The Wornington Word: A People’s History part 3

Over the last couple of months, we’ve had guest blog posts from Natasha, founder of The Wornington Word – an oral history project. If you missed them, you can check out the first blog post by Natasha here and the second one here.

Over to Natasha to tell us how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the project…

We should have been buying rum for our  party at Venture Centre.  We should have been framing the  award winning portraits of Wornington Green estate and it’s residents taken by Kevin Percival. We should been hearing the gentle tinkling of the steel pans played by Glissando. But the party to end our 20 month Wornington Word oral history project  had to be cancelled. Covid and the lockdown hit.  Life as we knew it stopped. And so did the ever present and ongoing demolition and building work.

Peace descended onto Wornington Green.  I noticed the birdsong. The lack of airplane noise. The family of foxes who played inside Venture Centre’s playground at night. Neighbours taking the time to chat to each other from balconies and windows. Baby pigeons hatching on a nest beneath my window. I relaxed. Until early one morning when I was shaken out of bed by the dreaded noise of the chain saw. Tree surgeons were hacking off the branches around the  nest! The whole estate was in uproar. We didn’t want beautiful lush green trees pollarded now!  In the middle of a pandemic. We wanted to enjoy the verdant leaves and the sounds of birdsong. Many of us rang the council. Some tweeted. Others sent emails. And we stopped them.

Skypower’s drone

In June, a pleasant hum filled our ears as we watched a small spidery machine containing a tiny camera hover across Althone Gardens. After its postponement in April, our long anticipated booking of SkyPower – a drone film company – had become possible . We gathered around the operators  monitor to see a birds-eye view of red brick Wornington Green and the new white buildings of Portobello Square that will eventually replace the estate.

Constantine Gras (cinematographer), Russ (editor), Neil from SkyPower and Natasha. Photo taken by Jay Hirano

We could not have our party. But we could attend, in masks, a live screening of our documentary about Wornington’s residents, with the drone footage, at The Portobello Film Festival.   And a week later we paraded around in the t-shirts we were awarded as part of the prize for winning Best UK Documentary.

Footage from the drone which used as a still in the film

You can watch our film, The Wornington Word: A Peoples History of The Wornington Green Estate on our project website.

Here are some of the reviews we’ve received, please let us know what you think too.

Wonderful film – very moving and bittersweet.

Thanks to everyone who took part ❤💛💚

What marvellous portrayals through special community strength, a unique archive for future generations x

Rich stories beautifully put together.
Essential viewing for anyone who has a connection with North Kensington.


May we say – thanks again to Natasha for this fantastic series about the project. To learn more do visit the Wornington Word’s website 


Children’s Book of the Week: Look Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola

This week’s children’s book of the week is the award-winning Look Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola.  It tells the story of Rocket, a girl who loves astronomy, and her big brother, who prefers his phone.  We found five online things to do that are all inspired by the story.

  1. Look Up! Storytime and draw-along

First up is this reading of the story on YouTube, plus a draw-along feature with illustrator Dapa Adeola.  You might recognise the author Nathan Bryon from his TV sitcom work!

  1. Build a spaceship craft activity

Younger kids can really go to town creating their own spaceship with this fun craft activity.

  1. Mae Jemison colouring sheet

In the story, Rocket is inspired by her hero Dr Mae Jemison.  We found this awesome colouring sheet celebrating the astronaut’s achievements.  

  1. OurShelves: Meet Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola

Check out this YouTube film featuring the author and illustrator talking about how they created the book.


  1. Make your own scratch art

Children can create the wonders of space using this amazingly effective scratch art technique.

International Day for Older Persons

What is International Day for Older Persons?  

On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly selected 1 October the International Day for Older Persons. This is a day set aside to raise awareness of issues affecting the elderly and to appreciate our Elders.   

With better knowledge, care, medicines and lifestyles choices/ changes people are living longer.  Age UK, the charity, is there to help the older generation, who feel there is no one there to support them with information and advice, telephone friendship (someone to talk to) and current up-to-date information.   

Check out their website here.

In the meantime, here are 10 tips for aging better, produced by Age UK. 

We all know health both physical and mental is important whether young or old.  For a fifteen minute workout by the National Institute on Aging, see  here

For useful advise on incorporating strengthening exercises in your routine, read this.

What about mental health? Lots of useful information is again available on the Age UK website, see here.

What can you do to support the elderly on this special day? 

Just a few suggestions:  

  • For exciting volunteering positions go here.
  • Visit or talk to your elderly neighbour or relative  
  • Can you help your neighbour bring in groceries or medication?  
  • Have you any ideas? 

World Heart Day

Know your numbers/World Heart Day

World Heart Day this year is on 29th September 2020. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death and has many causes, such as smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and air pollution.

Know Your Numbers

Looking after you heart starts with understanding your risk, so make sure you know all your health numbers.  Click here to find out more.

NHS Health Check

An NHS Health Check is a free health check aimed at adults aged 40 to 74. It involves measuring your blood pressure, pulse, height and weight and asking you some lifestyle questions to see whether there’s more you can do to look after your health. It involves a few simple tests to check your risk of

  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • stroke

Heart Age Test

Take this quiz to find out your heart age compared to your real age.


Blood Pressure Test

It’s recommended that all adults over 40 years of age have their blood pressure tested at least every 5 years so any potential problems can be detected early.  Find more information here .

You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:


Chelsea Chatterbooks, with special guest Caroline Lawrence!

On Saturday 12 September, Chelsea Library organised its second virtual Chatterbooks.

The theme was The Roman Mysteries, by Caroline Lawrence. We read the extract from the first book The Thieves of Ostia, which I put on a PowerPoint presentation, and talked about the characters, life in ancient Rome, Roman calendars, the author’s style, etc. Aleksandar, Vuk, Carla, Maximilian, Sarah and their mothers were in the middle of a vivid discussion of what actually happened to the protagonists between the first and fourth book, The Assassins of Rome, when the author, Caroline Lawrence visited us.

Oh, the look on children’s faces was priceless! She was relaxed and funny and children loved being able to talk to her.

During the summer holidays, I enjoyed Caroline’s online talks and hoped that she would not mind popping by for a few minutes to greet my ‘Chatterbookers’ while we were reading from her famous book series. So, when Caroline stayed more than half an hour, talked about her books, answered all the questions that children asked and even left her email address with them – in case they have more burning questions, I was more than happy!

I know that it is not the same as having Chatterbooks in the library as it is “only” an online activity. But, evidently, a huge advantage of a virtual activity was that we had this special encounter!

We are all very grateful to Caroline Lawrence for spending her Saturday morning with us.


Book Review: The Clutter Corpse and Other Murders

Simon Brett photo
Author Simon Brett

Over to Zvezdana!

Simon Brett’s new leading character is Ellen Curtis, an amateur sleuth and decluttering expert. She even owns a decluttering agency, SpaceWoman, in Chichester. Her business grew from a casual favour, but when she finds a corpse in the old house, her world will change its course forever.

Glancing around my living room, God forbid peeping into the wardrobes, I feel that Ellen would be quite in her environment if she suddenly wandered into my flat. As many of us did during the lockdown, I attacked the clutter very fearlessly, at least for the first few days. Afterwards, the Proust effect took over and I was left almost choking on madeleine biscuits. Wherever you look, the ghosts of the past are waiting for the right time to ambush you.  I do not call myself a hoarder, but the idea of a professional declutterer sounds very appealing to me. Going through anyone’s accumulated belongings would make a good detective story, perhaps with the rosebud effect; even without hidden corpses. So, from the start I have been captivated by even the idea of Simon Brett’s new heroine and book. 

Ellen’s personal problems, her family history and how she deals with depression, make her very likeable and believable.  The backstory of The Clutter Corpse is almost as interesting as the main who-done-it thread.  Ellen joins other Brett’s famous amateur sleuths – a widow Mrs Melita Pargeter,  aging actor Charles Paris, and the Fethering ladies, Carol and Jude.  They are not flawless detectives; they gossip, they cheat, usually drink too much, have considerable memory baggage. They are mostly middle-aged people who frequently do not know how to deal with personal and other issues. That is exactly what makes them real; sometimes I like them and other times I just want to argue with them!

Humour and irony lace all Brett’s novels and characters. Be aware. It is hazardous reading Brett’s novels on public transport, especially now – with masks on and shaking with laughter.

I look forward to more in this series and expect to be delightfully entertained, as usual.  

If Zvezdana’s recommendation has piqued your interest, check out our (free!) Simon Brett event! Hear the author speak about his new book, The Clutter Corpse and Other Murders, and ask him any burning questions you may have! Tickets can be booked at the link here.

Clutter Corpse is available to download from our cloudLibrary here.  All you need is an RBKC library card and if you are not a member, don’t worry,  just click here – it’s completely free to join and use our resources. 

National Hygiene Week

The Hygiene Bank is launching National Hygiene Week to help raise awareness that hygiene poverty is real for many of the 14 million living in poverty in the UK.

National Hygiene Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about hygiene poverty by bringing together thought leaders, community partners, grassroots organisers, schools, charities, and volunteers to contribute to the public conversation and increase demand for action so that collectively we are a voice for change.

What is hygiene poverty?

Hygiene poverty is a real thing and affects many of us here in the United Kingdom. This  link provides  very useful information about Hygiene poverty, what it is, and the statistics associated with it.  The Hygiene Bank have put together some good resources here, along with a series of conversations that explore the issue of Hygiene poverty.

You can watch this short video about Hygiene poverty produced by the Hygiene Bank, and this short Animation tells the story of Elisha, and how Hygiene Poverty impacted her life.





World Alzheimer’s Month

World Alzheimer’s Month is observed in September every year and was launched in September 2012. The decision to introduce the full month, to contain the existing World Alzheimer’s Day, was made to enable national and local Alzheimer associations worldwide to extend the reach of their awareness programmes over a longer period of time.  Below, we have put together some great resources to help increase awareness.

Continue reading “World Alzheimer’s Month”

The Wornington Word: A People’s History, Part 2

Last month, we introduced you to Natasha: founder of the oral history project “The Wornington Word”. Check out the first part in our three part series here to read about how Natasha was inspired by Wornington Green and the people living around her.

Continue reading “The Wornington Word: A People’s History, Part 2”

Recommended Reads

This week, our Book of the Week is the Phantom of the Opera. Because Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical has taken over the public imagination of The Phantom, all of the Recommended Reads this week are books which have been transformed for the stage. Lights, sound…action!

Continue reading “Recommended Reads”