Happy New Year, Happy New Decade

2020 - Happy New Year

Our Community IT Drop-in, 2020

Every Monday afternoon is an IT drop-in afternoon – 2 to 5 pm as usual

  • The drop-in is a weekly grassroots event offering digital beginners and learners help and support with phones, tablets, laptops — and understanding the Internet so that we can use it safely and sensibly.
  • And of course, it’s a social event – so people who have no interest at all in digital technology are very welcome.
  • We have been quite busy for the last few weeks, but we always have space for a few more people.

Run entirely by older people

  • The drop-in is a free community asset run by local older people, for everyone.
  • We have no age limits. Current age range is 4 to 91 (though most are 60+).
    We do not recognise borough boundaries.
  • No targets. No questionnaires. No remote-control management. Nobody is a client. Everybody is an asset. Everybody can be a contributor.
  • All you have to do is come – and then hit the buzzer next to the front door.

You can use the large Meeting Room, best for …

  • Fast wifi connections.
  • Use our community laptops.
  • Or bring your own device (laptop, tablet, phone.
  • Do anything you want to do, online or offline.

You can use the smaller IT Room with desktop computers, best for …

  • Job search, applications, CVs, etc
  • Claiming benefits
  • Online forms of all kinds
  • Learning word-processing and other applications
  • Online courses
  • Anything else you need to do


  • Every Monday afternoon, 2 to 5 pm


  • Whitmore Community Centre, 2-4 Phillipp St, N1 5NU

More information

Google Photos workshop, part 2 – Monday 28 Oct

How to manage your photo collection – in practice

The first of a new series of Agewell Mobile workshops

I have installed the Photos app on my device. What should I do next?

The workshop last week (Google Photos workshop part 1) was very successful — so successful that we didn’t have time to finish, and we didn’t even start on some of the most important points. We under-estimated the interest in this topic and the number of questions that would be asked. We will continue next week — and we have space for a few more people who are not complete beginners.

Where and when?

  • Whitmore Community Centre, 2-4 Phillipp St, N1 5NU
  • Monday 28 October, 2 to 5 pm (the door will be open at 1:30 pm).

How to get on the workshop or ask a question

  • We have now filled all available workshop spaces!

Workshop links

  1. About Google Photos
  2. Google Photos support
  3. 30 tricks to master Google Photos
  4. Beginner’s guide to Google Photos
  5. Wikipedia – Google Photos

Oldie-Friendly Hackney map

A few days ago, two people I have known for years told me, with evident enthusiasm, how they had been in a café near Victoria Park — and noticed a sticker in the window identifying the café as friendly to oldies like them.

I was able to tell them that there are many more OFH stickers in Hackney, and pointed them at the OFH map –

The Oldie-Friendly Hackney project finished in August, but the website will stay up for at least one more year.

All the OFH content and photos were produced by the OFH team at City & Hackney Carers Centre.

The OFH website and map were designed and implemented by friendly oldies here at Hello Hackney.

Ultra Low Emissions Zone

The Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), was introduced in a limited Central London area in April this year. For instance Shoreditch on the A10. It charges £160 for each day if you breech the zone with a car. For Petrol cars it is those that does not meet Euro 4 emissions.

ULEZ Zone details

But it does not know your emissions, it is just guessing by the date of the car. It uses the registration number to issue the fine by spotting it on the road using a camera.

If you ask the website if your car, truck, van or motorcycle qualifies for a fine, it does the same guess.

For Petrol cars with a current MOT, your car HAS PASSED the Euro 4 emissions test!

But you have to register in advance with TFL the MOT emissions results, or they will issue a fine. This currently NOT possible!

This area will expand to all the area inside the M25, next September 2020, so every Petrol car will get caught with a fine driving anywhere in London, anytime of day.

Motor Cycles are not tested on their MOT, but you can request a emissions test at one of four test stations nominated by TFL, but currently they are FULL!

The cost of not registering is £80 a day, so it is well worth doing!

TFL will not take a complaint, so I have had to raise this with the Mayor of London!

Google Photos workshop, Monday 21 Oct

Is this the solution to your photo storage problem?

The first of a new series of Agewell Mobile workshops

How can I manage thousands of photos, and how do I get them off my phone?

Google Photos is Google’s considerable foothold in this particular world of digital confusion. It’s an app that works on all devices. It offers free and unlimited cloud storage for all your photos and videos. It automates the upload from your device to the cloud storage area. It helps you organise your photo collection, and it helps you share it with your friends – or keep it as a private library.

It’s surprisingly easy, so at the workshop we will all install the app, upload some photos (which we will provide), and admire our results and how Google has organised them.

Does Google really love us as much as that? Is there a catch?

There are certainly some issues that can’t be ignored. We can talk about those at the workshop.

What about other ways to store and organise our photos and videos?

We have plenty of choices – but few, if any, are as convenient as Google Photos. We can examine them at the workshop. For example …

  • Cloud storage that is not free.
  • Transferring your photos to an external hard drive.

Where and when?

  • Whitmore Community Centre, 2-4 Phillipp St, N1 5NU
  • Monday 21 October, 2 to 5 pm (the door will be open at 1:30 pm).

How to get on the workshop or ask a question

  • You can just turn up on Monday afternoon (just before 2 pm).
  • Better – because we have only 15 places – tell us you are coming. Phone / text 07761 887927 – or email

Police Raid Indian Call Centre to stop Older People being Scammed

The BBC have published a report about the police finally taking action over computer fraud.

Click here to read the report

Its main suggestions to people who receive a phone call about their computer being in danger is:-

“often they persuade their victims to give them remote access to their computers. Once they have achieved that, they move on to getting into their target’s online bank account.”

Never give anyone over the phone access to your computer – or your banking details!

“Don’t call phone numbers on pop-up messages which indicate there is a problem with your computer.”

These are undoubtedly fake, use a proper Anti-virus program if in doubt, many are available for free, which we can help you put on your computer or mobile phone.

“Always check out callers, especially cold callers who claim to be Microsoft, your telephony provider or internet service provider.”

It is not wrong to be suspicious, put the phone down and find a real number for the company that says they rang you. Wait 30 minutes and then phone them to confirm. This prevents people holding on to your phone line, and answering any call you make.

“The City of London Police said anyone who thought they had been targeted by a computer software service scam should contact Action Fraud.”

Their phone number is  0300 123 2040 Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm. 

If you are calling from abroad please call +44 300 123 2040

Help others by passing on this message.

Lydia’s Yam Soup – reheated

This episode is part of a series of pilots for an updated Talking Food Radio.

Original Talking Food 2012 description – “Hackney food guru Lydia Bachelor leads a discussion about healthy eating, nutrition, shopping, markets, cooking, recipes – and any other food experience and knowledge that we would like to share”.

It was not a radio production. It was a live event, streaming what would have happened anyway – and considerably longer than this edited version.

Budget: zero.

Production values: everything must be done by older people (even if the result is below BBC standard), use only the most basic equipment (available to everyone), the background hubbub is just as important as the voices close to the microphone (the social context is vital).

Message: “If you are listening to this – STOP. Turn off your computer NOW. Please accept this invitation to join us in the real world – we have food for your body, mind and soul – and none of it is digital. Real World First!”

Identifiable voices: Ayo, Benediccta, Beverley, Bola, Chitra, Gabriella, Josh, Lydia, Myrtle, Paula, Pauline, Peter, Rick.

Recorded 10 May 2012 at ‘The Lawns’, Matthias Rd, Hackney. Remixed June 2019.

The Lawns was a lively (but acoustically-challenged) computer and social centre for older Hackney residents.

The League of Meals was a fun project that did not survive contact with reality.