Community Notice Boards

From now you can see what’s on the Community Notice Boards from the convenience of your computer screen.  Simply click here –      You will find more there than on the wall-mounted noticeboards – and you can leave messages.

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1914-18 Commemorative Poppy Field

We are planting a commemorative Poppy Field all along our Battersea Bridge Road frontage. There will be a community event and seed planting on Saturday 5th April to which all are welcome.
The day includes a visit from Whole Again Communities from Penzance who will be dishing up one of their fabulous soups from 1.00pm at the Community Centre on Worfield Street. This will be followed by the seed planting at 2.30 pm (meet near the Union Arms PH) followed by tea and cakes back in the community centre.
We look forward to seeing you there.

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The Power of One

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50 Who Took The Challenge

Saturday 29th September saw the Community Centre as alive and active as it has ever been.  50 youngsters, aged 15 or 16, gathered for the final event in the challenge they entered into early this summer. It was arranged by the Challenge Network, a mostly government supported charity, which gives youngsters in this age bracket an opportunity over a 3 month period to experience a range of things, including being in the country; finding out about different jobs and skills; and doing work in partner-communities.

Ethelburga acted as partner and host for this particular group’s final programme event. All the youngsters participated in activities that ranged from weeding, planting bulbs, cleaning bits of the Community Centre and sorting out one of its store-rooms.

Those residents who volunteered to interact with this group enjoyed the experience immensely and were unanimous in commenting how wrong it is to lump all youngster into negative  behaviour patterns when a group such as this 50 were to patently helpful and a delight to interact with.

The following is a group picture whose average age has been considerably increased by the inclusion of ECRA’s chairman, Peter B Rae –

Below are some of the volunteers who made the leaders of the group confirm that this visit to Ethelburga was the best organised and most enjoyable of their programme. Thank you team.

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Creative Garden

This is a wonderful example of how attractive a small vegetable garden can be. This is the front garden of one of the residents in our community. Any others?

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ECRA Exists Officially for 2012-2013

Here is our Certificate of Accreditation for the F/Y 2012-2013 –

Unfortunately we did not get as many membership sign-ups this year compared to last; below is a comparison table showing sign-ups between this and last year. The reduced percentages are a disappointment to your hard working volunteer Management Committee. We never understand why some the residents are not willing to become members of ECRA. Let’s improve the figures next year, please.

The consequence is that we got a grant reduced by £400 on last year, or almost £1,000 down on what we could achieve if more residents did sign up.

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2 x Major Works Meetings – see more at

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Ethelburga Spring

In places, spring has sprung –

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St Patrick’s Day Spuds

While waiting for plans and volunteers for the herb garden, we have opted to plant potatoes.

As everybody knows, potatoes are best planted by St Patrick’s Day. We managed to get the first ones in today, ably assisted by two volunteers from the Day Nursery.

Watch this space for regular Spud reports!

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Miracle Tree Productions

On Wednesday 14th, this group of actors gave their show-casing performances in front of a wider public. The dress rehearsal at the Community Centre was attended by this writer, who was impressed with the standards of acting. This group have been training every week for the last year at our Community Centre, under their gifted teacher John Osborne Hughes. His production company, Miracle Tree, runs courses under the heading ‘the Spiritual Psychology of Acting” in London, New York and Los Angeles.

What impressed me was that a number of the students mentioned that they had come for the meditation classes alone, but then discovered that, as they got in touch with who they truly were, they wanted to express themselves through acting!

John (in black, in the centre of the picture) is willing to start a class for Ethelburga and neighbourhood residents. If you might be interested, please drop us a note.

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Street Flowers

One resident in Hackney decided to do something – look how attractive flowers around the bottom of this tree are. Select your spot in our Community and let us know what you would like to do with it next spring!

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Free Recycling Service for Electrical Items

B J Electronics will collect electronic items, whether working or not, for free from your frontdoor (the Council’s charge is £15.00 for this service). Simply call them and they will fix a day with you (collection between 9 am and 5 pm). Our newsletter contained the wrong telephone no., the correct one is 020 8520 4447. Very helpful people.

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GYO Space is progressing ….

The picture below is the first one taken from inside the GYO space! The Probation Service’s Payback team have today commenced clearance of our site. Caryl Davies, our RPO, is doing sterling work in getting this move.

Next we will have the internal dimensions and we shall be able to start planning.

Watch this space!

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Help Shape Active Wandsworth

The Environment and Community Services Department are currently consulting on their new strategy ‘Active Wandsworth’ and really want to gain some information from non users, residents etc about what their barriers might be to using facilities or accessing activities or generally around healthy living. They also would be keen to learn what the population we work with know or are aware of about the leisure service and its facilities.

This information could really assist with future plans and developments and the department would be very grateful if residents could fill these in and return them

The questionnaire can be completed on-line –

More information can be obtained from –
Tim Fleming
Assistant Chief Leisure & Sports Officer
Leisure & Sport Services
Wandsworth Borough Council
tel: 020 8871 8389

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Beat Bullying – Talk to the Cyber Mentors

Do you suffer from bullying? Do you want to help others who are being bullied?

There is an award winning organisation called Cyber Mentors who are specially trained kids aged between 11 & 17.

Get in touch and find out more. Its a great site with plenty of other useful safety tips.

They are part of the BeatBullying initiative, another site worth visiting.

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Major Works Schedule for Phase-1

We have been given the programme dates for our Phase-1 Major Works.

For avoidance of any misunderstanding of the term “Major Works”, please note that it has nothing to do with the size or scope of the work to be carried out, rather it reflects jargon within the Housing Department that defines any expenditure over £50,000 as “major”, as it requires an additional level of approval. Remembering this misnomer helps keep expectations at realistic levels, while also strengthening your arguments at the consultation stages.

A better (polite) term for this work is “accumulated maintenance work (AM-Works)”, which is something the Council typically aims to carry out every 7 years, but in the case of Ethelburga’s Phase-1 will be occurring in something like the 13th year (correction please to this date, if required – I quote from memory).

A.    end-September 2011
Housing Department expect to receive first draft of tender specifications for AM-Works

B.    November / December 2011
first round of resident consultations
(i) at this time we shall be able to debate proposals for colours of the non-black buildings
(ii) double glazing for flats that do not already have double glazing is no longer on the agenda

C.    February 2011
based on conclusion and summation of (B) invitations for tender are expected to go out

D.    March / April 2012
second round of resident consultation on the tenders received

E.    May / June 2012
commencement of works on site (will involve putting up scaffolding for a period up to 6 months)

Any changes or updates to this programme outline will be posted here.

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Most Irritating Is ………

What do you find most irritating on our Estate?

Please drop us a line and we shall produce a ranking of major irritations in due course.

My biggest irritation is the indiscriminate use of the leaf-blower, clearly most carefully selected to be just of the right pitch to cause maximum irritation. We have complained as Residents’ Association and as individuals – all to no avail. Perhaps it is indicative of something else that the Council’s managers appear unable to control the contractor’s noise-pollution levels.

In fairness, whenever a cleaner was approached directly they would stop on completion of the task in hand, only for the racket to start up again a few days later!

So what’s your greatest irritation?

N.B.: One person left a rather unhelpful comment, which would have been published with a suitable reply, but this person chose to remain anonymous. We don’t do anonymous on this site! (….. and the allegations were investigated and found wanting).

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Capital Growth – September 2011 Newsletter

Capital Growth News

September 2011

Welcome to September’s round-up of Capital Growth news. The summer may be over but Autumn is on its way full of Harvest Festivals, events, and a fair amount of jamming and pickling.  Plus don’t forget to keep your spaces growing with autumn and winter crops and to plant out fruit trees and bushes.

In this issue:

  • Pop-up pickle proves popular
  • Capital Growth Edible Open Gardens Day a huge success
  • Regents Park Harvest Festival – Sunday 25 September
  • Capital Growth Networking Event – Faith & Food Growing 26 September
  • 20% off from all products at the Organic Gardening Catalogue
  • Upcoming food-growing training

Other News:

  • Harvest Festivals
  • Green East Evening FREE Event
  • Growing Communities’ Open Day: How do you grow award-winning salad?
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Other training
  • This month we like….  

Capital Growth News

Pop-up pickle proves popular

The Table Restaurant, Southwark Street hosted Capital Growth’s first Pop-up Pickle event on Monday, 5th September.  A committed crew of Capital Growth Spaces stayed into the night and combined their surplus produce to make some delicious pickles, jams and chutneys.   This event proved so popular we are considering holding another in the near future – if you are interested email

Capital Growth Edible Open Gardens Day a huge success
Almost 50 Capital Growth community food-growing spaces were open to the public on 3rd September, resulting in the largest opening of food-growing spaces on a single day for any one city in the UK.  Feedback from spaces has been fantastic and the bike tours (hosted by the LCC) and walking tours were very popular. See for photos – more to come soon!

Capital Growth Networking Event – Faith & Food Growing
Monday, 26th September 6pm-9pm @ The Royal Foundation of St. Katharine, E14 8DS
This networking event is open to people from all faiths who are interested in exploring the benefits of community food growing.  It will be an opportunity to hear from successful inter-faith growing projects, take part in workshops and meet like-minded people over delicious food and drink.  To book go to

The Regents Park Harvest Festival Sunday 25th September 11am – 5pm
It’s back after last year’s incredibly popular event! Nick Baylif from Blistering Barbeques is returning to take charge of the kitchen, Vincent Talleu, Head Baker form the Artisan Bakery, is back to bake bread and pizzas in a wood-burning stove and Andy Williams, Assistant Park Manager at the Royal Parks, will be bringing his apple press to press fresh apple juice. There will be gardening experts, a scarecrow-making workshop and children’s activities, plus the draw for Capital Growth’s Big Raffle with lots of great prizes! For more information and directions http:

20% off at the Organic Gardening Catalogue
Capital Growth has secured a fantastic discount from the Organic Gardening Catalogue – a huge 20% off all their products on first orders.  Some spaces have received their voucher already but if you haven’t please contact and we will post it to you straight away.  For the moment, these vouchers are only redeemable on postal orders and cannot be redeemed online but to browse visit

Upcoming Capital Growth food-growing workshops
Capital Growth training is delivered across 4 sites.  All courses are £10 for Capital Growth spaces, and limited number of bursaries are availble.  For booking email contact the relevant contact.

  • Seed saving and preserving pickles and jams @ Phoenix Farm Hammersmith
    Saturday September 10th, 10am – 1pm. Email to reserve a place.
  • Seed saving, and fruit/veg preserving @ The Regent’s Park
    Wednesday 21 September, 5.30pm-8pm OR Saturday September 24th, 10.30am-1pm. Email
  • Creating spaces for wildlife (Workshop) @London Wildlife Trust (Peckham)
    Sunday September 25th 10.30am-1.30pm. Practical tips on what your food-growing space needs to attract wildlife, including building bird boxes and mini beast hotels. Email  or call 0207 252 9186 to reserve a place.
  • Understanding Soil and Soil Life plus Mulches and Leaf Mould @ The Regent’s Park
    Saturday, 1st October or 15th October, 10.30am – 1pm.  Email

Other News

Harvest Festivals (3 venues, 1 day!) and other events

  • Growing Kids Open Day & Harvest Thanksgiving.  Growing Kids Allotment Project Roding Lane North, Woodford Green, Essex, IG8 8LZ. Saturday 17th September.  1- 5pm. Fun-filled afternoon with children’s activities.
  • Friends of Abbey Gardens Harvest Festival. Bakers Row, London E15 3NF. Saturday 17th September. 1–4pm. Vegetable games, cake and vegetable sculpture competitions, live jazz, garden tours and kid’s activities.
  • Capel Manor Harvest Festival. Saturday 17th September 2011. 10am-4pm.  Lots of activities and events to take part in, including a tug ‘o’ war battle between the city farms!
  • Green East Evening FREE Event:Friday 16th Sept. 6.30pm – 8pm Abbey Gardens, Bakers Row, London E15 3NF. A summer social evening for garden groups. Meet and network with other gardeners and green space groups.  Enjoy a glass of wine and seasonal food, garden tours, seeds and produce, bring-and-buy stall.
  • Growing Communities’ Open Day. How do you grow award-winning salad?Sunday 18th September 2011. Hackney social enterprise Growing Communities will be opening its three urban market gardens in Clissold Park, Springfield Park and Allens Gardens to the public.

Funding Opportunities

  • Keo Films: Looking for brilliant projects to launch a new website with this Autumn. How does it work?  You create a quick and easy page. Keo help you promote it for 4-10 weeks to people on the site and your own network.  If you reach 100%+ of your funding target you get the money you raise minus a 5% admin charge and 3.4% +20p transaction charge. If you don’t reach your target, you don’t get the money, and you don’t have to pay any charges.
  • Biffaward: Grants are awarded to projects that provide or improve community spaces, cultural facilities and places for outdoor recreation.  Grants of £5000 – £50000 available.  Need to match fund 10% of grant, but no deadlines.
  • Team London: Small grants of up to £10000 available for voluntary groups so that Londoners can increase the impact of their volunteering across London across 3 priority areas – cutting crime, improving quality of life and increasing youth opportunities.

Other training courses

  • Introduction to Permaculture Courses in London @ The Orchard in the Garden, Hornsey Rise, London N19. 10th-11th September 2011, 10AM to 4PM.  Visit
  • An Introduction to Biodynamic Farming and Gardening in the City @ Food From the Sky (roof of Thorton’s Budgens, Crouch End). Saturday 10th September, 10am-5pm, £45 for the day (£35 for any Capital Growth spaces) depending on your income including tea/coffee and biscuit. Two free bursary places are available for 2 volunteers. Email: for booking and payment or for more info 

And this month we like…
A website deisgned to help donors find charitable causes to support.  You must be a UK registered charity to post your project though!

Best wishes (and don’t forget to keep up on all the news on Facebook or Twitter!)

The Capital Growth team




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GYO Food Initiative – the Next Step

All residents in the next few days will receive a letter from the Council. This letter describes yet again our plans for the GYO Food Initiative and requires ALL residents either to vote in favour or against. A stamped addressed envelope will be included for easy return to the Council. Please vote in favour.

The strength of support will determine the outcome of the next steps required, including application for ministerial approval of our plan. The survey we, the Residents’ Association, conducted earlier produced only a disappointingly low response rate of 15%.  We need to do better; please return the Council’s form IMMEDIATELY.

To remind you of the facts –

1.   the plot ear-marked for this initiative is off the Estate, although adjoining; it has been overgrown for years

2.  the GYO Initiative does not draw on funding from the Council and therefore does not represent a cost to the Estate

3.  the initiative will be open to all residents willing to work in setting up and maintaining the GYO Food plot; their reward will be in sharing the collectively grown fruit and vegetables

4.  members will receive training in gardening skills

5.  our initiative is no.  843 in the 2012 planned to be in place across London by the end of next year; this 2012 initiative is enjoying wide-spread support and a first grant has been received to help our start-up; we will be looking for more support from businesses and shops in the area, and require volunteers to assist in this too.

We hope to be able to have the GYO plot ready for next year’s growing season – your strong support will help ensure that we succeed.

Many thanks.

The Gardening Club Coordinator




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Learn to Pickle

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