Monday 29 May 2023

Discounted Santander bike hire

The Zero Emission Network (ZEN) has a special offer for half price annual or monthly Santander Cycle membership for residents of Islington, Tower Hamlets and Hackney. If you use a Santander bike then getting it for half price is a no brainer.

All you have to do is click on the image above and it will (with some luck) open a pre-populated email like the one illustrated below. Edit it as required and Bob's your uncle.

If the above doesn't work then just type an email like the one below. 

The ZEN website has a range of other offers that you might find find of use. Whilst many focus on businesses in Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets some, such as the Santander hire, are for residents too. For example, you can try out a cargo bike for a week and see if it is compatible with your routine. With their Zencard you can also get 20% off beer at the five points brewery! In all there are about 60 companies that offer  deals with the Zencard.

The Crofton Singers & Jonathan Rathbone at The HAC Bow (6th July 2023) - FREE Event

The Crofton Singers in a concert

FREE Tickets are available to enjoy the Crofton Singers in concert at Morgan Street's Heritage and Arts Centre at 18:30 on Thursday 6th July.

Music for this forthcoming concert includes pieces by William Byrd, Thomas Tallis and JS Bach arranged by the Choir’s professional musical director, Jonathan Rathbone, who sang at Coventry Cathedral and Christ’s College Cambridge before studying singing and composition at the Royal Academy of Music.

Although tickets are free, space is limited, so if you wish to come register via Eventbrite. The concert will last around 90 minutes.

More about the Crofton Singers

The Crofton Singers is a chamber choir of sixteen singers who have been meeting every week in Woodford since 1947. They are a friendly four-part chamber choir that meets on Thursday evenings at Bancroft’s School, Woodford to sing a wide range of unaccompanied music.

The choir sing a wide variety of music by composers from the 16th to 21st centuries plus arrangements of traditional British folk songs and popular song. 

New members (over 16) are always welcome in all voice parts. For further information contact them by sending an email to  or by visiting

Interior shot of the catherdral-like space of the Heritage and Arts Centre, Bow

Saturday 27 May 2023

The Queen Mary Festival of Communities: Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th of June 2023, 11.30am-4.30pm


It is just a couple of weeks until the Queen Mary Festival of Communities. The video above gives a taster from a few years ago. It is enjoyable and engaging for kids and adults alike. It is a joint event with both the students and staff, but also lots of local community and public sector organisations. It takes place over two days at a different local venue on each day.

Saturday 10 June | Stepney Green Park

From soft play and give-it-a-go sports, to Queen Mary researchers and community organisations running thought-provoking and hands-on activities, there is something for everyone to get involved in. See if you can beat a robot at Tic Tac Toe, experience tropical butterflies, play battery jenga, try some creative crafts, share your favourite slang words, or learn about the matchgirls strike of 1888. There is tonnes to do and see (further info here about Saturday).

All activities are free to attend and food from local providers will be available to buy.

Children try to piece together a skeleton

The QMUL crew in full flow

Sunday 11 June | Queen Mary Mile End Campus

On Sunday the activities move to the Queen Mary Mile End Campus. You can take a tour of the rooftop dome-covered telescope, learn all about teeth from the dental students and staff; play French Bingo, try chinese calligraphy; sing cossack songs or give greek dancing a go. Again lots and lots of other stuff to see or try (see here for further info about Sunday).

QMUL dental student entrals young children with a dental quiz

Astronomy PhD student letting children play with his telescope
This is just the babyscope

Thursday 11 May 2023

Events at the HAC

Let's get ready to rumble?

The events held at the Hac last weekend undoubtedly caused problems for numerous local residents. Many locals have emailed to say how their weekend was mired by the goings on.

There seem to be three key issues:

The building is NOT soundproof - Even with the large wooden doors shut, any amplified music just goes straight through the huge single-glazed church windows. It often travels as far as Grove Road. This is unreasonable and is blights the lives of residents.

Events are NOT managed properly - There doesn't seem to be anyone from the church actually onsite to ensure any disturbance is kept to reasonable levels. The first the church hear about issues is an email, text, or by doorstepping at Sunday Service by residents. The church don't experience it firsthand themselves.

Events finish too late - Music blaring out of a night from a club night is not something a quiet residential area should have to put up with. Last weekend there was a most unroyal street party in Morgan Street which really got going at 12.20am as punters left the club night.. Women urinating in the gutter, men in local mews, cars blocking access, the NOX and other illicit substances. We even had the "Shoreditch car bar" phenomenon where people open their boot to get prepped on cheap booze (and god knows what) before a night out or to continue partying in the street afterwards. Litter galore the next day.

License - what license? A quick Google indicates hosting a boxing match is classified as "regulated entertainment", yet Sunday's event seems to have been unlicensed? As we mentioned previously we have events coming up that have been given licenses until 1AM.

The MEOTRA committee are meeting on Monday and will discuss issues surrounding the use of the Hac, but please if you were affected by the events you need to speak up and write to the council...

Were you affected by last weekend's events at the Hac?

Tower Hamlets Council are reviewing the licensing and noise issues due to recent events at the Hac. If you were "inconvenienced" (to put it politely) then it is important to let the following know giving as much detail as you can (Date/Times/What you witnessed/Photos/Videos etc):

  1. Email our two Bow West councillors Asma Begum and Nathalie Bienfait 
  2. The council licensing department (
  3. The council's [noise] Environmental Health Team.

(first-hand accounts and photo/video evidence are really important)

Note: You will need to give your name and address for complaints to be looked into by the council.

More information is available on the council's licensing and noise control web pages.

Monday 8 May 2023

How was your weekend? Enjoy the Night of Execution on Sunday?


Residents were hacked off by theHac

It really was a Bank Holiday weekend of contrasts.

Some of us enjoyed the first Coronation in our lifetime and followed it up the next day with an excuse to meet and socialise with neighbours with a picnic in Tredegar Square. Some great memories to treasure.

Meanwhile the Hac in Morgan Street had back-to-back events.

On Saturday there was a "secret" club night that went on until after midnight. It wasn't a secret for long though, with heavy bass music blasting out from the Hac hitting the residents of Morgan St and Rhondda Grove in particular. Around 9.30pm one female resident was accosted whilst walking home from Mile End station.

After midnight, despite at least two visits from the council's out of hours Noise Response Team, it was still in full flow. Literally full flow, with "ladies" squatting and urinating on Morgan Street in the gutter. At one point the whole north-western junction of Tredegar Square had cars parked across it, with the grid lock extending along to Rhondda Grove. The next morning the street was littered with lots of large NOX cannisters, plastic cups, empty whisky bottles, tissues galore and such.

On Sunday there was the "Night of Execution" with the old listed church being transformed into a boxing venue.  The sound levels were lower, but each boxer was encouraged to send in their "entrance music" to the promoter. It finished earlier (by 10?), lots of bouncers and staff to clean the streets; but we still had the unavoidable issues from punters spilling out on to our residential streets afterwards, and a venue with masses of large windows that let the sound pour through them out on to our streets and into our homes.

We've spotted some future bookings that have been granted even later licenses. One on the 23rd September has a 1AM license.

The Hac's tagline "Bringing communities together" might have to be changed to "Splitting communities apart".

For many, many years we have held our Annual General Meetings at the Epainos Church, and last Christmas they rescued our Carols in the Square with a last minute transfer to their atmospheric (and dry) the Hac. But this is a quiet residential area, as their website says, and we don't want a nightclub experience here.

If you have any thoughts or ideas please get in touch. 

Saturday 6 May 2023

Join us for a Coronation Weekend Picnic in Tredegar Square this Sunday 12-4

MEOTRA are holding a relaxed picnic tomorrow afternoon in Tredegar Square to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. The forecast is looking pretty good with a possible high of 21C.

We will be putting up bunting from 10.30am if you'd like to pop along and lend a hand. They'll be some simple garden games (giant jenga, boules, hoopla, splat-the-rat, etc); hot water for tea and some music.

Please bring some food to share if you can.

Location: Tredegar Square Gardens
Time: 12 noon to 4. (Setting up from 10.30)