Fancy some art and architecture?

First published in Blogs East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by

For the next two weekends, there are plenty of free events and activities in Waltham Forest.

This week, concluding on Sunday, the E17 Art Trail is running across 90 different venues. You can see what’s on offer, and the opening times of each show, at On my “must see” list is the exhibition “Meet” at the Old Glass Factory – featuring photos of Waltham Forest Freecycle members, showing off the items they were giving away. Artist Claire Byrne snapped me hiding behind a trough of cacti – I wonder if my picture will make it into her show?

Another highlight for me will be Harriet Hammel’s soft sculptures – “Softuki”, a life size squishy motorbike, and “Kebab(ish)”, the inside of a kebab shop replicated in satin and organza! Her exhibition is being held at the Pump House in South Access Road which is one of those local museums that I keep meaning to visit one day... that day will come this Sunday!

If like me you haven’t explored very much of Waltham Forest’s varied museums and architecture, next weekend (19/20 September) gives you an opportunity to visit many buildings for free as part of London’s Open House weekend. There’s more information on their website, .

Museums, schools and churches figure heavily on the list; however you can also take a tour of the Town Hall, or discover Georgian Walthamstow.

As someone with an interest in industrial buildings, I’ll be venturing into a neighbouring borough for Open House, to see the Markfield Beam Engine – a steam engine built in 1886 to pump sewage away from Tottenham, reducing river pollution and the spread of cholera.

If all that’s not enough, there’s also Leytonstone Car Free Day on Sunday 20 September.

So get out, and take advantage of the free exhibitions and tours on your doorstep!


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