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Family event in the Greenway Orchard Sat 3 Feb- 2pm – a Wassail to help the trees bear fruit

Want to join an old English custom in the Greenway Orchard?  We will be ‘wassailing’ (singing) to the apple/pear trees, to ‘help’ them bear ample amount of fruit to ensure a good harvest.

Saturday 3 February 2-3.30, rain or shine, come along to the Orchard (next to Boundary Lane)

  • Tour of the Orchard/history/tree identification/info
  • Singing, processing and pot banging (bring your own saucepans and lids)
  • Small bonfire to toast marshmallows
  • Apple cakes/pies competition – bring yours along on the  day
  • Crowning (decorating) an apple tree
  • Warm drinks and lovely apple cakes/pies 🙂

Do come along and find out about how you can use the Orchard and the growing space.  This is a child-friendly event – children must be accompanied and supervised by a responsible adult.  Please wear appropriate clothes for an outdoor event and a fire – no loose clothes or flammable clothes.

We look forward to spending an unusual Saturday afternoon with you!

More info from: 07957 534908 or 07388 406499

RSVPs would be very helpful. 🙂

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Join our Flower Hammering on paper workshop Weds 10 January

Join us for yet another plant–based craft activity planned for our next Gardening Club, taking place on Wednesday 10th January 11-12.30, sure to get the creative gardening juices going!

We will be doing ‘Flower & Leaf Hammering’, which is a technique that leaves a natural print on a piece of paper or fabric, using flower and leaves found in nature, locally-from plants growing in your garden, park, window box or even from a cut bouquet of flowers that has been gracing your living room.

In the process, we will be creating a lasting image of a Plaistow flower or leaf, arranged in an aesthetically pleasing way, and worthy of a greeting card or being hanged on the wall of your home or office. 🙂

To book your place, please do so by emailing or texting  07388 406499. Please bring your own hammer and any flower and leaves you wish to use for printing.

The gardening club is running on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at The Mix

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Help needed to take our Green Spaces project onwards and upwards

Local residents want a greener South Plaistow and for the green spaces to be used and enjoyed, beautiful and well maintained.  We found this out in our listening events in 2015.  We recruited our green spaces community workers Milena and Ros in August 2017.

These are the highlights of what our green spaces workers have done so far… met Blooming Plaistow winners/runners up and handed out the prizes, helped to plan and run the Barbers alley open day as a way of using street/urban space for the community, exploring options for plants/planters in the alley (residents want this), established a gardening club, ran the first ever tree dressing events in Newham (Greenway Orchard and on Barking Road) and ran two well attended wreath-making workshops.

We need local people to help Milena and Ros with some of their decisions and to help guide and keep an eye on their work in 2018.   Join our new Green Spaces Task Group.

One question for the task group is:  should we drop the litter picks as we are not getting a good turnout and there’s pros and cons about taking on council roles?  Another is: ‘should we expand the categories in the Blooming Plaistow competition, and if yes, what categories?

Please get in touch if you care about South Plaistow and would like to help with real decisions that Milena and Ros need to make.  Be a force for positive change in 2018.   The meetings will be every 2 months and we would love to have you on board.

First meeting: green spaces task group – Thursday 25th January 6.15-7.45 at The Mix.

Contact us to register your interest or to find out more.

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Barbers Alley gets a Pyklops street artist mural this weekend!

We are delighted that The Mix youth club (1A Cumberland Road, Plaistow) are working with famed street artist Pyklops street artist this weekend as a collaboration for the second mural in Barbers Alley.  It’s a piece of work for the Newham Word Festival and Pyklops and the youth group have been working with wordsmith Charlie Dark

The Barbers Alley design is a secret, but all will be revealed on Saturday 🙂

Charlie Dark poet

Feel free to drop by on Saturday 16th December to see the artists at work!  Barbers alley runs between Greengate street and Baalam Street, Plaistow E13 9DS.  Starting at 11, they will carry on till it’s finished, hopefully by the time it gets dark.  Looks like a sunny but cold day.

Currently we are setting up a date to meet with local residents to take forward the ideas for the alley shared so far, and in particular we want to pick up the ideas for greening the space. We are also looking into regular markets there.

To see the first mural being painted and the alley’s first open day and mini market- see the short youtube video below.


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Wintry Make A Wreath workshops for seasonal and green Plaistow front doors

Come and enjoy a wintry workshop (in the warm!) working with beautiful, winter, evergreen,  local foliage to make a seasonal wreath.

We are keen to harvest Plaistow foliage and plants, so do bring along any greenery you have or can find (Holly, Firs, Buxus, Bay, Ivy) and any dried flowers that would look good.  We can supply all the plant materials, if you don’t have any, but do bring the baubles or other decorations you want to add to your wreath.

  • Wednesday 13th December 11am-12.30.  Booking essential: Wednesday Eventbrite link or email or ring us
  • Thursday 14th December 6.30pm-8pm.  Booking essential: Thursday Eventbrite link or email or ring us
  • VENUE: The Mix, 1A Cumberland Road, Plaistow E13 8LH

Children are welcome but we need to know they are coming.  Maximum of 20 people each session

The 2 workshops will be led by our green spaces community worker, Milena.   The wreath frames are to be made from a recently fallen Willow tree in Beckton park that Milena has harvested (with permission!) for these workshops.

Our Green Spaces work is as a result of resident’s wanting the green spaces in Plaistow South to be valued and improved and for the neighbourhood to be greener and more beautiful.  Milena and I are hoping that there will be some very beautiful front doors, that guests will learn new skills and confidence in working with plants and that there will be a greater appreciation and knowledge of the plants in the area.  Ros (the other green spaces community worker)

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Making our Barking Road PSBL Plane tree bright and beautiful – join us

We’re having fun planning for the PSBL large, plane tree – the one just outside the office.  We want to make it bright and beautiful to launch tree dressing week in Plaistow.

Got bright outworn clothes you could donate?  Got a charity shop that would give us some colourful cloth that can’t be sold?

We’re going to cut strips, sew onto a long strip and then wrap around our tree.

Here’s the tree all bare.  We’re going to make it bright and beautiful.

  • Thursday 30th November 12-2pm
  • Meet behind the wall, REIN/PSBL office

You can help us create the tree wrap and sew on the day, or maybe you would like to join a session on Weds 29th at The Mix, a double gardening club and crafts morning.  Or make something  and bring it along to hang on the tree.

Please do be aware that this event needs to be safe as the tree is obviously so close to the road.   We’ve had a think about how to make it safe as well as fun and will need you to join our health and safety briefing.

Please make contact for more information: 534908 or ring office.

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Barbers Alley gets a new lease of life and locals have big ideas for it

Barbers Alley has a bit of a chequered reputation. Running between Greengate Street and Balaam Street, just north of Plaistow Park, it’s a former road and so very wide for an alley, but also a place which has been fly-tipped and is often peppered with doggy-do! But now it looks like a community space with real potential.

PSBL partnered with Plaistow Community Neighbourhood and arts collective, Parrabbola, for the local element of Newham Alleyways project. We worked with local residents to organise the Barbers Alley Festival on 30th September. From the ideas that came up from a few meetings with locals, PSBL led on a pilot mini market and stalls to see if this could be the venue for a regular street market. Residents came up with many other ideas came up such as planters, pergolas, art, murals, children’s activities and community events.

The open day was an exciting opportunity to try something new. Local Plaistow artists Indra and Marcello painted a fantastic mural. 4 local traders joined some of the PYM stalwarts in the mini market, supplemented by PSBL and LBN Plaistow information stalls,  children’s games and chalking, more consultations and activities, and PSBL’s seedling and growing activities.


The Festival and mini market was only for 2 hours, but we think we’ve been there at that start of a permanent new lease of life for the alley! See our Youtube video of the event and local resident’s ideas for further development of a funky space!

Since the festival day we’ve been liaising with LBN for a six month trial of a regular monthly market— a great opportunity for local people to get experience in trading, especially for young entrepreneurs. We’re aiming for the first market to happen in the Spring – we will keep you posted.

We noticed that the Newham Word Festival were looking for walls for a young people’s mural and, hey presto, Barbers Alley is going to get it’s second mural before Christmas! This will be a project with a prominent artist working with Discover and young people from The Mix. The scheduled date for the mural work is 16th December.

Milena and Ros, our Green Spaces Community Workers, are following up with local residents about the greening ideas that have come upwe feel confident that by the summer there are going to be some lovely planters in place, with beautiful shrubs, herbs and flowers.  

If you are a local resident and would like to help us with our door knocking or with greening the alleyway, please do get in touch. 🙂

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Join us at Great Greenway Clean-up – Litter-Pick

We are delighted to be joining in the Thames Water Great Greenway Clear-up!

Friday 17th November, 10:30-12:30

Join the PSBL team at the Prince Regent Lane junction with The Greenway.  All equipment provided… just don’t wear your best shoes! 😉

If you want our help in a litter pick in your Plaistow South road or a green space or alley near you, get in touch.  For our next event on the Greenway, we’re ‘dressing’ the Orchard trees. 🙂

Denny and Lora earlier in the year
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Celebrating Plaistow Trees in Tree Dressing week

We thought we’d like to show our trees some love this December!  Trees are everywhere in Plaistow and with a little bit of ‘tree dressing’ we may all notice them and appreciate them a bit more.

National tree week is 25th November to 3rd December and Tree Dressing week is usually the first week in December.  Tree Dressing is picking up in popularity and we’re bringing it to Plaistow.

To launch tree dressing week we are going to make our own Barking Road Plane tree beautiful on Thursday 30th November between 12 and 2.  This event is not suitable for children for safety reasons,  but adult fun lovers are welcome!  Info here 

We’ve teamed up with the Greenway Orchard Green Gym to dress some Orchard trees on Thursday 7th December.  Drop by between 11 and 2 and join this winter activity, find out about the Orchard, meet some other locals, and be inspired to dress your trees. Kids welcome.  Flyer here

Have you got a tree in your road you’d like to dress?  Please tell us, as we may be able to help with ideas or materials, and send us the pics. 🙂

To see some wonderful ideas and info on tree dressing from a Waltham Forest community artist Vicky – take a look at this. 

Ros and Milena,  Green Spaces Community Workers