Rain doesn't dampen Bethnal Green's first cockney seaside beano

Neighbours from Columbia Road back from their coach outing to Margate

Neighbours from Columbia Road back from their coach outing to Margate - Credit: Belinda Harman

Even drizzling rain couldn’t spoil the cockney beano day at the seaside arranged by Belinda Harman for her neighbours in Bethnal Green. 

Her aim on the day trip to Margate was to reconnect families around Columbia Road after 18 months of isolation during the pandemic.

Now she wants to run beanos every summer — just like East Enders enjoyed in past decades. 

Belinda... on the beach at Margate, hoping to make it an annual beano

Belinda... on the beach at Margate, hoping to make it an annual beano - Credit: Belinda Harman

However, Belinda was just a little disappointed with the weather and Margate's Dreamland amusement palace shutting early.   

“Unfortunately Dreamland closed at 3pm because of a Billy Ocean concert,” the 59-year-old filmmaker said. “But there was lots to do, swings and bouncy castles on the seafront, despite the rain. 


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“Some of us had lunch in Charlie’s seaside cafe. My neighbour John Cotter in a wheelchair was happy to get out of London. One mum said she and her children had never actually seen the sea before.”  

Too blowy on the beach... so Belinda's neighbours make do instead in Margate's Turner art museum with its seaside view

Too blowy on the beach... so Belinda's neighbours make do instead in Margate's Turner art museum with its seaside view - Credit: Belinda Harman

That made the “positive community-building exercise” worthwhile, she said, with the coach hire paid for by Tower Hamlets Homes.

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Belinda plans to make it an annual beano for Columbia Road if she can source funding. 

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