April 2020


Redbridge and climate change


Redbridge Council is seeking the views of residents to help it become more environmentally friendly.

“We are responding to the climate crisis by developing a plan to make our operations net-zero by 2030… We know communities across Redbridge are taking action to reduce their emissions. That’s why we want to hear your ideas for how we can change,” said a spokesperson.

The consultation is open until 31 May.

Click here to take part.


Frank’s mission: fundraiser for Wanstead resident’s gift appeal


Wanstead resident Frank Charles is seeking donations for his Give A Gift Appeal.

“It’s a small charity which relies on public donations to grant wishes to children and adults with life-threatening illnesses, feed the homeless, feed families in need and, more recently, to bring food and supplies to Whipps Cross Hospital during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Frank, who has set a fundraising target of £3,000.

Last month, Frank bought and delivered 300 Easter eggs to staff at Whipps Cross Hospital.

Visit wnstd.com/frank


Thank you NHS: rainbows across Wanstead and Woodford add colour to lockdown

Residents across Wanstead and Woodford have joined the international trend of displaying children’s rainbow art in their windows, to pay tribute to NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

“A rainbow has a pot of gold at the end, but it seems the rainbows I see when walking around Woodford have two. At one end is the appreciation of all our front-line workers and at the other, the flowering of children’s art. From pavements to windows, it’s great to see their artistic involvement,” said Julia Brett, founder of Woodford Arts Group.

Rainbow-themed designs range from painted banners and illuminated balloons to Lego creations and pavement chalk drawings. It is thought the trend started in Italy and rapidly caught on in other countries, enabling children to go rainbow spotting on their daily walk.


Domestic abuse in lockdown

ViolenceDomestic and Family Violence. Little Girl in Fear of Domestic Abuse.

Redbridge Council has launched Reach Out, a support service for any adult who is being abused, or is fearful of being abused.

“We know the last place a victim of domestic abuse wants to be is trapped at home with their abuser. So, we want all residents to know that Reach Out is there to provide support throughout this difficult time,” said Councillor Jas Athwal.

The service operates Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Call 0800 145 6410


Good evening

hc-1Sir Alfred Hitchcock

To honour 40 years since the death of Sir Alfred Hitchcock, local historian Gary Lewis tells the story of how his interest in the late director spawned a business offering guided tours in Leytonstone

Good evening (as Leytonstone’s favourite son himself would say). My name is Gary Lewis, I’m a local historian, public speaker and tour guide on the subject of the late, great film director Sir Alfred Hitchcock.

Hitchcock was born on 13 August 1899 in Leytonstone. Known as the Master of Suspense, he directed over 50 feature films before receiving an American Film Institute Life Achievement Award. He made his directorial debut with the silent film The Pleasure Garden in 1925. His first successful film, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927), helped to shape the thriller genre, while his 1929 film, Blackmail, was the first British ‘talkie’. He died in California on 29 April 1980.

I’ve been a resident of Leytonstone for the past 41 years, but my fascination with Hitchcock really began when I was a teenager in the late 1970s. One Sunday night, I stayed up late to watch Psycho on TV. I remember jumping out of my chair at the shower scene, and the screeching violins have stayed with me to this day. After that, I was hooked.

Gary conducting his tour

Fast forward to October 2015, I was forced to take early retirement from London Underground as a Tube driver due to ill health. For the next year, I wondered where to turn for my next career move. Inspiration struck in September 2016 when I joined the Alfred Hitchcock of Leytonstone Society. At a meeting of the society in early 2018, I proposed presenting a slide show on the early life of Hitchcock, entitled ‘Hitchcock’s Leytonstone’. They enthusiastically agreed, and in May 2018, I gave my first talk at The Birds pub in Leytonstone. Three more talks followed and soon I was hired by local groups, keen to hear about Hitchcock’s roots. On 4 September 2019, I gave my biggest talk yet to over 100 people for the Leyton and Leytonstone Historical Society.

Having developed my illustrated talk on the early life of Alfred Hitchcock, the next logical step was to start a guided tour entitled ‘Walking in the Footsteps of Hitchcock’. On 29 September 2019, as part of Leytonstone Loves Film, I guided 60 people from all over the world – including six from Mexico, two ladies from Greece and a couple from Romania – on my first 90-minute tour.

Sadly, on 11 November 2019, I parted company with the Alfred Hitchcock of Leytonstone Society. I felt it was time to move on and I saw this as a golden opportunity to start my own business. On 12 January this year, the dream became a reality and Hitchcock Talks and Tours was born. As for the future, my talks and tours are generating interest not only from local residents and local clubs but from all over the globe. I look forward to bringing Hitchcock’s Leytonstone to the world!

For more information on Gary’s talks and tours, visit wnstd.com/hitchcock

Redbridge Council support for businesses during COVID-19


Redbridge Council has so far paid out £16.3m of government business grants to small businesses in the borough in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s important our local business community know that there is support available to them at this difficult time through the government grant scheme,” said the Leader of Redbridge Council, Councillor Jas Athwal. Businesses can check their eligibility against the criteria for grants of up to £25,000 and make an application online.

To claim for a business grant, click here.


We’re going on a bear hunt: 45 teddies to find across Wanstead


A bear hunt has been created in Wanstead to help keep children entertained on their daily walk.

“The bear hunt is all around Wanstead, centred around Leicester Road and Hereford Road, but goes as far as Warren Road, Gordon Road and Rodney Road,” explained Lorna Sparks.

There are 45 bears to find, each with an accompanying letter that spells out a secret message.

“There is even a certificate for completed entries. Good luck on your bear hunt!”

Download the Bear Hunt Form

were going on a bear hunt form


Coronavirus Wellbeing Service helps hundreds across the borough


A council-led initiative to help protect those most vulnerable to coronavirus has provided aid or advice to hundreds of callers requesting help and support.

As well as responding to calls, the Wellbeing Service has also arranged for deliveries of food parcels and other essential items to a number of Redbridge residents.

“To help us to support those who most need it, before using the service, please ask family, friends and neighbours to support you… If you still need help, then please call,” said a spokesperson.

Call 020 8708 5555


Temporary mortuary facilities built on a section of Wanstead Flats


A temporary mortuary has been erected on Wanstead Flats in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The London Resilience Forum, which manages emergency preparedness for London, was responsible for its design and construction.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 gave the government the power to demand the City of London Corporation – which owns the land – provide the site for this purpose.

The land will be reinstated once the crisis ends. The facility will act as a holding point for bodies until cremation or burial takes place.


Speaking of lockdown: Woodford Green Speakers club goes online

Woodford-Green-Speakers-March-2020Club members at Wanstead Golf Club, their usual meeting venue

A club which helps people improve their public speaking skills is inviting new members to join them in their online sessions during lockdown.

“We currently meet via Zoom on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, from 7.15pm to 8.45pm during this lockdown period. Prepared speeches and table topics are the main focus, and members are given feedback, which helps them improve their confidence and speaking skills,” said Pamela Odukoya from the Woodford Green Speakers.

Email woodfordgreenspeakers@gmail.com


Tin in the Bin Network


A number of homes across Aldersbrook, Wanstead and South Woodford have become collection points for foodbank donations to fill the gap left by the closure of regular collection locations, such as churches and some shops.

“Over the Easter weekend, our network received items exceeding £800 in value, which we delivered to Redbridge Foodbank,” said James Paterson, organiser of the Tin in the Bin Network, which has also received over £3,000 in cash donations.

Addresses taking part include:

  • 8 Drummond Road
  • 43 Langley Drive
  • 120 Overton Drive
  • 36 Felstead Road
  • 46 Buckingham Road
  • 17 Wanstead Place
  • 33 Nightingale Lane
  • 36 Dangan Road
  • 22 Spratt Hall Road
  • 39 Leicester Road
  • 24 Lorne Gardens
  • 34 Seagry Road
  • 2 Church Path
  • 76A New Wanstead
  • 96 Harpenden Road, Aldersbrook
  • 28 Clavering Road, Aldersbrook
  • 36 Dover Road, Aldersbrook
  • 4 Forest Close, Snaresbrook
  • 33 Deynecourt Gardens
  • 14 Wellington Road
  • 29 Avon Way, South Woodford
  • 30 Rose Avenue, South Woodford
  • 27 Pelham Road, South Woodford
  • 99 Cadogan Gardens, South Woodford
  • 55 Cadogan Gardens, South Woodford
  • 38 Eastwood Road, South Woodford
  • 18 Cranbourne Avenue,
  • 1 Hurstwood Avenue, South Woodford
  • 64 Ashbourne Avenue, South Woodford

To donate cash, click here.


Local resident creates website to help shoppers avoid supermarket queues

Screenshot 2020-04-28 13.54.40

Computer programmer Tom McGuinness has launched a website to help people check how busy their local supermarkets are.

“When COVID-19 hit the UK, I tried to think of ways I could help others. With help from my wife and an Italian friend, I created QCheck. It shows a map of your area with colour-coded markers for each supermarket. While people are queueing, they report how long the wait is. This appears on the map, helping others to avoid busy stores,” said Tom, who has lived in South Woodford since 2013.

Visit qcheck.uk