Sunday, August 29, 2010

Havering Show

The annual Havering Show is running today and tomorrow. This afternoon I paid a visit along with the Mayor, Cllr Pam Light.

Entry is free and large numbers of visitors enjoyed the local food and the somewhat changeable weather. There is a large funfair with exciting rides and an arena featuring shows of horsemanship and - unusually - camel racing.

The show also incorporates our environment fair, Planet Havering, which provides advice on recycling and saving energy, and features presentations from council departments. Incorporating this event into the main show has saved money of course, but it has also widened its influence beyond the 'converted' who used to attend Planet Havering, exposing a wider audience to advice on living a greener lifestyle.

Finally, there are many local charities including the new Havering Museum, the Upminster Windmill preservation society, and the St Francis Hospice. They were offering a slim chance to win a car by rolling seven 6s on seven dice. Nobody had won when we arrived but the Mayor was optimistic and had a go...

The Hospice also signed me up to their excellent 'Sponsor a Nurse' scheme, which they are currently promoting. For just £3 a month supporters can sign up to keep this valuable local facility working for people in Havering, Redbridge, Brentwood and Barking & Dagenham. I visited the hospice a couple of years ago and was most impressed with the standard of care they offer. Details of the 'Sponsor a Nurse' initiative are available at .

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Redbridge Skyride

The weather was excellent for today's Skyride, which provided a car free circuit linking the new cycle track to Barkingside High Street, passing the Dick Turpin and Fairlop Waters Country Park. Over 5,000 cyclists from around London came together to explore the more rural parts of Redbridge at the Sky sponsored event. Participants included Olympic competition level riders, families, participants in fancy dress and even a few local politicians.

The event was led off by Kulveer Ranger, representing the Mayor, and he was followed by local MP - and transport PPS - Lee Scott, Council Leader Keith Prince, with his Lib Dem deputy Ian Bond. Dressed as I was in an unsuitable jacket and unusual blue socks, I soon found myself trailing behind on a bike which the organisers kindly loaned to me for the day. My personal training finally carried the day as I dug deep into my reserves and struggled back up the hill to the cycle track for a welcome bottle of water and sausage in a roll.

Also present was the mayor of Redbridge, Jim O'Shea, with his team of volunteers collecting for his charity. I made sure they got my loose change before I set off, thus lightening the load for the journey ahead.

This was the second of three Skyride events to be held over the summer months. The final event will take place on 5th September in Central London. Details can be found at .