Editor's Welcome

March 2017

Written by the editor Monday, 27 February 2017

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How does your garden grow? A seemingly simple question with a surprisingly vast array of possible answers. From the simplest of responses ("very well, thanks"), to elaborate explanations of photosynthesis and an analysis of soil structure and irrigation methods best suited to publications other than this. For our purposes, I'd like to rephrase this 18th-century query posed to a certain disagreeable Mary and ask instead: what do our gardens show?

Gardening itself isn't to everyone's pleasure, but it takes a particularly finicky passer-by not to glean any enjoyment from a well-manicured herbaceous border or a row of smiling daffodils. So, whether you planted the seed or enjoyed the fruit, our community gardens present to us a journey and a destination all at once. Silver bells and cockle shells aside, there is as much beauty in the work that has taken place as there is in the results on show.

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February 2017

Written by the editor Monday, 30 January 2017

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"It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we've been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we, in fact, all share the same proud title, the most important office in a democracy: Citizen... That's what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there's an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime... If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing."

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January 2017

Written by the editor Sunday, 01 January 2017

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It always intrigues me as to what issues have the ability to bring a community together. There are, of course, the well-versed campaigns that unite residents in a common goal, to protest against local parking regulations or inappropriate developments, for example. These types of issues tend to initially be fast-paced, with either a quick victory over the proposals or a subsequently long and drawn-out fight. Then there are the campaigns that run on a slow burn – campaigns that have a long-term objective but grab fewer headlines because of their ongoing nature and their often many strands of activities (neighbourhood watch schemes come to mind).

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December 2016

Written by the editor Saturday, 03 December 2016

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Adapting to change is an important concept in just about every area of life. The office worker learning to use new computer software as their company expands; the salmon migrating earlier every year as the water temperatures rise; or the American citizen preparing to embrace a change of leadership as the world holds its breath. There is comfort in continuity and trepidation in change, so for many the default preference carries the fewest risks. But when change is thrust upon us those most adaptable will prosper – something Charles Darwin knew only too well and something perhaps certain groups of protesters and politicians are yet to learn.

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November 2016

Written by the editor Tuesday, 01 November 2016

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Welcome indeed. Not that the sentiment has been lacking in sincerity in previous months, but simply my way of emphasising the greeting to each and every reader, of which there are now many more of you. The exact number of readers of a printed publication can, of course, only be estimated as any given copy could be read by any number of people. The National Readership Survey estimates The Sun to have an average of 2.7 readers per copy, rising to 8.2 readers for each issue of Golf Monthly. Where on that scale you place the Wanstead Village Directory is something I will leave you to ponder. What is certain, however, is the number of copies this decade-old community magazine publishes and, as of this issue, that figure now stands at 6,000 every month (up 46%).

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October 2016

Written by the editor Saturday, 01 October 2016

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Having previously used this space to celebrate the successes of Team GB in Rio, I feel I must now shout even louder in order to acknowledge the "magnificent performance of Paralympics GB" (not my words, the words of the Queen, no less). The disabled athletes (a misnomer in this context) were able to win 80 more medals than their able-bodied counterparts and, to continue the Queen's words, the success "reflects the talent and commitment of the athletes." Her Majesty's remarks echo the themes of dedication and motivation about which I also waxed lyrical last month. Themes which ultimately inspired a comparison with the behind-the-scenes work of those who organise and stage our local community events.

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September 2016

Written by the editor Saturday, 03 September 2016

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£1.09 per person per year. That was the widely reported cost of each of the 67 medals won by Team GB in Rio last month. While the ethical and economic debates about funding in sport will no doubt continue, something more clear-cut is the acknowledgement that financial input is just one of many ingredients in the recipe for success. We watched the live show and enjoyed the end results – what most of us didn't see was the hard work and dedication that came before the final performances.

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August 2016

Written by the editor Sunday, 31 July 2016

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It's hard to imagine how historians of the future will reflect on what we currently call the present day. Occasionally, there are high-profile events that give us pause for thought about how they will be viewed in years to come. Whether that be a referendum that changes a country's political landscape or an act of terror that causes far-reaching pain and suffering, it is easy to identify the more obvious topics that will feature in future textbooks. But it is also clear that there will be significant interest in the more subtle events that fill our collective contemporary calendars. We need only look at the modern-day demand for researching family and local history to see that the once seemingly mundane can become objects of fascination and intrigue with the passage of time

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