January 2020


Apprenticeship and training fair for local teenagers and young adults

12556656 - group of students in professional training12556656 - group of students in professional training

A local rugby club will host an apprenticeship and training fair on 8 February, for students aged 15 and over.

“There will be a CV clinic, interactive activities – including how to find your career online – and demonstrations by our members, from construction to forensics,” said a spokesperson for Eton Manor RFC. Wanstead-based North London Loft Rooms and Petty Son and Prestwich will be among the companies taking part. The event will take place at the club’s Nutter Lane grounds from 10am to 2pm.

Visit wnstd.com/skills


How was that?


Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket Club players Nanette Kritzinger and Saba Nasim reflect on their experiences representing England at the Indoor Cricket Masters Series in 2019

The 2019 Indoor Cricket Masters Series proved one thing: the England women’s team made their mark on the international stage in every possible way; performance, team spirit, sportsmanship, determination, friendship and courage.

Heading into the World Series 2019, England was considered the underdog and very much a developing country in the sport of indoor cricket, about to square up against the well-established masters of the game, Australia, New Zealand and hosts South Africa.

The fighting spirit of the England team could not be dampened, and it was soon clear that we are now becoming a force to be reckoned with. In our fifth appearance, we beat the mighty New Zealand by sticking to our game plan and ensuring the basics of the game were done right.

This moment was made even more special when we realised it was not just us celebrating this historic moment (this was our first ever win at a World Series competition), but also the local crowds and teams from other countries. Everybody there had an unstoppable passion for the sport and were excited by the prospect of the sport growing and developing in England.

The experience gained by each and every player in such a high standard tournament is immeasurable. Indoor cricket has many skill sets that can transfer and improve the players’ outdoor game. Players learn more control over the shots they play while batting by finding the gaps and scoring faster; their fielding becomes faster and more accurate; bowling becomes smarter, having to react quickly to the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing   batsman; and fitness levels increase drastically. All things considered, this is the ideal sport to play during the winter months in preparation for the outdoor season in the summer.

Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket Club is proud to say we had four players in the England Indoor Cricket Women’s Masters squad (Nanette Kritzinger, Saba Nasim, Natasha Bourke and Jen Liu).

We are now looking forward to our 2020 outdoor season, where we will be playing in the Essex Women’s Premier League for the first time since the Women’s Southern League removed the regional divisions. This is to allow the counties to create their own leagues (so teams have less distances to travel for matches) with the winner of each league competing in a semi-final and final for a place to go up into the Southern League Championship Division in 2021.

For more information on Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket Club, visit wansteadcricketclub.co.uk

Wanstead and Woodford Marie Curie fundraising group reach £100,000 target

DSC_5178Marie Curie Fundraising on Wanstead High Street in 2013, the year the local group was formed. ©Geoff Wilkinson

The Wanstead and Woodford Marie Curie fundraising group has reached its target of raising £100,000 for the charity, which provides care and support to people with terminal illnesses and their families.

“This has taken six years to achieve, but we are finally there,” said a spokesperson for the group, which was formed in June 2013. To mark the achievement, a celebratory afternoon will take place at Wanstead House on 22 February from 2pm to 4pm. There will be a short talk on the work of Marie Curie, a cheque presentation and informal discussions over tea and biscuits.

“When we collect in the local area residents are so supportive and generous, and we would like to let them know how their small contributions add up and welcome them to celebrate with us if they want to drop in and meet us.”

Call 020 8989 2193


Time to go digital


If the computing world has left you offline, make time for some digital discovery at Wanstead Library next month, says Rose Meredith, Development Librarian at Vision RCL

“I just can’t do that!” “That digital stuff isn’t for me, I can’t understand it.” “I’m a total failure at downloading.” “I can’t change!”

Do you sometimes feel the digital world has gone on without you and that you will never have a chance to get on board the digital highway? Ever found yourself declaring a story of your fate that cannot alter? Do you feel sure the digital world is really not a place for you?

Libraries have altered people’s perceptions throughout time, enabling people to access all kinds of information and participate in new worlds of knowledge. Public libraries have been in the forefront, more recently, in enabling anyone in the community to walk down the information super-highway, accessing books and knowledge, ideas and learning – for all age groups, no matter background or circumstances.

Stories are part of the human experience – shared in all kinds of ways amongst friends and families. At every point in the history of humanity, we have wanted to create new stories, travelling into a brave new world of knowledge. Today, the stories are changing.

Knowledge can extend into an untouchable digital world with a stroke on a computer – bringing to life books, images, maps, learning, movies, TV, radio, cartoons, drawing and art as well as bringing to our homes travel around the globe and indeed the universe, and allowing us to see the combined worlds of great libraries and famous museum collections (oh – and the very smallest local collections too!).

We can access a world of TV, music and entertainment from every part of the globe. The digital world introduces new ways of learning and discovering and using resources like online catalogues, biographies, art and dictionaries, as well as allowing us to socialise and meet new people, join groups and participate in our local communities. The internet enables us to reach out, have fun and build our knowledge in every aspect of human endeavour, culture and history.

Redbridge Libraries wants you to be part of this new digital world! To help you, we will be delivering sessions throughout February during Digital Discovery Time.

Having problems with accessing our online resources? Not quite sure where to start? We invite you to drop into one of our sessions and ask our friendly staff. They can show you our exciting and amazing range of digital resources. Let’s get digital!

Digital Discovery Time sessions will take place at Wanstead Library on 6 and 13 February from 11am to 12 noon (free; booking required; bring your own digital devices). For more information, call 020 8708 7400. To find out more about the digital services available at Redbridge Libraries, visit visionrcl.org.uk/digital

Now showing in Wanstead: two horticultural happenings

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The Wanstead Community Gardeners are keen to point out two horticultural happenings in Wanstead for the public to enjoy.

“There are winter irises at the Wanstead United Reformed Church on Grosvenor Road – four clumps of them. Originating in Algeria, they flower from October through to March and are exquisite! Plus, Garrya elliptica (silk tassel bush) – many shrubs around the station. They bear extraordinarily long catkins the whole winter. A sight for sore eyes!” said Marian Temple.


Caring for the resident swans of Wanstead Parklands


A charity dedicated to the care of swans will host an event in Wanstead Park on 2 February.

“Swan Sanctuary volunteers have been active in Epping Forest for many years…Last December, we rescued and operated successfully on one of the Heronry swans in Wanstead Park and returned him to the lake,” said a spokesperson.

The event – which will take place at the Temple from 2pm to 2.30pm (adults: £3; children: free) – will be followed by a guided walk to Perch Pond to observe the resident swans.

Visit wrengroup.org.uk


Restoring Wanstead Park

p2Untitled-1©Richard Arnopp

In the ninth of a series of articles looking at the developing plans for restoring Wanstead Park, Richard Arnopp of the Friends of Wanstead Parklands reflects on the recent River Roding flooding

This winter, nature gave Wanstead Park an unexpected but very welcome Christmas present. On 21 December, after days of very heavy rain, the water level in the River Roding rose to its highest level for some years and inundated the Ornamental Water. Within hours, the flood began to recede, but several years of low water levels had been resolved at a stroke, with the lake filled to capacity.

The River Roding sits in a huge valley, the relic of its past as a seasonal torrent during the last glaciation, carrying vast volumes of spring meltwater from the ice sheets just to the north. Nowadays, for most of the year, it is a placid little stream, but sometimes during the winter months, it shows something of its old mettle, with significant flooding occurring every decade or so.

The Roding and the Ornamental Water have a close historical relationship, which looks likely to be revived in a new form, as I shall explain.

Prior to the creation of the lake, the natural course of the river as it ran through Wanstead Park isn’t altogether certain, though an engraving of circa 1708 suggests that part of it roughly followed what became the eastern arm of the later Ornamental Water behind the islands. At this stage, there were also two artificial canals, which were later partly subsumed into the lake as it developed.

The Ornamental Water as we know it first appears on a plan of 1725, though construction may have begun up to a decade earlier. The new lake utilised elements of the water features already present and was directly fed by the river.

The water level was sustained by a system of weirs. The original plan of the lake was modified at various times, most radically by 2nd Earl Tylney of Castlemaine, but probably reached something like its present form around 1760.

Around this time, or slightly later, the Ornamental Water was severed from the river, which was canalised behind it. The average water level in the river is now about eight feet lower than in the lake when it is full, and the lake is retained by two brick-faced dams. The owners of Wanstead Park retained the right to temporarily dam the river to top up or flush out the Ornamental Water, and this right was exercised into the 20th century.

The purpose of canalising the River Roding may well have been to mitigate the flood risk upstream from the park. In 1768 a stone bridge, planned in 1752, had been built at Woodford. Almost immediately this was destroyed by floods and had to be rebuilt in 1771. Further canalisation of the river has taken place over the years, most recently in connection with construction of the Barking Relief Road.

As the Friends of Wanstead Parklands have explained in previous articles, discussions are being held with the Environment Agency to allow winter pumping from the River Roding into the Ornamental Water. However, as well as demonstrating the potential for winter spate pumping to manage lakes levels, the recent flood also fits into the evolving strategy of creating planned overflow areas to reduce potential flood risk for residents and businesses along the river.

For more information on Wanstead Park and to join or donate to the Friends of Wanstead Parklands, visit wansteadpark.org.uk or email wansteadpark.org.uk@gmail.com

Wanstead Golf Club drive-in for incoming captain


Over 150 spectators attended Wanstead Golf Club’s annual drive-in for the incoming Club Captain Steve Johnston earlier this month.

“We watched Steve and the other new captains drive-in to their year in office. After the usual trick and novelty shots, Steve smashed his drive, a very creditable 178 yards against a strong wind. Members and guests then retired to the clubhouse for an afternoon of celebration, where Steve announced his charity for the year, Cancer Research UK,” said a club spokesperson.

Visit wnstd.com/golf


Litter pick proves ‘community spirit in Wanstead is second to none’


Volunteers came out in strength this month to clean up Wanstead on the first litter pick of 2020.

“Some 12 adults and children gathered at Woodbine Place before fanning out to collect the debris and detritus of those who walk and drive around our streets. The result was a haul of 14 bags of rubbish collected… The turnout proves that the community spirit in Wanstead is second to none… This year will be a significant one, with new wheelie bins being rolled out and efforts increasing to clean things up,” said Councillor Jo Blackman.

Litter picks take place on the third Saturday of every month, meeting at corner of Woodbine Place and Wanstead High Street from 10am.

Additionally, litter pickers, bags and gloves are also available in the library for those wishing to pick in their own time.

Email Jo.Blackman@redbridge.gov.uk



Editor of leading floral art magazine to give talk at Wanstead Library

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The Woodford and District Floral Arrangement Group will hold its AGM and host the editor of the UK’s leading floral art magazine The Flower Arranger on 17 February from 7.30pm at Wanstead Library (visitors: £5).

“I will discuss the history of the magazine, how it has been inspiring floral artists for nearly 60 years and also its future now flower arranging has been taken up by the Instagram generation. Floral arrangements inspired by six decades of the magazine will also be on display,” said editor Chloë Bryan-Brown.

Call 020 8530 2427


Wanstead to Leytonstone Central Line track replacement delayed


The discovery of asbestos has caused delays to the replacement of Central Line track in the local area.

“We are replacing rail track between Wanstead and Leytonstone Tube stations to reduce noise levels… Ahead of work starting we identified some asbestos, which has now been dealt with by a specialist team to ensure the safety of staff and customers. As a result of this we have made some changes to the track replacement programme, but will complete it as soon as possible,” said a London Underground spokesperson.


Talk yourself better

ariene-1Ariane with Richard Dawkins at the launch of the Atheist Bus Campaign. © Zoe Margolis

Paul Kaufman, Chair of East London Humanists, introduces Ariane Sherine, writer, comedienne and woman of many parts who will feature at the group’s Wanstead meeting this month.

Ariane Sherine, who lives in Leytonstone, will be talking about her extraordinary and eventful life journey and signing copies of her latest book at Wanstead Library this January.

Expelled from school at 16, Ariane started hanging around with Duran Duran and played piano on two of their tracks. Her journalistic career started at 21, reviewing records for NME. She was soon contributing to TV shows,  including Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and Countdown, and spent time on the stand-up comedy circuit. She has gone on to write several books and is a contributor to The Spectator, The Guardian, The Independent, The Sunday Times and Esquire magazine.

Ariane has a young daughter and is a patron of Humanists UK. In 2013 she published the ebook Give: How to be Happy. She wrote in The Guardian at its launch about her lack of religious belief and her wish for her daughter to grow up in a kinder world. The book describes 10 practical actions we can all take to help achieve this. Ariane sold half of her possessions as part of the campaign and donated the proceeds to Médecins Sans Frontières.

But perhaps the best-known achievement initiated by Ariane was the Atheist Bus Campaign. Launched in 2009, the campaign grew at an astonishing pace. A total of £100,000 was raised in four days. It was taken up in over a dozen countries. Ariane thought up the campaign in response to the use of bus advertising by the Jesus Said organisation to promote their message that all non-Christians would burn in hell for all eternity. Ariane’s message was: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Even this simple retort was too much for some. It was criticised by George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury. Attempts to run similar campaigns in Russia, Italy and Australia were thwarted. And there was a backlash for Ariane. The hate mail she received from extreme Christians contributed to a breakdown.

The road to recovery prompted Ariane to write her book Talk Yourself Better: A Confused Person’s Guide to Therapy, Counselling and Self-Help. Reviews include: “What an excellent, long-overdue idea! A super-accessible guide, through the bewildering marketplace of modern therapy, to ease our noble search for help,” (Derren Brown); “How do we cope with this brutal world? In this witty, revealing book Ariane Sherine runs through the ways. An excellent, funny and thought-provoking read for all who seek answers,” (Arthur Smith).

There will be time for questions and discussion following Ariane’s presentation.

Ariane’s talk will take place at Wanstead Library on 27 January from 7.30pm (free; visitors welcome) – visit wnstd.com/elh. For more information on Ariane and her books, visit arianesherine.com