#Ronnie Scott’s Rejects Christmas Party at Millman Street Centre 2017



Last Friday (15th December), Millman Street Centre members enjoyed a Christmas Party, with music by jazz band Ronnie Scott’s Rejects.  Former Older Peoples’ Manager Sue turned up to see old friends, current Manager Andrew was observed “cutting a rug” as the young people say (or at least they did, circa 1926), and our members enjoyed a good old knees-up (health of said patellas permitting).  There was food, glorious food; drink, Christmas crackers, tinsel a-plenty and a fully festive atmosphere.

Ronnie Scott’s Rejects are fronted by Hazel Holder, who has some West End and Broadway shows under her belt.  During the gig, various photographs were taken, some by Andrew, Ken and Hanif.  Ken’s are often of an, erm, ethereal quality (and in no way blurred):

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The band played a selection of festive tunes, causing an outbreak of dancing, singing along and general enjoyment.  There was even a guest appearance by Alternative Santa, who – according to Hanif – is known as Walter when it’s not alternative festive season.  Andrew’s photos captured some of the atmosphere:

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Contact Ronnie Scott’s Rejects via: info@ronniescottsrejects.com

Alternatively, try: nialloates@btinternet.com

Holborn Community Association would like to thank Ronnie Scott’s Rejects for entertaining our members at Millman Street Community Centre.  We hope they will perform for us again, and we wish them a very Merry Christmas and, of course, a fantastic 2018.


As is often the case when visiting musicians perform at Millman Street Centre, photos capture the unintended, the odd, and the downright bizarre.  See for yourselves in this Rogue’s Gallery:


Rogue’s Gallery: Andrew…


Rogue’s Gallery: furtive Steve…


Rogue’s Gallery: Alternative Santa…

Photos: Andrew, Ken and Hanif; report: Notes Smudger


Posted in Activities, arts, Atmospheric, Christmas, Culture, Holborn, London, Music, Party, Performance, Uncategorized, Well-being | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#The Biggest Mystery of All at Millman Street Centre#Mysteries of Holborn

2017 has been an above average year for rum do’s-and-no-mistakes at Millman Street Community Centre.  And as 2018 approaches, it has been decided that it’s high time that The Biggest Mystery Of All was revealed, explored and, erm, quickly forgotten…


Random photo (donated by Sarah)


So what’s the big mystery supposed to be this time, then?  Well, the word from the Holborn Dodecahedron is that The Biggest Mystery Of All is…

that there isn’t any mystery.  Yes, now it can’t be told: we here at Mysteries of Holborn have shirked tirelessly all year to bring you unwanted articles about uninteresting phenomena, almost all of which are, obviously, totally fabricated.  This reporter has shamelessly fleshed out several otherwise threadbare articles with random, otherwise unused photos, surplus odd phrases and general (recently promoted from lance corporal) nonsense.  To what end? Ah.  Well, now, that really is a mystery…

We at Mysteries of Holborn wish readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  It is not inconceivable that 2018 will inspire even more nonsense – some of it on these pages…

Nonsense by Notes Smudger

Posted in Activities, arts, Christmas, Culture, Holborn, London, Nonsense, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

#Foot Massage at Millman Street Community Centre


Thumbs (and feets) up…

Last Thursday (7th December), Millman Street Community Centre members were treated to a foot massage by a visiting masseuse.  And that’s all this reporter could find out….


Ada having her corns read


Photos: Sarah; report: Notes Smudger

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#Festive Flower Arranging at Millman Street Centre


Pat appreciates festive fun at Millman Street Centre…

Yesterday (Tuesday, 12th December), Millman Street Community Centre members were once again set to work by our pal Peter, the Master Florist, making festive floral arrangements as a festive finale to his Flower Arranging workshops.

Members Ivy and Rose were involved; the only florally-named Millman Street regulars to attend, as Lily wasn’t in.  Pity.  This reporter has long lobbied HCA to recruit new members with flowery names (like Holly, Daisy, Heather, Iris and, erm, Creeping Phlox).  But Ada, George, Helena, Janice and Queenie were there, joined by Jan, Pat and Sarah, who took the photos.

“It was beautiful!” enthused Pat.  Sadly, an embargo on speech marks in the run up to Christmas was all that this reporter was able to quote, but she went on to say something along the lines of how members decorated a big yogurt pot with festive plants, with a candle in the middle and Christmas baubles, then sprayed it with spray snow.

Possibly to balance out the speech marks embargo, the previous day (Monday, 11th December), Joanne from Kingsway College had been at the centre engaged in a similarly floral activity.  The photos from this have been mixed in with Peter’s Flower Arranging pix- note Rose’s costume change and absence of specs in the Tuesday pictures:

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Holborn Community Association would like to thank Peter for his Flower Arranging workshops during 2017.  We wish him a Merry Christmas and hope that he will return to Millman Street Centre in the New Year.

Festive photos: Sarah; ho-ho-ho-hum writing by HCA’s creeping phlox, Notes Smudger

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#Volunteers’ Lunch at Bedford House


Christina thanks HCA’s volunteers

Yesterday (12th December), Bedford House was the venue for a Festive Luncheon thrown for HCA’s volunteers.  The event was organised by Saira, and there was a speech by our CEO, Christina, thanking our volunteers for all their hard work during 2017.

Millman Street Centre’s Befriending Organiser, Kate, attended, along with volunteers Sam, Gloria, Kamal, Theresa and Bridie.

Thankfully, your HCA hack wasn’t allowed to attend, thereby ensuring that a good time was enjoyed by all.


Kate and Theresa


“Cheers for all yourhelp, etc…”


Sam and Kate

Photos by Kate; Report: Notes Smudger

Posted in Activities, Christmas, Holborn, London, Party, Uncategorized, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

#Mrs H returns to Millman Street Centre#Christmas 2017

Mrs H-5

Mrs H and Ali return to Millman Street Centre

Today, Mrs H and the Singalong Band returned to Millman Street Community Centre for the first of three Christmas shows.  The band’s various members seldom seem to perform together at once, so Mrs H was joined by Ali on the double bass.  The line up will differ next Wednesday (13th December) and for the final festive gig at the Centre (20th).

Before an audience of HCA members, staff, local nippers and their mums, the band performed stirring versions of established favourites,  such as The Train Song, Throw a Ball, Dance Away With Me, Hello Hello and Fishes in the Sea.  They also played a couple of new tunes – Starlight Dance and You Can Do That – as well as Little Nut Tree, an old English folk song, but new to their set.

Since their last visit, the band have toured England, playing at the National Theatre River StageCamp Bestival in Dorset, Lattitude in Suffolk and Beautiful Days in Devon.  Mrs H and Ali also revealed that there is a possibility of them touring China in 2018.

But what did Mrs H think of performing at Millman Street Centre again?

“I enjoyed it,” she enthused, keen to emphasise the “brand new props” used in the show, which she made with Ted Barnes, the banjo player.

Her book , See My Friends, illustrated by Jo Lamb, has “recouped its costs” already, she said, and acclaimed actor Toby Jones has done the voiceover for the audiobook version.

Our members welcomed Mrs H and Ali back to Millman Street Centre with gusto, singing along with the music and applauding generously.  “They were pleased to hear the old songs again,” Mrs H observed.  “We have to inject new things [into the set],” Ali added, “Otherwise we’re standing still.”

Margaret enjoyed the concert, adding that, “The two kids from the nursery were lovely!”

Ivy agreed:  “The kids are excellent!  Two little darlings.”

“We always enjoy it,” agreed Queenie.  Anne also enjoyed herself and sang along, as did Rose.  There were also thumbs up from Noreen and Helena.

Ivy summed it up when said: “I think they’re excellent…First class, as usual!”

Sarah took some great action photos:

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Holborn Community Association would like to thank Mrs H and the Singalong Band for entertaining our members today.  They will be back at Millman Street Centre on Wednesdays 13th and 20th December.

See My Friend is available now online. Mrs H Sings http://sing-along.bandcamp.com/album/mrs-h-sings

Contact details:


Mrs H and the Singalong Bandhttps://www.facebook.com/mrshandthesingalongband/

Illustrator Jo Lambhttp://www.jolamb-art.com/

Actor Toby Jonesargtalent.com/tobyjones/


Mrs H-1

What’s Cantonese for “Little Nut Tree”…?

Photos: Sarah; report: Notes Smudger

Posted in Activities, arts, Atmospheric, Christmas, community, Culture, Holborn, London, Music, Party, Performance, Spiritual, Uncategorized, Well-being | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#Creative Writing: Winter Haikus at Millman Street Centre


David stars at Millman Street Centre…

“Now is the winter of our discontent/Made glorious summer by this bloke/From Stoke/On Trent…” (With apologies to W. Shakespeare, Esq.)


The above is nonsense of course; a pathetic effort at ‘poetry’, and poorly plagiarised verse at that.  Still, only to be expected from the likes of your HCA hack.  But what of Millman Street Community Centre’s budding Baudelaires, Byrons and Benjamins (Zephaniah)..?

Well, today, our friend Chantal – the proper journalist from The Independent – once again engaged our members with another of her Creative Writing sessions.  Today’s theme was Winter, and the poems were intended to be composed in the five- and seven-syllable haiku style.  While this wasn’t strictly adhered to by everyone, all of our members nevertheless produced heartfelt, unpretentious works to express their feelings about what some meteorological experts term the “chilliest season” of the year.

Assisted by Sarah, Chantal brought some festive star-shaped card in with her, on which our members wrote their compositions.  Sarah also chronicled the workshop in a series of photos, and –

Yes, yes.  Do get on with it, man.  What of our members?  What were their poems like?

Well, Ivy’s two poems were untitled, but the first ran thus:

“Jesus was born now/Jesus Christ was born today/Singing songs of praise.”

And her second:

“The winter has come/Very cold and there is cold/Winter wonderland.”

Helena’s work was also untitled:

“Christmas comes but once a year/And it brings good cheer/And friendship/And also happiness to all people around us.”

David, erm, appropriated his title, but the work was his alone:

When A Child Is Born

“In the crib during Christmas Day/When they had a sheep and goat next to the crib/And the three wise men came to see the new born baby/On a snowy day/Everybody was excited and happy/The new born baby in Bethlehem.”

David not only wrote a poem, but also completed a sort of pictorial version of the nativity (See slideshow below)…

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Holborn Community Association would once again like to thank Chantal for providing our members with another of her creative workshops.  We hope that she will return to the Centre in 2018.

Chantal’s work can be seen in The Independent (online), and she can be contacted via: chantal.dasilva@independent.co.uk


And what of the bloke from Stoke-On-Trent?  Well, that city’s famous sons include Port Vale fan (and, erm, apparently renowned singer) Robbie Williams; the actor Neil Morrissey, footie legend Stanley Matthews and Lemmy from Motörhead, who were all born there.


Poetry in motion: Lemmy. Only kidding…

Wintry scenes: Sarah; witless words: Notes Smudger

Posted in Activities, arts, Christmas, community, creative writing, Culture, Holborn, London, Poetry, Spiritual, Uncategorized, Well-being | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment