Latest London news, sport & entertainment

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

Five-day forecast

Prince Charles and Camilla praise community work in Bethnal Green

Margaret Cox takes the Royal couple on a tour of Hollybush Estate. Picture: Isabel Infantes Margaret Cox takes the Royal couple on a tour of Hollybush Estate. Picture: Isabel Infantes

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
2:49 PM

Prince Charles and Camilla got a message from the people of the East End about how urban neighbourhoods can be reclaimed and antisocial behaviour tackled.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The royal couple was greeted by residents. Picture: Isabel InfantesThe royal couple was greeted by residents. Picture: Isabel Infantes

The Royal couple visited Bethnal Green’s Hollywell Estate today to meet families who grow their own food and have rekindled the East End’s famous community spirit.

They were shown round the estate’s ‘Rocky Park’ allotments which used to be a ‘drugs hang-out’ and its ‘Strawberry Fields’ orchard by Teesdale & Hollybush tenants association’s chair Margaret Cox, a ‘Big Lunch Champion’, then met volunteers packing Christmas hampers for pensioners.

“I explained how we reclaimed our neighbourhood where drugs once took place,” Margaret said.

“We were plagued by antisocial behaviour, but have now turned this estate into a caring, sharing, hospitable community.

The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Rocky Park Community Centre. Picture: Isabel InfantesThe Duchess of Cornwall visited the Rocky Park Community Centre. Picture: Isabel Infantes

“Rocky Park was a disused play area vandalised beyond repair, but we got funding and turned it into a community garden.

“Prince Charles could see the vision and said it was a good example a community working together.”

The estate now has a nature reserve and 79 growing spaces, thanks to Margaret’s work.

She has also built up a network of community volunteers like Garry Kennett, manager and odd-job man who runs the estate’s Kedleston Walk community centre.

The couple also greeted the Speaker Cllr Rajib Ahmed at the Rocky Park Community Centre. Picture: Isabel InfantesThe couple also greeted the Speaker Cllr Rajib Ahmed at the Rocky Park Community Centre. Picture: Isabel Infantes

Garry said: “I told Prince Charles about the vandalism we used to get—and how we got rid of it.

“He said it would be great if this could be pushed onto other areas of London. Camilla thought maybe be our enthusiasm can be passed on elsewhere, which was great to hear.”

The Royal couple met volunteers busy packing Christmas hampers for pensioners with fresh vegetables from the allotments, jam from fruit from the orchard and other festive goodies which has rekindled the spirit of neighbours looking after one another.

Share this article

submit to reddit submit to Fark

Latest London news

0 comments

LDN24 Promotions

Always wanted to create your own beer? Perfect Pint are giving you the chance.

WIN beer with Beer BingoTM

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

Read full story »

The Week subscription offer

The Week magazine special offer

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

Read full story »

Bird Box, the debut novel penned by Josh Malerman, frontman of Detroit based rock band The High Strung

DON’T OPEN YOUR EYES

London24 has teamed up with HarperCollins to offer a free Amazon Kindle taster of Bird Box, the debut novel penned by Josh Malerman, frontman of Detroit based rock band The High Strung.

Read full story »

Around the Web