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A High Street Odyssey – An experience like no other!

Well, I have just enjoyed one of my funniest half hours ever! Joined by my colleagues and some members of the public we embarked on our High Street Odyssey journey through Ilford Town Centre.

Issued with our ‘shopping bags’ we found our instructions inside telling us to don our headphones (also inside) and follow direction via the headset. Suddenly we became immersed in our own whacky world looking out for our narrator who appeared from a phone box with a wireless headset instructing us from afar to take a good look around and drink in our surroundings. Suddenly he was gone only to appear a few moments later as a litter picker and we were to follow him.

High St OdysseyHigh St Odyssey binoculars

People who we thought were members of the public at large suddenly became characters in our own personal street performance; a man with a pram, a lady eating a burger, a man selling phone contracts. We drew many peculiar glances from shoppers as we laughed and looked and listened to a whistle stop history lesson of the buildings around us.

We began observing shoppers when a lady on her phone caught our narrator’s eye; and then the fun really began as we followed her and watched her interact with many of the characters we had seen; throwing water at a street seller, stealing a bracelet, dancing in a shop window. What was real and what was not, was for us to decide, but it was all so bizarre whilst at the same time being laugh out loud funny.

If you are in Ilford over the weekend, do spare half an hour of your time to join this quirky but thought-provoking FREE street theatre performance, I guarantee that you will not be disappointed. It is an experience that you will remember for a long long time. Be sure to bring someone along to giggle with!

Performances take place at 10.30am, 12noon, 2pm and 3.30pm on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 June. Sign up at the steps to Ilford Town Hall, 128-142 High Road.

The performance is part of the Labyrinth Theatre Festival and is performed by the brilliant cast of Inspector Sands

For more information about the Festival, which ends on Sunday 29 June, visit the website.

Post Author: Cathy Pace



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Last Man Stands Match Report 23 June

Big Boys are up for the Cup and Barbados 2015

Match Report

Despite some close encounters there were no upsets in the cup matches at LMS Redbridge with all the big boys going through. Jamia East London Boys (125 for 4) lost to The Black Eagles (131 without lost) with Captain Nav Ali hitting yet another 50. In a close encounter between two second division teams it was nip and tuck all the way with Loxford Lions getting the better of Brothers United. The Lions batting first powered their way to 195 with Ashraf and Nasir hitting 50s. The Brothers were already 100 in the 11th over and looked likely to reach their target faltering in the closing overs to finish on 170 with Bashir and Usman scoring 50s. It was a noisy affair with lots of banter and great fun and friendly handshakes at the end – Last Man Stands at its best.

In other close encounters Kerry Packer Clique waved a magical wand to prevent East London overhauling their low total of 123. Needing 45 off the last 9 overs the Clique looked buried for the first upset of the cup, then by some mystical bowling managed to keep the Eagles to 117. The magician was Alex Ward with 3 wickets for 5 runs from 2 overs. As if that was not enough PAK Warriors from division 2 took on Traditional Corsairs in a friendly blood sweat and tears match. The Corsairs batted first to finish on 120 and it looked all too easy for the Warriors until the last over, when with only 7 runs required the Warriors batsman turned a ball to square leg which hit the helmet of the outgoing batsman which was left on the ground. Warriors ran 3 but the Officials ruled that they had defaulted resulting in a dot ball and they ended up losing by 2 runs. In others matches Ilford Scorchers (149) won easily over Lankan Stars (87) with Atif scoring 50 for the Scorchers and Desi Sloggers (112) made light work of Ilford Knightriders (111). Earlier on Eight Indians (212) hammered Royal Panters (117) for the easiest of wins. Staan Stallions forfeited their match versus Chakwal Stars.

We are now into the Quarter finals stages of the Cup competitions with only Loxford Lions from division 2 remaining among the big boys, they will play Kerry Packer Clique next week. Other fixtures will see The Black Eagles take on Desi Sloggers and Traditional Corsairs play Eight Indians.

LMS Regional Competition

The draw has been made for the regional and as previously notified the top team from LMS Redbridge will play the competition on 31 August in Barnes, South West London. All teams pushing for the top spot should take note and be ready to play the regional with the winner going to the nationals and a chance to win £5,000 towards Barbados 2015 World Champs.

See London Champs League 2014 fixtures

Barbados 2015 World Champs

We are still looking at ways to get at least one team from Redbridge to Barbados for the World Champs in March 2015. If your team have any interest please discuss with me as places are limited and we need to look at confirming the entry and any help with funding. Also individuals can join the Barbarians team and head to Barbados. Please see all details below and feel free to discuss with me any interest whatsoever you may have in taking part in the LMS World Champs with team from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and others heading for Barbados – Are You?

The Road to Barbados Challengers, Form Guide & Latest Odds

National Cricket Playing Survey

The National Cricket Playing Survey offers players from the age of 14 upwards the chance to have your say and influence the future of cricket at grassroots level. Last year more than 21,000 current and former players responded to the survey, and ECB, County Cricket Boards, Leagues and Clubs are already acting on the comprehensive and wide-ranging feedback received, introducing new formats, rule changes, different start times, shorter travel distances to matches and greater opportunities for women, girls and people with a disability to play the game.

It will take less time than a cricket tea to tell us who you play for, what you love about the game and how best we can improve your experience of the sport. By completing the survey you will have the chance to win prizes including signed bats, shirts and pairs of tickets to an England v India Royal London One Day International. Please see the link below to complete the survey and thank you in advance for doing so.

Take the National Cricket Playing survey

Post Author: Ian Selby, Manager Last Man Stands – Redbridge

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Ilford Welcomes Summer With Fantastic Outdoor Performances In The Sun

Shoppers in Ilford Town Centre on Saturday were in for a right treat as Redbridge Music Lounge was set up right at the heart of the hustle and bustle which offered a chance to sit down and enjoy some great music in the sunshine. If people hadn’t quite made it to the music, then they were being greeted by the illustrious Nutkhut stilt performers that were mingling with the shoppers and proving to be a great addition to the usual sights of Ilford.

It was the wonderful sounds of the talented musicians performing at Redbridge Music Lounge that perfectly complemented the glorious sunshine that had graced Ilford Town Centre on Saturday. Plenty of people stopped in their tracks to enjoy the music that echoed throughout the High Road.

One of the performers was 17 year old Ryan Green from Essex who treated his audience to a wonderful selection of songs. His final song was ‘Don’t Go’ by Josh Kumra, which he had previously sung for the likes of Kylie Minogue and Tom Jones when he was a contestant on the third series of BBC’s singing competition The Voice.

His soulful voice captured the attention of passers by who were then stunned by his musical talent as he not only sang but he showed off his skills on the keyboard. After his set, many people rushed over to congratulate him on a great performance. After he thanked and posed for photos with his admirers, I had the chance to ask him a few questions.

Wowed by this young man’s talent I had to ask him how long he had been performing.

“I’ve been performing since I was 12 years old. I started off with Redbridge Music Lounge, I like to get back to my roots to perform whenever I can”

Ryan truly means this as he also performed at the Christmas Light’s Switch on at Redbridge Town Hall!

After hearing Ryan’s covers of Frank Ocean and Example I was keen to know who his other musical influences are.

“Originally James Morrisson was a big influence on me and on my voice. But now, Frank Ocean is definitely a big influence, so they are my two main influences.”

Ryan also told me that he is currently at The Brit School, so I am sure that he will continue to excel at music and performing as he certainly put on a great show for the people of Ilford!

For more information on this exceptionally talented young man you can go to his website

RMSStilt walker

As I continued on my way through the High Road it was then that I saw the magnificent stilt performers, who were part of the Labyrinth Theatre Festival street entertainment. It was a sight you could not miss as they stood tall and proud, high above everyone else. Firstly it was the majestic maharajah who was causing many of the shoppers to avert their gaze upwards as they craned their necks to take in his full gloriousness. He was draped in a mesmerising blue gown and had a very golden turban to suit his attire that was clearly fit for royalty. As he walked confidently down the street he attempted to include passersby into the world of a maharajah and make them part of his performance! His charming demeanour enticed many people, children especially who wanted to stop for a chat and a photo!

Following not too far behind were the more mischievous looking casual but cool DJ stilt performers wearing their baseball caps and jerseys who looked like they could cause some trouble for the maharajah! They walked down the street with not a care in the world, as if they were just blending in with the crowds.

I stopped to watch the stilt performers continue on their way, weaving remarkably comfortably through the busyness of the street and I waited until they had become just tiny dots above the heads of shoppers. I could still hear shrieks of laughter in the distance of each person who had just been caught by surprise at the sight of the tall figures.

The Labyrinth Theatre Festival continues until Sunday 29 June with performances all over Redbridge.  So don’t miss out, for more information visit the website.

Guest Post: Raeesa Mukhtar 

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Object of the week – 24 to 28 June

At the heart of Redbridge Museum is a unique collection of over 7000 objects, oral history and film. Once a week we will be selecting one object from Redbridge Museum’s collection to share with you online.

Redbridge is proud to be involved in the Tour de France, the world’s largest annual sporting event, which is taking place in London on Monday 7 July 2014, passing through Redbridge at approximately 2.40pm. 

This reminds us of another historic cycling event that started on the 23 June 1883 in Woodford named the ‘Woodford Cycle Meet’.

Hundreds of cyclists in elaborate costumes on decorated bikes rode through the streets of Woodford and Wanstead, cheered on by thousands of local people. At this time, cycling was hugely popular with both men and women joining in the new craze.

The Woodford Cycle Meet aimed to raise money for local charities and hospitals. It continued to run every year until 1914, the year the First World War started.

Our Object of the Week is a beautiful hand water-coloured print featuring five scenes from the Woodford Cycle Meet. To find out more visit Redbridge Museum 2nd floor, Redbridge Central Library.


Title – Hand coloured  print Woodford Cycle Meet

Associated Dates – 1900s

Location – On display at Redbridge Museum

Opening times – Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm & Saturday 10am-4pm

Post Author: A. Deo



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Redbridge gets set for its biggest ever summer of tennis

The first Great British Tennis Weekend is coming to Redbridge, offering free tennis at Goodmayes Park, Green Lane  on the following dates and times for all the family to get involved in:

  • Saturday 28 June 1-4pm
  • Saturday 19  July 1-4pm

Families across the country are going tennis crazy this summer with a series of free ‘Great British Tennis Weekends’ smashing into town. The Great British Tennis weekends are proving to be a great success with parks and clubs offering free opportunities to pick up a racket as tennis fever begins to grip the nation in the lead up to The Championships, Wimbledon.

People in Redbridge will now be able to take part in a variety of tennis – all completely free as part of the LTA and Tennis Foundation’s drive to get more people playing more often. Venues will be providing rackets and balls, so if you’ve never tried tennis before or are a regular player, there really is no excuse to book your place and get serving.

Families can book in advance online and find out more information about other venues.

Rachael Porsz, The Regional Tennis Development Manager for London said: “We are really excited that the Great British Tennis Weekends are hitting Redbridge this summer. I hope families take the opportunity to take part in these fantastic events and ready themselves for what is set to be Redbridge’s biggest ever summer of tennis, as we get behind Andy Murray and the British tennis stars.”

The Great British Tennis Weekends in Redbridge will kick-start a programme of free Tennis in Goodmayes Park, every Saturday between 1-3pm. This programme is funded by Tennis for Free and the Lawn Tennis Association. For more information please contact:

But it doesn’t stop there, in-conjunction with tennis charity Tennis For Free we also have a 50 week free programme of tennis starting on 5 July between 1-3pm.

Paul Jessop, CEO of Tennis For Free said: ” Our Tennis For Free sessions are all about fun and enjoyment for all the family. Goodmayes Park is the perfect place to start your free tennis journey and we are very proud to be providing these free sessions in Redbridge”

Started in 2004 and celebrating a decade of getting over 150,000 people to hit tennis balls for free, Tennis For Free is a registered charity founded by comedian Tony Hawks.  It aims to provide to create healthy, vibrant tennis communities on FREE public park tennis courts creating new tennis players of all ages and backgrounds, and showing that tennis can be enjoyed by all. Tennis For Free supporters include Judy Murray (mother of GB No1 Andy), BBC tennis commentator Andrew Castle and ex Grand Slam winner Pat Cash.

More information on Tennis in Redbridge here.

Post author: Jenni Sheehan.

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Meet comedy poet Neal Zetter at Fairlop Fair!

I am not really a lover for poetry, but I’ve heard of a few poets and appreciate words that entertain.  We are all different; some people live for thrills, some for adventure… but some live and breathe poetry, some worship poetry like a saint… Meet Neal Zetter!

I am so happy that Neal Zetter is going to be at the Fairlop Fair on Saturday 5 July at Fairlop Waters, as he is such an experienced poet with such a great deal to offer. He has worked with a wide range of people such as children’s poet, Michael Rosen and top legendary performance poets Attila and John Cooper Clark plus many more. He has also been in comedy club bills with Omid Djalili, Harry Hill, and Sean Hughes to name but a few.

He loves to entertain children and adults alike with poetic performance and is encouraging any budding poets to do the same by writing a short fun poem for display on the day at this year’s Fairlop Fair. What a great way to share your talent with others and really feel like you have played a part in the day’s entertainments. On the day, Neal will also be giving out great advice on writing and publishing your own book as well as selling and signing copies of his own book, the “BEES IN MY BANANAS”.

I asked Neal what inspired him to write the “BEES IN MY BANANAS” and his response was “as a performance poet who plies much of his trade on stage, I have never focused too much on getting my work in print, but as the question I have been asked more than any other over the years is; ‘have you got a book?’ I thought the time was right! The title comes from the first two poems in the book which are two of my most requested: I’m a Bee and Bananananananananananananananananananananananananana”

Neal mentioned that he has a lot of exciting projects which he is working on currently, he normally works with adults to provide out of school activities for children and families but most of his work is during the school holidays.

I posed an interesting question to Neal about his future plans and his response was “To work in more unusual places and with many different types of people”. Having worked in all 33 London Boroughs and many other UK cities, I think he is ready for new challenges.

He also added that he wants to convince all ages that poetry is not boring, complicated or obscure, but really good fun, exciting and accessible. “I plan to be pushing Bees in My Bananas as much as possible too” he said.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to come to Fairlop Fair and meet Neal Zetter in person at his stall in the Story Boat & Libraries Zone. You can gain so much information about poetry and performing arts as well as being one of the first at the fair to purchase his fantastic new book!

Visit Neal Zetter’s Confidence in Communication through Comedy Poetry website

Find out what else you can do at the fabulous Fairlop Fair!

Guest Post: Rosie Ile


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Visit London Glider Cider Company at Fairlop Fair!

I am so excited that the London Glider Cider Company is going to be at Fairlop Fair, such an original company which are going to be selling draft and bottled cider made from 100% fruit at the fair on Saturday 5 July at Fairlop Waters. The London Glider says their fruit is hand-picked from surplus grown in the surrounding urban and suburban gardens which would otherwise go to waste.

Their business started out recycling 100% of their waste four years ago, they say the dry pulp, which is left over after each pressing, is given to local sheep or pig farmers to feed their animals with!  “So once we have picked the fruit that would otherwise have gone to waste from local gardens, everything is used, nothing is wasted”.  This must be one of the most unique things a company could do to help reduce wastage as everything is put to good use!

As the London Glider are going to be at Fairlop Fair they wish to bring a joyful experience to all who visit “happiness to those who drink cider, lots of people making merry, and knowledge to those who want to know about cider making” said Rochelle Schwartz one of the management team at the London Glider Company.  So this is the perfect opportunity for people who want to start making their own cider, or who are just interested, to get some great advice.                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Another exciting fact about this business is that you can donate fruit to the London Glider Company which will then be used to create their cider.  In return, they will give you a free bottle of cider.  There is no minimum requirement of fruit to be donated but in a typical garden, they would be looking to pick from a good sized, established mature tree, which should produce enough fruit in a good year to allow for some surplus.

This year they are introducing a new product at Fairlop Fair which is Apple Cider Vinegar, which will be available for people to buy.

The thing that makes their cider different from others is that they use 100% pressed apple or pear juice, dessert or cooking fruit, not cider fruit. They also have a Crab and Apple blend and all made using a sustainable resource that would otherwise have been thrown away.

This AMAZING Company has won several CAMRA awards and they have won first place ‘Dry Cider’ category at Brogdales Cider Festival 2013.  But the main unique thing about them is that they create their cider in London and believe they are the only commercial cider makers to do so in the Capital.

If you love cider, then come and meet the staff of this prestigious company at the Fairlop Fair; try their unique products, gain great knowledge on cider making and their special blends and have a joyful experience!  

For more information on the London Glider Company visit their website  

Find out what else you can see and do at this year’s Fairlop Fair

Guest Post: Rosie Ile