Q&A: John Walker, E7 Now & Then blogger

PUBLISHED: 07:45 27 September 2017

John Walker

Done well, bloggers make online conversations challenging and interesting and JOHN WALKER is no exception. Here he explains his love for Forest Gate but craving for a clean-up of the streets

What is your connection with the borough?

I have lived in Newham for 35 years, the last 30 in Forest Gate. I have run a largely local history website (E7-NowAndThen) for the last four and a half years.

What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?

We are fortunate to live in Forest Gate. So, it’s a 10 minute walk to Wanstead Flats every day for some great dog walking - and a bit of exercise. Plus, we are only 15 minutes by train from central London. What could be better? Oh, CrossRail coming, of course. Yippee!

What one thing would you change?

The borough is filthy - street rubbish, fly tipping, anti-social behaviour from litter louts. It is one the dirtiest places I have encountered in Europe. Newham’s recycling record is among the worst in Britain. So - a major shake up on the environment front by the council. Others can do it - why not Newham?

Use three words to describe the area Cosmopolitan, lively, dirty.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

Geoff Thomas, former Crystal Palace and England footballer. I’m a Palace fan, so that helps. But,

since contracting, and defeating leukaemia in 2002, Geoff has

dedicated himself to raising money to fight the disease - £150m at the last count. He has just cycled the Tours of France, Italy and Spain, non-stop. If that isn’t inspiring, what is?

What new law would you introduce, if you were Prime Minister?

A second referendum on the EU, once the leaving terms are known. The first one was: do you want what we have now, or something else (you decide what)? A second one, where people could make an informed choice - based on reality rather than fantasy - is important for the longer term prosperity and stability of the country.

If you were the editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?

Newham Council is a one party state where decisions are made behind closed doors, with no public discussion and almost no public accountability. The council has its own, council tax-funded, mouthpiece. The Recorder should dig deeper, investigate more and give a voice to the many - well-informed - alternative voices, about council affairs.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham News Stories

Yesterday, 21:26

Concerns are growing for the welfare of a missing 16-year-old girl who was caught on CCTV in Stratford.

Yesterday, 18:59

The mayor of Newham has signed a pledge to switch the borough’s street lamps to use energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

Newham Council
Yesterday, 15:45

A man who was injured while volunteering at the London Olympics has lost all his £27,758 damages payout because of his dishonest claim for gardening expenses.

Yesterday, 15:17

A burning shop in Forest Gate was evacuated after a fire started by a faulty electrical connection.

Forest Gate

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Read more

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now