No fewer than 21 runners congregated at Mile End Art Pavilion last night to help plant 1000 bulbs in the Bow Conservation Area, including first time runners Zahra and Cathy.
We were greeted by Task Owner John, who wasted no time at all in talking us through the evening, which started with extensive kit-collection from his house on Grove Road.
There were 26 trowels; 1000 bulbs, daffs, drills and shovels. It was quite the operation. And so we made our way to Tredegar Square to a total of five planting areas, where the team spent an hour digging tough, impacted soil and planting bulbs of all shapes and sizes.
It was fun, fast and a teeny bit freezing, but we loved every minute, not least when our Chi showed up halfway through, to take some pics and help pack up.
The team did good: John was happy; a few remaining bulbs mean we’ll be heading back to the Holy Trinity Church area in the coming weeks and we got to run the pretty mile-long route back to the Hotel to warm up.
All is good.
Well done to the whole team, for getting so much done, for staying late, and especially to Task Force members Stephen for fantastic run-leading and route navigation; to Emma and John for greeting and light-carrying, and to our first time runners Cathy and Zahra – what a spectacular GoodGym debut, and we hope to see you very soon.
Next week: We’re back on the Hollybush Estate to help with the big community centre clean-up!
We're back to see the brilliant John of Friends of Mile End Park to help plant 1000 bulbs this evening!
What you need to know
We'll be meeting at our usual beautiful location at the Town Hall Hotel from 6:30pm, where we're allocated a warm room for changing, toilet facilities and secure bag storage.
At 6:40pm we'll begin a short warm-up on the hotel's splendid steps before leaving to Mile End Art Pavilion at 6:45pm.
We'll be joining John from Friends of Mile End Mark to help plant bulbs in multiple locations, including the Holy Trinity Church, Tredgar Square and in Mile End Park itself. There may also be a bit of litter-picking involved.
If you'd rather meet at the task, we'll be meetingJohn at 7pm at The Art Pavilion Mile End Park, Clinton Rd, London E3. 4QY.
No fewer than 13 runners gathered on the Town Hall Hotel steps last night to warm up for this evening’s activity.
We were headed to Cranbrook Community Food Garden, just behind bustling Roman Road, to play gardening catch-up with Janet and Eileen, who spend a huge amount of their time running events and caring for the facilities at this much loved, useful community location.
We warmed up with some dynamic stretches and a few lower body exercises, before stretching out tight pecs and shoulders, a much-needed bit of flexibility work after a day at the desk.
We slowly grew in number as the warm-up continued, and a good-sized group made its way down Old Ford Road, combining chatter and running, well navigated by Simon, ensuring we took in the least busy streets.
On arrival at the Centre, Janet was well prepared for two tasks: one team headed inside for an industrial clean of the well-used trestle tables, and some other table preparation for the next event.
Meanwhile, a larger team (we’d grown further on arrival at Cranbrook) tackled the mounds of leaves in and around the garden, bagging bin liner after bin liner to be taken to the Estate’s many large bins.
The endless squatting, reaching and lifting meant that a workout was had by all, but the catching-up that took place meant the effort was barely felt. After one final, victorious bin-trip, Eileen put the kettle on and tea and squash was enjoyed by the team.
We said our farewells, posing for a final pic, and went our various ways, including a brisk run back to the Hotel for some, to grab belongings before heading home, not forgetting a huge shout-out to our Heather, who tonight hit her 50th good deed :)
What a cracking start to the year.
Next week, we’re invited to Rocky Park, where more willing, productive GoodGym hands are required to help get the garden ready for the Spring…You can sign-up here.
Longstanding task owner Janet has invited us to the Community Garden for our first Group Run of 2022!
What we will be doing
Activities tonight will include weeding, clearing leaves and other gardening tasks. We will also be needed to clean tressle tables, that need a bit of TLC!
What you need to know
You can either meet directly at the task, or beforehand for our Group Run.
For the Group Run, will meet at our usual location of the Town Hall Hotel, where there will be facilities for you to change and leave bags securely.
We'll then enjoy a short warm-up in Patriot Square between 6:30 and 6:45 before making our way down to the Community Centre for 7pm (address for Cranbrook Community Centre is Mace St, Globe Town, London E2 0RB).
Please bring a head torch and gloves if you have them.
A chilly, cheerful start
It was a splendid start to the night: a good-sized crew gathered above the well-lit Art Pavilion in Mile End Park to speed through thirty minutes of the sweaty stuff this evening.
It was a chilly one and the team didn’t stop.
Off they sped through the usual tough balance and abs moves; running drills and stretches. And to top it all off, we enjoyed an impromptu segment taught by Ivo: partner exercises, hip strengtheners…We were very lucky indeed.
And then we went to meet John, our task owner from Friends of Mile End Park, an 'independent and inclusive group that will play a role in ensuring that the Park is developed, cared for and used in ways that actively involve and benefit the local community.'
But before we moved on to The Main Business of the Night (woodland clearing) we paused to congratulate Beth on her 1000th good deed. Beth does a lot of GoodGym. A lot. And keeps pretty quiet about it. But what an asset she is, to so many.
About the offal
John then gave us a thorough briefing, with plenty of health and safety, including The Story of the Buried Offal, and other nasty need-to-knows.
Off to the woodland we marched, complete with lights, spare gloves and a can-do attitude.
Teams were divided into three: one shovelling and wheeling woodchip in an attempt to uncover The Missing Snowdrops; another headed to the ivy area, to clear the pathway, while a third team tackled beastly brambles, taking their life into their hands as they got stuck into the grim greenery.
It was all go, I can tell you. Barrows were filled, ivy un-knotted, kitchen implements uncovered (will explain another time).
Despite freezing temperatures, spirits remained high and productivity off the scale.
At gone-8, we reluctantly agreed to call it a night, before dimming lights, posing for pics and saying cheerful cheerios, with a promise from John we could return soon.
To Joel for this evening’s fabulous pun.
To Ivo for leading some fab last minute fitness.
To the Central team, past and present, who came to show their support and respect for Beth, but who boosted morale and warmed spirits more than they could realise.
To John, from Friends of Mile End Park, our brilliant task owner whose planning, humour and commitment to our activity always makes our night.
And to Beth. ❤
Until next time.
Clearing brambles, spreading woodchip and planting bulbs with Friends of Mile End Park. AND CELEBRATING BETH'S 1000TH GOOD DEED.
What's the story?
We've been asked to join the Friends of Mile End Park for the second time this year, helping get some tough gardening done.
We're also going to be celebrating the biggest milestone, as tonight, as she helps weed, de-bramble and chat, our Beth Hoskins will celebrate her 1000th good deed.
Come and join this brilliant Monday night gathering, as we enjoy being active and useful, and celebrate this vast commitment and contribution.
What we will be doing
We will meet outside The Art Pavilion in Mile End Park at 6:30pm for a workout. There will be somewhere to leave bags if you're coming straight from work.
If you'd like to join for task-only, we will meet at the Pavilion at 7pm.
We'll meet John from Friends of Mile End Park and spend an hour or so clearing brambles and nettles in this popular stretch.
What you need to know
- Please wear long sleeves and trousers. John, our task owner, will be bringing tools and sturdy gloves, but do bring own gloves and head torches if you have them.
Bella is a now a fully fledged GoodGym runner. They've just run to do good for the first time. They are out there making amazing things happen and getting fit at the same time.
“Roll it? It’s just that it appears to be rooted into the ground.”
And so we returned to Meath Gardens for Week 2 of The Big Tree Roll.
For the last two weeks, we’ve been helping the fabulous Friends of Meath Gardens team move one-tonne tree trunks and logs to a newly-created woodland space to help safeguard the young tree saplings.
Tonight’s task was in two parts: rolling and relocating the log to the new woodland home, and litter-picking around all four corners of this popular urban oasis.
Exercise hors d'oeuvres
We started, however, with a tough 30-minute workout on the basketball court, where the crew did good with shuttle runs, seated abs, endless glute-med work ("Listen, these are really good for you." and every lunge variation known to man.
And from there, we made our way to the changing room building to meet Jane, who was our task owner this week.
She talked us through the two tasks, and we made our way over to the fallen tree.
Stop and Stare
We stood and stared. We attempted to shift, with no luck. We took pics, we held lights, we reluctantly decided maybe it was just litter-picking on the menu for this evening, until Rob seized one of the stakes previously used to cage the log, and proceeded to prise it free of the ground.
And so it took its took its first turn, supported by TJ and a second stake on the opposite side. Team Tree (Rob, TJ, Becky, Stephanie and Sree) proceeded to roll the stubborn stump uphill and over to its new woodland home.
Meanwhile, Team Trash were busying themselves filling bags with beer cans, crisp packets and allsorts from every remote area of the park. It was industrious, it was enjoyable, it was energetic, and boy, was it cold.
But time flew as usual, and before we knew it we were saying our goodbyes and heading in various directions until next week.
Why yes, next week. When we’ll be heading to Mile End Park to help brilliant John clear brambles and shift woodchip.
The second part of our two-week task at Meath Gardens!
What's the story?
We're joining the Meath Gardens team for Week 2 of our November sessions this evening. We may be undertaking a variety of tasks including:
We will meet at the Meath Gardens basketball court at 6:30 for a pre-task workout.
Don't fancy the fitness? Meet us at the basketball court at 7pm for task only!
Belongings can be safely stored in the trolley, lock-up or bike stands.