

It was great to see so many residents at our recent AGM. There seemed to be genuine interest in the committee's focus for this year - exploring how we can improve our neighbourhood in terms of traffic levels, vehicles using side roads as cut throughs, air and noise pollution and re-prioritising road space in favour of people for walking and cycling.

This Thursday (see above) there is an opportunity to meet five of the candidates for the forthcoming Tower Hamlets Mayoral elections and quiz them on what they aim to do to improve our streets. 

The Tower Hamlets Wheelers (which represents hundreds of cyclists in the borough) has recently published a cycling manifesto for Tower Hamlets. One of their asks is that low traffic neighbourhoods are created across the borough and this is something that we would welcome in MEOTRA.

If any of you have any ideas then please email

Gardening in Bow Churchyard - Sat April 7 (10.30-12.30)

Photo of the Bow Church Gardens looking towards the church entrance

This Saturday, weather permitting, is an opportunity to help out with some gardening in St Mary's (Bow Church) Churchyard. The churchyard is looking very pretty but needs some tidying up. The event runs from 10.30 to 12.30 with a cake break.

For those of you who haven't been to Bow Church, the Churchyard and naturalistic garden beyond the church are surprisingly tranquil places. The latter actually rises up like the prow of a ship onto the beginning of the flyover and is teeming with a varied selection of plants.

Sunday 1 April 2018

April Fool's Joke - Gated Development

MEOTRA to become a gated-development
1st April 2018
My April Fool's Day article about turning Tredegar Square Conservation Area into a gated development got a very wide range of responses.

Many wanted to know the date of the referendum. There were concerns about how deliveries would get in; tradesmen refusing to provide services if they had to pay to park within the MEOTRA citadel;  residents wanting to make sure their house lies within the area; and celebrations that it would mean the end of police horse poop in our streets. I even had an "Angry of Bow" disgusted at our NIMBYISM.

Alas there are no plans to fortify our streets. Though the reduction in traffic, noise, pollution, crime, insurance premiums and anti-social behaviour are desirable, this Utopia is unlikely to come our way any time soon, certainly not via the Localism Act.

I did put some subtle clues in the article: 
  • There is no such thing as "Bow Neighbourhood".
  • I suggested visitors could obtain entry cards from Robert's Ye Olde Corner Shoppe, but that would be difficult as it lies INSIDE the proposed gated area.
  • The link to the council website doesn't work and if you look at the web address it says "APRIL FOOLS DAY" at the end.
  • If you click on the link it starts to compose an email with "April Fool's Day" as the subject line (though this wasn't in earlier emails)
Just to reassure you, that is it for the year - no more false articles. Honest!