Protest Winterville at Haggerston Park


On the notice board there is a Green Flag Winner certificate, a well-deserved accolade for the amazing job that the Haggerston Park Rangers perform. On the Green Flag Award website (, their first aim is given:

To ensure that everybody has access to quality green and other open spaces, irrespective of where they live. I strongly believe that if permission were granted to Winter South for this event, you would would be ensuring the opposite happens – access to this green space would be severely restricted, and its quality degraded.

Haggerston Park is a much loved green open space, which should not be wrested from the local community who use it, love and appreciate it all year round. If you go there regularly as I do, you will notice that it is a pleasurable space for people from various communities, for kids to play sport, for dog walkers, people with special needs, and elderly residents. In a densely populated area, where building seems ceaseless, it would be a travesty if this area of peace and quiet, where we can enjoy fresh air and nature, were taken away from us for a full fsix weeks (or 39 days). It is very well known that pollution levels in London are far too high, and that obesity is an issue – so please do not allow Winter South to rob us of our green open space.

It may be argued that if only part of the park is used for the event that this is a compromise; it is not. With the noise and the bustle of revellers over a four week period, the peace and quiet of the small park will be severely compromised. On the Winterville website (, they are touting bookings for office parties which will obviously add to the noise and general disturbance. I believe that some might find walking alongside the event, in the remaining space, intimidating; I particularly worry about elderly dog walkers.

There is no shortage of restaurants, bars, and venues to enjoy the festive season in our area. Shouldn’t we be encouraged to support local businesses rather than line the pockets of what has become a chain? Indeed – there is already a ‘Winterville’ just up the road in Victoria Park! As Victoria Park is so large, the event is not so much of an encroachment. Haggerston Park is far too small for such a venture.

So, space is a concern; so is noise. Winter South has applied to have recorded music, live music and so on from 11am until 10pm from Thursday – Sunday throughout the period. This would make a total of 39 days. Won’t the noise affect people trying to work in nearby workspaces? And what about Sebright nursery, Sebright Primary, and Haggerston School, all of which border the park? Haggerston School also uses the park for sports.

On their website, Winterville claim that a “magical town will spring up”; I do hope that I have expressed that the experience would not be at all magical for the local community. I sincerely hope that you will not grant permission to Winter South for this venture, and put the health and needs of the community first.

Consultation on proposed traffic improvements

Many of you will have seen the flyer posted through doors inviting feedback on proposed traffic improvements in our neighbourhood.

Map of  neighbourhood

We wanted to share the link and encourage participation. The proposed closure of Ravenscroft Road (3 on the map) in particular is something many have wanted in order to reduce speeding and other anti-social behaviour, so it would help a lot to show our continued support for this.

To provide feedback follow this link:

Weavers Area Traffic Improvements

Inaugural Film Night

We had a smashing evening on the green this weekend. Children and adults had a super evening of film, popcorn and delicious hotdogs (some of us had two!).

On behalf of the JHERA committee, members, associates residents and friends, we would like to extend our considerable thanks to Giff, Wendy and Rob for their efforts and perseverance to create such a wonderful inaugural JHERA Film Night. The ovation at the end was well deserved.

Giff and Wendy have asked to add the following:

‘…And a huge thanks to those who lent their equipment:
Rob – projector
Liz & Maria – amp, gazebo and cooking stoves
Kevin – cable cover
Olivier & Catherine – huge canopy
Alex – blackout
Dylan – camping table
Shaun – extension cables
Corinna – for helping serve hotdogs
The audience- for turning up despite the awful weather.

Thanks everyone
Giff & Wendy ‘

Photos from the Big Lunch and Jo Cox day

Some photos of the neighbourhood celebrating The Big Lunch and Jo Cox Day.

Thanks to everyone who came for the lovely sharing food and joining in the fun. Special thanks goes to Olivier and Catherine (JHERA committee member) for their wonderful contributions, including The Big Lunch sign on Jesus Green, and the bunting and hammocks.

We welcome any new ideas to bring our community together. Let us know if you have any ideas.

Big Lunch and Jo Cox day 2017

Big Lunch sign on Jesus Green

We’ll be celebrating the Big Lunch and Jo Cox day next Sunday (18th June). Hoping things will get going at 1pm on Jesus Green, but of course everyone welcome whenever they can make it. Do bring, food, drink and picnic gear, and anything you’d like to share.

Oh, and our regular Flower Market performer Jonny Holland will be playing for us!

Freedom passers news

The last three months have been unusually celebratory for the Freedom Passers.

The alternative Hamper. With help from JHERA funds and a lot of extras from well wishers, we provided “Christmas Treats” for 35 Freedom Passers. They were invited to chose what they liked from a list of fresh food including sausages and chickens “the size of turkeys” from Peter the butcher in Bethnal Green Road, home made mince pies, cakes donated by Captured By in Columbia Rd, bowls of fruit and a range of puddings & cheeses. The delivery boxes were topped up with posies of flowers made by a visitor to the area who was carried away with the Christmas Spirit. Packing and delivery was a wonderful group effort by regular helpers plus a team from Newman’s Stationers. Thanks to all who helped with shopping, packing and delivering at high speed a few days before Christmas.

Flossie Dix at 90. On 25th January fifteen of Flossie’s friends and neighbours squashed into Carol’s house to celebrate Flossie’s 90th birthday. Many of the guests, like Flossie, were born in JHERA territory and the photos on the JHERA website will show you that this was an unforgettable and historic moment. Flossie’s celebration was made extra special by the gift of a huge birthday cake from Pavilion Bakery on Columbia Road. There was enough cake left over for Flossie to share with her family later in the day and cake was also delivered to many of the Freedom Passers who couldn’t fit into the house. Again thanks to everyone who helped to make this such a happy event. (That includes a builder in Elwin Street who climbed up his ladder to knock on Flossie’s bedroom window, so we could call out to tell her to hurry up and come to her party!)

Traditional Roast Dinner at Laxeiro on 6th February. Once again Isobel and Leo gave up their free day to cook a really wonderful meal for 30 Freedom Passers. We ranged in age from 60 – 95 and the noise volume and enthusiasm would have outdone many a teenage rave! As well as 26 people in the restaurant, hot meals were delivered to 5 people who were unable to go out. A collection from the guests provided for Thank You plants for Isobel and Leo. But I think we all agreed that no plant is good enough to express the happiness of eating a good meal in company of people known for decades, but seldom having a chance to sit down together.

I just want to add that there is a common factor running through these three events – and that is the generosity in time and gifts of a number of local businesses and individuals. They added something special – which is the reminder that there is still a warm neighbourly feeling in our area.

Sorry that we also have to say that Peggy Dessert has moved into care. Peggy aged 88 was born in 58 Quilter Street, and her mother before her, so this is the first time ever the house isn’t occupied by the Dessert family. Peggy was my next door neighbour and when I nervously introduced myself, Peggy looked me up and down said in her blunt way: “Where have you come from then??”

I feared she resented me for moving into the house which used to be occupied by her lifelong friends Edie and Lilie , so I was embarrassed to say that I wasn’t a Londoner, but came from Suffolk. “Well I know Suffolk” said Peggy, and it turned out that she was evacuated to a tiny village, Kersey, just 3 miles from where I lived before moving to Quilter Street. So we became good friends and Peggy taught me so much about the area, the old days, the tough times and the way people looked out for each other. I realised there must be a lot more people like Peggy , not always visible, but still the genuine locals who have seen such huge changes in their neighbourhood and hold on to the history in their heads. I am so grateful to Peggy for whetting my appetite to know more – and that really was the beginning of the Freedom Passers.

(I’m glad to add that I am in touch with Peggy, she is being well looked after and, if anyone wants to send a message or a card, please contact me at 60 Quilter Street and I will deliver.)

Barnet Grove in 1979

As Spring approaches and we are outside on our green spaces more I thought you’d be interested in this shot taken on Barnet Grove in 1979 of what is now Jesus Green. The archway was opposite Wimbolt Street and led into a small wood factory. Houses surrounded what is now the green on all sides, but these were the first to be demolished in what was a planned levelling of the estate. We have JHERA to thank for saving the remaining dwellings as it was set up to fight the further demolition. There was a plan to extend a dual carriageway through our area to link up with another to Shoreditch High Street, or so the rumour went. Luckily this was never enacted. I have no idea who the man is and we have LBTH history archives to thank for this shot.

Barnet Grove pre demolition of houses on Jesus Green