2017 is upon us, and at EastBlam HQ we are feeling reflective.
2016 was a tough year – it brought us Brexit, Trump, the death of Bowie, excruciating budget cuts (especially for Newhamites) and the Hammers moved to Stratford. It’s easy to slide into the new year with the weight of the last one still on your shoulders so before we clean house, we had a little stop and think about the good bits of E6 we have discovered (or discovered us) this year.
Yep that’s right, it’s time we had a Team America style montage (ok, less montage, more list but the sentiment is the same!) before we set some motivational Pinterest style New Year’s resolutions to take us into 2017. Lets go…
EastBlam’s favourites of 2016 (drum roll please!)
The Battle of the Burger Joint – East Ham gets TWO new Burger Restaurants
Apparently Posh Burger joint’s are a bit like buses. We had none, then in the space of two months, we got Rustix Gourmet – the full works burger restaurant, with two floors and a serious queue at the weekend and Fat Boyz – the more casual cousin, kicking back right next to The Boleyn (a prime location for grabbing a burger on the way home). Both do good hearty burgers and are a far cry from the kebab shop burger that used to be East Ham’s only option. #winning
The Greatfield Community Market gets up a full head of steam
In 2016, this little market won funding from the Evening Standard and ran four events showcasing the craftyness and general all round greatness of the Greatfield area (aka East Ham South). Selling handmade crafts, soaps, locally baked bread and vintage items, it’s a great way to meet your neighbours and support local makers.
The rise and rise of the East edge Sisters, East Ham’s WI
This year, East Ham got it’s very own WI. Awesomely named the East Edge Sisters, this urban collective have been going from strength to strength. They now have more than 40 members and are running inspiring talks, activities and charity events. This is not the Jam and Jerusalem WI of days gone by. Check out their facebook page for more info.
An Indie Film night by See Thru Shorts @ Red Door Studios
This is one of our absolute favourite things to do in East Ham right now! See Thru Shorts is a bi-monthly indie film night held at Red Door Studios. In the quirky comfort of Red Door, amongst the art and nestled into an armchair with a piece of homemade cake, you can catch some of the coolest, and most compelling short films around. A MUST DO.
Far East London Bread…
2016 was the year that sourdough bread arrived in East Ham. Ok, technically it is not quite in East Ham yet but is baked just a few miles away in Essex (err, East Ham used to be part of Essex, so it is technically the motherland!) and can be delivered, free of charge to your door by the lovely Roman of Flour and Spoon. Independent, organic, and yummy. We did a little happy dance when we discovered it!
And now for the Resolutions part!
East Ham is ‘coming up’. Love it or hate it, house prices are rising and a new wave of people are arriving. If we want to avoid the big chain’s moving in and protect the diversity and character of East Ham without leaving behind the people who supported it long before estate agents touted it as the new Forest Gate, then we need to get out there and participate. In 2017, lets support our local pubs, shops, community groups and restaurants and get involved!
When you shop locally, you are buying from your neighbours, friends and families rather than big corporations. You can put your money back into the hyper local economy to support independent makers, chefs and entrepreneurs and by supporting East Ham businesses, you support East Ham (and the environment too!). Go to Tippy’s Cafe instead of ordering from Just Eat. Buy from your local corner shop, not Tesco. Buy your coffee from Carpathia, instead of Costa. #lovewhereyoulive
Know your area. Know your neighbours. Say hi to the postman and the milkman (yes, you can still have a milkman in East Ham). Go where you don’t know – How about a curry on Green Street, or a pint at the Boleyn? The more you explore, the more beautiful and interesting things you will discover (and don’t forget to share your discoveries with us). We think the more you look, the more you see.
In the words of Gandhi, ‘Be the change you want to see‘. Don’t just talk about the things you would like to change, make them happen. If they are too big to do alone, then gather up some like minded neighbours and see what you can do together. Do you wish there was more public art in East Ham? Apply for a ‘Go for it grant‘ or join forces with Rosetta Arts. Always loved baking? Bake and sell your products at a local market. Wish there was less rubbish on your streets? Join forces with other people on your road to have a clean up or use the LoveNewham app to report it.
Find local activities, businesses and people that are doing things you like. Share their content on facebook, go to their events or join a local committee or group. East ham really does need YOU.
2016, that’s a wrap.
So that’s 2016 done. We’ve loved meeting you all, hearing your stories and sharing them. We hope that we managed to give you some warm and fuzzies about East Ham, E6 and beyond, and give you some ideas on how to support your area and #lovewhereyoulive (#loveeastham). If you’ve enjoyed reading this then, please share it with your friends and neighbours using the links below.
Now get out there and get involved in 2017!
Happy New Year!