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…In Redbridge!


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Ladies light up the High Road in Ilford

Following on from the success of the Lumiere London Umbrella Project, I along with my fellow umbrella dancing troupe were asked back to perform at the opening of the magnificent public art installation O.T. 968 on the High Road outside Redbridge Town Hall last night (15 March).

Outside library

We had a few new faces join us who had seen the performance advertised on Facebook and in total, 12 of us met up yesterday afternoon at Redbridge Central Library for a refresher/rehearsal for the evening performances. Leading the session and choreographing our moves once again was the lovely Caldi and Skippy from Cirque Bijou who made it easy for everyone to pick up the moves with their fun approach. Stage managing the performance and responsible for the slick running of the umbrella colour changes was technician Simon who followed us around with the music and the smoke machine creating a great atmosphere for us and everyone watching.

Umbrellas above heads

Our first performance was at around 6.15pm as we were waiting for dusk to get the best effect once our lights went on.  As with our London performance, the umbrellas attracted much attention from passers-by who stopped to take photos and many teenagers and young children wanting to get involved in the procession cheekily running in and out of our formation! It was great to see young people laughing and having fun alongside us. Waterstones was the starting point for us, as in our groups we went through our repertoire of moves, starting with the train which looked amazing, our umbrellas were the wheels and our group leaders were the engine as we glided along the High Road towards the art installation which is part of the Lab Central Arts Programme.

Artwork and dancers

We danced around the artwork which was designed by award winning artist Stefan Reiss.  The glow from the LED lights in our umbrellas complemented the light projections and animations that were directed at the artwork perfectly and created an amazing spectacle.

As we headed back to the library darkness had fallen, perfect for our second performance which was timed to coincide with the end of the launch event for O.T. 968.  As we formed our lines outside the Central Library, all of the dignitaries and guests came out to watch our performance and join us on the walk from the library to the artwork. Once again young children excitedly joined in laughing, dancing and singing along with us as we performed the Catwalk – a move specifically designed to get the audience moving through the centre of the light show. Over at the artwork we paraded around the outside of the installation before all filing into the centre to light it from the inside out. The highlight of this performance came from the amazing Rebecca performing her Michael Jackson routine to Beat It which totally blew us all away – such a talented member of the troupe!

Our final performance was at 8pm, the streets had quietened a bit by then, but there were still people around who wanted to get involved, including a man with his trumpet who decided to play during our duets (in pairs we had devised our own moves which we performed in the middle of the light circle).  Whilst this was great to see him getting involved, we all had to laugh about it as he was asking us for money for his performance! Our finale was a party piece celebrating our team work and full of fun and laughter as we snaked along the High Road in a long line breaking into freestyle moves every now and again.  Exhilarated we finally headed back to the library for the last time around 8.40.

Cath in middle

Thanks to Sam Goodey, Culture Team Leader at Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure for commissioning the performance and bringing us all together again.  There is talk that we may be back for Light Night, so watch this space…

O.T. 968 is a spatial installation containing large wooden beams and boards with an all over video projection that will be on display in the High Road until Saturday 24 March.

Find out more about O.T. 968 and the Lab Central Arts Programme

More on the Lumiere London Umbrella Project

Check out part of the performance below:

Post Author: Cathy Pace

 

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Hainault Forest Country Park is in the early stages of a £6m restoration project which will see it undergo a programme of work focusing on four key areas – investment in biodiversity, landscape and buildings, works to re-focus the popular children’s zoo and to improve the range of activities on offer for visitors.

Nature walk

On 9 December 2017 a group joined Francis Castro, Senior Ranger and Project Manager at Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure, for a guided winter stroll around Hainault Forest. In beautiful winter sunshine, over the course of two hours, they learned about the flora and fauna, as well as the restoration plans.

In January 2017, the HLF announced support of £4.5m, including development funding of £218,800, for Hainault Forest Country Park’s “Hainault Ancient Forest – a Landscape for the Future” project. The Council will also contribute £1.25m to the project with a further £250,000 from Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure. This brings total investment to £6m. When the project is complete, it is envisaged that Hainault Forest Country Park will be enabled to become financially self-sufficient, and the current Council subsidy will end.

Tree walk

Covering a total of 800 acres, Hainault Forest includes 250 acres of greenbelt, ancient woodland and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is the last fragment of a medieval Royal hunting forest established by Henry I that included Hatfield and Epping.

The forest is also pivotal for local and regional wildlife. To date, 158 species of bird have been recorded in the forest including turtle doves, bullfinches, and three species of woodpecker. There are also more than 940 species of invertebrates such as butterflies and dragonflies, 79 of which are nationally scarce.

Friends of Wanstead Parklands member Richard Arnopp, who went on the walk, said –

“Hainault Forest is important both as a haven for wildlife and a much-needed recreational space for Redbridge’s growing population. It is also a historic landscape with ancient trees, including many pollards, which bear witness to its long management as wood-pasture”.

Richard continued –

“Francis Castro (Vision RCL), the London Borough of Redbridge and the HLF are to be congratulated for this initiative. We hope that the “Hainault Ancient Forest” project will guarantee the future of this special place for many years to come”.

Camelot Path Hainault Forest Country Park is managed by Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure on behalf of the London Borough of Redbridge.

 

 


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Redbridge Museum’s On The Move Exhibition

Redbridge Museum’s summer exhibition On The Move is coming to an end this weekend, so I thought I would go along and see what it was all about!  The theme is transport related and showcases a variety of different modes of transport.  As a first time visitor to the Museum exhibition, I wasn’t really aware of what to expect, and I was surprised that everything was extremely interactive providing lots of things for children to do.

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As you walk inside the exhibition space, there are lots of colours and signs drawn on the walls which are actually road signs. There are many huge structures which the children can climb on including a plane with seating for a pilot and co-pilot, a boat which children can climb aboard, and for children that love to dress up, there are costumes which they can wear. There was a train with lots of seats inside, so multiple people could sit and watch a video showing a drivers view of the London underground. The exhibition also includes other types of transport including wheelchairs, bicycles and scooters.

There is an assistant who is very hands on and keen to help all the children, explaining to them how things work, as she did this she explained how real versions of the exhibits would work too and the children were so mesmerised by her and you could really tell that they were interested in what she had to say.

The exhibition offers educational benefits because next to all the interactive activities there are fact sheets that described what it represented and for some pieces it described the history about it so that the children were learning and having a good time. The interactive activities included many puzzles, things they could build and games, including a variation of whack-a-rat.

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The atmosphere in the exhibition was entirely happy and the sounds of laughing and playing was very clear, a young boy called Charlie summed up his visit by saying “it’s fun!” and another young boy called Louis, when asked what he liked the most exclaimed “all of it!”. A grandparent of children playing also told me that she had brought her grandson once and he loved it so much that she brought him and his cousin back again! This proves that this exhibition is not one that should be missed!

Exhibition closes on Saturday 2 September, so hurry if you wish to experience the fun. Entry is FREE.

For more information visit the website

Guest Author: Kate Beard

 

 

 


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The Cat in the Hat family fun!

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On Saturday we headed to a reading of The Cat in the Hat by the world famous Dr Suess at Barkingside (Fullwell Cross) library.

The event was held outside and benches were lined up in front of the steps ready for the performance. Prior to the show starting people from the event were making balloon animals up and down the high street.

The performance was put on by The Discovery Centre who are based in Stratford in partnership with the Vision Redbridge Culture Team. If you haven’t been to The Discovery Centre yet I cannot recommend it highly enough, the 2 people performing  were really good and interacted well with the parents and children and really brought the story to life.

There was even a surprise visit at the end by The Cat in the Hat himself!

Once the performance was over with there was a chance to have your photo taken with the cat and his car, obviously I jumped at the chance of this.

 

We then headed inside the library to take a look at the arts and crafts that included face painting for £1.50 and making items from the story including  a hat like the cat’s, these were all free.

It was a great way to spend a few hours locally and not spend any money!

To see what other events are on take a look at Vision’s Do More guide.

Maybe I’ll get to see you and say hello at an event!

Guest Writer: Mummy Em

If you’d like to read more from Mummy Em, visit her blog!

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Celebrating Healthy Families in Redbridge in Loxford Park!

Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure and NELFT Healthy Eating Team hosted a celebration with families in Loxford Park on Monday 24 August. It was a celebration to mark a fantastic year for the MEND, Little Dudes and Active Stars weight management programme; becoming healthier through healthy eating and physical activity.

Despite an unfortunate forecast and a very wet morning, it was a pleasure to see so many families turn up to Loxford Park to celebrate being a healthy family in Redbridge. There was plenty of fun to be had and activities for all ages to enjoy, in particular the beach volleyball session and healthy food tasters! The turn out proved the determination of the healthy families, a bit of rain never hurt anyone!

Beach volleyball

There were a variety of stalls from providers for families to enjoy. Vision RCL Sport and Health Team had a stall with information of all the physical activity options the Sport and Health Team provide. They also had information on other activities in the borough provided by outside organisations. For updates from the Sport and Health Team, follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Everyone enjoyed the healthy snacks, activities and information about healthy food from NELFT healthy eating team. Also popular was the ISS education stall. ISS education came in full force with plenty of healthy ingredients for everyone to try out such as pea pate and a delightful spinach, banana, mango and pineapple smoothie – created on the smoothie bike! The smoothie bike attracted a lot of attention. Encouraging physical activity, the smoothie bike creates a smoothie from the energy produced riding and pedalling! Your efforts are rewarded with a delicious healthy drink afterwards!

Smoothie bike

Find out more information about what services NELFT Healthy Eating Team and ISS education provide.

Fit for Fun, School Nursing Team & Infant Feeding Team and the local Children’s Centres all had a stall providing information on the local services and activities they have to offer.

See what is going on at your local Children’s Centre in Redbridge and find more information of Free Fit for Fun exercise classes.

Sport & Health Team Tent in Loxford park

There are a number of Healthy Workshops throughout the year, so if you are looking for some support with healthy eating or increasing physical activity in your family, please do not hesitate to contact the Healthy Weight Teams today. View more information on Healthy Kids in Redbridge & Weight Management Support.

For more information on how to get involved in any of our healthy eating sessions contact: nem-tr.eatwell@nhs.net or for active stars contact the team on activestars@redbridge.gov.uk.

Post Author: Eleanor Wilkinson


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Meet Miss England semi-finalist at Fairlop Fair

Miss Redbridge, Krishna Solanki, is in the running to become Miss England after securing a place in the semi-finals. Having just finished her second year studying maths at Portsmouth University, she had to juggle the pageant with revising for her exams, which she finished just a couple of days before the heats. Krishna, who is a qualified dancer and part-time model, will be appearing at the Fairlop Fair on Saturday 4 July where you can chat to her and have your picture taken.

Born and brought up in the London Borough of Redbridge, Krishna tells us her reasons behind running for Miss England and her involvement in the Redbridge community.

“I have been an advocate against discrimination since childhood. My quest to participate in the Miss England competition stemmed from my earlier experiences as a child facing prejudices within my own community; being a dark skinned South Asian girl where fair/ light skin is favoured. Miss England gives me the platform on a global scale to the raise awareness on equality and help fight all forms of discrimination and prejudices by showcasing talents and helping the underprivileged by raising money for Charity through Beauty with a Purpose, the charity for Miss World.

Last year I qualified as a Semi-Finalist of Miss England after gaining two titles; Miss Charity Essex and Miss Popularity Essex 2014 after completing a sponsored 40km walk that helped to raise £700 for Beauty With a Purpose. This year I completed a 45km walk and run and so far I have raised £660. Donations can still be made via Virgin Money Giving.

As Miss Redbridge I have been invited to take part in events within the borough. I had the privilege to open Ken Aston Square for Light Night in Barkingside, alongside the Mayor, Councillors and MPs. I also modelled hair and make-up in a fashion show held in the square for the local salon Studio MG. Studio MG are my sponsors for the Miss England Semi-Finals and I will be proudly modelling their hair and make-up for the event on Sunday 5 July.

Miss Redbridge

I am looking forward to being back at Fairlop Fair this year. I had a lot of fun last year judging the Gingerbread Man Competition and will be the judge again this year. Come and see me in the Fairlop Fair Arena.

Thank you and please keep showing your support by voting for me and donating towards my fundraiser! “

Krishna will be happy to pose with anybody at the Fairlop Fair but in return she would like you to Vote for her by texting – MISS SEMI46 to 63333 – texts cost 50p plus standard network rate, voting money goes to charity.

The semi-final for Miss England takes place the following day on Sunday 5 July! So get voting!

See what else is happening at Fairlop Fair on Saturday 4 July!

Post Author: Krishna Solanki


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Don’t miss the Redbridge Green Fair this Sunday!

Held once every 2 years, The Redbridge Green Fair is a large, vibrant, inclusive community festival with a “green” theme that raises public awareness of environmental issues and brings the community and businesses together in Valentines Park, Ilford.

This year the Green Fair takes place on Sunday 25 May from 11.30am to 7pm in Melbourne Field, Valentines Park. 

The fair will showcase free, low carbon and simple arts activities for children and adults with the help of local community artists, including construction with paper and wire and tie dying. There will be workshops including composting, vegetable growing, a ‘food miles’ run, recycled bikes for sale, Dr Bikes, a large tryout bikes area, eco shopping tips, craft and mending/repairing activities, bread cooking, drumming, a give and take area and a large solar cinema. The food available will be healthy, wonderful, diverse and solely vegetarian to promote lower carbon dietary choices. Even our music stage will be powered by a fire engine-cum-solar generator!

Our aim is to help reduce the carbon footprint in Redbridge, to support the Council’s aim of reducing it by 30% and bring back community spirit!

Take a look at some of the exhibitors, performers and workshops that will be present at the fair:

Darcy Turner Workshops 

Iroko Theatre Company

Recycles Bike Sales Servicing & Repairs

Tony Harvey Cycle Coaching and Training

Fusion Foods: Pop Up Restaurant

Forest Recycling Project

Solar Cinema Groovy Picture House

For more information visit the website:

Redbridge Green Fair

Email redbridgegreenfair@gmail.com
Twitter @RdbrdgGreenFair

Guest Post: Ros Southern