Tag Archives: food

Queen’s Park Celebration

Henna painting at Queen's Park Library's Community Cultural Celebration, February 2017Queen’s Park is an area known for its diversity, and on Thursday 9 February we held a Community Cultural Celebration in the library which recognised the wide mix of people who live in the area.

The event – part of the Made in Libraries festival – began with face-painting and badge-making for the kids and continued with henna, Indian head massage and jewellery-making.

Chinese calligraphy master Mr Zhu particularly impressed the crowd with his beautiful translations of people’s names, and the evening was rounded off with some lively African dancing provided by local health and well-being group Healthier Life 4 You.

Mr Zhu's calligraphy at Queen's Park Library's Community Cultural Celebration, February 2017  Mr Zhu's calligraphy at Queen's Park Library's Community Cultural Celebration, February 2017

North African, Caribbean and Bangladeshi food was on offer, courtesy of local businesses Timgad and Guava Nights, plus the libraries’ ESOL conversation class. Not surprisingly this proved very popular! The library was absolutely packed with a mix of old and young, familiar faces and curious newcomers all keen to sample the activities. To say the atmosphere was lively would be something of an understatement, although fortunately the Learning Centre was available for those who wanted an escape from it all.

Picture from ‘Women of Colour - an Exhibition of Samplism’ by Toby Laurent Belson. Queen's Park Library 2017

Complementing the event’s theme was ‘Women of Colour – an Exhibition of Samplism’ by the local artist Toby Laurent Belson, which runs until 7 March. Toby’s vivid collage pieces, which depict women of the African diaspora, are stunning and make a visit to Queen’s Park Library even more worthwhile.

[Lucy]

Advertisements

New Year, New You 2017

Church Street Library held its ‘New Year, New You’ event on 18 January, offering customers the opportunity to try something out of the ordinary for 2017. We certainly provided that, attracting a large number of visitors over the course of the day.

Church Street Library: 'New Year, New You'. January 2017

The day unfolded as the three floored library transformed into zones.  The ground floor lending library became the Body and Mind Zone, offering customers a full body MOT, stop smoking advice, healthy eating tips, with health food store Nature Intended providing freebies. Our local Post Office was there too. We also had Westminster Registrars on hand to talk about the Nationality Checking Service. Heavenly music from the London Maritime Quintet filled the air. In total we had 15 stalls sharing the space.

The Maritime Quintet at Church Street Library for 'New Year, New You'. January 2017

One floor down, the Chillax and Breathe Zone filled with nine complementary therapy stalls, delivering foot and head massage, facial threading, hand massage and beauty pampering through to henna hand art.

The Community Space was renamed the Active Zone for the day, hosting modern dance and a local line dancing crew managed by Pina; the Learning Centre became the Learn Something New Zone, where we offered Arabic classes, a CV advice workshop and a taster in creative writing. Carol’s Organic Kitchen provided healthy sandwich burgers and Osman Khan Church Street Community provided tea and coffee.

Transport was arranged to bring Home Library Service readers to the library, offering them a chance to enjoy a concert by professional musicians the London Maritime quintet in the relaxed setting of the library. As a complete contrast our readers then enjoyed some more modern music and a demonstration of hip hop and street dance by a member of Rain Crew.

Breakdancing at New Year New You event, Church Street Library January 2017     Breakdancing at New Year New You event, Church Street Library January 2017

Comments from HLS members:

“A wonderful programme.”

“Loved the music – heard composers’ work I had not come across before.”

“Loved the breakdancing.”

“The young man dancing was so passionate about what he was doing and was charming.”

“It is wonderful to go out and meet old and new friends.”

[Elaine]

Vive la France in Church Street

French Culture Day at Church Street Library, July 2016Church Street Library recently held their French Culture Day.

The event was organised to celebrate the end of term for the hugely popular Children’s French Clubs held in the library, and also to mark Bastille Day which was a couple of days afterwards on 14 July.

French Culture Day was a joint effort between Debora who runs the clubs for the library and the clubs’ brilliant teachers, native French volunteers Devrim, Elodie, Fleur and Marie.

“What a wonderful event, I am amazed at the sense of community one can feel in this room where everyone is chatting enjoying the nice food and meeting new people. I think this is what a library should be about.”

There were French themed/speaking activities for around seventy adults and children. A children’s Treasure Hunt led by Elodie, Fleur and Marie took thirty very excited children on an adventure filled with clues throughout the library floor, finishing with rewards of prizes including candy bags and French books.

“My children had a lot of fun, I enjoyed with them to be taken around this library I never been to, so a great discovery. Everything looked very well organised and the French ladies are very experienced with children. Nice food too, so thank you!”

“My children come to the French Club and this is the best way of saying goodbye before the summer break. They really loved the club and this event today was so unexpected, thank you so much to all of you, amazing work.”

Devrim created a 45 minute bespoke French class for adults, covering a variety of tourist-style scenarios and concluding with useful handouts.

“Fantastic idea! I have never experienced a French adult class before, let alone for free! The quiches are amazing, can I ask for the recipe?”

The events were followed by homemade French style refreshments including the aforementioned quiches made by Fleur which were quickly reduced to crumbs!

“I’ve never been to this library and I will definitely come back for more events like this one! Please keep up the great work we had fantastic time.”

 

“I’m French and this level of FBD celebration is usually found in France but I’ve never seen it in a public space in Britain and free of charge. Thumbs up for Church Street Library and thanks to the great ladies for organising all this for us!”

“What a brilliant idea and perfect way to say au revoir!”

[Debora]

New Year, New You

Osman ready to fuel the 'smoothie bike' at New Year New You, Church Street Library, January 2016

The last week of January 2016 saw three New Year New You events – one in each borough: first Westminster, then Kensington & Chelsea, and finally Hammersmith & Fulham.

Hand massages at New Year New You, Church Street Library, January 2016

The first event was at Church Street Library on 25 January, with events such as a power walk round the area, followed by a WAES ceramics session: “Have a go with clay – bring out the inner potter in you!” Riding the ‘smoothie bike’ was a challenge, but with the reward of a smoothie at the end, all generated by your own pedal power. There were opportunities to refresh your mind and body, with eyebrow threading, mini facials, hand massages, aromatherapy and Reiki – all from highly trained professionals. The Monday ESOL group sampled various foods and had a taster session of French with our French club volunteer… C’est bon appetit!

The Monday ESOL group at New Year New You, Church Street Library, January 2016

The afternoon saw yoga for relaxation, Zumba for energy and Street Dance for the young and agile. Throughout the day there were tips on healthy eating from the Stroke Association, Munro Health, Health and Fitness trainers offering blood pressure checks, cholesterol and healthy eating tips, along with Kick-It the stop smoking unit.

Cheryl from Kick It Stop Smoking service at New Year New You, Church Street Library, January 2016

Many of the same organisations attended the events at North Kensington Library two days later and Hammersmith Library at the end of the week, though each also had a local flavour. Each event was really well attended and the customers had a great time:

“Brilliant fun on the smoothie bike – harder than it looks!”

“Felt really relaxed after the facial”

“Great atmosphere”

The library was buzzing all day with customers coming back and forth to sample many different activities throughout the day. Would we do it all again next year? YES we would.

[Michaela]

3D Printing, Break Dancing, Beast Wagon and more

Westminster BiPs logoDid you know that half of young people in the UK aged 16 to 24 want to start their own business? Well, Westminster Councillors certainly do and when they decided to launch Westminster’s first Enterprise Week , to coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week 11-22 November 2015, the focus was firmly on young people and access to enterprise.

With this in mind, we hosted an Enterprise Fair at Westminster Reference Library, one of many events held across the council and in BIP libraries for Enterprise Week, showcasing the range of business support and assistance for enterprise and self-employment, creative courses, programmes, apprenticeships, funding and more, offered by organisations from a cross section of industries including fashion, music, dance, food, graphic novels and more.

We were delighted to have with us as stall holders on the day the London College of Beauty TherapyIndustry in the StreetsFashion Retail AcademyNatWest Enterprise,  Westminster Enterprise CentrePortobello Business CentrePaddington Development Trust, Maida Hill PlaceBusiness Launchpad,  Orbital ComicsRain Crew, Young Enterprise and Producer/Presenter N. N. D. who featured sound bites from participants for her programme on The Workplace on ResonanceFM.

Julie Bundy & Simon Aslaaf from Maida Hill Place, at Westminster Reference Library's Enterprise Fair, November 2015

Julie Bundy & Simon Assaf from Maida Hill Place

The day’s highlights also featured guest speakers who shared business journeys and industry insights. We heard from Julie Bundy & Simon Assaf from Maida Hill Place , a social enterprise offering tailored support for food industry start-ups, who spoke about food enterprise and the Pop-Up economy, and why food remains their passion – for Julie, it’s the power of food to bring people together under even the most challenging circumstances; for Simon, it was the food industry’s capacity to stay afloat despite the advent of the internet, where, as he reminded us, you still can’t fry an egg!

Clint Sinclair and Sharifa M Momad breakdance at Westminster Reference Library's Enterprise Fair, November 2015

Clint Sinclair and Sharifa M Momad breakdance

We were also delighted to have Westminster’s very own Clint Sinclair, in his guise as managing director of Rain Crew London Dance, a non-­profit company working to bring people together through dance, delivering classes, events, performances and community based projects. From Clint and guests we learned about the world of the break dancers or b-boys, and the dance ‘battles’ or competitions that take them all over the world. With fellow dancer Sharifa Tonkmor, Clint gave a brilliant live breakdance performance and then introduced guest Spin (aka Juan David Gaviria), a successful B-Boy dancer who spoke eloquently about how looking to his future, he successfully combined his dancing with enterprise by training to become a barber.

Beast Wagon, created by Owen Michael JohnsonThis was followed by Chris Thomson, Event manager at Orbital Comics who chaired a fascinating discussion with Owen Michael Johnson, twice British Comic Award-nominated writer & artist and creator of Beast Wagon, a black comedy comic book series set in a zoo, and Jason Atomic, artist and all round cross cultural creative & performer.

All talked about how drawing as youngsters shaped their future careers and the economic & creative challenges of working in the comics/graphic novel industry. The panel discussion was recorded and is scheduled to be featured on Orbital as a podcast early next year.

We had 3D Printer demonstrations taking place throughout the day, engaging and entertaining visitors, who also had fun with the 3D goggles.

The 3D Printer - guest star at Westminster Reference Library's Enterprise Fair, November 2015

The 3D Printer – guest star!

We enjoyed the day and especially the opportunity to promote Westminster Libraries Business Information Point services and our special collections in fashion, art & design and performing arts here at Westminster Reference Library. We would like to thank everyone who took part and supported the Enterprise Fair.

[Eveleen]

Cooking up History returns

The Cooking up History team present: 2015 v 1951
Can the Britain of 2015 learn anything from the food rationed Britain of 1951?

The ABC of Cookery, 1951In the ‘thrifty 50s’, rationing was still in place… right up until 1954!

A recent addition to the collections of Westminster City Archives is a 1951 edition of The Ministry of Food’s ABC of Cookery, kindly donated by volunteer David Evans.

The recipes record the flavours of the postwar years in vivid detail, providing a useful insight to a 2015 audience of a time when people made the most of what was available to them.

The Cooking Up History team have taken recipes from the pages of the ABC of Cookery and have made them into meal plans (starter, mains and desserts) – one meal plan will be published on our blog every Friday in August. There will be a commentary and pictures of our efforts as we cook up recipes from the thrifty 50s.

Can we learn anything from food rationed Britain today?
Let’s find out together – why not get cooking at home and post your own dishes and thoughts to the blog?
View the first post on Friday 6 August and August Fridays thereafter! https://2015v1951.wordpress.com/

[David]

Bouncing with Health!

Bouncing with Health 'party' at Queen's Park Library - Oral and dental health teamBouncing with Health parties are a way of bringing health information (resources and practioners) to families with young and early years children in a relaxed and enjoyable session with songs, rhymes and physical activities.

At the first trial session at Queen’s Park Library we had:

  • healthy food samples as prizes in the Duck Duck game – this was run by Mytimeactive who are promoting their Boost programmes for new mothers and healthy eating for toddlers
  • information from the Kickstart Team, who run healthy eating workshops for parents and children
  • advice from the Oral and Dental Health Team, who brought big models of teeth for the children to brush!  They also advised parents on visiting the dentist as early as possible
  • songs from the Speech and Language therapist who spoke to parents about ways about interactive reading with their child.

Bouncing with Health 'party' at Queen's Park LibraryWe are putting more parties in the diary for the Easter holidays, summer half term break and over the summer too – keep an eye on the Health Events page for more information, and do come along and join in!

[Kate]