Friday 20 July 2012

Olympic Torch Comes to Hackney Wick(ed)

Hackney WickED Presents... The Fete for the WickED, participating within the Hackney Homes Fun Day
Mabley Green: Sat 21 July 2012, 2-7pm

Bringing a selection of Hackney Wick artists together for a Fete, exhibiting art, art games and made in the Wick products.
So come on down...
- shop for arty treats
- play on the photo tombola
- find out more and sign up for Hackney WickED art workshops running throughout the year..
- get your hands on our Hackney WickED limited edition t-shirts and bags
- take part in Simon Ould's Watercolour Challenge 2012

Artists and stalls include:

Amy Shearer and Laura Summerton - Shards of Art -
Megumi - paintings and drawings
Mike Miles -
The Outside World - Photo Tombola
Sheila Rennick - Mother Studios -
Josephine Lyons - Mother Studios -
Bernard Rangel - Iron Works -
Orly Orbach -
Hilary Powell - Mother Studios - Books
Abigail Thomas - Mother Studios - Books -
Stephen Gill - Retrospex - Books
Janet Bell - Britannia Works - Books and cards -
Bernard Rangel
The event runs from 2pm until 7pm, with the Olympic Torch expected to pass by at 6.20pm (the time to avoid, or celebrate.. that one's up to you)

RETROSPEX REMINDER! Just a short stroll from Mabley Green is the Elevator Gallery, Queens Yard, where it is your last chance this weekend to see the Hackney WickED RETROSPEX Exhibition.
Last days: Sat 21 & Sun 22 July open 12-5pm. Elevator Gallery.
Hackney WickED 2012 takes a trip down Memory Lane. Digging through 4 years of history in the making and excavating the beloved fragments that have made Hackney WickED the ROCK in the rubble.
This instalment will see Hackney WickED putting on the RITZ to host a curated exhibition that will REFLECT and PROJECT the components that have built the wick collective conscience from 2008 to date.
A HollyWick affair, indeed!
Signed Stephen Gill books available and photographic prints, also you can pick up a 'Where the Hell is Hackney Wick' postcard for £1

Getting to MABLEY GREEN: map

Other events taking place on the Green, organised by Hackney Homes include facepainting, Hackney's famous Albion Kids' Show and a bouncy castle. The Fete for the WickED and the Crafternoon Tea Club will provide a dream combination of arts and crafts, and tea and scones, in an area furnished with hay bales and trestle tables. Experienced coaches from the Council's healthy lifestyles programme, Personal Bests, together with the charity Skyway, will be running a host of sporting and physical activities. There will be a display of disability sports on the 5-a-side football pitch, and advice on cycling and bicycle races from Cycling Club Hackney. To wind down, enjoy a session of massage therapy, sample food and drink from the stalls, and visit the Hackney Homes Marquee. All this, on a summer's afternoon, on a green space within sight of the Olympic Park.

Thursday 19 April 2012

Hackney Wick Community Centre Needs YOU!!

This Saturday - 21st April 1012 @11am - is the beginning of the amazing Hackney Wick Community Centre!

But only if YOU become a part of it.......

Hackney Wickers - we all know that we need a local community cafe/garden/meeting place/yoga centre/art centre - that we can all hang out in and meet each other. Well now is the time to get helping make that happen.

At least please come on down this Saturday to see what needs doing.

There will be plenty to do. Painting, decorating, cleaning, gardening, etc.

Please contact Ron on for any more info - but please also just come down to talk to him on Saturday.

The main road from Hackney Wick Overground Station is called Wallis Road - but it changes it's name to Berkshire Road & then Osborne Road - that's where you'll see the magnificent Old Baths building that is the Hackney Wick Community Centre!!

Get E9 5JH into your googlemaps app - and we'll see you there!

Tuesday 13 September 2011

New Olympic Shops Open

There was great excitement today when the brand spanking new Olympic Chicken shack opened in Hackney Wick!!

For months now - every Hackney Wicker has been storing their pennies just for this very day. The extra security laid on was definitely needed to control the crowd as the doors finally opened - and what incredible treats awaited the patient!

Brand new chrome decorations and superbly finished interiors welcomed the throng. Say what you want about the products on sale - but no expense has been spared by the Olympic Chicken people. They really know how to spoil us.

Oh - and some other shops also opened around the corner in Stratford today as well.

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Hackney Wick equals East Wick

The Olympics today announced that Arena Fields is to change its name to East Wick after the Olympics.

This is another part of the grand plan to make locals feel very disconnected to the playing fields, orchards, nutteries & allotments that used to be here for us all to enjoy. 'Hey - ask the whole of the UK what we should call Arena Fields - without telling them anything about its past - and call it democracy'

Anyhow - the BBC's Adrian Warner paid a visit to Leabank Squares Purple Garden this evening to do his piece. Nice guy - even if his TV voice is a little dull - and he loves Leabank Square.

Thanks to all the kids who made his visit entertaining.

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Olympic Legacy - What's in it for Hackney Wick?

A few days ago - Caroline Davies from The Guardian came to Hackney Wick to do a story about our concerns for the future of the Wick a year before the games. She spoke to many people - but concentrated on James in the fabulous Hackney Pearl, the ever entertaining Al in White Post Lane - and me here in Leabank Square.

Of course - no journalist can ever capture the sheer cliff-like monstrosity of the Olympic site that faces us - but I tried to put across what most of us feel about the architecture.

More than anything - I spoke about what we all want after the games. Hackney Wick has always had the short straw as far as the construction work is concerned. We were the first to have buildings constructed - pulled down - re-constructed, pulled down again - and now rebuilding yet more temporary buildings directly opposite us - again for them to be demolished.

Then - we have about 5 more years of be-designing & building whoever takes over the media centre as well.

There is not one part of the Olympic site that will have had noise, dust & mayhem - only to be left with the most underwhelming architecture for us to stare at for many decades to come!!

I told Caroline all this - and I think she did a very good article on balance. She got over what most of us feel about all the decade of disruption the Olympics have brought to Hackney Wick.

For link to the article - see:

Thursday 23 June 2011

Movies on the River Lea

Tomorrow see the opening of the brilliant new (temporary) movie house in Hackney Wick!! And best of all - it's just downstream from Hackney Wick!!!!!

There are going to be amazing activities from - great family movies - to bug-hotel building workshops. From family discos to drawing classes. And much much more!

Please come down to meet these lovely people - some of whom you already know from previous projects - who are making Hackney Wick that little bit extra special for all of us!

To book seats & find out more - please visit and then just have heaps of fun.

Saturday 18 June 2011

Last chance to comment on 'Hackney Wick Hub'

Many thanks to Ruth for this posting - please read it and act on it - it affects every single one of us:

The consultation on a major development around Hackney Wick station is to close this weekend and residents have just a couple more days to have their opinions heard.

Plans for more than 150 flats, several shops and retail units around a pedestrian area off Wallis Road, and a "hi-tech" hub of affordable workspaces has been proposed by landowners London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC).

At the end of May, the designers and architects behind the project came to the Wick for a couple of days to display and discuss the plans, and now the consultation is drawing to a close.

Any opinions and ideas need to be with them before the end of this weekend (Sunday June 19) because they intend to submit their planning application to Hackney Council on the June 24th, next Friday. Once they have planning application they will find a developer to buy the land.

Outline drawings and descriptions of the proposal are available on the corporation's website, here: (
) There is not lots of detail but it gives you an idea of where it will be and says there will retail units, including bars, restaurants, perhaps a bank, shops, and takeaways, 6000sqm of affordable workspaces, and more than 130 studio, one-bed, two-bed and three-bed flats.

Based on chats with the designers it also seems the idea is to have:

Affordable workspaces
The chief executive of the corporation which owns the land has said, in this interview with journalist Paul Norman, that they want to create a "hi-tech" hub for the business and people being priced out of Silicon Roundabout [Old Street] and Shoreditch.

"Something a little bit different"
The chief executive also said they wanted a developer who would do something a "little bit different" with the homes and leisure parts of the development and spoke praisingly of home-grown Wick projects like a recent opera in a warehouse. During the consultation visits, the architects/designers etc were very keen to emphasise their intention to do something a little bit different and make sure it was in keeping with Hackney Wick.
How can the development encourage something a little bit different? What does Hackney Wick want or need in terms of leisure?

No social housing
At the consultation it appeared that there would be no affordable rented accommodation (eg. social housing). This is because of concerns that there is no nearby space for kids/families to play - perhaps they see Vic Park, Hackney Marshes & the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as too far away?
There "may be" shared ownership housing for sale, but it was not definite.
Should there be affordable housing? Or is there enough in Hackney Wick already?

New shopping street
Some of the units for shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs are large - big enough for a chain shops like Tesco. If Hackney Wick didn’t want big chains, one option is to make the units relatively small in order to deter chains and make it affordable for independent traders or provide space for local creatives to sell their goods. However, the landowners point out that bigger units make the project more commercially viable for the developer.
At the moment the planning application does not specify any unit size in order to allow flexibility for the developer. Is that right?

What do you think...?

Email Thames Gateway Corporation (
) to give your views on the Hackney Wick Hub before the consultation closes on Sunday June 19th.

And keep on eye on this blog to see what their final plans are and find out when Hackney Council will make a decision on the planning application.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Be Part of Hackney Wicks Future!!

Some of you might know that I have been a member of the Hackney Wick Partnership for a few years. We have been involved in trying to forge a desirable future for the Wick that respects local residents - as well as encourages the local creatives & existing businesses.

We started doing this way before London was even considered for the 2012 Olympics.

We have fed all our work into the Hackney Wick Masterplan, the Olympic Masterplan - and now the new Mayors (Boris that is) Development Plan.

This weekend & next week is another opportunity for you to come & put your thoughts to the brilliant people at London Thames Gateway about what we would all like for the Hackney Wick Hub.

This is the area both to the North (Tower Hamlets side) & South (Hackney side of the Hackney Wick Overground Station.

There are major changes for the areas right next to the sloping ramps on either side of the station. And they would love to hear what you would like to see there.

More cafes? A revitalised Lord Napier? Tree lined squares? Meeting fountain? Better welcoming open spaces? New routes/roads? Hotels?

What would you like to see when you come home after a hard days work? What would make you meet your visitors coming off the Overground with a sense of pride about Hackney Wick?

Please come down to 62 Wallis Road this Saturday 21st May - between 10am & 2pm. And also next Wednesday 25th May from 4pm until 8pm.

This is a great chance for you to be part of our lovely Hackney Wicks future - please try & make it down for a chat!!

Sunday 17 April 2011

Tulip Tree for Hackney Wick!!

Have you met your newest neighbour yet?

On your way to the station or bus stop tomorrow - please take a diversion to Prince Edward Road - and go hug a tree.

A stunning giant Tulip Tree to be exact! She has been planted right next to the Hackney Pearl - and is absolutely beautiful. She will be giving us all many more years of shelter, shade & fresh air.

She was put there by the muf ( team who are prettying up parts of the Wick with green ideas. We will be posting a few more of their projects in the next few days - but in the mean-time - please go & say hi to your new neighbour.

Ooh & while you're there - why not pop into the Pearl ( for one of their delicious choccie brownies & a cuppa.

Wednesday 9 March 2011

In All Its Guises

This just in from everyone's fave art gallery curator - Will Chamberlain.....

Private View – Tomorrow - Thursday 10th March 18:00-21:00

Our environment is ever changing, never still and as such is a constant source of inspiration. Be it natural or man-made it provokes a myriad of responses. Here artists immerse themselves in their own visions and, through a range of media, create their own engaging statements interpreting the architecture that surrounds them.


Jeanette Barnes has over the past three years produced a number of large drawings of the London 2012 Olympics under construction. These along with other city drawings were showcased at Toto, London 2010 in association with Blueprint architecture magazine. She has exhibited in many shows including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and Jerwood Drawing Prizes and received a number of commissions and awards. Her drawings explore through evolutionary layers of instinctive activity the development and growth of urban environments. The balance of these works constantly shifts in search of something as yet unknown. She is represented in public, corporate and private collections.

David Downes, originally from Suffolk, moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art. He undertook a major commission for BBC Heritage from 1999-2001 and was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2004. Fascinated by the contrasts of the urban environment, he records the cityscape in mesmerising detail, often from imagined aerial perspectives. He recently completed residencies at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and Goldman Sachs, London, and has been working on site at the Olympic Park recording the construction process since 2008; selected works were recently displayed at London's City Hall. Sought after by corporate and private clients, David’s work is in the collections of the BBC, Land Registry, Kew Gardens and Merrill Lynch.

Peter Freeth grew up in Birmingham – a lasting influence - and studied painting and etching at the Slade. He won the Rome scholarship in 1960, and was elected to the Royal Academy in 1990. He has worked almost exclusively as a printmaker for many years. Freeth’s etchings have a rich tonality and draw on an unusually wide range of subjects, both from observed, everyday life and from, memory, imagination, music and literature. He is represented in many collections including the V&A, the British Museum, the Arts Council, the Fitzwilliam and Ashmolean, the National Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Simon James is a multi-disciplinary artist who has lived and worked in Asia for more than a decade and is noted for his large-scale video installations and photography. He has received a number of awards and commissions for his work and has exhibited internationally with solo shows in Berlin, London, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo. Light as an agent of perceptual change and the interplay between the man-made environment and the forces of nature has been a constant source of inspiration during his career. Through architectural imagery, he explores mankind’s desire for order, control and aggressive self-expression in a manufactured landscape.

Julian Perry (born 1960) has gained considerable media attention for his landscape based paintings. His work is characterised by an engagement with the landscape that explores issues of land use and the often strange results of human labour. A major show at the London Guildhall in 2004 was the result of a three year project working in Epping Forest, more recently Perry recorded thirty allotment sheds now demolished to make way for the London 2012 Olympics. His most recent show (at Austin Desmond Fine Art) explored the extraordinary impact of Coastal Erosion. Perry has works in several major collections and is represented by Austin Desmond Fine Art.

Nessie Stonebridge’s works convey a sense of energy, restriction and release. Highly charged frenetic mark making oozing with emotional content that races and spills across the surface of the canvas only to be pierced by structural forms that ground and anchor the seemingly untamed work. Profiled by PhillipsART expert, picked by the Saatchi Gallery as emerging artist of the week and chosen by Modern Editions as one of the UK’s leading abstract artists, Stonebridge’s work is held in many private collections both nationally and internationally.

Formans Restaurant will be open during the private view and at all times during the show.

Exhibition dates:
Thursday 10th March - Sunday 3rd April
Private View Thursday 10th March 18.00-21.00
Thu and Fri 5-9pm

Sat and Sun 12- 5pm

Venue: Formans Smokehouse Gallery, Stour Rd, Fish Island, E3 2NT

Private View Sample Menu

Forman’s Famous London Cure Smoked Salmon

Gourmet Salmon & Lobster Fishcake – Rocket Salad

Chicken, Air Dried Ham & Sage Ballotine - Buttered Spinach

Spinach & Goat’s Cheese Quiche - Tomato Salad (v)

Pot-roasted Scottish Daube of Beef – Horseradish Mash

Mushroom & Butternut Squash Risotto (v)

Any Dish - £9.50 Paddy & Scott’s Coffee & Cake Selection for 2 £9.50

(Cappuccino, Espresso, Latte or Americano with Chocolate brownies, Lemon & Pistachio Cake & Banana Bread)

For more information and for any exhibiting or sponsorship enquiries, please contact Gallery Manager William Chamberlain on 07947 175 283 or email him on