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What's On

All our sessions are run using Zoom, so download the app on your phone, tablet or computer and join in!

prime time online

Are you over 60 and want to chat with other people your age? Then join our weekly Prime Time session every Monday, 10am - 11am

Email and we will send you an invite to the next session

26 July
Enjoy playing Countdown and see how many words and sums you can get against the clock!

2 August
Join us for Tea and Chat, when we will be discussing the post-lockdown ‘new normal’

9 August
Jackie Lees, co-author of ‘Bob Dylan in London: Troubadour Tales’, talks about the legendary singer and his associations with the British capital

16 August
Halima Khanom, from the Local History Library and Archives, presents a selection of material about the history of protest in the East End

23 August
Join us to play True or False and see if you can choose the correct answers

31 August (On Tuesday, due to Bank Holiday Monday)
Swedenborg Gardens in Shadwell are named after Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), who is acknowledged as a pioneering figure in the history of Western thought. Writer Gary Lachman talks about his life and work. 

Reading Friends

Reading Friends brings people together to read, share stories, meet new friends, and have fun. We use reading – whether books, magazines, newspapers, or anything else – to start everyone chatting. 

See the Reading Friends page for more information on how to join.


online conversation club

Is English your second language and you want to practise speaking it with others? Then join our weekly Conversation Club. We have two sessions:

Wednesdays, 11am - 12noon.
Email and we will send you an invite to the next session

Fridays, 11am - 12noon..
Email and we will send you an invite to the next session


book break online

Would you like to share stories and poetry to lift the mood? Possibly take a turn of reading out loud? Join our weekly Book Break group every Tuesday from 3 - 4pm.

Please email who will send you an invite to the next session.


book group online Talk about what you’re reading and make friends with other readers. We have two online books groups and you’re welcome to join either – or both


book icon

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
Wednesday 18 August, 6:15pm

A former Women’s Prize for Fiction winner, Shamsie’s reworking of Sophocles’ ‘Antigone’ is a commanding novel of passionate love, fanatical loyalty and conflicted identity. Interweaving public affairs with those of the heart, ‘Home Fire’ is a devastating critique of family and identity, and how the two often inform each other in dark and unknowable ways. 

It is available as an eBook and audiobook


book icon

A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier
Thursday 12 August, 6:30pm 

Set in the years leading up to World War II, 'A Single Thread' is the story of Violet Speedwell, who, after the Great War took both her beloved brother and her fiancé, has become a “surplus woman”—one of a generation of women destined to remain unmarried after the war killed so many young men. Violet impetuously moves from her family house to the town of Winchester, home to one of England’s grandest cathedrals. But when forces threaten her new independence and another war appears on the horizon, Violet must fight to put down roots in a place where women aren’t expected to grow. Told in Chevalier’s glorious prose, 'A Single Thread' is a timeless story of friendship, love, and a woman crafting her own life.

You are welcome to join both groups. Staff involved will be able to guide you as to how to login


community navigators

Idea Store Community Navigator health advice sessions have moved online to give one to one support. Community Navigators can help with:

•    Advice on keeping safe and healthy
•    Information about how the Council can help you
•    Information about other services and groups that can give support, including foodbanks, voluntary groups, financial advice services

They are also able to give extra support to vulnerable or isolated residents, for example making phone calls or emailing on their behalf.

If you would like to contact a Community Navigator email:


local history library and archives

Bangladesh 50 Years
Identity and belonging in the East End before and after the Libreration War of 1971

2021 marks 50 years since the independence of Bangladesh. To mark the significance of this, Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives (THLHLA) and the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) are leading Bangladesh 50 Years, one of four projects that forms a part of the National Portrait Gallery’s offsite programme; Citizen UK, during its temporary closure to transform the gallery. 

Citizen UK is an exciting research and creative engagement project involving the borough archive services, local communities and contemporary artists. It is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project will conclude with a Bangladesh 50 Festival taking place February - March 2021, marking Bangladesh Independence Day (26 March) and the related anniversary UN International Mother Language Day (21 February),  kicked off by the launch of a creative commission which will sit in the public realm in Tower Hamlets as well as a exhibition curated by Citizen Researchers, informed by historical materials from Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives and the National Portrait Gallery. See more information

Online exhibition

From Town Hall to Local History Library & Archives: new online exhibition is now available.
A short history of our service and premises, 1861-2015 is based on research undertaken for last year's 50th anniversary celebrations of the borough.

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