Editor's Welcome

December 2017

Written by the editor Saturday, 02 December 2017

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It's easy to add a festive twist to just about anything. From a monster under the bed becoming a thoughtful gift-giver to a carrot finding love during the holiday season, advertising creatives (on behalf of John Lewis and Aldi in this instance) are masters of Yuletide spin. Here at the Wanstead Village Directory, we strive to add a similar dose of Christmas spirit to our publication at this time of year. But compiling an editorial plan for our annual Lillies of Wanstead-fronted December issue does not require a multi-million pound budget, nor does it require a heartstring-tugging soundtrack... or any carrots for that matter. There's never any shortage of local seasonal events to highlight or festive artwork to display.

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November 2017

Written by the editor Monday, 30 October 2017

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Tuesday 10 October came and went. This wasn't just any autumnal day; this was set to be M&S day, a day that would see passing shoppers and Marks & Spencer aficionados invited inside a highly anticipated new Wanstead food store, with promises of free glasses of fizz and treats galore. As it turned out, it was just any old autumnal day, with 157 High Street remaining sealed from public view – and not a champagne cork in sight. Needless to say, the grand opening had been postponed, and notification of this was provided after our presses had rolled. So, my apologies to those readers who – having accepted the invitation in our last issue – made what they believed would be their inaugural trip to the new shop.

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October 2017

Written by the editor Sunday, 01 October 2017

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Newspaper obituaries are a somewhat strange section of the media. Strange not because of their content, but because of their concept. A concept that took the publication of what were once brief announcements of deaths – dating back to early Rome and the daily papyrus newsletter Acta Diurna – and developed them into the mini-biographies we read today. And it is the post-mortem publication of a deceased's lifetime achievements that creates the uniqueness of the modern obituary. There are few, if any, other areas of the media in which so many ready-to-publish features are prepared in advance, without knowing when they will be used.

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September 2017

Written by the editor Saturday, 02 September 2017

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As my camera and I rose somewhat jerkily through and above the canopy of Tarzy Wood in July, expertly guided (both verbally and physically) by an Epping Forest arborist aboard a Teupen LEO30, I was eager to capture an aerial view of this publication's domain. Several dozen exposures and some careful image stitching later and I had the panoramic view I wanted to perfectly complement last month's feature on the often overlooked and important local asset that is Tarzy Wood. There was, however, something missing from the image, and it wasn't just the hoped-for blue sky that had been clouded out in typical British summertime fashion.

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August 2017

Written by the editor Saturday, 29 July 2017

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The paradigm for the perfect pop group, according to music journalist Paul Lester, is still The Beatles: "You need the streetwise intellectual one (John), the softer, more reflective one (Paul), the quiet, experimental one (George) and the goofy, down-to-earth one (Ringo)." If there's a formula for the ideal band, is there one for the ideal high street? The perfect mix of shops is what's needed: the serious ones (banks and estate agents), the functional ones (butchers and bakers), the creative ones (florists and jewellers) and the relaxing ones (coffee shops and pubs). But how many of each?

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July 2017

Written by the editor Saturday, 01 July 2017

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In an era of fake news, media bias and political change, our interpretation of the world around ushas never been more important. Fact checking is vital, but understanding the reasons behind the alternative truths is paramount. Being aware of a publication's inherent bias is an integral part of reading the news, but taking the time to draw your own conclusions is crucial. Listening to the words and watching the actions of our political leaders is one thing, understanding their agenda is more revealing... Sometimes, we need to look at things differently.

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June 2017

Written by the editor Friday, 02 June 2017

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"Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker [ethos]; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind [pathos]; the third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself [logos]." Aristotle's words are as meaningful today as they were when he recorded them in The Art of Rhetoric over 2,000 years ago. They are words that will ring true with any politician and their speech writers. And this month, the nation's parliamentary hopefuls face the ultimate test in the art or persuasion, followed by a post-election analysis – for many – of what went wrong.

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May 2017

Written by the editor Sunday, 30 April 2017

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Is history a science or an art form? It's a well known and – within certain circles – a frequently debated question. Science deals with objective facts and artdevelops out ofsubjective interpretation, and historians straddle the two, so the answer is presumably a combination of science and art. Sometimes a history lesson will be a factual insight into the cause of an event, at other times it will be an exploration of its meaning, and one without the other would leave our knowledge of the past somewhat lacking.

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