Winter festival offers Christmas shopping and East End history talks

A Winter Festival at Toynbee Hall in Whitechapel offers people the chance to their hands decorated with henna whilst listening to a talk about the history of the East End.

The free fair on Friday December 10 runs from 1pm to 9pm at the historic East London landmark in Commercial Street and offers 15 stalls selling cakes, books, art, music, jewellery, cards, spices, children’s toys and zines.

There are workshops in origami, art, circus skills, drama and henna hand decorating and a chance to have a go at playing carrom, a board game which is thought to have originated in India.

Shoppers will be entertained with live music and there is also a programme of history talks. Ian Porter will talk about women’s employment and prostitution in Whitechapel 1888 at 3.30pm, David Rosenberg talks about Agitators, Reformers, Rebels at 4:45pm and it is hoped that there will also be talks on Doctors and Politics in the East End and Minnie Lansbury and the Poplar Councillors revolt in 1921.