What does the first Labour Mayor of Poplar, the bloke who built the Cutty Sark and the supplier of animals to P. T. Barnum have in common? Following the successful debut of our Brompton tour, I am pleased to announce I shall be delivering a tour of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park as part of the Shuffle Festival 2014!
In the words of Time-Out magazine, ‘Shuffle started life last summer as a film festival in an abandoned psychiatric hospital in Mile End – a friendly, fun and downright lovely community project masterminded by Danny Boyle…more than a film festival, Shuffle is a local get-together and cultural free-for-all, with music, art, a pop-up restaurant (using locally foraged foods – the mind boggles), circus acts, a village fête, swimming pool and a mile-long hopscotch.’
I saw the event advertised through the Twitter of our good friends at Tower Hamlets, whom we interviewed last year for a blog post and podcast. The idea was attractive to me so I approached them to see if I could contribute in some way. After venturing up to Mile End by way of the District Line, I dropped in on Project Manager Lizzy and our old friend Ken to reacquaint myself with a Cemetery that holds more deceased people within its walls than living people currently residing in Tower Hamlets!
The festival itself runs from the 30th July until the 3rd August, with my tour on both Saturday the 2nd and Sunday the 3rd. The walk will showcase the lives of some notable East-enders and the impact the Cemetery had on the local area: revealing a little of the history of this particular member of the Magnificent Seven to give a backdrop to the setting of this marvellous gala. Ken will also be offering a guided walk revealing the plants and wildlife of the Cemetery, on top of a plethora of films and other events including picnics, comedy and music which can be viewed here.
The walk will last roughly 45 minutes and tickets cost £3 (available here), starting at 5.45pm at the Entrance lodge/Soanes Centre. Do come along to celebrate this gem of east London for what will promise to be a remarkable turn of events!