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Tag Archives: East London

The day The Boy and I learnt to Lindy Hop

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The day The Boy and I learnt to Lindy Hop

Ever since The Boy and I went to the Goodwood Revival in 2010 I’ve been wanting to learn how to dance (The Boy was a little bit more hesitant) Now we’ve been to a few most vintage events and I always end up watching all the amazing dancing not able to really join in as it looks so intimidating!

I’ve been looking into weekly dance lessons and came across an all day session hosted by Swing Patrol . I mentioned it in passing to The Boy (not thinking he would say yes) and before I knew it he’d booked the tickets and we where off to brick lane to learn to Lindy Hop!

To say we where nervous was an understatement. I was going to have to learn to follow – to give up control – not something I am particularly fond of and The Boy was going to have to dance in a room full of strangers without any dutch courage! Before we even got to the bloody venue I had already fallen over (it happens a lot) so I wasn’t too hopeful being able to control my limbs! BUT we turned up and where instantly put at ease (well sort of) by our lovely dance teachers Saul and Simone (watch them at work here) got us to warm up doing silly dance moves and then our hours of dancing started!

The day was broken up in to three sections…

12.30-1.45pm – Introduction to SIX BEAT swing

15min break

2.00-3.15pm – Introduction to EIGHT BEAT Lindy Hop

15min break

3.30-4.45pm – Introduction to CHARLESTON

It was intense, quick and boiling but the best fun we’ve had in ages! Think I didn’t stop giggling from start to finish and even The Boy was starting to get a grips with it! I didn’t think I would like the Charleston as it was at the end of a long day and looked so complicated but it was so much fun. I’m so glad we did it! I would like to say we looked like this by the end…

…but I think it will take a LOT more practice for that!

Saul did mention that we should do some social dancing which sounds terrifying but fun!  Might be our next venture into dancing…?

He did also talk about watching the film Hellzapoppin for inspiration, which I’ve never heard of before but after this clip I will be hunting it down!

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Exploring Hackney Wick… The Walls Have Ears

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Exploring Hackney Wick… The Walls Have Ears

Two mins from Hackney Wick station the Boy and I stumbled across east London design group, The Bread Collective’s latest project… The Walls Have Ears!

Collaborating with the local community, Bread has taken a run down and neglected 100 metre stretch of road in the shadows of the Olympic Park and turned it into a beautiful, typographical mural of the area’s history. Each section representing a different link to Hackney!

A couple of my favourites…

Mint Creams

“The confectioner Clarnico is synonymous with Hackney Wick. The company, known as Clarke, Nickolls, Coombs until 1946, arrived in Hackney Wick in 1879. Despite being taken over by Trebor Bassett, the name lives on in Bassett’s Clarnico Mint Creams and also in the CNC Property company.

Just after the second world war, Clarnico was the largest confectioner in Britain but moved further across the Lea to Waterden Road in 1955 where it survived for another”

Parkesine

“The Parkesine Company was established at Hackney Wick in London in 1866

Parkesine is the trademark for the first man-made plastic. It was patented by Alexander Parkes in 1856. The Parkesine Company was established at Hackney Wick in London in 1866 with the aim of supplying Parkesine in quantity at a cost much below that of India rubber or gutta percha.

The company, however, failed due to poor product quality as Parkes tried to reduce costs. Parkesine’s successors were Xylonite, produced by Daniel Spill (an associate of Parkes), and Celluloid from John Wesley Hyatt. Parkesine was made from cellulose treated with nitric acid and a solvent. The generic name of Parkesine is pyroxylin, or Celluloid. Parkesine is often synthetic ivory. The Parkesine company ceased trading in 1868.”

The Bread Collective: Owen Phillips, Victoria Walmsley, Jo Lee and Luke James

The clever people at Bread’s video of the mural being painted…

Seriously worth taking a visit especially as we discovered this round the corner…