September 2019


Resident leaves £107k to National Trust centre

35195158112_af536267ae_kRainham Hall is a Grade II* listed Georgian house. ©Matt Brown

The Woodford and District branch of the National Trust (NT) has made a number of donations to NT properties following the death of former member Gwen Clarke, who bequeathed £107,000 to the group.

The beneficiaries include Rainham Hall in Havering (£15,000), Scotney Castle in Kent (£11,000) and Peckover House in Cambridgeshire (£10,000). “Gwen worked at Whipps Cross Hospital and the London Hospital for many years as a secretary. She moved to Wanstead in 1994 and then into Harts House Care Home in Woodford… We are so grateful she gave us the chance of helping so many properties with her kindness,” said Clive Boon.

The centre’s new programme of talks begins on 11 September, 2.30pm at All Saints’ Church hall with a presentation on Waddesdon Manor (visitors: £3).

Call 07774 164 407


First-ever large-scale history of Wanstead House

hosue-1Wanstead House, by Richard Westall ©Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

The Friends of Wanstead Parklands has commissioned Dr Hannah Armstrong – an expert in 18th-century architecture and landscape design – to write the first-ever large-scale history of Wanstead House.

“In existence for just 100 years, Wanstead House was regarded as one of the most magnificent palaces in Europe and the estate originally stretched nearly as far as Woodford. Tragically, in June 1822, every item within the house was sold at auction, prior to the house being demolished,” said a group spokesperson.

Due for publication in 2022 to mark the 200th anniversary of the ‘grand sale’, the book will tell the story of the house, its grounds and its larger-than-life owners, complemented by over 70 illustrations, some of which will be published for the first time.


Community awards 2020: nominations open


Nominations for the Mayor of Redbridge’s annual community awards are now open.

“These awards are a great way to throw light on those giving individuals to recognise and celebrate the work they do – so please get nominating!” said the Mayor of Redbridge, Councillor Zulfiqar Hussain.

A panel of councillors, officers and residents will shortlist the nominations and select winners in six different categories.

The deadline is 31 December. Click here to take part.


The Railway Children: search for local child actor


The producers of The Railway Children – to be performed at Forest School in Snaresbrook as part of the Wanstead Fringe festival – are searching for a local actor to play the role of Jim.

“It would suit a young person with acting and singing ability, who wants to work with a professional theatre company,” said producer Katherine Mount.

Rehearsals commence 9 September, with performances on 14 and 15 September. If the successful candidate requires time off school, the company will apply for licences and supply a registered chaperone.

“For audience members, this will be an opportunity to see a West End-style musical on your doorstep… This heart-warming tale is set to a new musical soundtrack, bringing a touch of magic to the stage.”