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Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta 2016 over the Isle of Dogs by L. Katiyo


Photo by L Katiyo

For those who enjoyed their Sunday morning lie in ( which includes myself ) , they missed a spectacular sight over the Isle of Dogs this morning. Fortunately regular contributor L Katiyo was on hand to take a few photographs as the Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta made its way over the Island and East London.


Photo by L Katiyo

The Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta is an annual event which sees fifty hot air balloons flying over London raising money and awareness for the Lord Mayor’s charity. The inaugural event in 2015 raised almost £80,000 for the charity and the event.


Photo by L Katiyo

Because it is so weather dependant, the Balloon Regatta is on standby on each Sunday throughout June and this morning was the first clear morning to allow the launch to take place.


Photo by L Katiyo

The launch site was Burgess Park in Southwark and the Balloons took off around 4:45-5am with a flight track to the east side of Tower Bridge north of Canary Wharf heading out towards Romford.


Photo by L Katiyo

Many thanks for L Katiyo for her early morning photography of a spectacular event which I suspect most of us missed.


Photo by L Katiyo

The Search for Sporting Heroes – The Canary Wharf Sports Personality of the Year


East London has a remarkable record of producing sporting greats in the past, however the Canary Wharf Group has recently launched its annual Sports Personality of the Year Awards to search for the current top sporting talent in our East London community.

The prize winners win cash prizes and trophies within the following categories:

The Canary Wharf Sports Personality of the Year

Senior Sports Team of the Year

Junior Sports Team of the Year

Sports Group of the Year

The Voluntary Sports Commitment Award


Mercy Brown

Previous winners of the Canary Wharf Sports Personality of the Year Award

2014 Mercy Brown – Weightlifting

2013 Tyesha Mattis – Gymnastics

2012 Scarlett Mew Jensen – Diving

2011 Ashley Facey Thompson – Table Tennis

2010 Lucas Taylor – Tennis

2009 Nathan Hanson – Athletics

2008 Ricky Lee Turner – Judo

2007 Soyfur Rahman – Taekwondo

2006 Sally Hoang – Table Tennis


Perri Shakes-Drayton

2005 Perri Shakes Drayton – Athletics

2004 Aaron Edwards – Cheerleading

2003 Halil Zorba – Weightlifting

2002 Dervis Konuralph – Swimming

2001 Symone Belle – Athletics

The awards are asking for nominations from members of the public for deserving local athletes, sports clubs and administrators for their achievements in the previous 12 months. Applications will be considered from Tower Hamlets and each of the boroughs surrounding it, including Hackney, Newham, Greenwich and Barking & Dagenham.

Entries close on the 18th December 2015.

The 2012 Olympics provided a major boost for East London sport but away from all the glamour, it is often unsung hard work of the athletes, sports clubs and administrators that keeps the various sports going. It is this hard work that these awards celebrate, so if you wish to nominate someone, you can find the nomination form here.

Seven Years Hard – Reverend Free discusses the Vices and Virtues of Eastenders


These  excerpts are taken from the Book Seven Years Hard written by the Reverend Free in 1904.

In a previous posts we read how the Reverend Free tired of tending to  well off parishioners decided he wanted to undertake some missionary work in the Isle of Dogs, when he arrives in early 1897 his first impressions are not good and very soon after he gets a not particularly friendly welcome from some of the locals. After spending some years on the Isle of Dogs and getting to know the inhabitants the Reverend Free  goes on to discuss their vices and virtues.

Well, let us acknowledge at once that the life of the East-ender is more or less a closed book to us. As our experience of him increases, our understanding of him seems to decrease. The problem is larger than we anticipated ; more intimate realisation of it confounds us. The East-ender’s sorrows, his joys, his ambitions : what does the most experienced know of these, save in the most superficial way ? Keenly desirous as we are of entering into the inner meaning of the life of the toiler, the most sanguine can boast but very partial success. Brotherhood is as yet too new a word ; identity of interest has not yet become a reality. Nevertheless, the lights and shades of the picture stand out prominently. Like other people, East-enders have their virtues and their vices, their angelical moments as well as their diabolical. Certainly they are not altogether bad ; quite as certainly they are not altogether good.


The besetting sin of the East-ender is intemperance. The drink habit is all but universal. If a dock labourer is invited to a ” beano,” he forthwith begins to devise the biggest possible ” booze ” at the highest possible price. Tell a factory girl that you are going to take her for an outing, and she immediately falls a-dreaming of unlimited “treats” of port wine. Boys on a holiday regard it as quite the correct thing to get drunk. And even women have very little notion ot a day in the country apart from the bottle. Nevertheless, women are not so very culpable. For one intoxicated woman, you will probably find two intoxicated boys and three intoxicated girls.

Like most evil things in the East End, the trick of gambling is acquired early in life. Pitch-and-toss at the street corners is of the passionate kind. On a single Sunday afternoon a boy will lose as much as five or six shillings. It is difficult for the police to cope with the evil, even when they are anxious to do so, which is not always. For the lads have their scouts at every corner,and at the sotto voce cry of ” Copper!” dissolve as it were by magic. Moreover, there is always a friendly neighbour to give asylum to the young miscreants. Doors left hospitably open afford a convenient means of escape. So many streets and alleys are cul-de-sacs, that a flank movement is denied the most consummate generalship. And it really is difficult fora policeman with any dignity to insist, in the face of absolute denial from the innocent-looking tenant of a house, that his quarry is in hiding under the family bed.


Foremost among the virtues of the East-ender is his good-humour. Good-humour is the redeeming point in his character, the salt that sweetens his very impurities, the lever that lifts him from the gutter where he is prone to lie all too complacently. He has many failings, many right-down vices ; but through them all,rendering them almost tolerable, runs that rich vein of gold.

The East-ender’s good-humour exhibits itself as much in

” Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles,”

as in

” Nod, and becks, and wreathed smiles.”

That is to say, he is fun-loving as well as amiable. His capacity for fun is enormous ; sometimes manifesting itself in sheer waggishness, at other times in the driest of dry banter, again in pungent and even delicate wit. Rarely is his smartness cruel. When it is so, it is jagged rather than keen. It does not cut ; it tears. His wit is easy and refreshingly original. Also, which is a great thing, it is without fear.

Next to his humour I should say that the East-ender’s most striking virtue is his affectionate clannishness. He will do anything for his own. Is a woman sick ? There will be no lack of willing hands to help with the children and look after the husband. Is a neighbour ” badly off,” which in East End vernacular means starving ? Somebody’s pocket is always full enough to spare a copper or two. It is not unusual for a whole street to subscribe to a present in money for a decent man or woman unusually down on their luck ; and the ” friendly lead ” for a poor fellow who has met with an accident.

Other Posts you may find interesting

Seven Years Hard – Reverend Free enters the City of Desolation 1897

Seven Years Hard -The Reverend Free’s Missionary Work on the Isle of Dogs 1890s