December 25, 2013

Happy Christmas


I have to say I am loving these #autoawesomes courtesy of google plus. Here is a little Christmas selection taken over the festive period. 






December 02, 2013

LGSO plays movies and musicals at the Apollo Victoria

November 24, 2013

Basement Galley at the pumphouse museum



So on a much more positive Walthamstow front I thought I would have to share these pics of us having dinner on the tube at the Basement Galley a couple of months ago


Walthamstow violence map


View Walthamstow violence in a larger map I started this map a few years ago having grown up in Wales, feeling somewhat unfamiliar with stories of stabbings on my doorstep in the big city. The map grew and I grew somewhat tired of adding things that appeared in the press. Anyway todays post is somewhat more positive. Although there are things to add I am conscious that actually violence on the streets of E17 seems to be less common (or certainly less commonly reported).

So here are the latest additions since mid 2012

2013
Attack on autistic teanager
Police fire on a man on Hale end road
King Edward road stabbing death 
Girl raped near Hibbert road

Late 2012
Bloodbath on Queen's road
Marten Road stabbing
Man arrested at the Walthamstow central may have been involved in stabbing
Delivery driver shot in the neck
Man found hanged in town square
Fight on Hoe street
Siege on Cromwell road


January 20, 2013

Brave New World, LGBT conference at Guildhall


 In a shameless plug for R's workplace I thought I would just mention a conference at the Guildhall on the of 16th of Feb. Sounds like a great programme. You can read more about the event on London Metropolitan Archives LGBT history facebook page.





Walthamstow - South Grove plans

Yesterday I went to see the plans for the development at South Grove. Essentially this consists of a Morrisons store with flats above. The plans can be found here.

My overall impression was disappointment. Aside from the issue that we have a Lidl, Farmfoods, Tesco metro, Sainsburys and Asda within walking distance I had many concerns about the nature of the development itself.

The development consists of a car park at ground level. They are yet to decide whether this will be open to the street. My worry is that this may create another area like Selborne walk which is unpleasant to walk along. This would also be at odds with the draft AAP plan for the town centre that has been published this month (which heavily criticises the street scene along Selborne walk). Section 12.6 of the document states the following


"Townscape quality then falls away moving westwards along Selborne Road, with the main Chingford to  Liverpool Street overground railway running along the southern boundary. The northern edge of Selborne Road is dominated by the backs of buildings and service yards for Selborne Walk shopping mall and other retail uses and is very poor in terms of townscape quality."


Morrisons will sit on level 1 with 7 floors above that. In total there will be 9 floors. There is no community space beyond a garden that is residents only. They claim the retail will create jobs in the area.

So what's next. They said they will perform an assessment to understand whether there is need for further supermarket retail. Perhaps I am wrong but we only eat a certain amount of food. Therefore won't this simply move some shoppers from tesco/Asda/sainsburys? They will also perform an assessment on the impact to schools etc. They also suggested they would publish the results of both consultations. However i suspect this will be in the form of a summary statement rather than anything close to the data itself.

Re-edit!! I am now feeling annoyed. The excellent Blackhorse Road AG points out that some floors may be double height (within the store etc). This was very misleading when I clearly asked how tall it would be. If you can bear it you can listen to their responses to my questions here.


September 19, 2012

E17 Art trail

So last weekend R's Dad came down for the E17 art trail. This year I thought the trail seemed better than ever. We started the weekend at the amazing new William Morris Gallery. The gallery was exhibiting Grayson Perry's Walthamstow tapestry which I loved (above). We then headed around a whole mish mash of galleries from the Rose and Crown through to the Tokarska gallery, Nag's head and Penny Fieldings. Probably our favourite (R and I) was the open Studios at Blackhorse road studios especially Sandy M Sutton's sculptures. Sadly the Art trail has now finished for another year but this is becoming quite a big event and should not be missed in 2013. 

June 16, 2012

25th of June - D-day for Queen's road station to Walthamstow central walking link


View Walthamstow Queen's road link in a larger map
Scarily I have been posting about this since 2009! As I mentioned back then I think it is strange that I am interested in planning issues but when you think that the saga of this link has been going on for years. Essentially Walthamstow central and Queen's road are very close to each other as the crow flies but there is no direct link. Walking between the two involves a diversion as mapped above.

This is all despite the fact that a link was supposed to be built as far back as 1996 (this was a condition on which the Exeter road housing estate was built). Eventually Waltham forest council decided to enforce this planning requirement and they finally won a legal battle in the high court for this to introduced in 2009.

So what has happened since? Well firstly we have had the developments at Walthamstow central. These are clearly works in progress and the developer also suggested that the link between the stations was an important part of their planning. I hope they will honour this and that this time Waltham forest council will keep their eye on the ball in monitoring progress.

I have been in regular contact with Neil Bullen (programme manager for transport planning at Waltham forest council) and Gina Harkell. Essentially the first part of the works involve building a ramp at Queen's road station to link the station to Exeter road. Here is an abridged summary

August 2009 - Neil suggests that implementation of the link will occur in the financial year 2009 - 2010
April 2010 - Developer instructs soil investigations and design proposals. Plan for work to start within 8 weeks.
July - August 2010 - delays due to planning issues around the ramp
March 2011 - Still no progress on the actual construction, consultation with stakeholders (not the general public apparently)
November 2011 - Work now due to start in Feb 2012
February 2012 - Delays due to further design work being required. Now due to start in April
May 2012 - Delay apparently due to a redesign being required for the elastomeric bearings for the structure. Redesign work due to be completed by the 25th of May with work due to start one month later.

Therefore D-day is the 25th of June!! Should I hold my breath?

The Black path closure - Walthamstow cycling


View Black Path diversion in a larger map


I am not sure why it is called this but it certainly sounds ominous! However it is slightly less Holywood horror and more industrial estate grime when you consider how the name relates to reality.

The Black path is a cut through for cyclists and pedestrians that avoids the lorries on Argyll avenue, allowing you to then join the cycle routes from lea bridge road onwards into town or down the lea valley etc. However as reported waltham forest cycling (and kindly mapped by them in gmaps) the route has been closed. I cannot recall seeing any notice for these works and the only sign at the end of the path suggests that it is closed until the end of July. Significantly the path is very close to the controversial campsite (with mega bar) planned for low hall sports ground during the olympics!

I therefore emailed Waltham forest council to ask why the path has been shut. Thankfully the path is actually only due to be shut until the end of June (not July), apparently for surface improvement works. Below is the email I received from the council. 

Thank you for your email.
There was an error on a sign which indicated that Black Path is to be closed until end of July. This was spotted and the contractor was instructed to correct it. I understand that the correction was made this morning with a completion date of 29 June.
The closure of the road is required for maintenance work including new kerb works and resurfacing.
I apologise for the original error on the signage.

Kind Regards

Sarath

Sarath Ranasinghe
Sarath.Ranasinghe@walthamforest.gov.uk

June 05, 2012

Ash in Tennessee Paradise City @ City Lit


So last night we went to see Ash in this play at City Lit. Ash has been hiding his light under his bushel for years and today all was revealed!!

The performances continue till Saturday so if you missed it then you have another chance. 

2012 so far in Walthamstow violence

I may have missed a couple of violent incidents but as you can see 2012 has not been a quiet year so far.

In January we have 
The Hoe Street - fight outside takeaway
Another Hoe Street stabbing (reported in February but happened in January)

February

March - Bizarrely quiet, I have definitely missed something. 

April

May

June 

Despite all of this the Evening standard has recently named E17 as the best value place to rent in London!! 

Here is the updated crime map. 


View Walthamstow violence in a larger map

Party on the Pitch #awesomestow

So following the ridiculous decision by Waltham forest council to allow Walthamstow Dog track to be converted into flats they hold an event called party on the pitch. This did not make up for the terrible planning decision however it was at least a fun evening.

Party on the pitch was essentially an evening for screaming teenagers on Leyton football club pitch (though we both loved it). The highlights for us were Alexandra Burke and her dancers.

Barcelona with the Gretton


For the last month or so I have been revising for some exams. For a last treat before the revision we went to Barcelona for the weekend with Lady G and Neckie. We loved this light on our wanderings / cocktail consuming.



I have to say I particularly loved our day on the beach in Stiges. Will definitely be back there. You can see the rest of our pics from the weekend here.


May 09, 2012

Ebony Vincent? Working for Walthamstow

So last night we heard the awful news that the dogtrack is going to be turned into flats. This is despite huge local opposition and completely against the spirit of local democracy. 

So today I was looking at who the councillors were that made this decision. Sadly two of them represent my ward and are paid to represent my views! They are Ebony Vincent and Asim Mahmood

Can I ask you to quickly look at these website though with regard to Ebony. She initially declares that she has no interests (admittedly dated from 2010 - but live on the council website and not updated). Yet also has a number of interests as listed on linked in. Whilst it is possible that this refers to two different people, the joint interest in Markhouse Ward makes this improbable. Hmmmmmmm.......

December 22, 2011

What happened to the London paper's gay about town

I don't know what started me looking at this today. I was thinking about blogs that I had not seen in a while and wondered about 'gay about town'. Josh Hunt used to write a regular column for the London paper and I was pretty sad to see the column disappear with the paper. Hence for a little while the column continued on the blog 'Gay about town'. The blog had not been updated in over a year, so you begin to wonder what happened to Josh and the column.

Twitter solved it. Josh was a pseudonym for Feargus O'Sullivan who appears to be a regular contributor to a number of columns. He also is writing a wordpress blog so take a look. Feargus if you do ever read this then we still miss you and it would be great if Josh could oust the awful Richard Dennen (looking at the comments following his most recent column he is pretty unpopular)

Merlin and Arthur respond to the 'love story' question

So the new series of Merlin is on TV and I again seem to be getting quite a lot of hits for my post in 2008 which commented on the evolving 'love story'. I thought I would take another look at what was on the internet around this question and found this video on MerlinTVshow.com where the actors respond to a Gay Icon question. 

Bryndlewindle on Cupcake Mafia


So bizarrely I find myself on the Cupcake mafia tumblr following my trip to Brugge. They spotted the cakes! Am loving the Beyonce soundtrack to this website.

I hope that the Cupcake Mafia team have spotted Bath baby cakes and the pics of their amazing cupcakes. B x 

December 20, 2011

School boy stabbed in the neck on Chingford Mount road

... and even more now. Apparently a few days ago a schoolboy was stabbed in the neck. You can read all about it again at the Waltham forest guardian

Leyton: Capworth street attack

So after updating the map yesterday I would have hoped (stupidly) that all would go quiet for a few days. Anyway, first thing this morning the Waltham forest guardian reports on a probable stabbing in Leyton. Read more about it here.

**Update** It apparently was not a stabbing but an attack with a baseball bat.


December 19, 2011

What has happened to 'Crap cycling in Waltham forest'?

So there was I thinking something was missing in my life when I realised Freewheeler@CrapCycling seems to have disapeared. Can anyone shed any light onto the lack of posts since August. The last post does say that four years have passed since the first post, but there was no goodbye? 

Updated Walthamstow violence map

So I have been slow at updating this. Sadly there is quite a lot to add. In reverse chronology we have.
December 2011
Higham Hill recreation ground stabbing
Street fighting outside Walthamstow academy
Pensioner gun and drugs find
Stabbed for refusing to buy alcohol
Hatherly mews attack

November
Bell corner stabbing
Marlowe Road attack

October
Cedars avenue stabbing
Wood street attack
St Barnabus road shooting

See the updated map below


View Walthamstow violence in a larger map

Update on St Saviour's Markhouse road

So this post is a little behind schedule. After my post in 2009 about David Waller there is now have a new vicar Steven Saxby. I am not a regular church goer, but I was impressed a few weeks ago when I heard the bells of the church ringing out in the morning. I hope to hear them again. It would perhaps make this part of E17 feel a bit more 'walthamstow village' though there is some way to go. 

December 18, 2011

Gerde de Jonghe and Hans Memling



I had to share both of these. Amid the Christmas shopping we spotted works by both of these artists. Very different though both pretty amazing. 
content/brons/Let's go 25 X 11 X 34 Klein test.jpg
The first is Gerde de Jonghe. This bronze (above) was on display in a gallery in Brugge and you can see a further selection on his website

The second is Hans Memling. The hospital museum has a number of hit works however this image is just amazing. 


Weekend in Brugge



So R and I took the eurostar on Friday to Brussels and headed onto Brugge. I have never been to Belgium before and I totally loved it. Hot chocolate at De Proverie, dinner at Spinola, millions of chocolates for all the relatives. All in all a great weekend.

So as ever here are a few of my favourite pics from the weekend. See the full set here.


December 16, 2011

Ordessa national park




So I am being very slow at sorting out photos etc. I am off to Belgium today for a spot of christmas shopping and need to make room on the camera for some photos. Anyways here are some of our pics from earlier in the year when we went to Spain (Pyrenees and Donostia). The ordessa national park is amazing and apparently bigger than the grand canyon (without the helicopter rides and zillions of tourists). Loved it. Off to get some Belgium chocolate now. View the rest of the pics here. B x




September 19, 2011

A leave of absence

So I have not posted on here for ages. There is no point in a full update but you can see pics of what I have been up to on my flickr account.
Alissa and Nick Legroux's wedding
Rome for IAS
Mull
Rashmi's wedding.

At the moment I am in a hotel in Biarritz heading back with Ryanair tomorrow. We have been away for the last 7 days and I am not at that point of hankering for a good cup of tea and home cooked food. Loving it here though. 

Simon Clarke on Vimeo - When it rains


when it rains from Simon Clarke on Vimeo.
So I was just checking out R's cousin's videos that he has put on Vimeo when I came across this. I love Aphex anyway and this just goes with it so well. Had to share. B

April 23, 2011

Walthamstow - the fire and the smog

So I woke up this morning, worried that something was burning in the house. Thanks though to the power of twitter I realized that half of Walthamstow was worried about the same thing. There was a huge fire yesterday on Billet road in a tyre factory. Mix that with the still air and all of the smog warnings we have been having and you have an issue.

StowScene has some excellent pics of the fire on their blog. Just a bit surprised I have not seen it on the BBC.

Update - This pm there is a BBC report on BBC London news that you can find here.

Update 2 - Thanks Zefrog, here is the view of the fire from the city of London.

Update 3 - Crazy photos of the fire here

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