Making Money Work

Do you want out find out how to save money? How to use the internet to get better deals? How to navigate the benefits system? How to understand Universal Credit? How to budget better?

A free course is starting in April that will tell you all that. It’ll run every week for 15 weeks, and you will get a qualification at the end.

Trainers from Toynbee Hall who will be running the course in Dorset Community Centre (off Columbia Road) will come to our next meeting – Monday March 31st, at 6.50pm in the Hut, to explain what is involved and what you’d get out of a course that has been really successful to date. There will be translation into Bengali-Sylheti.

It you can’t come on March 31st, you can still go along to an Open Day in Dorset on April 16th when you can find out more.

And here is a link …..

Money Mentors template towerhamletshomes2page



Gascoigne Estate Vision and Master Plan

Julia Hilton from Green Dreams Landscape Architects has finished the document outlining a vision for greening the estate.  The summary pages are shown below. The full report outlining the long term vision for greening and improving the estate is available to view here.  It is based on the plans and sketches shown on Apple Day […]

The Angel has Flown

She was with us only a short time – too short even to have taken a photograph.  But if you had walked along the horrible alleyway that leads fom Austin Street onto the estate, you’d have seen her.

‘She’ was a street sign – “Sweet Apple Alley  E2″ – that referred to the old days when ‘Sweet Apple Square’ stood where part of the estate and the Mildmay buildings now stand. We’d had a street sign specially made for Apple Day, and put up in the alleyway just next to the pop-up Sweet Apple Cafe.


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The sign made the alleyway a little bit less threatening (though nothing except for a thorough makeover could make it better). But it gave the grim place a character and it felt a bit more friendly…

So friendly that someone decided to remove the sign and take it home with them – neatly leaving the screws that had secured it back on the wall.


What would you do with £10,000 ?

The Mayor’s new fund launches this week – £10,000 to each ward: and local people decide how it should be used to improve the community. Give a thought to what you think would make life round here better – green space, more bins, better lighting to deter drug-dealing? Stuff for kids, for seniors….?

The Weavers ward forum meeting takes place on Tuesday 10th December at 6.30pm in St Peter’s Mission Hall, 56 Warner Place, E2 7DA (near Ion Square Gardens). People who come will decide the three priority areas that are set down as the most important. Come and have your say. If what you want isn’t talked about, it won’t get on the list.



Good-bye, Ernie

The chapel was crammed with friends and family of Ernie Mills yesterday, and people who happened to pass by Dunmore Point earlier that morning would have been moved to have seen the banks and banks of floral displays massed in its wide lobby.

Mourners present in Manor Park remembered Ernie, 80 – who had lived in Dumore Point for 43 years – for his disinctive gravelly wit, his sharp and independent mind and his great unfailing gruff kindliness. Not surprisingly, his funeral cortege – with ‘Uncle Ernie’ picked out in white chrysanthemums – stopped at Hackney Motors on the way for regulars to pay their respects to a man who leaves an real emptiness in the yard’s small office.

But in particular, we feel honoured that his wife, Doris, and family invited people back to The Hut for refreshments after the ceremony. Two years ago, The Hut was closed up, shabby and inaccessible. Today it is what it should be and what every comunity needs – a place that can support and host local people in all the stages of our life: to mourn, to celebrate, to come together and to remember.

Get Going, Get Growing….


Olivia from Spitalfields City Farm came down to talk to our growers a few weeks ago.  And she’ll be back again on Tuesday morning, with her colleague Emily, for another practical session.

Don’t imagine because the days are getting colder gardens go to sleep until spring. Not at all. Olivia and Emily will be around to talk people through what can be done in the winter months. And they’ll try to answer questions and solve any problems that you might have.

Come and meet Olivia and Emily if you are a grower, and if you would like to be a grower too. Meet at 11am on Tues Nov 5th, by the veg beds at the entrance to our estate.

Olivia (left) with three of the Gascoigne Gardening Club - Sarah (and small George), the Club's Co-Ordinator, Jeremy and Vicky.

Olivia (left) with three of the Gascoigne Gardening Club – Sarah (and small George) the Club’s Co-Ordinator, with Jeremy and Vicky.

Sweet Apple Success

Sunday was kind to us, on Apple Day – mellow and mild.

Thanks to everyone who helped to make it such a stunning day -  Thanks to…..

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the children who ran the Sweet Apple Cafe that popped up on the terrace at the end of Wingfield. The people who baked such amazing concoctions out of the apples given out in advance, and brought them for everyone to share. The people who pitched in and pressed apples (especially Andy Willoughby) and produced the loveliest fresh apple juice.


To St Hilda’s Food Co-Op, Food Not Waste and WEN (Women’s Environmental Network), and – as ever – PATH (Play Association Tower Hamlets).

apple_day_14   To people who provided such energy…hitting the jackpot on the high Striker!










Best of all was the way that having fewer cars for the day meant we could spread out over the whole estate. It gave a taste of how things could be, with better designs, more greenery. less concrete and more thought. 

Julia Hilton’s proposals for a better future for Gascoigne will be on the side of Dunmore Point till the end of this month. Go and have a look and put stickers on the ideas you like (or dislike).


Transforming Gascoigne Estate

Take a look at the plans for transforming your estate. They will be on show at Apple Day on Sunday October 6 and for a month after that on the wall of Dunston Point. Please email any comments to

From Grot to Glory !

After weeks of waiting, the new playground and community area opened a few days ago.

It was a wonderful sight, to see children swarming busily all over the newly landscaped grassy area, digging busily in the sand and climbing steadily up the large spiky tree.

Before it had been all railings and rubbish…..

Dunmore Hut play area 2_1

But now it has been transformed…

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We raised the money to do this, with PATH (Play Association Tower Hamlets). Funding came from The Marathon Trust, Trust for London, L & Q and Tower Hamlets Homes.  The clever designs were by Playlink and the contractors were H.S.

Thank you, every one!

Fast Forward….

The next two weeks are going to be hectic. But good hectic….

Firstly, officers from the three housing associations who divide up bits of this estate are going to be holding their monthly Drop-In on Tuesday afternoon between 4 and 5pm, in The Hut.  On Saturday Councillor John Pierce is holding his Surgery for residents between 11am and 1pm, in The Hut.

Then, on Wednesday, the celebrations start….IMGP1486

The railings have been up around the new play area for several weeks, while behind it land was shifted, turf was laid, sand was imported (not to mention the vast dead tree..).

On Wednesday the railings come down. The children are – appropriately – going to host a tea party for the funders who made this possible. Thank you to all of them – L & Q, Marathon Trust, THH, Trust for London. And of course PATH – Play Association Tower Hamlets – who have steered, managed, supported, inspired the venture throughout.

Come and join in and have a cup of tea on Wednesday, 3.30pm.

And after that – on Sunday October 6th – there’ll be APPLE DAY for all: games, music, fresh apple juice.

IMGP1578And we will dedicate a plaque by the little apple tree that is bursting with fruit and has been planted in memory of Cynthia Charles, a wonderfully generous and vibrant woman who lived in Leopold Buildings and died suddenly a year ago. We celebrate her spirit.