Don Tomlin update, Bow Foodbank, Victoria Park, Pubs at Risk and more London E3 News

Allotments Purdy Street London E3

Don Tomlin update

Don Tomlin’s funeral is scheduled for Friday 1st May 2020. Currently it looks like no one will be able to attend due to COVID-19. His family are thinking about holding an event to celebrate Don’s life in September, when Don would have been 81.

Update – view videos of funeral service here.

Don Tomlin in BBC video about inflation broadcast 21st May 2019
Don Tomlin (with striped shirt) in BBC video about inflation broadcast 21st May 2019.
See our article about the BBC visiting the Geezers club.

Bow Foodbank is fundraising

The switched on people running Bow Foodbank have created a new COVID19 response website. Spacehive have agreed to give them match funding if they hit a £10,000 target. They already have.

Bow Foodbank say: “Our mission is to provide food and support to anyone in need.

“We are an independent food bank based in Tower Hamlets, east London, and provide 10 food items per adult, and 3 items for each child, every other week. Many of our clients are ineligible for support from other foodbanks.

“Before this crisis we were supporting around 100 adults and 60-70 children each week. We rely entirely on donations – both financial and food/basic hygiene items. Our donors have been local schools, churches and other local organisations. 

“We need your support to allow us to continue during this crisis. Our normal sources of food donations will greatly reduce as schools and churches are closed, whilst at the same time we expect  the number of clients to increase significantly, especially from families on a very tight budget and no access to school meals.”

You can donate to their crowdfunding project here.

Victoria Park

Temp coronavirus opening times for Victoria Park Tower Hamlets
Temp coronavirus opening times for Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets

The map above shows the revised opening times for Victoria Park. It comes from this page on the Tower Hamlets website, which also lists other restrictions. I took the photos at the top of our website, as well as the one below at around 1.30pm on Thurs 16th April. As you can see the park isn’t that busy, there’s plenty of room to achieve social distancing. Over Easter there were busy pinch points at the entrances to the canals, but people soon adjusted, and are behaving sensibly.

Victoria Park London E3. Quiet during coronavirus

Clap for Carers

Clap for Carers 16th April 2020

The short video above was filmed by Geezer, Barrie Stradling, on Thurs 16th April 2020, from his balcony on Limehouse Marina. Barrie says it’s been as enthusiastic as this for the NHS, and now carers too, each of the last four weeks.

Tower Hamlets Talking Therapies

TH Talking Therapies has now moved online. They offer support to all residents of Tower Hamlets over 18.

They offer free one to one online and phone support for anxiety, depression, stress, worrying thoughts, sleep difficulties, dealing with long-term health conditions, etc. They have a program for new parents and parents-to-be.  There are specific programs tailored to the current Covid-19 situation and how to manage self-isolation. They have repurposed their wellbeing workshops as webinars. 

If you would like to refer, or assist someone in self-referring to our service, please contact 0208 475 8080 or go to

Pubs at risk

In January 2020 the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the number of small pubs (with fewer than 10 employees) had increased. Overall the number of pubs and bars in the UK increased by 315 between 2018 and 2019. The first time they’d increased in 10 years. Read the ONS report called Economies of Ale.

Compared to last year BigHospitality says that sales in restaurants, pubs and bars was down 60% in March. The official lockdown didn’t start until 23rd March. A few days earlier Boris Johnson advised people to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres. April sales will be near zero. Sales from food delivery is small.

Last Sunday (12th April), an article in the Telegraph started with the words: “As many as 12,000 independent pubs across the UK are at risk of going bust as the pandemic hammers the hospitality sector.” They quoted Kate Nicholls of UK Hospitality who said: “Independent community pubs do not qualify for the grants offered by the Government.”

Lord Morpeth - closed
Lord Morpeth – closed – as are all pubs during the lockdown
Green Goose closed for the foreseeable future
Green Goose “closed for the foreseeable future”
The Victoria giving it a go with delivering food
The Victoria is giving it a go with delivering food
Food from the Messy Hog at The Victoria available from Deliveroo
Food from the Messy Hog at The Victoria available from Deliveroo

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