Curiosi-TEA at the Petrie Museum


The Pharoah’s shopping list

Last Thursday (12th April), a couple of Millman Street Community Centre members paid a visit to the Petrie Museum in Bloomsbury.  Accompanied by Sarah, who took the photos, David and Shaku enjoyed rummaging around among the Egyptian and Sudanese exhibits.  And drinking tea afterwards, of course.

The museum was founded by the explorer and renowned Egyptologist Flinders Petrie (Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, in full; 1853-1942).  It contains over 80,000 objects – one of the world’s largest collections of stuff (Egyptian and Sudanese “stuff”, that is).


Flinders poses for 1891 Egyptian Vogue…

Our members took a tour around the  museum’s new exhibition, which focuses on examples of Egyptian papyrus.  There was a talk on what the collection of letters, wills and, erm, shopping lists tells us about life in ancient Egypt.  There were also some clothes from the era – which, even after several millennia, are still in better nick than this reporter’s current clobber…

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Pharoah Amenhotep III’s shopping list included this inscrutable hieroglyphic litany: “2 Pintas, strawberry yoghurt (low fat, please), sphinx polish and a statue of a bloke with a bird’s head (you know, like in a Max Ernst artwork). Oh, and some pyramid tea bags.  Ta, milkie!”

Amazing.  Who knows what it all meant to the ancients…?


The Petrie Museum is at Malet Place, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6BT.  Curiosi-TEA is a regular event.  Entry is free, but by invitation only.  For details, please contact Helen Pike:

Tel: 0207 679 4138



Millman Street’s Pharoah Lapis Lazuli IV…

Holborn Community Association would like to thank The Petrie Museum for entertaining and informing our members and staff.  We hope there will be more visits in the near future.



Run like an Egyptian…

Petrie photos by Sarah; ancient ramblings: Notes Smudger

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#Robot Piece#Arts and Crafts at Millman Street Centre


Robot (centre) with Lene and David

On Monday (9th April), Millman Street Community Centre members once again enjoyed one of Lene’s Arts and Crafts workshops.

This week, David made a papier mache robot.  “We made it out of newspapers,” he said.  “Sarah took photos,” he added, adding a concise, informative level of accuracy to this report which your HCA hack might do well to learn from, but of course hasn’t.

In previous weeks, other HCA members have been making papier mache castle/towers; a work-in-progress building towards a bigger project.  This reporter took a couple of snaps, and, thanks to his typically blurry efforts, hasn’t given too much away.

But isn’t David’s robot good?  Quite convincing, isn’t it?  Those who fear the rise of machines usually tremble at the thought of an onslaught from steel, Terminiator-like heartless cyborgs.  But surely even the biggest scaredy-cat couldn’t be a-feared of papier mache robots like this beauty:


Robot on the rise…


Papier mache town…


Castles to come…

Lene’s Arts and Crafts workshops take place at Millman Street Centre each Monday, between 10am and 12 noon.  Holborn Community Association would like to thank her for providing our members with such a rewarding creative outlet.

Good Photos: Sarah; blurred ones and rambling report: Notes Smudger

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#Pottering About: About Pottery at 1A Arts#New Arts Manager


David and friend…

On Thursday, 29th March, some of our Millman Street Community Centre members traveled to 1A Arts for another of Colleen’s Pottery workshops.  They made faces – literally, as that was the theme of the latest workshop.  Self-portraiture in clay/Was the order of the day…*

[*no poetry intended; – none taken – HCA Overlords]

Ahem.  Our members, including David and Shonni, were accompanied by Sarah, who, as David told this reporter, “Joined in, and did one of her own.”

She did indeed, although the resultant result – a miffed-looking Sarah – is quite at odds with her personality.  As ever, she took some marvellous photos.  Just as well, or the following slideshow would look silly if she hadn’t:

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Usually, at this point in the blog, your HCA hack resorts to tales of, erm, dubious provenance and questionable accuracy in order to pad out his reports.

However, as this blogpost took shape, he was able to fill the endless tundra with genuine, relevant-to 1A Arts-news.  For 1A’s new Arts Manager, Hazel, turned up at Millman Street Centre.  So you have her to thank for being spared all manner of pottery- and clay-related punnery [for instance, Richard Clay-derman was being warmed up].

Hazel only started work on Monday, so obviously can’t shed much light on Colleen’s Pottery workshops as yet.  She came over to Millman Street Centre to get a feel for the place and its Arts-related activities.

Hazel hails from East Yorkshire, and completed her Drama Degree in Hull.  Prior to joining HCA, she worked mainly in Participatory Theatre, delivering workshops for kids with special needs.  In deference to her newcomer status, we’ll spare her the Legz Akimbo jokes.  For now…


Hazel: the new Arts Manager at 1A Arts

Hazel plans to do “a lot of different arts” with the young, through to senior citizens, and indeed, the wider community.  One project she previously did with the kids was making papier mache puppets during a series of workshops, then performing a story with them as a finale.

It’s early doors, but there may be scope for a similar series of workshops for HCA members at the Centre.  As far as this reporter is aware, there has not as yet been a Puppetry workshop here.  Watch this space.

Millman Street Centre members will again be, erm, pottering about at 1A Arts, under the watchful gaze of Colleen, next Thursday (19th April).


Holborn Community Association wishes Hazel all the very best in her new role, and we hope to see much more of her at Millman Street Centre in the coming months.


An uncharacteristically grumpy Sarah…

Photos: Sarah; report (and Hazel pic): Notes Smudger

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#Table Tennis at Millman Street Community Centre


Margaret and Helena take on the youth…

Millman Street Community Centre now has a table tennis table for the benefit of our members.  The table and apparatus has come to HCA thanks to Highbury Table Tennis Club.  Volunteer Gloria is on the committee of the London Aged Christian Society, to whom we have applied for a grant to help cover the costs.

The table has been much in use already, with our members and staff exercising while having fun.  This morning, they were joined by Tibebe and Craig, students from Westminster Academy who braved the beautiful Spring weather [i.e: pouring rain] to attend Millman Street on work experience.

Their History tutor, Corinna, also popped in to see how things were proceeding before she returned to the Academy to teach more Medieval History classes.  Fortunately, she didn’t take this reporter back with her to display alongside other ancient artefacts, and has no current plans to teach the history of table tennis.

With the table tennis table now installed, is there to be a Ping Pong World Cup staged at Millman Street Centre, to rival the football one in Russia this summer?  It seems unlikely at the moment.  However, in time, there may be some kind of table tennis contest staged at the Centre [As soon as your HCA hack can find a suitable ringer, set up shop as a Flash Harry-type spiv/bookie, nobble the referee, etc]…

Ahem.  Sadly, Sarah was busy this morning, and so the photos were taken by this reporter, who hopes to pass them off as “action shots” rather than the blurry snaps they actually are:

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Contact Highbury Table Tennis Club:

Contact London Aged Christian Society:

Holborn Community Association would like to thank both organisations.

Blurred images and words: Notes Smudger

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#Singing For Life at Millman Street Centre


Oh, What a beautiful morning: Stac presides over Singing For Life

Yesterday (27th March) saw the latest Singing For Life workshop at Millman Street Community Centre, hosted by our pal Stac from the Sugar Sisters.  During the session our members sang a selection of popular tunes, including Oh, What A Beautiful Morning, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?, It’s A Long Way To Tipperary, We’ll Meet Again, You Are My Sunshine, Tonight You Belong To Me, I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You, Hit The Road, Jack, Every Time We Say Goodbye and, erm, in honour of the late Mark E Smith, How I Wrote Elastic Man [*].

[* Not strictly accurate or true]

Ahem.  Stac accompanied our members on her ukelele while Sarah took photos.  Volunteers Pat and Miriam also joined in.  By all accounts, our members were in good voice.  Which bodes well for a concert planned for the culmination of the workshops, designed to showcase their talents.

This reporter hopes to record our members’ efforts, release them on limited edition 78 rpm shellac vinyl on Millman Street Records [c/o his Filthy Capitalist Management], and diddle them out of the royalties which are rightfully theirs…

Ahem.  Time for a slideshow:

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Stac’s Singing For Life workshops take place each Tuesday between 10:30am and 11:30am.  They are open to HCA members, so if you fancy a warble, a sing-a-long or just a good old chuckle, why not sign up for a session?


Hit the road, Stac. Until next week…

Holborn Community Association would like to thank Stac for providing her Singing For Life workshops at Millman Street Centre.

Contact Stac:

Contact the Sugar Sisters:


Mulegetta studies the small print in his recording contract

Pitch-perfect photos; Sarah: off-beat report: Notes Smudger


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#Mindfulness at Millman Street Centre


Mindfulness at Millman Street Centre

There is a new workshop at Millman Street Community Centre of a Thursday.  It takes place between 11am and 12 noon, and it is called Mindfulness.  Hosted by Michael from Kingsway Community College, the workshops are drama sessions, often featuring movement and exercises.

So if you’re dramatic, or indeed overly so (but not melodramatic of course, no, no; that’d never do), blow the dust off your fantasy Oscar acceptance speech and get your acting bones down to Millman Street to give rein to thy thespianic aspirations.  Sirrah…

Ahem.  We can’t guarantee you a three-series sitcom deal on BBC2, nor even a seldom-watched (if gritty) drama serial on one of the more obscure Freeview channels, like Holborn TV’s frightful Smudger Of Millman Street [audience high: 34].  But you might just pick up an acting tip or two, along with plenty of exercise, and a few good chortles chucked in…


Movement. Captured in a still…

Scene-stealing cinematography: Sarah; misspelled mindlessness: Notes Smudger

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#Ping Pong at Millman Street Centre


Ping…or is it Pong…?

Recently, Millman Street Community Centre members had a go on a ping pong table, which had brought to the Centre for a one-off by a couple of blokes.

Details are scant, but this reporter is told by Steve that HCA is buying a table tennis table for our members.  It is hoped that the ping pongers might perhaps to teach table tennis as a regular workshop.

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Pinging photos: Sarah; ponging verbiage: Notes Smudger

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