Abbey Gardens viewed from the Webcam

The long view

Thanks to Robert Rogers for this image
Thanks to Robert Rogers for this image

Robert sent me this image of the site taken from the top of a local tower block. You get to see the context of the streets and factories around the site, and also a touch of green: could be the grass coming up or could be weeds!

Fizzy Drink Links ... or what is Sarsaparilla?

I've been doing a lot more research into the 1906 Plaistow Land-Grabbers & their Triangle Camp (more of which later). One of the things I was interested to read was that once they had been evicted from the 1st site they set up another camp called Pooley's Triangle Yard. As well as flying the red flag removed from their triangle camp 'hotel' they put up bills on the gates stating that 'on payment of a penny for a refreshment ticket the holder was entitled to a glass of sarsaparilla & to enjoy the concerts & speeches provided'. Assuming the Pooley's in the camp name is the same company advertised in the Pamphlet about the Land-Grabbers (found in Newham archive) I assume they were also the manufacturers of the sarsaparilla. What I can't work out is what exactly this drink is/was and why they linked themselves to the protesters.

Meanwhile back in 2008 my own elderflower 'champagne', made from blooms off the site, is starting to bubble. Not, it seems, as much as the 'Olympian' variety which Hilary tells me has already caused a few explosions. She sent me a link today to the event where you can taste their fine wines and other spirits!

The First Harvest?

Elderflowers collected from the edge of the garden
Elderflowers collected from the edge of the garden

photo: Nina Pope

I went out on my bike on Friday and harvested the elderflowers from next to the site. I'm trying out two recipes: one for cordial (which you can drink straight away) & one for 'champagne', which takes a couple of weeks to mature.

I've frozen some cordial and unless I fall fowl of bottle explosions (apparently a common problem with the champagne) we should have some of each to try when we meet together with the friends of Abbey Gardens group ... I think some of them are attempting some too.

Coincidentally Andreas sent me a link to another project in the area which also involves collecting local 'produce' from around the Olympic perimeter blue fence to make 'Olympic' spirits and foodstuffs ... it's by Optimistic Productions who have more about it on their interesting website.

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