Wednesday, 27 October 2010

2nd Annual Residents' Question Time

This year have your say on

Anti Social Behaviour (ASB)

Wednesday 3 November    5.30pm - 8pm

Whitechapel Idea Store, 321 Whitechapel Road, E1 1BU

Your chance to question senior officers from the Police, Council and Fire Service on what we've been doing, how we can improve and what you can do!

Guest speakers include Richard Taylor, father of Damilola Taylor (Damilola Taylor Trust) and Jim Webster (Met Police Commander, North East London).

Food, refreshments, performances, quiz and prizes. Creche also available on the night. 

Due to high demand for places at previous events, please confirm your attendance as soon as possible.

For further details and to confirm your place please contact:

Mohamed Raja
T: 020 7364 6108

What is Anti-Social Behaviour?
Anti-social behaviour is any aggressive, intimidating or destructive activity that damages or destroys another person's quality of life.

Examples of Anti-Social Behaviour:

  • Street Problems intimidation, drunkenness, begging, drug dealing and prostitution
  • Nuisance Neighbours threat, intimidation, loud noise and vandalism
  • Environmental Crime littering, graffiti and vandalism

To report ASB call the Council's 24 hour freephone reporting line on 
0800 917 5 918

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Mayoral Elections Hustings Events

The Tower Hamlets Mayoral election is due to take place on Thursday 21 October.

The candidates confirmed by Tower Hamlets council are:

  • Helal Abbas (Labour)
  • Alan Duffell (Green Party) 
  • John Griffiths (Lib Dems) 
  • Neil King (Conservative)
  • Lutfur Rahman (Independent)

Details of all the candidates can be found online here: 
Tower Hamlets website

The following are the latest dates for proposed hustings with each candidate speaking

  • Tuesday, October 12 – St Matthias Church, Woodstock Terrace, Poplar, at 7pm – chaired by Malcolm Starbrook, group editor of the East London Advertiser and other titles
  • Friday, October 15 –  Bangla TV – Friday Plus show
  • Sunday, October 17 – Oxford House at 3pm. Jointly organised by the following local groups: Tower Hamlets & Jenin Friendship Association, United East End, Viva Palestina and Tower Hamlets Stop The War
  • Monday, October 18 – Spitalfields Small Business Association – business hustings at 7-15 Greatorex Street (6.30pm)
  • Operation Black Vote - also on Monday 18 October - 7.30pm at St Margaret’s Hall in Bethnal Green

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Gilda O'Neill

Bestselling author Gilda O'Neill, who chronicled the history of the East End of London in her novels and non-fiction, died on Friday after a short illness, her literary agency Curtis Brown has announced.  
She was 59.

Born in 1951 in Bethnal Green, O'Neill was brought up in the East End, the granddaughter of a Thames tug skipper and a pie and mash shop owner. She left school at 15 but went on to take three degrees as a mature student, turning to writing full time in 1990.

She hit the bestseller lists with her history of cockney London, My East End, following it up with Our Street, about East Enders during the second world war, and The Good Old Days, chronicling the underbelly of London in the 19th century.

O'Neill was also the author of 13 novels set in and around the area she grew up, from her most recent second world war-set Secrets of the Heart, in which 16-year-old Freddie is conducting a secret relationship with a girl from the local Chinese community, to Sins of the Fathers, about East End crime family the O'Donnells.

"Gilda O'Neill was a generous, loving and popular person whose writing and life touched all those came into contact with her," said Curtis Brown in a statement. "Her works of oral history were held in high regard and widely read."

From The Guardian        Curtis Brown

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Bengal History Week

History week runs from 2 - 10 October 2010

EAST INDIA COMPANY WALKS(Advance booking only)
Saturday 2 October 2010, 3-5pm
City of London and West End by Nick Robins (The Corporation that Changed the World: How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational)

Sunday 3 October 2010, 2-4pmInvisible Empire and East India Company Dockside by Dr Georgie Wemyss (The Invisible Empire: White Discourse, Tolerance and Belonging)
Mile End Arts Pavilion, Ashcroft Rd, E3 5TW
The exhibition is based on the book Plassey’s Legacy: young Londoners explore the hidden story of the East India Company. The book has been written by eight young people (18-25) who explored the London heritage of the East India Company and the city’s historical links with Bengal. 
Exhibition Opening hours 9.30am-5.30pmThe exhibition is open to all and Brick Lane Circle particularly welcomes school visits, which can be arranged during weekdays:  10.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm, starting from Monday afternoon, 4 October 2010.
Monday 4 October 2010, 4.30pm – 8.30pmPrivate viewing, special guest speaker, networking and entertainment
More details will be provided in due course
Friday 8 October 2010, 9.30am-2.00pm Young people’s conference Half day conference, including lunch, aimed at young people from secondary schools and colleges.  The conference will have presentations from a number of young authors of the Plassey’s Legacy book, workshops, refreshment / lunch and informal   discussion.  Teachers and youth organizations are encouraged to bring their students to participate in this unique conference.

There will be an opportunity for students and young people to learn about shared history, exchange knowledge and experiences with each other and contribute ideas for making heritage learning more interesting and valuable. 

Tuesday 5 October 2010
Muslim Rule in Bengal (1204-1757) by Mojlum Khan, who was born in Habiganj, Bangladesh and brought up and   educated in the UK. He is the author of several publications and research papers including the acclaimed book The Muslim 100: The Lives, Thoughts and Achievements of the Most Influential Muslims in History (2008, reprinted 2009, 2010) and The Muslim Heritage of Bengal (forthcoming).  Idea Store Whitechapel, 321 Whitechapel Rd, E1 1BU
Wednesday 6 October 2010, 7-9pmBengal Muslim Identity: Mapping Changing Perspectives by Dr Ferhana Hashem, a Research Fellow at the University of Kent.  She recently completed two research projects: ‘What kind of language service should public authorities provide to minority groups: the case of Bangladeshis in London’ and 'Ethnic Options of Mixed Race Identity' in Britain’. Ferhana completed her doctorate in political sociology in 2003, which examined Bengal Muslim identity in the Indian subcontinent. Idea Store Chrisp Street, 1 Vesey Path, East India Dock Road, E14 6BT
Thursday 7 October 2010The beginnings of British rule in Bengal by Dr Jon E. Wilson, who teaches history of South Asia at King's College London, and recently completed a book on the colonial regime in Bengal entitled The Domination of Strangers. He studied   History and Anthropology at Oxford University and the New School for Social Research.  Idea Store Chrisp Street, 1 Vesey Path, East India Dock Road, E14 6BT
Friday 8 October 2010The establishment of the Hindu College in Calcutta in 1817 and the 19th Century Bengal RenaissanceDetails of speaker and venue to be confirmed
Saturday 9 October 2010, 3.00-5.00pm
Bangladesh: Partitions, Nationalisms and Legacies for State-Building by Professor Mushtaq Khan, who teaches economics at SOAS. He completed his first degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford and then studied PhD in Economics at Cambridge. Previously  he taught at the universities of both Oxford and Cambridge. Information on his research interests are available at

Mile End Arts Pavilion, Ashcroft Rd, E3 5TW
Sunday 10 October 2010, 2.00-4.00pmThe ethno-nationalist conflict in Chittagong Hill Tracts: A tale of partition 1947 by Rumana Hashem, who teaches sociology, culture and gender in University of East London. She is finishing her PhD on Gender and Armed Conflict: The case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.  Prior to joining UEL she taught sociology and gender in BRAC University.
Sunday 10 October 2010, 4.00-6.00pmCultural event
Details to be confirmed
Mile End Arts Pavilion, Ashcroft Rd, E3 5TW
All welcome! Free Entry! For further details please call 07574224891 or email

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Muslin: The famous textile from Bengal

By Professor Dr. Sharif uddin Ahmed

MONDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2010, 7.00-9.00PM

Lab 3, Idea Store Whitechapel
321 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1BU

He gained his MA at Dhaka University, undertook postgraduate studies (B.Litt) at Oxford University and completed his PhD at London University (School of Oriental and African Studies). Currently he is a Professor of History Department at Dhaka University and Director of Centre for Dhaka Studies. Previously he was the Director of National Archives for Bangladesh and president of the historical society of Bangladesh.  He has authored several books on city of Dhaka, including Dhaka: A study in urban history and development (English) and Mitford Hospital and Dhaka Medical College (Bengali).


For more details please call on the number below or send an email.

Muhammad Ahmedullah
Brick Lane Circle

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

An Oasis off London's Beaten Path

Read what New Yorkers are being told about this part of London:  

Photograph: Charlotte Player

Monday, 9 August 2010

Book: The Report by Jessica Francis Kane

Look out for The Report by Jessica Francis Kane It is about the major civilian tragedy that took place in Bethnal Green in 1943, when 173 people suffocated to death on the steps of the tube station as they went to shelter from an air raid. Francis Kane re-imagines the disaster from the points of view of a range of characters who were in the crowd that night; and then follows the magistrate tasked with pulling together the strands of the horror that took place in order to report to the official inquiry.

The book will be published in the US next month, and will be available in the UK next spring, in a version published by Portobello Books.

Read an exclusive extract of The Report that appears on the website of the literary magazine Granta: The Report extract.

Monday, 26 July 2010

C4 Undercover Boss: Tower Hamlets Chief Executive

Dr Kevan Collins, the Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets, was the recent subject of Channel 4's Undercover Boss programme. In the hour long programme, broadclast last Thursday (22 July), the council's supremo posed as 'Colin' an adult intern checking out a range of jobs for a new TV programme.

With the aim of cutting £50million from the Tower Hamlets budget he joined the Meals on Wheels service, the welcome desk at a housing division, responded to a callout with pest control, toured Whitechapel market with the market services representative and went on patrol with the Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers (THEOs) in our own corner of the borough.

The programme was clear about the challenges that face Tower Hamlets and the chief executive came across as a thoughtful, action-orientated person, who was genuinely touched at the commitment of staff. The staff chosen to appear were truly impressive representatives - nb: I am only reporting what I saw, not what I have experienced on occasion! You might however wonder how it is, that given the CE's length of service at the council, the fact that he was relatively new in post as the Chief Executive and that he actually toured a patch of the borough that he lives in, no-one appeared to recognised him. Just a thought.

You can see the programme again using Channel 4s Watch again service : Watch again

Programme profile : Undercover Boss Series 2, Programme 2

Tower Hamlets official line: Tower Hamlets Press Release

Profile of Kevan Collins: New Chief Executive

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Making Town Centres More Attractive: The Questionnaire

Tower Hamlet council has commissioned a company called MCA (based on the Isle of Mull) to carry out a small study of the town centres involving 3/4 traders and similar number of residents to get their views on how the town centres could be made more appealing and attractive to encourage people to spend more time/money in them. The Report is expected to inform the council as it considers the future promotion of the town centres.

Please copy and paste this questionnaire into a word document or email, complete the questions and return it or call T: 01681 700750 and ask them to email the questionaire to you. 

Your views are important - make it count!  Replies must be in by Friday  21 May 2010

Town centre assessment. Name of Centre:

Specific shopping choices
How much would more of these varieties of shop improve the town centre
Very much 
Not at all

Food and drink (bakers, juice bars, wholefoods, butcher, grocers etc.)

Clothes and fashion

Health and Beauty (barbers, chemists, hairdressers, health clubs, etc)

Home and garden (DIY, furnishings, florists)

Pubs and restaurants

Other shops (audio, banks, cycle, dry cleaners, jewellers, newsagents, etc)

Questions on types of fashion and clothes shopping 
Clothes and fashion shops often add vitality to a town centre. What kinds of fashion shop would you like to see ?
A lot
Not at all

International designer shops

International designs within shops

Value design (e.g. M&S or New Look)

Mainstream High Street names

Niche fashion outlets

Second hand designer labels

Other (state)

Questions on cultural and art retailing 
Art and culture industries can enhance a shopping trip. How important are these ?
Very important
Fairly important 
Not important 

Shop units for designer / retailers in the town centre

Retail squares and clusters for designers

Having a cultural quarter in the town centre

Premises for clubs, theatre and bands

Space for exhibitions and performances

Presence of design & hi-tech consultancies

Other (state)

Questions on ethnic diversity and culture
How much should this town centre contribute to the cultural enrichment of Tower Hamlets through its ethnic diversity
A lot 
Not at all

By having more focus on specialist trades

By hosting festivals and events

By greater promotion of diverse cuisines 

By stimulating more social interaction  

By sports and street theatre

By the creation of a cultural trail

Other (state)

Questions on attractiveness to different age groups
How much would these features make this town centre attractive to the following groups (1-10; 10 is ‘very attractive’)
Young people
Older people

 Variety and number of interesting shops

Safe space for wandering about

Socialising with diverse ethnic groups

Good links with cultural attractions  

Having frequent festivals / events

Being safe and open at night

Having a street market

Other (state)

Questions on the social functioning of the town centre 

How much would you approve of the following social activities in the centre 
Very much
Not at all 

Outdoor cafes and tables on the street

Shops with bigger more flexible frontages

Evening shopping events

Clusters of shops rather than parades

Higher quality street markets

More spaces for people to circulate

Other (state)

Some details on yourself

How would you describe yourself under the following categories  

Asian /Asian British
Black /Black British
Mixed / dual heritage
Prefer not to say


Employed status  
Self employed

Other issues of interest in making this town centre more attractive:

Thank you very much for completing this questionnaire. It will help Tower Hamlets Council to plan for making this town centre more successful.

Martin Caldwell and Glyn Austin
MCA Regeneration
Working with Tower Hamlets Council
Tel No. 01681 700750.