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Monthly Archives: July 2018

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The Mudchute Agricultural Show – 4th and 5th August 2018

We may be urban dwellers on the Isle of Dogs but it does not mean we cannot attend an agricultural show. The 2018 Mudchute Agricultural Show will take place on Saturday and Sunday, the 4th and 5th of August will lots of events and competitions.

Like many agricultural shows there will competitions like the Sheep Show, The Mudchute’s Agricultural Show will showcase some of the rarest and most ancient breeds of sheep in England.

The best sheep of each breed will go on to compete on Sunday in the Supreme Championship for the Best in Show title. Also on Sunday, a number of other classes for all breeds will be held, in addition to classes for City and Community Farm sheep only.

The show will welcome riders from all over the UK for their very own Equestrian Show, there will also be farrier demonstrations by Harry Morgan and a photo booth with Shetland Ponies.

There will be some bake offs with cakes, bread pudding and biscuit competitions and fresh produce will be judged.

There will be hanging baskets and vegetable boxes from Cubitt Town and George Green’s Schools, as well as entries from gardening enthusiasts from within and around London.

Games will include Stock punishment with wet sponges and Welly Throwing and you can visit stalls to find out more about the RSPB, Poetry in Wood, Woodland Trust, Friends of Island History Trust and Rare Breed Survival Trust.

In addition to the Equestrian demonstrations, there will be the following demonstrations:

Spinners – watch fleeces spun into yarn!

Bird of Prey Display from Avian Environmental Consultants

Horse Dentist – learn more about taking care of equine teeth

Farrier Demonstration – horse shoes and more with Harry Morgan

Fire Engine – learn more about the fighting fire

If that is not enough there will be Fairground Rides, International food stalls, drinks, picnic areas and donkey Rides.

Attending the show is a great way to support the amazing work of Mudchute Farm and have plenty of fun at the same time. For more information visit the Mudchute Farm website here

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Love on the Isle of Dogs by Jude Cowan Montague


I was delighted to contacted recently by writer, illustrator and broadcaster Jude Cowan Montague who we featured on the website when she was writing her Young Hitch series of books about Alfred Hitchcock.

Jude’s latest work is on a more personal level and illustrates her changing personal life against the background of a changing Isle of Dogs in the 1990s.

Jude Cowan Montague lived on the Isle of Dogs with her husband in the early 1990s, it was a whirlwind romance and a very difficult time for her as she became quickly pregnant and her husband’s mental health began speedily to degenerate. The stress increased and the knock on effect for both after the separation dominated their lives for years to come.

The work is very much her story and a love story told with affection but also humour as her style is comic and tender.

The backdrop is the changing times of early 1990s Docklands. The level of construction taking place on the island at this time echoes the confusion of the relationship. The sounds and remaking of the physical world of the Isle of Dogs, the erection of Canary Wharf, the cranes embody the frustration of trying to build a family life.

Her husband was one of the participants in the self-build scheme on Westferry Road. Their house was close to Mudchute Farm, which provided a bucolic escape and a much-needed space for reflection.

In her drawings the Isle of Dogs is a ghost land, full of memories and fear as well as happiness, love and sheer dogged determination of a young pregnant woman and young mother trying to hold the world together.

Holding her domestic world together turned out to be impossible and there are some moments which are too painful to share in this tender narrative which has a wider interest for its psychological interaction with the changing landscape.

The work is still in progress. If you’re interested in keeping in touch with the project, email judemontague@outlook.com

Superyacht Elandess, BNS Crocus and other ships on the Thames


Sitting at Westferry Circus in the warm weather is one of the delights of living on the Isle of Dogs. It is a very good location to watch the various ships going up and down the river. In quick succession, two very different ships passed by.

The first was the very large super yacht called Elandess, the 244 ft yacht was on its maiden voyage after being built by Abeking & Rasmussen in Germany at their Bremen shipyard. Elandess has been designed to accommodate up to 14 guests overnight in 7 cabins and can carrying up to 24 crew onboard.

The cost of the new yacht is estimated at 75 million pounds and the owner is reported to be Travelex founder Sir Lloyd Dorfman.

The second vessel was the more familiar BNS Crocus (M917) of the Belgian Navy which is a Tripartite-class minehunter.

This type of vessel is very common amongst NATO ships and this one was making its way up to Tower Bridge.

With more limited vessels in West India Dock, a seat overlooking the Thames can be very rewarding for ship watching.

I was not the only one watching the river over the past few days, Eric Pemberton kindly sent me a couple of photographs which included cruise liner Viking Star and old favourite The Portwey which is usually berthed in West India Dock.

Watching the Historic RAF 100 Flypast from the Isle of Dogs

It seems ironic that after weeks of clear blue skies, it was grey skies and low clouds on the day of the flypast of aircraft to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force.

Rather than battle the hundreds of thousands packing the Mall and Central London, I decided to join the large number of office workers who streamed out of work and made their way to Westferry Circus to get the best view of the flypast over the City of London.

The flypast began to form over Suffolk at around 12.45pm before heading towards London. It was just before one o’clock when the first aircraft appeared. The flypast consisted of 100 different aircraft of 23 different types, with 200 aircrew from 25 different RAF squadrons.

The list of aircraft included: Puma HC2, Chinook HC4, Juno H135, Jupiter H145, Dakota, Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane, Prefect T1, Tucano T1, Shadow R1, Hercules C-130J, A400M Atlas, C-17 Globemaster, BAE146, Sentinel, Voyager, Rivet Joint RC-135W, E-3D Sentry, Hawk T1, Hawk T2, Tornado GR4, Lightning, Typhoon FGR4 and Red Arrows.

It was the nine helicopters led the armada before the distinctive Dakota, Lancaster, Spitfire and Lancaster.

The heavyweights followed with the Hercules and Globemaster before the Hawks, Tornado, Typhoon, Lighting and finally the Red Arrows streamed red, white and blue smoke to finish the show.

It seems remarkable that one hundred years as passed since the The Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to create the RAF on 1 April 1918 to become the world’s first independent air force. Since that date, the RAF have played a major role in the nation’s defence at home and abroad.