Stephen Tolfree

Tower Hamlets


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Stephen Tolfree went on a party
Tower Hamlets

The sitting-down run report

Thu 20 Jan
Report written by John Shirley

It was a cold night but there was plenty of warmth among GoodGymers in the semi-outdoor space at the back of the Dundee Arms.

A special welcome to Asad, who joined us after making friends with Aine at his first task last week. In true GoodGym style Becky ran to the event, before showing off her engagement ring. Chris bought several drinks and told us he’s now in no less than two bands, before disappearing into the night. Aine brought tales of 103 Irish ParkRuns. Sree chided John for neglecting to organise a Brick Lane bowling session (yet), while. Stephanie and TJ confirmed they’ll be with us for at least another thirty months (Hurrah!). Stephen brought a very well-behaved flatmate with him, and reminisced about last year’s GoodGym walks. Nina had lots of interesting and fascinating things to say, but I didn’t hear any of them because she was at the other end.

And our amazing activator Laura celebrated her birthday, as well as taking some great pictures. See you in February!

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Stephen Tolfree went on a group run
Group run
Tower Hamlets

Thorn to Be Wild

Mon 17 Jan
Report written by Laura Williams

It was chilly, it was dark, it was January but was it blue? Hell, NO.

Last night’s escapades in the Best Borough in the World proved one thing: January blues can be banished with banter, vegetable beds and Basil the dog.

A good-sized group of runners gathered at our gorgeous meeting location, the Town Hall Hotel, to chat and warm-up together.

Town Hall Hotel??

Yep, we can’t imagine a better meeting spot than the Town Hall Hotel. The warmth of the lobby is rivalled only by the warmth of the welcome we receive every week from hotel staff.

So once bags were stored securely and loos used, we proceeded to spend a few minutes posing for pics on those lovely hotel steps, before making our way through a hip-and-thigh mobility warm up, as requested by Task Force member Emma.

Led by Task Force pro Chris, we then ran the short distance to the Hollybush Estate down bustling Cambridge Heath Road, where we met Margaret and Basil The Dog for a fill briefing for this evening’s tasks.

The Task

Runners were divided into multiple teams, a large team at the back of the park cutting back and chopping all sorts of climbing greenery and lethal thorny bits, while other smaller teams worked on vegetable beds at the front of the gardens, helping keep them in decent shape for several of the residents who currently need a hand to maintain them.

It was focused work, and it was sociable, but boy, was it cold. But did the team complain? Absolutely not. On they cut, tackling as many weeds and as much overgrowth as they could in that short hour. (They even managed to squeeze in a little dog-walking as Emma proceeded to take Basil a short walk ‘round the block to stretch his legs, offering him a little late night canine cardio).

And then it was 8 and time for that all-important group pic, before we headed out into the night, some on foot, some on cycle, and some running back to the hotel to gather belongings and change.

It was lovely. It was the perfect antidote to mid-winter fatigue and it left us excited for the next episode.

Next week

...we return to Mile End Park, for bulb-planting with the brilliant John.

Until then.

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Stephen Tolfree signed up to a group run
Group run
Tower Hamlets

MONDAY NIGHT GROUP RUN: Big gardening catch-up in Rocky Park

Mon 17 Jan 18:30 pm
Town Hall Hotel - Hotel Entrance, Patriot Square, London, E2 9NF
It's our first visit of 2022 to the Hollybush & Teesdale Estate for some big gardening activity...

Come and join the team this Monday night as we combine working out and weeding.

What you need to know

  • We'll be meeting from 6:30pm at our usual Monday night location, the gorgeous Town Hall Hotel, where we're allocated a room to change in, use toilet facilities and leave bags securely.

  • At 6:45 we'll start a warm-up on the hotel steps, and at 6:50 we'll start the short run to Rocky Gardens on the Hollybush Estate, for a 7pm task start.

  • Please bring gloves and a head torch if you have one. Gardening activity will be varied, from weeding to pot plant-relocation.

  • If you'd like to head straight to the task at 7pm, the location is Rocky Park on the Hollybush Estate (closest address is Stockton House, Ellsworth Street, London E2 0AY).

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Stephen Tolfree signed up to a party
Tower Hamlets

Burns Night ceilidh

Sat 29 Jan 19:30 pm
Round Chapel, 1D Glenarm Road, Upper Clapton, London, E5 0LY
Enjoy group dancing (absolutely no experience needed)

Please join us for a fun evening out at a ceilidh to celebrate Burns Night. It's really enjoyable and easy to join the dances and absolutely no experience is needed (in some ways it's more running about than dancing). The ceilidh is at the Round Chapel in Hackney.

You'll need to buy your own ticket and please do this ASAP as they've always sold out in previous years. If the event is cancelled due to COVID you'll get a refund. To buy your ticket - £20 plus booking fee - go here

Feel free to bring friends along.

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Stephen Tolfree signed up to a party
Tower Hamlets

GoodGym January social

Thu 20 Jan 19:00 pm
339 Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9LH
The now-traditional monthly festival of fun

We are returning to the Dundee Arms for the January social.

This bar has an open courtyard at the back, which mitigates against Covid transmission and has the added bonus that if it gets boring (which it won't) you can watch the trains go by.

However, I suggest you wrap up warm as it's winter and hugs are still not medically recommended. The more attendees the merrier; however please don't come if you show any illness symptoms on the day.

Hot food is available. Also beer.

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Stephen Tolfree has connected Strava. Mon 13 Dec 2021

Stephen has got Strava connected. Strava is a great way to track your progress.

Stephen Tolfree went on a group run
Group run
Tower Hamlets

'Tis the season to be trolleyed

Mon 13 Dec
Report written by Laura Williams

"So, we'll just pump up the wheels on the trolley and head out",

...Tunde said cheerfully on arrival at Meath Gardens.

And so began our Meath Gardens finale of 2021...

Fitness first

We'd had a lovely start to the night: meeting back at the welcoming Town Hall Hotel for the first time in, well, a long time, we enjoyed a chat on the steps before our Ivo led us through a brilliant warm-up. No fitness stone was left unturned as he took the team (and a couple of enthusiastic residents) through a mobility, cardio and flexibility warm-up, combining upper and lower body moves, complete with full team consultation as to how many reps we should do.

From there, we headed out to Meath Gardens, along Roman Road, running at different speeds, but the same animated expressions, delighted to be together, heading to a fun-sounding Monday night.

The Plan

Our task tonight was to head down to the Cemetery Park, with trolleys and wheelbarrows, to collect large logs that the Park have been kind enough to donate to Meath Gardens, to help create the new protected woodland area. After some research, it was concluded that the only way currently to transport these rather large logs back to the garden was via wheels, walking - and GoodGym strength.

The outbound route saw us taking in the sights of Grove and Mile End Road, via Mile End station naturally. On arrival at the park, we easily located the logs and the team successfully, skilfully loaded them into barrows and trolleys and began the tough, treacherous, one-mile-plus wheel back to Meath Gardens.

Terrific teamwork

It was a true team effort. The journey saw us rotating in-and-out of wheeling and pushing like never before, the noise of puffing and panting broken every few minutes only by various quiet voices gently enquiring, "Just wondering how much further?"

But we did it. The moment came when we arrived at Meath Gardens, and rolled the huge logs out of the barrows and into the woodland area, to safely protect the precious new shrubs and trees, and shrubs-and-trees-to-be.

We finished with a few stretches, with some tips on how to repeat them in the days ahead (yes, forearms, we're looking at you) before dispersing in various directions, including a well-deserved alfresco pint at nearby Dundee Arms.

What. A. Night.


Thanks to Ivo for our brilliant warm-up and leading our run tonight.

And a huge shout-out and thanks to all who joined. Joking aside, it was a task-and-a-half, that looked like it might not get completed at several points, so well done for sticking with it; helping one another out so much, and getting the job done.

Until next time.

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Stephen Tolfree signed up to a group run
Group run
Tower Hamlets

Monday Night Group Run: Meath Gardens Finale + GoodGym Tower Hamlets Christmas Party

Mon 13 Dec 18:30 pm
Town Hall Hotel - Hotel Entrance, Patriot Square, London, E2 9NF
Calling ALL GoodGymers: Come and be a part of this evening's wonderful line-up.

For our LAST BIG ONE of 2021, we'll be returning to the Town Hall Hotel for a warm-up on those splendid steps - led by our very own Ivo!

We'll then enjoy a fun-run down Roman Road, before meeting the Meath Gardens team where our main task will be collecting large logs from Tower Hamlets Cemetary Park, and wheeling them back to Meath Gardens!

Evening line-up

  • Meet at the Town Hall Hotel for bag-drop between 6:30-6:45pm.

  • 6:45pm Warm-up on hotel steps.

  • 6:50pm Run together to Meath Gardens.

  • 7pm Tasks with the Friends of Meath Gardens team.

  • 8pm Run back to hotel to collect bags.

  • 8:30pm For those that fancy it, we'll then head to the Star of Bethnal Green for a quick drink en route home!


  • You can join for as little or as much as you like: run-and-task; task-only...Any combination at all.

  • This activity is for all GoodGymers - not just Tower Hamlets members.

  • The run is for all fitness abilities and sports: if you're walking or cycling, you won't be on your own.

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Stephen Tolfree signed up to a party
Tower Hamlets

Be a Fugitive at the GoodGym December social

Thu 2 Dec 19:00 pm
199 Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, E2 0EL
Join your favourite GoodGymers for the last monthly social of 2021.

Our tour of the pubs of Bethnal Green continues at the Fugitive.

It does craft beer, cocktails, wines and low/no-alcohol beer.

The food menu includes sourdough pizza, burgers, sharing plates and vegan/vegetarian options.

The pub is roomy, and the outside areas are heated.

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