Aftermath of London 'tornado' flash flood looks like 'bomb has gone off'

Residents in east London said they felt "terrified" after strong, tornado-like winds ripped through their streets on Friday night. Locals in Barking are counting the cost after the freak weather caused 'significant damage' in Shirley Gardens, Hulse Avenue and Wilmington Gardens, with roof tiles being ripped down and blown through windows, walls crushed by winds and debris destroying car windscreens. One man's entire garden wall was destroyed, while another described how his children were out p

London borough where 30,000 are at risk of losing right to live and work in UK

Tens of thousands of Newham residents are at risk of losing the right to live and work in the city they call home because they don't know that they need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. There are 30,000 vulnerable and isolated EU citizens in the East London borough of Newham alone that are in danger of missing the June 30 deadline to apply for the scheme, a risk exacerbated by the fact that many don't realise they don't have automatic Settled Status in the UK after Brexit. EU citizens an

Mum's anguish as mystery disorder leaves daughter unable to move without seizure

Throughout her life, Natalie Miller-Lazcano has overcome her moderate learning difficulties to pursue a passion for theatre and performing arts. But a devastating and rare condition sometimes causes seizures so strong she can't walk for days and leaves her unable to speak or remember her birthday. The 24-year-old from Tooting, South London earned herself a place at inclusive theatre school Chickenshed, progressing really well with her course and loving every second. Before starting at Chicken

'I wore an M&S Ghost dress and it's the summer dress of my dreams'

I've had my eye on the M&S Ghost collection for months, looking longingly at Instagram snaps of flowing, floral, sold-out dresses that would be just the dream for those hot summer days when you have no idea what to wear. Imagine my delight when an email pinged into my inbox announcing the launch of a new range from M&S X Ghost - and an offer for me to try a dress before they were made available on general sale. I jumped at the opportunity, naturally, and chose a gorgeous green and white ditsy

Lifechanging campaign for 'happy' boy with cerebral palsy who can't walk or talk

When Jushna Akhtar was pregnant with Ezra, she didn't realise anything was different about her baby boy. But when he was born unexpectedly at 26 weeks, weighing just 2lbs, Jushna's life changed dramatically and unpredictably. For nearly three months Ezra had to stay at the Royal London Hospital, hooked up to a ventilator and receiving intensive care, before he was discharged and finally came to his Tower Hamlets home in December 2018. He had, however, been diagnosed with chronic lung disease,

Appeal to save hoops in 'best basketball court' after council binned them

Basketball players in East London have launched a campaign to bring back the hoops on the area's 'best basketball court' after the council abruptly removed them due to 'noise complaints'. The basketball court in Wapping Gardens, Tower Hamlets is known as being the best in the borough, thanks to its pivotal impact reducing floors and accessibility for children and adults alike. When local basketballer Fernando Saravia, 31, went to play one evening in May, he was shocked to find that the four ba

Pupils get £7k more spent on their education depending on their London borough

London's school pupils could be missing out on nearly £7,000 a year in education funding depending on which borough they live in, new data has shown. The capital's pupils see some of the country's highest amounts of funding for their school resources if they live in certain boroughs, while other boroughs see the country's lowest funding levels. Parents of school-age children often battle with a so-called 'postcode lottery' when it comes to getting their kids into better schools, but research i

Inside the UK's biggest mosque in Morden with its own sports hall and TV station

One of the largest mosques in Western Europe, and the biggest in Britain, is right on our doorstep - but many aren't aware of exactly what goes on there. The Baitul Futuh mosque in Morden, South London is tucked away at the end of the Northern Line, on a site that used to be a dairy bottling plant. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community bought the site in the late 1990s, and the Baitul Futuh mosque was inaugurated in 2003. It is now a thriving community hub for all South Londoners, with space to host

Hilarious Red Riding Hood musical coming to Croydon perfect for half term fun

A brand new musical is coming to South London, and it's set to be hilarious fun for all the family. Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Funky Pigs is a pantomime-esque musical mash-up, combining the stories of Little Red Riding Hood and Three Little Pigs with an original musical twist. Written by acclaimed playwright Simon Downing and West End Musical Director Kevin Oliver Jones, the hour-long show at the Cryer Arts Theatre in Carshalton follows Little Red Riding Hood as she goes on an advent

Brixton community garden has given locals 'a new beginning'

At a time when contact with neighbours and spending time outdoors has become more valuable than ever, residents of the Paulet Estate in Brixton have a new community space where they can meet their neighbours and practice a new healthy hobby. For the last five years, Michael Coates, 65, has almost single-handedly been maintaining a small space at the heart of the estate as a fruit and vegetable patch. Now, as part of the new Grow Your Own urban food gardens initiative, Linda McCartney Foods has

Campaigners lose battle to stop bell foundry that made Big Ben becoming hotel

Despite the best attempts of campaigners, the government has approved plans for American developers to turn the bell foundry that made some of the most famous bells in history into a boutique hotel. The Whitechapel Bell Foundry in East London, founded in 1570, was the oldest manufacturing company in Britain at the time of its closure in 2017. It has made many historic bells, including those in St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, as well as the bell for the London 2012 Olympics

'It's a labour of love': A day in the life at Brick Lane's Beigel Bake

From morning to night, Beigel Bake's dedicated team of bakers prepares traditional bagels, or beigels, ready to be served fresh to hungry customers. Pre-Covid, the bakery in Brick Lane, East London was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Night shift workers would mingle with noisy clubbers at three in the morning as they queued for a salt beef beigel, City workers would stop in on their lunch break for a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich, and tourists would flock to enjoy breakfast in th

'I tried M&S summer collection and I fell in love with 3 items'

It certainly seems that Marks and Spencer has absolutely won my heart again with its spring/summer collection. Since I was so impressed with their denim collection, I expected great things from the spring and summer range and jumped at the chance to try on a whole new wardrobe's-worth of pieces. The fashion brand has been appealing to younger audiences by blending classic, wardrobe staples with on-trend items, emphasising high quality materials and sustainable practices across the collection.

Friends remember 'irreplaceable' Canning Town stab victim Junior Jah

Stunned friends have paid tribute to the "beautiful character" and "amazing soul" that was Junior Jah after the 18-year-old was stabbed to death in Canning Town. Many gathered on Coolfin Road, near Junior's home, yesterday afternoon (Tuesday, April 27) to celebrate his life and lay flowers, pictures and candles in his memory the day after he was killed. Candles were arranged to spell out 'JR' alongside a heart made of pink and purple candles, carefully laid out by Junior's close friend Aaliyah

Devastated family and friends of teen stabbed to death leave moving tributes

Close friends of the teenager killed in Canning Town yesterday (April 26) have visited the scene to lay tributes and pay their respects. Around 20 people gathered at the junction of Freemasons Road and Coolfin Road in Canning Town on Tuesday afternoon (April 27) to celebrate the life of Junior Jah, 18, who was fatally stabbed yesterday outside his home on Coolfin Road. Friends, some so close they say they are 'like family', laid bouquets of flowers, photographs and cards in memory of Junior, w

Anger at noisy parties as luxury flats let out as holiday homes

Empty luxury apartments in the Olympic Park's East Village are being let out through holiday rental websites and the flats are being used as 'party pads' with loud gatherings lasting until 5am. Residents of the East Village's new luxury development, Victory Plaza, have reported feeling less secure in their homes and a sense of betrayal that flats are being let as holiday homes without their prior knowledge or consent. Tenants in the development, which is managed by rental management company Ge

Londoner stuck in Heathrow hotel with 'stained mattress' and 'inedible food'

Brazilian Londoner Islaine Ribeiro returned from visiting her family in Brazil fully aware of the requirement to quarantine at a hotel, shelling out a huge amount of money to stay just 19 miles from her home. What she wasn't prepared for, however, was the "bad experience" she would have in a room that smells of cigarettes, has unidentifiable stains on the bedding, and has "terrible" food. Islaine, 45, lives in Barbican in Central London, but was required to quarantine for 10 days at a governme

Gogglebox's Sandi 'broke down' when she heard Sarah Harding had terminal cancer

The Big Brother house is known for its arguments, feuds and spats, but it's also a place where incredible friendships can be made. Gogglebox's Sandi Bogle and Girls Aloud's Sarah Harding might seem like unlikely friends, but they formed a close bond on Celebrity Big Brother in 2017. In August 2020, Sarah announced that she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer that had advanced to other parts of her body. In March 2021, she said that the disease was terminal and that she "won't see another Chris

Londoner with OCD disorder who pulls out hair shaves head for charity

Since she was 10 years old, North Londoner Shariz Ava has suffered from a rare disorder that causes her to pull her own hair from her head. Trichotillomania, also known as hair pulling disorder, is an obsessive compulsive-related mental health disorder which causes people to have an intense urge to pull out their hair. It can be triggered by stress or anxiety, and sometimes people do it without even realising. Shariz has struggled through bald patches, bullying, stress and anxiety, but two we

Tributes paid to 'talented, inspiring' footballer, 15, who 'died in his sleep'

Friends of a 15-year-old East London boy who has tragically died in as-yet unknown circumstances have launched a fundraiser to support his family during an unimaginably difficult time. Richmond Kumi was a "talented, inspiring" young football player, charismatic and funny and loved by friends on and off the pitch. One of Richmond's close friends, 16-year-old Lionel from Custom House, East London, will never forget the moment his friend was discovered unresponsive in his bed. Lionel said that h
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