Category Archives: 1

East London Lines housing report

Well, I may be short of mojo but other East Londoners aren’t, which is why I’m linking to East London Lines today…. Neil Roberts has written an excellent piece on housing in Hackney, which is well worth a look. I did not know before reading it that:

The borough has around 15,500 people on the council housing waiting list and 2,000 people registered as homeless. There are more than 17,000 people living in “unsuitable” housing. Unsuitable housing includes overcrowded homes; in Hackney almost 10 per cent of households are overcrowded, compared to 2.5 per cent nationally.

The increase in homelessness is something I was reminded of yesterday when I got on the 242 bus to go to work and saw a woman who is often begging around Hackney Central sleeping peacefully across the back seat. I suppose if you sleep rough it’s safer to stay awake at night and then sleep during the day, and a bus going all the way from Homerton into central London will give you are warm, untroubled spot for a good two hours.

This news website is put together by journalism students & staff at Goldsmiths, University of London, and no doubt we’ll see some of the same bylines appearing in the national papers in no time.

Check it out here:

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Do something good: sign a worthwhile petition

Hello, and apologies for being so slack about posting lately. Have been a bit off my chops but will be back soon.

Meanwhile, I received this email about turning the Old Tram Depot in Upper Clapton into an Arts & Crafts trust. The funding is apparently available, all that is needed is a bit of support to get the idea off the ground and ward off the developers who are currently swarming like buzzards over the site. 

Find out more at:

There’s also lots of general info about the Depot (going back over 2 years) still at the Beecholme website,

Please add your support in action by either leaving a comment, signing the petition or at the very least, ticking the anonymous poll – all at the “DepotArtsTrust” website.

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Stop the BNP infecting East London

Here’s an email I received today. Self explanatory & one I am happy to share.

London-wide anti-BNP mobilisation: Saturday 17 April

I am writing to invite you to play a role in stopping the BNP from winning control of a London Borough in the forthcoming council elections.

Hackney Unites is joining forces with the HOPE not hate campaign to put on a coach to take people in Hackney to Barking & Dagenham for a crucial 17 April mobilisation.

This is the borough where the BNP are already the official opposition and where, if left unchecked, they are in a position to become the majority party. This is the borough where Nick Griffin is hoping to become an MP.

On this one day we hope to have enough activists to deliver a HOPE not hate newspaper to every property in the borough.

With the real threat of the BNP winning control of the council it is vital that all anti-fascists and anti-racists make the trip to Barking & Dagenham on this day.

The effect of the BNP and their politics of hatred controlling a multi-million pound budget of a London borough would be poisonous. If we do not stop them in Barking and Dagenham, then we can be sure they will begin to set their sights on creating racial and religious tension here in Hackney. They have already boasted that they intend to stand for Mayor of Hackney. Today it sounds like a sick joke, but there is a real danger that they may win control of Barking and Dagenham council. We can help to stop that happening.

Our coach is leaving Mare Street, by Hackney Town Hall, at 9.45am on Saturday 17 April.

Please sign up for the HOPE bus:

Lunch is being provided by the NUT and PCS and Billy Bragg and a local Gospel choir will be performing. There will also be a briefing on the coach to explain what we are doing on the day and we will link up with local activists who will leaflet with us.

Hackney can be proud of its multicultural society but the stronger the BNP are in Barking and Dagenham, the bigger the threat to us hear in Hackney. We must help the committed anti-racists and anti-fascists in Barking and Dagenham who are on the front line against the BNP.

You can also help by tele-canvassing for the HOPE not hate campaign. Visit the following website for more information

Please feel free to circulate this email to friends, family, work colleagues and neighbours.

For more information about Hackney Unites, please visit:


John Page

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Normal services to resume shortly…

Just returned from visiting my family and now back in beautiful light sunny Hackney… what a difference three weeks make. The flight was lonnnngggg, divided into three legs. The first I sat next to an elderly woman who stole almost everything that wasn’t nailed down, from the cutlery to the bowls to about five bags of peanuts and two cans of coke. First she tucked things down her top, then she transferred them into a bag under the seat. I actually had to help her retrieve it in the end as it got a bit too heavy for her. She also got up for frequent trips to the loo – probably to steal toilet paper and tissues. This was amusing but disruptive, as I had to get up every time to let her pass, so I was glad to to get onto a bigger plane for the next leg, where I found myself with three seats, such luxury.

I hoped to continue my horizontal, pseudo-first class experience from Dubai to London, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be, and I found myself next to a Daily Mail-reading, sharp-elbow-nudging, purple-cardiganed woman who eyed me and my reading material suspiciously from time to time, in the way that Daily Mail readers do. Thankfully I fell asleep again for most of that leg, until the waffles with pineapple compote arrived – nothing beats the moment when that trolley arrives next to your seat, does it?

Now dressed and about to head to Hackney Central Tesco for milk. That should snap me back to reality pretty fast.

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Yarnfest this week at The Book Club

I’ve only just worked out on Twitter how to access messages that people send me using @eastlondonlocal.

And so I’ve only just realised that Yarnfest is on from 20-24 February at The Book Club, and in the evening there will be a programme of short films, plus other stuff. What’s more, tickets are a delightful two pounds.

Check it out here:

Nothing much to report East London-wise, as I’ve been entombed on the eighth floor of an airless office block in the City for the past week, and will be for another week. And after that I’d had enough of London so went to Hampshire in search (unsucessfully) for the tomb mentioned in Philip Larkin’s poem which has one of the loveliest last lines I’ve ever read.

Just googled, the tomb is not in Arundel, but in Chichester. The name refers to the person in it, the Earl of Arundel, and not the church. Well, that explains that.

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