Monday, April 15, 2013

Introducing –
The Commonwealth Gardeners

listening and learning about our neighbourhood

In 2011 the Commonwealth Gardeners worked with the Charity Living Streets to organise a Community Audit Walk. We walked from Valentine’s Park to Ilford Town Centre.
Living Streets produced a report about the Estate which was sent to Local Councillors, Council Officers and Community Groups.
Now the Council have widened the pavement across Hainault Bridge, and trees have been planted on Adelaide Road.

In 2012 we worked with Living Streets to plant shrubs in pots and front gardens round the estate.
There are some lovely front gardens on the Estate.
We hope you enjoy looking at them.

making the Commonwealth Estate more beautiful and more green
improving and greening the Commonwealth Estate

This year Trees for Cities planted trees in the streets round Christchurch School. Come to our April meeting to find out more about the trees.

enjoying our own and each others’ gardens
meeting our neighbours each month

Please join us for tea or coffee, homemade cakes, conversation, plants, ideas and more:
Thursday 18th April 2013 from 10:30am-12:30pm
at 70 Brisbane Road, Ilford IG1 4SL

Polly Jarman from Trees for Cities will tell us about the trees newly planted round Christchurch school.

We meet every third Thursday morning of the month from 10:30am-12:30pm – future meetings are on 16th May, 20th June, 18th July.
Speakers talk to us about gardens and gardening, wildlife, our community and environment. We swop seeds and plants and knowledge and information. We make walking visits to local sites of interest: gardens, parks, allotments.
We enjoy each others’ gardens!

Some of us would like to meet regularly at weekends. To join in or for further information, please contact: Caroline Mullan Phone 020 8554 3799 or email

out and about in our neighbourhood
exhibitions, allotments, parks and gardens

Exhibition - The History of Valentines Gardens
Dates: Sunday 17 February - Sunday 2 June
Valentine’s Mansion
This free Redbridge Museum exhibition shows how the historic gardens at Valentines were developed over several centuries.

Great Gardens: An exhibition
Dates: Tuesday 5th March - Saturday 22nd June
Redbridge Museum, 2nd Floor, Central Library, Clements Road, Ilford
Discover over 500 years of Redbridge's gardens, parks and open spaces in this special exhibition by Redbridge Museum. From medieval farmland to grand 18th century country estates, to the growth of modern suburban gardens - discover an area where the city meets the country. See how local people have used their gardens, parks and allotments in the last 100 years.

The Friends of Valentines Mansion May Fair
Date: Saturday 11 May Time: 11am – 4pm
Valentine’s Mansion
A day of music and entertainment in Valentines Mansion and the surrounding grounds. Many varied art and craft stalls, historical societies and attractions for all ages.

Goodmayes Allotment Garden Festival
Date: Sunday 1st September Time: 1-5pm
Goodmayes Lane Allotments

The Commonwealth Gardeners are concerned with the Commonwealth Estate, which is bounded by Cranbrook Road to the West, Valentine's Park to the North, Ley Street to the East, and Ilford Town Centre to the South.


  1. Brilliant report. Why precisely is this estate not a conservation area and what is the rationale for the parking restrictions?

    As a former member of Redbridge Friends of the Earth who helped get the barriers installed in Wellesley and Balfour Roads and stopped them being the rat runs they were, I welcome the idea of pedestrianising the areas around the school. Actually I would Woonerf the whole estate!

    1. Let's "Woonerf" Barkingside High Street

    2. "Woonerf" it? I thought TfL had almost succeeded in doing that around 3 or 4 years ago.

    3. Well, they certainly didn't succeed in improving bus flows which was the primary "Objective" of the exercise.

    4. And Redbridge's persistent failure to enforce restrictions at bus stops in the late evening does not help.