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Students reunited with their former teacher

15 September, 2017 — By Emily Finch

The Mayor of Islington with students from St Joseph’s 

THE Mayor of Islington was greeted with a pleasant blast from the past at Whittington Park’s Big Day Out festival on Saturday when she bumped into her former students at St Joseph’s Primary School who had just started secondary school. Cllr Una O’Halloran was a teaching assistant at the school in Dartmouth Park Hill before joining the ranks of high office where she swapped the chalkboard with her distinctive red robes. Festival organiser Loan Tran from the Wittington Park Community Association said the festival was a great success with more than1,000 people braving the rain to attend. “From learning about bees from Mark Patterson aka The Bee Man to having a bike fixed with Islington Council’s Dr Bike team, there were loads of free and fun activities all afternoon.
“The rain didn’t stop people queueing to have a go at the spin art machine,” said Loan – the machine splashes paint onto a spinning plate creating multicoloured
patterns. But according to Loan the most popular activity was the climbing wall which gave kids a bird’s-eye view of the park. The community association will be busy submitting more funding applications to renovate the much-loved community halls and expanding their gardening project which will see hops, spinach and cabbages grow in the spring.

Yogis in the park who chipped in and did some gardening

OUTDOOR yoga has become a reality thanks to community organiser Paola, 43, who has set up a weekend gardening and yoga club in St Paul’s Park. Around five people signed up for Sunday’s session which saw local residents take part in yoga led by teacher Jonelle Lewis and then a spot of gardening to improve the small but
wild park. Residents weeded and pruned the park off Ramsey Walk in payment for the class. “I had some reservations because it’s outside and it
can be a bit nippy, but it was beautiful and spiritual. I’ve had loads of people saying they will be coming back,” said Paola.
“One of the people who attended had never done any outdoor yoga before but she was surprised that it was a lot more fun and different than she expected. She said it was nice to connect to nature.” The yogis were accompanied by a crystal bowl played by Christine Pleser which when struck emit calming sound. Paola says elderly residents from a home in nearby Dove Street may be joining her at this weekend’s session which she will be leading. To find out more about the gardening and yoga in the park go to:


Jazz is the air by the water

FUNKY jazz wafted through the air on Tuesday night to raise funds for a treasured canal boat which takes children out of London to enjoy the countryside during their school breaks. Cllr Martin Klute with his jazz band, alongside mezzo-soprano Vivien Conacher, provided music for the 15 guests gathered under the stars at Diespeker Wharf to raise money for the Angel Boat charity. “It was a magical setting,” said the chairman of trustees Giles Eyre. “It was a fun evening which was fairly intimate where we were close to the artistes. We were in a lovely setting in-between the rain storms – we just got away with it.” Around £800 was raised to fund future trips on the Angel narrowboat which sees kids from Islington transported to the surrounding countryside outside Milton Keynes every summer. “We spent two months out in the country doing residential trips funded by Children in Need. We take five children at a time and they learn how to steer the boat and work the locks. Many haven’t been away from home before and they cook, sit and eat together and live together for a week. At the same time they get to go to the cinema, go skating and other things like that,”saidGiles.

To find out more about the boat and to rent it for events including weddings and parties go to: Boat/

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