weirdwalthamstow

Archive for 2017|Yearly archive page

Glow London clothes shop

In Uncategorized on September 11, 2017 at 12:54 pm

At the Walthamstow Garden Party my partner and I met a local clothes designer who makes some lovely retro ladies clothes. We had a nice chat and my partner bought a 50’s style skirt in a very African style print that she has been wearing all Summer.

Well Glow now have their own shop at 4 Central Parade!

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Classic styling, modern edge.

They have a modern sparse, airy shop. The owner told us that a lot of work had to be done as it was a bit neglected but they have spruced it up with nice displays and artwork by Static London.

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Clothes from other designers are for sale, with more on the way

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Other designer goods are for sale.

My partner is very happy that a high end clothes shop has opened. Along with the neighbouring pop up shop and Central Parade space the uplift of How Street is gathering pace.

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The Village Festival

In Uncategorized on September 2, 2017 at 4:10 pm

On a lovely, sunny Saturday myself and Madam Weird fancied getting out of the house. And the Village Festival was a very convenient excuse. After fuelling up on toasties at Central Parade we wandered into the Village.

Orford road was shut off to traffic (as usual) and there were plenty of people about. There were some local craft stalls and food sellers, plus extras down side roads and in the community centre. A stage had been set up for local musicians and a choir was keeping the crowd entertained.

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The choir singing Talking Heads ‘Road to Nowhere’.  Surely a Mini-Holland in joke on Orford Road?

We perused stalls. I’d noted a police control truck on a side street and at one point there were three pairs of officers in Orford Road. Maybe they’d missed out on getting Notting Hill Carnival overtime or maybe they think the number of trust fund owners in the Village would draw criminals in?

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A good turnout.

Regardsless it all seemed to be going swimmingly. We bumped into Stella Creasy and had a lovely catch up. Watching Stella wrestle with he balloon’s string while trying to write down my email address was the most joyful thing I’ve seen in ages.

Afterwards my partner indulged my beer nerdity and we drifted down to the Ravenswood estate. God’s Own Junkyard had many visitors and their garden is looking lovely. We chilled at Wildcard and I had a pint of the Joker lager for the first time (it’s okay, their golden and IPA are better). Then a quick visit to Pillers for some beer takeout and a chat. I was there for their launch and their first birthday is coming up so I must get along to that. I got to catch up with one of the founders talk about their recent tap room specials and their lovely new Mural.

I often feel the village is a bit seperate from the rest of Walthamstow. But days like this show how it is one of the most prolific areas at inviting people in.

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Pillers mural in progress.

Be Magnificent exhibition, William Morris Gallery

In Art on August 12, 2017 at 2:22 pm

The ‘Be Magnificent’ exhibition is the latest in what has been a series of fascinating shows at the William Morris Gallery. This one is about the Walthamstow School of Art’s history and famous teachers and pupils. There are many references to its most famous student, Ian Dury, who ironically went on to success for his music rather than his paintings. There are study sketches as well as final pieces and clothes and fabric prints from the fashion students.

The show extends from the ground floor exhibition space so don’t miss the extras; pieces in the dining room, the first floor landing and definitely do not miss the wonderful 10 minute film in a first floor side room of interviews with former students and teachers. It’s a warm collection of reminiscences from people who later realised how fortunate they were in having such a unique creative incubator to awaken their talents.

Entry is free. On until September 10th.

Warner Road Street Party

In Events, Uncategorized on July 23, 2017 at 8:18 pm

My better half lives on leafy, pleasant Warner Road. We’d been to a street party with fellow residents before but I had to miss the last one in 2015 and my partner wasn’t there long due to a health problem.

After a rainy Saturday we’d worried about the weather but heading up at 10:30 to help set up it was cool and sunny. More organised neighbours had gotten everything booked; the permits to close the road, bouncy castle and the Rose and Crown pub supplying the beer. So we just had to help with fetching and carrying. St Michaels church lent us tables from their hall so we helped carry thos around and I climbed on on to help put the beautiful, hand made bunting up.

People started drifting up from the rest of the street. It was quiet at first but as one resident, Dave, pointed out they’d all been busy cooking! My partner and I had just brought supermarket nibbles (we’re not great in the kitchen) but others brought amazing pakura, samosas, croquettes, pasta and salads.

We have a surprising number of kids on the street and they’d soon started running around with water pistols, bouncing on the inflatable castle, playing ping-pong, drawing or just loading up on enough sugar to fuel an elephant. Some of the more constructive adults had fun making go karts for the kids, although watching them have fun with power tools became a spectator event in itself!

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The bouncy castle was in constant use the whole afternoon!

The adults loaded up a different way; some had brought drinks (including one who simply emptied a case of Kronenburg for everyone) but many of us enjoyed the ELB Pale ale and Millwhites cider put on by Viv from the Rose and Crown. Who probably did more business by bringing along Murphy, an adorable pup for us to all coo over.

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It was sunny most of the afternoon. It wasn’t to last…

One great addition to this party were the hand made name badges. It made it all easier to chat without worrying about forgetting names.

I wasn’t intending to stay the whole afternoon but had such a good time I was still there when we started to tidy up at 5PM. Which was perfect timing as the clouds had started to roll in. The rain started up light at first but gradually accelerated and I was drenched through carrying tables back to the hall. But many hands make light work and we’d soon deconstructed it to the gazebos with the last drinks of the day being consumed.

There’s a lot of use of the word ‘community’ when people talk online about Walthamstow. When I moved to London 20 years ago I left behind a life where if people didn’t know me they’d often know a family member or a mutual acquaintance. London was a new life and I adored the anonymity of the big city. But nowadays there are many opportunities to engage as much or little as one likes.  The whole street party was organised through the Facebook group for street residents. There are online groups for local selling and swapping and a while one for local whinging. People are self organising into communities without the weight of expectation of level of involvement.

Nowadays I’m enjoying my local community, virtual and real. Shit, I even started a blog about it.

Spring Cafe, Forest Road

In food, Uncategorized on July 15, 2017 at 11:56 am

Today was a rare Saturday where I get a lie in at my flat and not my partner’s. So I decided to treat myself to breakfast at Grill on the Hill and form an opinion for a review.

They were shut. On a Saturday morning.

Being the ‘adapt and overcome’ type I moved on to Spring cafe, half way down to Blackhorse Road station. I must have walked past a thousand times, usually late in the evening when they are shut. So today became the day to give them a try!

The décor is very ‘caff’. Lots of London pictures like they want tourists to feel at home.

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The ‘London’ tablecloths

I ordered a set breakfast. Eventually. The staff member who took my order assumed I was trying to order off the other breakfast menu. When I said the set 3 breakfast I had to then describe the contents as the staff member wasn’t tall enough to see the menu board over the fridge. Ho hum.

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There are also impressive indoor plants!

While waiting I noticed they have a 4/5 council rating, which is respectable.

My fryup was typical of other local eateries. The bubble n’ squeak was particularly chunky, with plenty of veg in it. At one point they propped the front door open; like cafe 56 I don’t think exposing your customers to extra bus fumes is particularly helpful.

I think I have a softer spot for Rodi and Jessies but Spring is a reasonable fall back option.

Froth & Rind and the 60’s Photo Exhibition Review

In Events, food on June 25, 2017 at 1:33 pm

After a visit to the excellent Goddards Vet Clinic to pic up a new cat carrier after our cat bust his last one my partner and I wanted to grab some lunch. Not gripped by any of the wares on the little Orford Road Saturday market we decided to give Froth&Rind a try.

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So this little cafe is simply kitted out and the menu seems to be predominantly craft beer (I imagine canned/bottled), coffee and toasted cheese sandwiches (I imagine Froth&Rind&Hops is a bit unmanageable). They do have a few other things on offer.

May partner and I decided to go for a classic chedder cheese and onion pickle toastie. No diet coke in this classy place, but Fentiman’s Lemonade for me and coffee for my SO was fine. Sadly I was so hungry by this time I’d eaten the food before I thought of a photo! While the bread wasn’t as great as the toasties in Central cafe (being your own bakery) the filling was so ample it spilled out (yay for napkins). But hey, Central is a bit more pricey too.

It was warm indoors so we sat out front being all continental. Fortunately there no smokers about, although the yummy mummy coming out with a crying child in one hand and a tiny coffee in the other had us laughing with “I’ll buy you some brie later, sweetie!” Ah, you know when you’re in the village…

Not much of a review I guess, but when we’re next in the village I’d go back for more. A little later in the day and a toastie with a beer sounds a great way to spend an hour.

Since we were in the area we dropped into Vestery House Museum to see their 1960’s photo exhibition. There are lots of great pictures of the area, many of the usual local landmarks. I liked one of the Priory Court Estate as you can see the old Walthamstow FC ground where my home is now. There were also lots of newspaper clippings and other ephemera. As public transport users we particularly enjoyed the bits about the opening of the Victoria Line, and the quotes of locals wondering who would want to use it! The exhibition is free and well worth 15 minutes if you’re in the area.

 

The Great Get Together

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2017 at 8:56 am

Before anything else yeah, I know I didn’t write about the Art Trail. We just did a few of the showings on Hoe Street on the first weekend, as well as seeing a few around town. Look, if you’re the sort of person who reads local blogs you already knew and probably planned out a whole weekend to see as much as possible like artistic Pokemon. So lets just take it as read, m-kay?

On the anniversary of the murder of MP Jo Cox there was a nationwide celebration of community and we had one here in Walthamstow town square. I arrived with my partner just as Stella was opening the event. We gratefully had some of the free food laid on by Deja Vu Garden (who I must try soon) and settled in a bit of shade. The DJ played music, kids played, people lounged. I grabbed a beer (and water) from the supermarket and just chilled.

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The first of a number of local musicians.

There were performances over the afternoon from local singers, the Rose & Crown choir and some drummers. My partner and I had a walk around the stalls and made a donation to the wonderful local food bank Heat or Eat. There was a van where locals could randomly meet others from the community.

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I reckon we had a couple of hundred people at peak

As the evening wore on we came to the point where the Muslim community was about to break it’s fast. There had been a number of tickets to join them for Iftar but for the rest of us lovely Sodo pizza and Roosters chicken put on plentiful free food. The food was preceded by statements of community by Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Humanist representatives.

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Council leader Clare Coghill joined in too.

Even as the evening came to it’s end at 10PM there was still food being handed out including lovely cups of dates.

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Stella helping to hand out food while having a bop

It’s easy to talk about community but I wonder if we could have had a bigger turn out. I’m sure team running it did everything they could to publicise it but I suspect there are many people here who are so disconnected they don’t follow local blogs like this or chat on Walthamstow Life. I hope at least some of them were passing and came and sat a while. I hope they’d feel like they belonged.

Yard Sale Pizza

In food on June 1, 2017 at 10:47 am

So for my partner’s birthday her mum decided we should all go to lunch to Sodo Pizza (her mum’s favourite). However since the big day was the bank holiday Monday Sodo was shut which gave us a perfect opportunity to try Yard Sale Pizza.

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The building is one I’d wondered about over the years, a medium size commercial looking property on the North stretch of Hoe Street, pretty much Bell Corner. I’m told it used to be a stained glass workshop. It’s age is still apparent and I think it suits a hipster pizza joint.

It had customers on the day but we only had to wait a minute to be shown our table. It has a system of going up to the counter to order and pay but instead of numbers on spoons they just take your name.

It looks like they follow Sodo’s path of doing a small number of pizzas well.

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Take your pick of 8 toppings. Note the menu seems to have been printed on an inkjet, hence the print smears.

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Dips, sides, desserts and drinks. The guest ale was Wildcard’s Queen of Hearts.

We got our order in and the food did not take long to arrive.

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We ordered 2 garlic breads between 4 of us. Crisp shell and soft inside, but could have been heavier on the garlic.

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Two of us went for the Holy Pepperoni. It was very nice, just the right side of spicy with a great base.

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My partner went for the ham and courgette one which looks great.

I didn’t get a photo of my partner’s mum’s aubergine pizza but as and we we ever get back I think I’ll give that one a try.

While we were all on soft drinks the can and bottle beer selection for East London breweries was good.

The décor looks like an America pizzeria trying to look like an Italian one, an image boosted by the 80’s US pop-rock soundtrack. There are benches outside for those who want the al fresco street café experience of breathing in diesel fumes from passing buses.

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Very Americana, although the orange plastic schoolchairs add a tint of British naffness.

Overall we liked Yard Sale but unanimously agreed we preferred Sodo. For me it feels a bit more grown up, adventuress and has a better drinks menu. But I like Yard Sale and will happily eat here again.

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And of course they do deliver.

‘Twas Ever Stow’ Exhibition

In Uncategorized on May 14, 2017 at 7:05 pm

There was a little craft market today in a car park on Hoe Street. Just a half dozen stalls but cute (apparently they may be there on future Sundays). But while there we were handed a flyer on a new free exhibition in the council shop on Hoe Street (where they have the pop ups) so we dropped in for a look.

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No photos were allowed inside so this is the sign in the window

The show is a celebration of the local shopping streets of High Street and Hoe Street. There are some paintings and lots of photos from each street showing the history of their development. There are quotes from local residents on display on what it was like to shop here plus focuses on a few key shops (surprisingly Sainsburys is one).

It’s a nice little exhibition and well worth dropping in to see.

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And local stained glass in the other window.

May Day at Lloyd Park

In Events on May 1, 2017 at 6:16 pm

I’ve never quite made it to the May Day event at the park, even though it’s near where I live. And with the grey skies this year raining on me and my partner on our way to limp sandwiches at St James street Costa I came close to missing it again. But my other half wanted a walk so we strolled over for a look.

When we got there to the large back field it had not long officially started but there were well over 100 people there, many with small children. We were immediately drawn to the Maypole where organisers were organising many children into holding ribbons and dancing around.

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Dancing around the May Pole

Yet again I’m impressed at our community’s determination to go out and have fun no matter the weather.

It was not as busy an event as the Garden party but there was a long line of stalls around the outskirts of the field.

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More fun than the Fyre Festival!

We gave the inflatable slides a miss and started at the other end. There were many food stalls which at 12:30 were already getting business.

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Yay, Chips With Dips is back!

As you can imagine, we rapidly regretted the Costa limp sandwiches.

Chips with Dips is back in service with a revamped van. I hope to see them at other local events. Giggly Pig from the Farmers Market was there and many other food stalls.

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Love this hot dog stall’s branding.

Speaking of dogs we were far to early for the dog fancy dress pageant but there were loads of pooches socialising. We enjoyed a happy 5 minutes watching people try and persuade their dogs around the obstacle course. Adorable unintentional comedy.

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Doggie training

It was a nice community event and it was great to see the Friends of Lloyd park getting a lot of attention. Well done to all involved.