A new regular feature for our blog, we’ll let writer Gurdeep do the introductions…
Hello, and welcome to the first instalment of the East Ham Village Diary. This is an irreverent look at the goings-on in East Ham (which is not a village, and neither is this a diary, but still). We aim to cover not the big, sweeping events, but things that happen that might escape your eye. The way that a shop will change its awnings, the Council might finally remove a mattress or someone might spill a pot of white paint all over Central Park Road and just leave it there rather than clean it up.
For instance, for a while, there were not one, not two, but five estate agent placards trying to sell what used to be the Green Street Café (and is now a tiny flat). [As of 1 March, these have been taken down and placed sideways next to the flat, instead of being, um, taken away]. Or the small joke painted onto the Barking Road Costcutter shopfront that makes me smile but is easy enough to miss: ‘Open 366 Days A Year’. It ranks up there with the much-mourned ‘Don’t Kill Your Wife – Let Us Do It’ sign and clock above Blossom and Browne’s Dry Cleaner. The joke had run its course – as must we all, in this vale of tears.
First item of note: at long last, the Boleyn has a decent IPA! They now do Longhorn, which is an unfiltered IPA, and they’re serving it in the Longhorn flagons with the big handles. There was London Lager to replace the Stella Artois, but this in turn has been supplanted by Staropramen. They’ve also gotten some new comfy armchairs. This column recommends a visit.
Secondly, long-time East Ham residents Rowe Sports have closed down (Barking Road’s trainer and sportswear purveyor of choice) and the premises have swiftly been refitted. It is now an Asian Grocery store, called ‘Miah’s’. They do a fine range of ramen and condiments as well as fresh tofu.
Thirdly, the flats continue to rise swiftly in the shadow of the half-dismantled Boleyn Ground. First came the viewing portals and now the pennants proclaiming ‘Upton Gardens’ flutter in the wind. We await the first £350k+ one bedroom flat, replete with concierge.
Lastly, it’s worth noting the sheer number of new eateries that have opened up in the last six months. From the reassuring smoky charcoal grill of Kassaba, the stacked burgers of Fat Boyz to the American diner fare of Rustix Gourmet, we’ve got some contenders to the throne of the king of unfussy and brilliant East Ham eateries – Tippy’s.