Friday, 20 May 2011

Redbridge Carnival Queen Selection 2011

The Redbridge Carnival Association are looking for women between the ages of 15 - 25 that are community stalwarts, active, dress well, energetic and want to be Ambassadors for Redbridge.

The search for this years Carnival Queen has now started and applications are being sought from would be local royalty.  The role itself will involve speaking at Redbridge Carnival and other local events, appearing for photo shoots and showing the type of behaviour that a role with such responsibility warrants.

Prizes this year include a trophy and a £500 fashion photo shoot for the eventual Redbridge Queen and £250 photo shoots each for the two princesses at Jack Carter Photography.

We are pleased to announce that this years competition is to be held at the Toni and Guy Salon in Ilford Town Centre(213 High Road, Ilford) on the 30th July 2011.

Manager Kitty Patti and her girls will be putting girls through their paces and illustrating them how to saunter elegantly before the judges and how to behave publicly.  The event is going to have Toni and Guy branding so expect a high profile well rehearsed competition.  This is a real ramping up oif our traditional competition that was previously held at Redbridge College.

If you feel you are up to the challenge please call 020 8514 0861 and obtain an application form.  Alternatively email Rajeshri Chouhan on

The role will require some public speaking and is not for the faint-hearted.

Redbridge Carnival 2011

This years Redbridge Carnival is set to be a real humdinger!  Our Executive Committee has grown significantly and we have secured funding that will go towards some great additions for you this year.

The event will be held on two days Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September from 12:00 - 19:00 at Valentines Park.

In addition to the main stage with multicultural performances including Sofia Hayat again this year and Bollywood legend Honey Kalaria, Rascals, Jam Dance Academy, Panultimate Steel Pan band and many more, we will also be providing:

  • A football tournament for all ages organised by Air Football
  • A Kabbadi (Asian Wrestling) Tournament 
  • A Gataka (Sikh Sword Fighting) Performance on field 
  • A snake demonstration
  • Drama
  • Community stalls,
  • International food stalls
  • Go Kart Racing course
  • Free Multisports taster
  • Harry Parrish's Funfair
This years procession will start at Ilford Town Centre at 12:00 on Saturday 10th September 2011.  The route for the procession will be the same as last year.  Walkers start in the town centre and will travel along the High  Road to the Former Seven Kings Swimming Baths Car Park, From here a 10 minute break will ensue and a mixed float and foot procession will leave travel back along the High Road, onto Winston Way and then travel back in the Town Centre, along Clements Road following the bus route right at the top onto Cranbrook Road.  Eventually they will turn right at Coventry Road and terminate at Valentines Park.

We expect our biggest following for the procession and already have more participants than ever before!

Don't miss out and book this in your diaries now!

Knife Crime Meeting a resounding success!

Over 40 people attended a packed "Redbridge Against Knife Crime" event last night at the training hall belonging to A.A. Security on Green Lane.

Wilson Chowdhry (East Ilford Business Partnership), Parvin Mahmood, Vincent John (Newham Community & Police Forum) and Simon James (Redbridge Asbo Team)

The gathering started small but grew to the capacity for our hall.

Parvin Mahmood's emotional presentation brought many to tears she has been a great advocate for peace in Redbridge.
The meeting ended up with at least 40 members of the local community.

People From Seven Kings, Mayfield Ward and Clementswood Ward came to vent their frustrations at the societal breakdown that has become evident in our local area, best illustrated by the recent attack on 5 innocent victims on Green Lane and associated roads.

The meeting was opened by Wilson the Chairman of the East Ilford Business Partnership, who described the incidents surrounding victims such as Charlotte Polious, Kashif Mahmood, Jack Large, Aleeza Murza, Sukhwider Singh and the recent knife frenzy on Green Lane. Many residents already knew about these high profile local crime incidents, but reflected on the number of knife attacks that do not become widespread knowledge as a consequence of the lack of a fatality.  They expressed concern that knife attacks only achieve publicity through the loss of a life.  There was a strong clamour for stiffer penalties for perpetrators of violent crime and the need for more policing powers.

The next speaker was Simon James from the Redbridge ASBO Team, he described the service provided by the team and provided free information booklets.  Visitors were much enthused by the services provided by this council department and indicated a prior lack of knowledge.  They all wrote down the telephone number for the out of hours ASBO Service.

Vincent John from Newham Community and Police Forum called for a strengthening of the family unit and for action to be taken against parents who allowed their children to fail the system.  He talked of the need for communities to work on better community cohesion and good community citizenship, asking members if they were associated to any local groups that would enhance either their local or cultural identity.  Many local people expressed a lack of attendance that was a consequence of a lack of knowledge of what services were available.  Wilson Chowdhry pointed the audience to the information that was available free via the Redbridge I website, that listed local council services and community groups.  Moreover he reminded people that at the beginning of the tax year with our Council tax bills we are provided with a Council written booklet termed the Directory of services.  Simon James reiterated the need to use the website as a resource for local facilities and re-signposted the facility.  Vincent spoke of the need to work with local police team by forming Neighbourhood watches, Joining Ward panels or attending the Redbridge Police and Community Engagement Panel.  Wilson agreed to provide specific details on all the above

Parvin Mahmood spoke of the hurt and pain caused to her family when her son Kashif Mahmood was fatally stabbed in September 2005.  Parvin described how her family struggled to see justice done in the face of insults and provocation and how the pain of losing her eldest son had never gone away.  Parvin had given her son £75.00 to but some items he had desired for some time and her lasting memory is of the joy he felt, and how that joy resonated through her.  Kashif was not able to spend that gift.  A visitor questioned Parvin on whether the family of the murderer showed any concern or remorse towards the family.  The audience were shocked and disturbed to hear how the mother and sister of the accused laughed at Parvin and her family at the court, she felt that this was due to them being in denial of the true nature of the crime and the murderers intent and malice.  Parvin was asked if she spoke in local schools and colleges and she informed visitors of here commitment to do that that had reduced in recent years due to the tender age of her youngest son (4).  Wilson spoke of the Parvin's commitment to speak at school trips to the Redbridge Peace Monument to be installed at the Winston Way Roundabout (location of Kashif's demise), on September 24th 2011.  Finally, Wilson also described the full day Peace week event to be held in Ilford Town Centre on the same day promoting community cohesion.  The event will be in conjunction with statutory services and anti-knife crime groups and Wilson encouraged people to inform young people to attend this event and Redbridge Carnival on the 11th and 12th September.

Discussion that arose in the meeting focused on a need to work with all young people in the borough to bring about the change in society which we wish to see.

Residents wanted it to be known that is was only a small percentage of young people that were tarnishing the reputation of young people in the borough.  A call to avoid labelling young people in general as potential thugs.

People wanted to know more about Redbridge Youth Services and the Youth offenders team and asked if a follow up meeting could be arranged with them in attendance.

A knife crime deposit box exists in Seven Kings and it was suggested more of these be installed through the borough.  Some statistics and data on the productivity of such projects and Operation Blunt by the Met Police were called for.

In closing Wilson suggested that attendees should for a new group opposed to knife crime and that we should hold monthly meetings.  Wilson suggested that the group invite local secondary school head teachers to attend and that they encourage pupils to attend so that we could create a direct conduit between the main victims and the Police. Visitors unanimously supported the idea and agreed to help with the distribution of flyers, make contact with local schools and to locate halls in the local area for meetings that will move from ward to ward in an attempt to be inclusive.  Local SNT's will be invited to attend these meetings to work with the community in restoring perceptions of safety and quality of life.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 23rd June from 19:00 - 21:00 a venue is still to be decided - the meeting will be in Seven Kings!  If you have a hall or could obtain use of a free hall please advise...

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Redbridge Against Knife Crime inaugural meeting

Gang violence is increasing in Redbridge numerous incidents of knife related crime have significantly reduced local perception of safety.

We have organised a free community meeting to discuss a way forward.  In attendance will be:

Superintendent John Sweeney (London Murder Squad - responsible for murder investigation for Kashif Mahmood)
Parvin Mahmood – Mother of Kashif  -  a high profile Redbrudge victim of knife crime
Anne Oakes-Odger – Knife
Simon James – Redbridge ASBO Officer

Address:           57 Green Lane, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1XG
Date:                Thursday 19th May 2011
Time:               19:00 – 2100
The fact that Redbridge now has recognised gangs operating within the borough is a disappointing local demise. One gang in particular called the Afghan Gang are robbing young people around Ilford Library. People feel increasingly less confident when they walk in our streets that once seemed so safe. 

Two young girls were recently robbed at knife point in Seven Kings park by six other girls and were forced to do press ups in an activity meant to cause embarrassment. 

On Friday 15th April from 11pm young people attending a party on Breamore road, Seven Kings, left the event on a stabbing spree. The ensuing violence led five people being stabbed on Green Lane, Lynford Gardens, Nutfield Gardens, and Sunnyside Road - two of the victims had punctured lungs. The whole situation has created much community fear and a similar incident on the High Road illustrates that knife crime is a growing social malaise, that needs significant attention. 

As a community we need to be more vigilant regarding knife crime and it is essential that we start to work with our local Police teams to provide them with the ability to effectively challenge criminals and reduce crime.  We hope to give you some tools to challenge for better local safety at our forthcoming meeting.  However, we need you to come out and support our venture.

Kind regards

Wilson Chowdhry
East Ilford Business Partnership

For more details email or call 0208514 0861

Monday, 9 May 2011

Premier Christian Radio interviews Wilson and others on affect of Bin Ladin's death to Christians in Pakistan

Royal wedding celebration a real humdinger!

Although not covered by the local media we had a great Royal wedding celebration in Ilford on Friday 29th April 201l.  This was part funded by my company A.A. Security and part funded by the Prince of Wales Pub who also provided free use of their car park

David Christof of the Prince of wales Pub said;

"It was a great event attended by a wide variety of local people and that is what our pub is all about - bringing the community together."

I was particularly pleased that this celebration gave many people an opportunity to enjoy being British and to enjoy a public holiday together as a community.

The Asian music triggered some audacious dancing.

 Free food was served for one and all.
 The numbers just grew and grew..
 A table was laid out for visitors many of whom enjoyed board games.
 People of all types started dancing in the streets.
 the smell of barbecue was a great draw.
 Families came out together.
 The children were really up for dancing - probably due to the lollipop prize for the best dancer...
 Food and drinks and good company was the call of the day.
 All day people helped themselves to fun and food.
 80's music was a real treat!
 We were blessed with a visit from one of the Redbridge Carnival Princesses.
 She entertained all the guests and was a real ambassador for the borough.
 The Carnival princes got the children dancing.
 The crowds grew..
 I had a quick twirl with the princess.
Don't forget carnival returns to Valentines Park on the 10th and 11th September 2011!
 The Carnival court left and attended every Redbridge Street party.
 Meanwhile more visitors arrived.
It just kept getting busier - I cannot explain why the recorder did not mention one of only 2 Ilford celebrations - we sent pictures and a press release?

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Staycation - celebrating the heritage of Britain

In these difficult times of recession when money is limited and we all need a break, a larger number of UK residents are opting for staycations otherwise known as homidays. These are new fangled terms for going on holiday in the UK mainland. Personally, I believe this opens a door to the wonderful heritage we have in this country and although being of Pakistani origin I have always thought of myself as 100% British.

My family are abroad whilst my wife displayed our latest addition to our family 8 month year old Leah, to her mother's parents in Pakistan. As a consequence whilst we had a surprising amount of good weather I decided to travel to Hastings for their world renowned May Day Beltane celebrations. For those of you unaware of the origins of this festival I will describe it in short...

Beltane is an old Celtic celebration on 1 May, a spring-time festival of optimism. A fertility ritual takes place, connecting with the waxing power of the sun.

Although there are a few people that truly believe the old Celtic religious themes surrounding the pagan festival, the vast majority of people attending the event are just out to have some fun.

The event was well attended and involved a street procession that ended in a drum, morris dancing and belly dancing event within the confines of Hastings Castle.  Entrance to the Castle event cost £3.00 for adults and £1.00 for children and was real value for money.  At the end of the stage performances there was a ceremonial slaying of the green man a wicker Christmas tree shaped costume with a crown.  The slaying of the   "Green Man" led to a distribution of the laurel leaves within the costume, that were said to bring good luck to the bearer and hence they were distributed to all who wanted some.  A worthwhile trip and I would encourage others to attend next year and learn about an old British custom...

I am putting on weight!

A rare smile from Wilson but it was a wonderful day out!

Flamboyant costumes were adorned by those in the procession

A samba band joined drummed heartily.

Young and old created a vibrant event.

Green was a predominant colour.

Giants do exist!

A real party atmosphere!

This cheeky man painted my nose green and those of many visitors.

friendly people everywhere...

Help I'm being am(bushed)!

The detail in the hat was extraordinary

Belly dancers served a treat!

They really got the crowd going.

Traditional Celtic dancing was delightful to watch.

Morris dancers my favourite!

Masses of people awaited the slaying of the "Green Man"

Morris Dancers circled the Green Man..

The crowd stood to watch the slaying.

Thousands turned up to watch a great spectacle.

The Green man was slain.

A great day out ended by an invite offered to some Morris dancers to come to Redbridge Carnival.  I felt it necessary to invite partakers of one of Britain's oldest traditions to our community event to prevent the loss of a great and rather fun heritage,