Friends of Arnold Circus

‘Turn Over….’ on Arnold Circus 

Our theme is Exploration in its many aspects. Traveller and journalist Dan Cruickshank and his fellow globetrotter, Michael Palin, will read and chat in two sessions in the bandstand (at 3.10, and again at 4pm), about what exploring has meant to them.

Come and join us. bring your imagination and explore for yourself. 

There are things going on throughout the afternoon.

Find out how to orienteer, guided by experts from Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (worth an explore in itself) and 30 compasses. Have a taste of navigating inner space with the London Buddhist Centre and meditation cushions. Bring a book and swap it for another. Draw your favourite fantasy place. Collect one instalment of Shyama Perera’s mini serial, spread out over all four sites of  ‘Turn Over…’ Complete a quiz or a travel hunt that just might tell you what lies underneath Arnold Circus.

And at 2.45, there’s the launch of a special DVD – ‘Memories and Futures’: the story of Arnold Circus (brass bands, gangs and dreams come true) told by local residents.  Get your copy at the Book Swap Table.  

 And who are we…?


The Friends of Arnold Circus began in 2004 as a spontaneous reaction by local people distressed by the state of the old bandstand and gardens in Arnold Circus. Once they had been the jewel in the crown of the Boundary Estate, London’s very first social housing estate, but over time they had become vandalised, overgrown, dangerous and avoided.  

The Friends came together aiming to bring the bandstand and gardens back to life. We are a registered charity with around 500 members. We garden – together with schoolchildren from Virginia Primary School, run occasional concerts that give the old bandstand its old role back, have an annual Carrom Contest and a Picnic/Fete.

 We welcome newcomers and run open meetings. Look at our blog for details –


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