July 2020


Wanstead Society waives subscription fee… spend £10 locally instead


The Wanstead Society has waived this year’s renewal fees for its members, encouraging them to spend the money in local shops.

“The COVID-19 crises has affected us all, and we know with tough times ahead, every penny counts. That’s why we will give our members a free year (worth £10 per household) if they want it. If you can spare £10, spend it in one of our lovely shops on the High Street instead. We hope this small gesture will go some way to helping them survive,” said the group’s chairman Scott Wilding.

Visit wnstd.com/ws


Wanstead Community Gardeners revitalise George Green flower bed


A flower bed on the path that connects Cambridge Park to Draycot Road, alongside George Green, has been given a new lease of life by the Wanstead Community Gardeners.

“One of our members got so fed up with walking past this litter-strewn, weedy patch that she was galvanised into action. Litter and weeds out, donated plants in. A lot of hard work later, and this patch is coming to life. Kindred, the nearby nursery, is happy to let us use their water until the plants get established,” said Marian Temple.


Wanstead resident’s YouTube channel about life with cerebral palsy

gracie-1Gracie, 17, with her assistance dog Scooby

Local resident Gracie Wolstenholme has set up a YouTube channel to offer an insight into living with cerebral palsy.

“Mum has hardly let me out the house since the beginning of March due to my disability making me vulnerable (for those of you who know my mum, you know she faffs over me!)… So to keep myself busy, I made a series of films to help people understand the disability better. Making these awareness videos has kept me going through the pandemic,” explained Gracie.

Visit wnstd.com/gracie


Aldersbrook Lockdown Project: musicians create video for charity


A group of musicians from the Aldersbrook Estate have created a music video remotely.

“We wanted to share a little fun, love and happiness, and celebrate our community spirit… If you enjoy our performance, please consider donating a few pounds to support local charities at this difficult time,” said organiser Chris Wilcox.

So far, the initiative has raised £1,000, which will be shared between, Aldersbrook Primary School PTA, Aldersbrook Riding School, St Gabriel’s Church and Wanstead Park Preschool.

Visit wnstd.com/av


Entire brood of Wanstead Park cygnets has died

IMG_2873©Tracey Adebowale-Jones

A brood of up to six cygnets hatched on the Shoulder of Mutton Pond in Wanstead Park have all died.

“It is not unusual for swans to lose many of their newborn – they are vulnerable to foxes, gulls, terrapins and even snakes. But more worrying this year is the increased human footprint in the park because of lockdown. We discovered a path we believe was human-made leading directly to the nest. This may have been innocently done, but it created a direct line for foxes to the cygnets,” said Tracey Adebowale-Jones.


Wanstead litter pick resumes


A monthly litter pick in Wanstead resumed last month.

“We may have been in lockdown for the past three months, but that does not seem to mean people have kept their rubbish at home. Plenty has been dumped around the area, particularly in the parks and green spaces,” said Councillor Paul Donovan. The event takes place on the third Saturday of the month from 10am, meeting on the corner of High Street and Woodbine Place.


Film of St Mary’s renovations produced for National Lottery Heritage Fund

Screenshot-2020-06-16-at-12.05.04St Mary’s Church was consecrated on 24 June 1790, by the Rt Revd Beilby Porteus, Bishop of London

A 30-minute film documenting the renovation of St Mary’s Church in Wanstead was released last month.

“Filmed by members of Eastside Community Heritage Group and edited by local filmmaker Mark Coleman, the documentary tracks the renovations of the Overton Drive building in 2018 and 2019 – made possible by a grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund – and talks with the parish’s conservation architect, Ian Angus, the designer of the Bishop Edmund King chapel in Oxford, Niall McLaughlin and leading church historian Rev Professor Mark Chapman as they tried to identify what was in the design brief Thomas Hardwick might have been handed when he was appointed architect for the current building at the end of the 18th century,” said a church spokesperson.

Visit wnstd.com/stmarysfilm