Thursday, 17 November 2011

 Redbridge Carnival Court with two members of Winners of Britain's Got Talent 2009- "Diversity"
Redbridge Mayor Chris Cummins with Redbridge Carnival Court.

Last night (16th November) a spectacular event in our town centre to celebrate the official switching-on of our town centre festival lights, was made even more glamorous by the attendance of Redbridge Carnival court.  The girls were introduced to the wider public by compere Weininger, just after an awesome performance from Ryan Green who sang beautifully, at our own carnival and Redbridge Peace event.  Despite the awful economic climate our borough has brought some much needed cheer and reminded us all that it is a very special season we are entering.

Redbridge Carnival Ilford library display a real treat!

Images of Carnival from 2010 and 2011 in Redbridge Arts Council display

Images of former and current Carnival Court (Queens and Princesses) and a very historic Carnival Queen crown and sash from the famous carnival of the 60's.

Many of you have commended us for our displays on Carnival in Ilford Library that were present from August through to October.  This was a new and  innovative way for us to reach more local people.  

Good news for those of you who missed the two cabinet displays  is that Ian Dowling from the "Local History" department of the library has agreed to make a more detailed display on the 2nd Floor of Ilford Central Library, from March next year.  He will be using some of our recent display material and items present in his existing archive spanning back to 1908.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Redbridge Peace Concert

Redbridge Peace Monument

A short description of the Redbridge Peace Monument installation and first large scale Peace concert in our borough.  The event was held on the 24th September 2011 the last day of the official "London Week of Peace." 

Redbridge Carnival and the East Ilford Business Partnership (who also funded the installation of the monument, organised and managed the Peace Concert.  Wilson Chowdhry the Chairman of both groups deserves credit for his efforts in seeing these two projects to fruition. 
Ilford Town Centre has never been so busy!

Superintendent John Sweeney spokes of the need for communities to work together to restore local peace and cohesion.
VIP Kids manager described an appeal to Simon Cowell for support for the anti-violence rappers

Ann Oakes-Odger MBE spoke of the pain she suffered when her son lost his life in a violent attack.
Hundreds Gathered in Ilford Town Centres biggest ever event..
Evolution Dholl kicked things of in style.
Desi Dholl - a must see in Ilford Town Centre
Ravi Benot a man holding another meeting in the Town Hall came out  to ask visitors to join his event too.  We must have had some impact!
Angel Dance Academy were inspiring...
Rani King PA to Baroness Newlove spoke on behalf of the Baroness and described hope that our endeavour would have success.
Mayor Chris Cummins, Cllr Balvider Saund  and various other dignitaries joined the unveiling of the monument.
Wilson  introduced speakers at the monument.
Mother of slain Kashif Mahmood- Parvin Mahmood was joined by Ann Oakes-Odger MBE in unveiling the monument.
The monument revealed in all its glory!
Designer Gary Drostle spoke of his inspiration for the design and the intrinsic symbolic messages of peace, hope and unity.
People were awestruck that a project with initial council disdain was able to succeed and produce a fitting tribute to victims of violent crime in Redbridge.
Families stopped to hear the testimonies.

Mayor Chris Cummins spoke of his pride that our community was so resilient.

Flowers at the base of the monument reminded us that a tragedy had occurred at the location.  Gandhi's words inspired us with hope.

A 1 minutes silence caused an emotional outpouring and deeper reflection.

It is hoped the monument will become a beacon of hope for all people in our borough illustrating the futility of knife crime and the severe consequences to perpetrators of violent crime.  Plaques are to be introduced to base of the monument that will contain eulogies to victims Kashif Mahmood and Wesley Odger.  This year a schools/local groups painting competition will result in  the conversion of young peoples art to mosaic designs for installation at the base of the monument.  We hope to see this work complete by the first anniversary of the monument installation. Families of victims have agreed to speak of the impact to their lives that the loss of a family member circumstances caused, it is hoped that local schools will contact us to facilitate such meetings. Wilson Chowdhry said:

Wilson Chowdhry said:

"Although, unintentionally the monument is shaped like a pencil- I hope it will be used like a pencil to write a more positive future for our borough"

Friday, 30 September 2011

Redbridge Carnival 2011

We were pleasantly surprised by an unannounced visit form the Minister for Community and Welfare from the High Commission of Pakistan.

 Redbridge has talent meets Britain's got talent!
 Aidan Davies stole the show at This years Carnival with an immaculate performance.
 Redbridge Growth showed of their talent and received certificates.
 The 2001 Carnival Court brought glamour to our event!
 Superintendent John Sweeney spoke of the recent riots and called for better community vigilance, cohesion and engagement with our youth.
 The Fire Service conducted a chip pan fire demonstration.

 Hainault Dancers were awesome!
Redbridge Youth services funded Hainault dancers were a real treat.
Aidan appeared again!

MP Lee Scott and Cllr Solomon showed Angel Dance Academy they could dance too!
Spirit of London Award Winner Camara Fearon performed immaculately.

This years carnival was smaller in attendance that last years event due to the Abysmal weather during the weekend and the staging of London Festival and Wanstead Festival on the same day.  However overall the event was still a success and feedback form visitors was extremely positive.

We had our biggest line up ever with over 50 acts spread across the weekend Newcomers included:
  • Redbridge School of Gymnastics
  • Shpresa (Albanian Dancers)
  • Camara Fearon (Singer and winner of Spirit of London Award)
  • Dholl Evolution
  • Ben the Bagpiper
  • Sally's Dance Academy
  • Starbrite Twirlers
  • Kayzar (Street Dancing)
  • Davinder Bedi ( Punjabi Singer Recently played on BBC Asia Network)
  • Immortal Reverie (Metal Rock band)
  • Gataka ( Sikh Sword Fighting)
  • Comede - Ian (stand up comedy)
Old Favourites included:
  • Shin Cobra (Live Punjabi Singer)
  • Honey's Dance Academy (Bollywood Dancing)
  • Electra (Tribal Fusion Belly Dancing)
  • Aveley Twirlers
  • Amanjot Sangha (Hindi Singer)
  • London Fire Service (Chip Pan Fire demo)
There were many other participants.

Aidan Davies stole the show with two elegant street dancing routines.  As a thank you for all the support he received after his performance, he provided visitors with an extra performance later in the day.

A funfair provided by Harry Parrish was a real treat for all visitors, we also had go Kart racing and bungee trampolines.

Superintendent John Sweeney of the London Murder Squad spoke of the need of vigilance against crime collectively.  He urged local people to engage with local youth and to work with them in fashioning a better future for the borough.  He also spoke of the dedication and commitment to protect local people by Redbridge Police and commended them on their sterling work during the recent London riots.  He was definate that their positive attitude and professionalism that kept had limited the impact of the riots locally and kept our borough out of the national media.

Saturday evening was met with a surprise unannounced visit form the Minister of Community Welfare from the High Commission of Pakistan.  He spoke eloquently of the need for all communities to promote cohesion in after the rise of various types of extremism in recent years.  He celebrated the recent anniversary of Pakistan with the wider community of Redbridge, in which a significant Pakistani Community exists.  

The Sunday street procession was larger than last year and hundreds stopped in the street to watch the festivities before them.  We hope to achieve more success with this procession next year.

A comforting hush filled the event during a 1 minute silence to the victims of 9/11 at 14:30 on Sunday 11th September.  On the 10th anniversary of the disaster Imam Hafiz Mohammed and Reverend George Hargreaves, spoke of peace and the need for communities to vigilant against extremism.  It was very rewarding for the RCA Committee to see the wide variety of people from different backgrounds coming together to show their respects.  You could have honestly heard a pin drop!  Visitors where asked to hold hands in a show of unity and you could feel a warm coming together of people who were absolute strangers.

The minutes silence was followed by a lament played by Ben the bagpiper after which a huge passionate  roar erupted.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Redbridge Rainbow at Redbridge Carnival and Redbridge Peace Concert!

Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender group to attend Redbridge carnival for the first time

Redbridge Rainbow Community will be joining Redbridge Carnival this year for the first time in recent history. They will be joining the procession and will have a stall on both days the carnival is on. Rick Pataky, Co-Chair of the voluntary group said “We are all very excited about the prospect of joining the carnival this year as it is the first time an openly LGBT group based in Redbridge has done so. We want to stand up and be counted as part of the diverse community that is Redbridge”

The group formed at the beginning of this year believing that many LGB&T people within Redbridge may be very isolated, and often due to fear, are not publicly "Out" to others about their sexuality or gender identity. With the financial backing of London Borough of Redbridge and help and support from the Met police Safer Neighbourhood team, RAMFEL and Redbridge CVS they hope to be as strong as their counterparts in other neighbouring boroughs. Unlike many Inner London Boroughs, Redbridge does not have any obvious Meeting Focal Points where less confident LGBT people can feel free to gather and be open about themselves. The groups aim is to allow the voices of LGBT people living, working, socialising and studying within the borough of Redbridge to find their voice and have a say about their community.

At present the Redbridge Rainbow Community Forum is small in number, but we are most keen to attract lots of people from our community in Redbridge. This is a Forum primarily for Lesbian and Bisexual Women, Gay and Bisexual Men, and Trans-gendered people [LGB&T people for short], Living, Working, Studying and/or socialising within the London Borough of Redbridge. People from organisations within Redbridge, who are supportive of LGBT people and the issues they face, are also encouraged to attend.

We are very keen to advocate for Social Inclusion of LGBT people within the borough; to work with local public services, be it Council Services, Police, Health Services, Beauticians, Dentists, etc, fully taking the needs of LGBT people into account. We are committed to raising Public Awareness of our issues within the borough, working with public authorities to reduce the incidents and harm caused by Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic behaviour; and to create focal points where LGBT people can meet and feel comfortable to air their issues.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Redbridge Carnival Selection 2011.

Last Night in one of the tightest competitions ever our Carnival court was selected.  Participants were made to wait for nearly an hour after judges struggled to choose between the high level of applicants.

Criteria assessed included Community involvement, appearance and poise and Hobbies with potential benefit to the role as an ambassador for Redbridge.

Our Mayor of Redbridge, Cllr Cummins, interrupted the trophy presentation ceremony to describe how tight this years competition was.  He emotively described how every candidate was exceptional this year. Their range of community work and immaculate posture and appearance was duly noted.

The Panel op judges included:

Kiran Patti (Chair and Toni and guy Manager) Anthony Mondon Mayor of Redbridge Councillor Cummins Kaijul Pahl 2009/2010 Redbridge Carnival Queen.

Toni and Guy staff spent hours on the make and modern hairstyling techniques that made the occasion one with significant glamour.  Training was also provided on cat walk walking and how to address visitors when speaking publicly.

The Selected court

Julia Gold (1st Place Carnival Queen 2011 
Natashai Ragavan (2nd Place Carnival Princess)Sits on Redbridge Youth Council and is an Olympic Ambassador!
Neelum            (3rd Place Carnival Princess)
Sashi Patti (4th Place Carnival Deputy) 

Wilson Chowdhry Chairman of Carnival said:

"This years competition was a closely won challenge, the amount of community work these girls are involved in is remarkable and a real benefit to our borough and Carnival itself.  We hope the annual post held by these girls will be a beneficial experience and an opportunity to learn new competencies that they will be able to transfer to their future work and societal roles.  Our thanks to Toni and Guy staff for arranging an awesome evening."

Carnival returns with a real humdinger!

This years Redbridge Carnival is set to be a real humdinger!  Our Executive Committee has grown significantly and we have secured funding that will go towards some great additions for you this year.

The event will be held on two days Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September from 12:00 - 19:00 at Valentines Park.

Our main acts for this year include:

Aiden Davies a Street dancer of great acclaim who made the final of Britain's Got Talent 2009. 
Honey Kalaria - Britain's Bollywood Supremo
Shin Cobra a mature and renowned  Punjabi singer (who has used recordings of Wilson our chairman in his new track)

In addition the main stage is littered with local multicultural performances including  Rascals, Panultimate Steel Pan band, Dreams Academy, Immortal Reverie(rock band), Starbrite Twirlers, Aveley Twirlers, Dholl Academy, Redbridge School of Gymnastics, Elektra Tribal Fusion Belly Dancing and much more...

We will also be providing:

  • A football tournament for all ages organised by Air Football (Sunday 12am - 3pm)
  • A Gataka (Sikh Sword Fighting) Performance on field 
  • A snake demonstration
  • Drama
  • Community stalls
  • Commercial stall
  • International food stalls
  • Facepainting
  • Henna Tatoos
  • Go Kart Racing course
  • Free Multisports taster
  • Harry Parrish's Funfair
  • Gym Demonstrations and activities for the young
  • Bungee Trampoline
  • Inflatable castles and slides
All day long a free creative workshop will be provided by Whale of a time.  Who will use clay modelling to teach children and young people about nature and our ecosphere.

This years procession will start at Ilford Town Centre at 12:00 on Sunday 11th September 2011.  The route for the procession will be the same as last year.  Walkers start in the town centre and will travel along the High  Road to the Former Seven Kings Swimming Baths Car Park, From here a 10 minute break will ensue and a mixed float and foot procession will leave travel back along the High Road, onto Winston Way and then travel back in the Town Centre, along Clements Road following the bus route right at the top onto Cranbrook Road.  Eventually they will turn right at Coventry Road and terminate at Valentines Park.

A one minute silence will be held around 14:30, for all the victims of the 9/11 incident and their families on the incident's 10th Anniversary.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Aidan Davies at Redbridge Carnival 2011!

A true star of Britain’s Got Talent, Aidan Davis is coming to Redbridge Carnival 2011!

With his self-taught choreography skills, Aidan is a rare talent and has an extremely bright future ahead of him.

Since reaching the final of BGT, the teenager has performed to thousands on the official Arena Tour before embarking on two huge tours as ‘Bionic Boy’ with Diversity last year.

Now Aidan, who boasts more than half a million fans on his Facebook page, is ready to put his stamp on 2011.  At Redbridge Carnival he has the perfect opportunity to do so....

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Whale of a Time at Redbridge Carnival

Local Residents urged to visit Whale of a Time at Redbridge Carnival

Award Winning Eco-Warrior Irene Schleining, founder of Whale of a Time is asking residents to get down and dirty at Redbridge Carnival as she uses creative arts to connect the community with nature and wildlife.

The Whale of a Time Workshop will be arriving in Redbridge for the first time ever at Redbridge Carnival held on September 10th and 11th 2011 at Valentines Park.

“We provide a fun and hands-on activity where young and old are able to model whales and other endangered species out of clay and at the same time learn about the environment, biodiversity and sustainability whilst having a whale of a time!

Participants will make a model of endangered animal and/or plant species. Participants can not only explore their knowledge about endangered species but also investigate ways we can actively change our behaviours towards a sustainable society with less impact on the environment and find ways to take steps to preserve endangered species.”

Director of Whale of a Time Irene Schleining commented;

“We met with the Redbridge Carnival Committee this week and were pleased to mutually agree a commission to undertake our programme at an event that seeks to bring community together in a positive manner. Their focus on community and preserving the environment is similar to ours and we hope that our being present will add a new dimension to an already successful event, whilst challenging local people to preserve our ecosystem.”

The Whale of a Time Workshop has won the Making a Big Difference Award 2010 and NHS Community Wellbeing Competition 2010. It has been nominated for the London Peace Awards 2010, the Archant London Business Awards 2010 and the Archant London Environmental Awards 2009. Recently Whale of a Time has been nominated for the Future Friendly Awards 2011.

For more information go to our website at

Have a whale of a time! ;)

Your Whale of a Time Community