Editor's Welcome

June 2016

Written by the editor Friday, 03 June 2016

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Editing a community magazine such as this can often leave me feeling like a family friend or a slightly distant relative to the many and varied projects and campaigns that are instigated locally. As much as I'd like to, I can't participate in person in all that is happening in and around Wanstead and I therefore rely on the expertise of the many contributors to this publication for their insights – they provide the pieces of the puzzle, a puzzle I have the pleasure of assembling each month. As such, I feel a connection to all the community events we highlight (who doesn't feel satisfied after completing a jigsaw?), even if I have no connection other than that established through these pages

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May 2016

Written by the editor Saturday, 30 April 2016

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Local history is like sun-dried tomatoes. And I mean that in an etymological sense rather than as an (un)poetic simile, that is to say that the best explanation of either of those two terms exists in the very words used in their respective names. What is local history? It's a study of historical events that happened in a given locality. What are sun-dried tomatoes? They are tomatoes that have been, well, you get the idea. But tomatoes suffering from solar dehydration are not important right now, local history is; May is Local History Month. The tomatoes will have their 15 minutes (or 31 days) of fame in October, which is Sun-dried Tomatoes Month. For now, let's focus on history. History which happened in Aldersbrook and Snaresbrook to be precise (see pages 16-17 and 20)

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April 2016

Written by the editor Saturday, 02 April 2016

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When she was born on 21 April 1926, at 2.40am to be precise, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was not expected to become Queen. Granted, she had a better chance of ascending the throne than anyone else born that day given that, at the time of her birth, she stood third in line of succession after Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) and her father, the Duke of York. But it was equally unexpected that her father would become King, which he did 10 years later following his brother's abdication. This month, that new-born royal will become the first reigning British monarch to reach the age of 90. The nation may have to wait until May and June for the official celebrations, but it is this month that marks Queen Elizabeth II's chronological accomplishment, the culmination of an unlikely series of events; greatness out of the unexpected, even.

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March 2016

Written by the editor Monday, 29 February 2016

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It's March 2006. Wanstead Police Station is open; the High Street is home to a branch of Woolworths and not a Tesco Express; and Harry Cohen is less than a year into his third term as the local MP and a full three years away from becoming embroiled in the parliamentary expenses scandal of 2009. A lot can change in 10 years.

It's March 2006. Wanstead's Evergreen Field sits empty and fenced off from the High Street; residents and visitors alike await the annual display of bluebells in Wanstead Park; and the first issue of the Wanstead Village Directory is published. A lot can remain the same, despite the passing of a decade.

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February 2016

Written by the editor Saturday, 30 January 2016

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Networking is a word that has distinct business and commercial connotations. It conjures images of everything from suited professionals discussing the financial markets at team-building retreats to local tradespeople exchanging business cards at breakfast meetings. It is something that I'm sure all those who promote their products and services in this publication will have engaged in at some point and something that I know many will count as a vital tool for their own business development. For those who live and work outside of the spheres of self-employment and customer acquisition, however, networking will most likely be seen as a purely social tool (online and offline)

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January 2016

Written by the editor Thursday, 31 December 2015

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Last month, I used this page to reflect the widespread desire to show solidarity with France following November's terrorist attacks in Paris. In December, the terror threat was felt much closer to home, in Leytonstone. As in France and as in London in 2005 (and as in numerous other cities around the world), local residents here responded with contempt for the attack and solidarity with Leytonstone. The most powerful response, however, came within moments of the event, when a bystander commented: "You ain't no Muslim bruv," which quickly became the top-trending hashtag on Twitter across the UK. It was the perfect riposte to attempts to spread violence in the name of religion and perfectly tapped into the psyche of those who denounce hate.

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December 2015

Written by the editor Monday, 30 November 2015

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« Maman a fait un pudding, mais mon papa a insisté pour que nous allions à l'abri dans le jardin dès que la nuit est tombée. Noël n'a rien changé à cela. » Tels sont les mots du résident Wanstead et du nonagénaire Geoff Prater comme il rappelle le Noël de 1940 (voir page 32), et il y a deux interprétations de sa déclaration. L'une est la prise de conscience que les réalités de la vie vont indépendamment des célébrations saisonnières. Mais l'ouverture des quatre mots de M. Prater stipule aussi que le lecteur optimiste malgré la mort et la destruction continue du Blitz, la mère de M. Prater a toujours trouvé en elle l'enthousiasme pour faire un pudding de Noël. Un aperçu de la mentalité du Blitz sans doute, mais aussi un témoignage de la puissance de l'esprit Yuletide.

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November 2015

Written by the editor Sunday, 01 November 2015

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Potential is a powerful word. In the world of physics, potential can be positive or negative. In the more everyday use of the word, potential tends to add a positive spin to a largely neutral situation. A child who has unrealised ability; a structurally sound house in a state of disrepair; a group of highly skilled rugby players failing to work as a team – all have potential to be great, but without improvement, they will remain largely unsatisfactory. Compare that list with a straight-A student, a newly built, high-tech home and the Australian rugby team. All have superiority over the former, but is their potential any less?

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