weirdwalthamstow

Archive for 2017|Yearly archive page

‘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.

20170514_134308

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.

20170514_134257

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.

20170501_124619

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.

20170501_124637.jpg

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.

20170501_125505.jpg

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.

20170501_125530

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.

20170501_125658

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.

My embarrassing Higham Hill post

In Drink, Places on April 9, 2017 at 5:32 pm

I bet that subject line got your attention.

So I’ve lived in Higham Hill for 13 years yet haven’t really explored my local area much. Walked up Higham Hill road a couple of times and a bit of Blackhorse Lane. I think the problem is I’ve rarely had the time. I used to work in Surbiton, then a West End job working crazy hours, then my current job in Chiswick. The 3 years I was out of work in the recession contained crippling depression. Spending weekends at my partner’s near the high street means I’m not much in my home area.

But today I got home and got the vacuuming done and thought “Fuck staying in on a sunny afternoon. Fuck being that guy.” So I went out for a walk. Time for a nice, cold beer. Time to try some local pubs.

20170409_155506

Facelift?

Just a 10 minute walk up the hill from my flat is the Warrant Officer. Lots of scaffolding on the outside didn’t stop it being open on a Sunday afternoon and it was pleasantly quiet. The sound system was playing various Americana  from Country to blues to a ‘Lighter Shade of Pale’. Speaking of pale I chose a pint of 13 Guns yank IPA. They had a couple of ale taps on but I was in the mood for something cold. £4 tells me I’m not in the pub at the West Midlands council estate I grew up in (seriously I get change from a twenty when I buy 6 pints at Xmas). I settled into a corner armchair to let life go by.

I’d rank the Warrant Officer under ‘nice estate pub’. It seems to have a bunch of middle aged and retired men making up the clientèle in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. It’s got a couple of TVs (not on, fortunately), pool table, free wifi. Apart from the mix of old chairs the décor revolves around military insignia and a case full what I think are replica flintlocks.

20170409_153909

Look, in the middle, a case full of guns!

Eschewing the wifi I sat, made a few notes for this post and enjoyed the music. I think I’ll be back for a quiet pint again sometime.

Fortified with a beer I decided to go look for  Higham Hill Park, which was just 2 minutes away. It was a bit smaller than I expected (Lloyd park has spoiled me, and is nearly as close) but has good facilities which were being well used; tennis courts, basketball courts, playground and playing field.

20170409_155758

So many of the trees are in blossom. Since there were loads of kids in the park I deliberately tried to avoid photographs with people in them.

I found myself a patch of grass to write some notes. And then stretched out for 20 minutes. It was warm with a cooling breeze and I found myself occasionally chuckling at how I never make time to make time for myself. I watched planes overhead leave contrails and pigeons flirt with each other.

20170409_162338.jpg

So, more beer. On a previous walk I’d noticed another pub and decided to try the Prince of Wales on St Andrews Road.

20170409_162841

Prince of Wales’ unassuming exterior.

No interior shot of this one. I didn’t want to draw attention to the fact I wasn’t the only bloke in the pub watching the football. This is your classic estate pub; choice of Guinness, John Smiths or Fosters (I went for lager on a warm day). Judging by the missing paint it’s not seen a decorator this century. Two of the three TVs in this smallish bar were showing the game. There’s a pool table and a one arm bandit if Sky Sports doesn’t get you excited. Looking out back there seems to be a beer garden.

While I may not be kind the ‘stow needs a mix of pubs to serve all of its residents. As we don’t have a ‘spoons it is pubs like this and the Lord Palmerston which serve the ‘basic’ end of the local beer trade.

While I doubt I’ll return to the last venue I hope to spend some time chilling in my local park. Certainly, I’ll drop into the Warrant Officer of an evening for a pint.

And next time I get chance for a walk I’ll try and venture a bit further North into my neighbourhood.

A World to Win. Posters of Protest and Revolution

In history on January 1, 2017 at 1:19 am

So just before Xmas I had a chance to go see this exhibition at the William Morris museum. And unusually I puposefully did not take any pictures. I was so moved by this beautifully curated (by the V&A) collection of protest posters with the stories behind each one from all around the world over the last centuary. I don’t want to spoil for you the intersection of activism, design and art that is collated here.

The pictures are grouped by themes and allow you to see different angles on similar causes from different cultures and times. There is a jukebox in the middle of the room that is full of protest songs from the likes of NOFX, John Cooper Clarke and Deacon Blue! It souldtracks the exhibit wonderfully and I could have spent hours working through its catalogue.

The exhibition is free (although I ask that you drop some change in the WM Museum collection box on the way out). The show is yet another win for the reinvigorated building; it’s funny to think the council wanted to slash its opening hours to a tiny amount. If they try that again I think some posters will be arranged…