November 2020


Wanstead resident’s annual Christmas gift appeal for sick children


Wanstead resident Frank Charles is once again collecting toys and gifts for the children at Acorn Ward, Whipps Cross Hospital this Christmas.

“Ali at Wanstead Pharmacy (75–77 High Street) has agreed that unwrapped presents can be dropped off there. All donations must be new and suitable for ages 0 to 16 years please,” said Frank, whose annual appeal is now in its 17th consecutive year. The last day for dropping off presents at Wanstead Pharmacy will be Saturday 12 December, until 5pm.



Join a festive-themed litter pick in Wanstead Park this month


Community litter picks are continuing in Wanstead Park.

“On a damp Sunday morning at the start of November, we all cheered up no end when 18 people turned up to litter pick in the park. This has now become a regular on some people’s calendar, and they keep the park sparkling. The next litter pick is on 6 December (11am). We promise to be festive! Bring your purse to buy Christmas gifts, such as our much-loved book The Angel and the Cad,” said Friends of Wanstead Parklands member Gill James.

Meet outside the Temple in Wanstead Park from 11am.


Warm clothing and pot noodles needed to show Wanstead CARES

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 12.09.51

Residents are invited to contribute to the Wanstead CARES (Community Appeal Rough sleepers Emergency Survival kit) appeal.

“Sadly, there is going to be an ongoing need to replenish our stocks of clothing, toiletries and sleeping bags as the demand will continue to increase in winter. We need men’s trainers, ski jackets, sweatshirts, hoodies, sweat pants, jeans, pot noodles and lots of (new) socks and pants,” said Julie Harvey.

A collection will take place at Wanstead Cricket Club on 5 December from 11am to 2pm.


Update on adoption and restoration of Wanstead’s iconic phone box


The Wanstead Society has provided an update on plans to adopt the iconic K6 phone box outside Wanstead Station.

“As the Wanstead Society is legally a Small Charity rather than a larger, registered charity, we cannot have ownership of the box. However, the department of Regeneration and Culture at Redbridge Council has expressed an interest in assisting us. Meanwhile, the Wanstead Community Gardeners are making ever more exciting plans for its rehabilitation. Eden Project beware!” said a spokesperson.


Heroes remembered from a distance and plans to clean war memorial

L1160875© Geoff Wilkinson

Residents paid their respects to fallen heroes earlier this month despite the cancellation of Remembrance Sunday commemorations.

“It was heartening to see people come to pay their respects at Wanstead’s War Memorial throughout the day, as well as those who stood on doorsteps for a two-minute silence. It was important we avoided congregating and I’m pleased residents respected that. With plans to have the memorial cleaned next year, I hope to return to our usual service next November,” said Colin Cronin.


Redbridge Council and the police to co-host crime webinar


The Leader of Redbridge Council, Councillor Jas Athwal, and Borough Commander Stephen Clayman will be hosting a live webinar on 1 December to discuss their approach to tackling crime.

Councillor Athwal and Mr Clayman will highlight the initiatives the police and the council have rolled out to tackle local crime hotspots and update residents on how they have been dealing with domestic abuse and anti-social behaviour in the borough.

They will also be joined by Stephen Addison, founder of the social enterprise BoxUp Crime and the police burglary prevention team, who will be sharing their top tips on protecting your home this winter.

“Tackling crime in Redbridge is one of our council’s top priorities. We are working closely with the local police to prevent criminal behaviour and to catch perpetrators but we want to hear from local people. This public virtual meeting is a great opportunity to hear about new anti-crime initiative and tips to keeping safe over the winter and to ask any questions you might have. Everyone is welcome to ask questions during the meeting but to make sure we get a chance to answer them all, please submit questions in advance if you can,” said Councillor Athwal.

To submit a question, email by 27 November.

Residents can watch the webinar on 1 December, from 6 pm to 7 pm.


Good neighbours


In the second of two articles, Sadayeen Khan, secretary of Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch (NHW), encourages more residents to report anything suspicious

Redbridge NHW is a registered charity run by volunteers from within the community. Anyone living, working or studying in Redbridge is welcome to become a member (free).

We treat the Redbridge borough as a whole and facilitate coordinators of all wards to work within their areas. Watch coordinators can work on their roads with their related issues, from antisocial behaviour, drug dealing, criminals trying vehicle door handles and locks to watching and checking houses to potentially burgle.

Criminals do not respect geographical or political boundaries, of course, they simply look for opportunities and easy targets. For every secure-looking property, there are, unfortunately, less secure-looking properties. No longer will burglars walk out of the house with large TVs; they take small, valuable items like mobile phones, cash and precious metals. Vehicle thieves will steal small change, expensive sunglasses, branded items, or take the vehicle itself.

We encourage members to report anything suspicious to the police or through Crimestoppers anonymously. This helps authorities to gather intelligence, link crimes with evidence and leads to arrests. Much of this information is never communicated to members of the public but is available to our members.

You may have seen Neighbourhood Watch street signs on lamp posts and in the windows of properties scattered around the borough. Police crime statistics show these signs have a strong impact on lowering crimes in the areas which display them; therefore NHW members have less risk of being a victim.

To establish an NHW presence on your road, please register and show your interest, and invite your neighbours to register as well. Most of our administration is now automated, but there is still an element of the ‘human touch’.

More details about becoming an NHW coordinator are available on our website. Once established, being a coordinator only takes a few hours of your time each month. We have various vacancies dotted around the borough, so please join us and encourage your neighbours, friends, colleagues and family members to do the same.

NHW no longer advertises and we rely on word of mouth. This keeps our costs down and I am pleased to say our membership is growing by the month.


Home of history


Wanstead-born Richard Speller is chairman of the Woodford and District National Trust. Here, he explains why – in normal times – Copped Hall is well worth a visit. It tells a story of history, restoration and engagement

Copped Hall is one of the very few mansions in our local area. It is an 18th-century estate near Epping, situated on high ground at the end of a ridge surrounded by 1,000 acres of landscaped parkland. The overall estate once comprised 4,000 acres!

The abbots of Waltham Abbey held the property from 1350. In 1537, Henry Vlll confiscated the estate and later, Elizabeth I gave it to Sir Thomas Heneage, who built a substantial mansion in 1567. Almost all of this structure was demolished in 1748 before the present house was built by Sir John Conyers in 1753. In the late-19th century, ownership passed to the Wythes family who made their fortune in the railways, and they greatly extended the buildings and grounds.

In 1917, a disastrous fire gutted the main part of the mansion. Although the gardens continued to be maintained, the mansion was not restored. By 1950, practically everything of value was stripped from the site or demolished. It was then used as a mushroom farm and pigsty.

With the coming of the M25, Copped Hall became visible and accessible, especially as it was relatively close to London and Stansted Airport. In 1986, three aggressive development proposals, which would have destroyed the concept of Copped Hall, came before the planning authorities. In order to combat this application, representatives of the local conservation societies formed a committee called the Friends of Copped Hall.

Two further development proposals were put forward in 1988 and 1990; both involved building hotels and the latter a golf course as well. Two things happened, however, in 1992. The Conservators of Epping Forest (City of London Corporation) purchased the parkland, thus extinguishing the golf course proposal. And the other developer went bankrupt.

In 1993, the Copped Hall Trust was formed, and as a result, the house, along with 24 acres of gardens, was saved for the purposes of education, culture, local community activities and recreation. The restoration programme continues to this day. This wonderful project is run by over 100 volunteers, dedicated to the restoration and future of the project. Much work has been carried out clearing the gardens of non-original vegetation. Replacement trees have been planted and lawns reseeded. Internally, the mansion is to be restored to its 1750s form, and since 2001, some of the roof and floor structures have been reinstated and essential structural repairs carried out.

In more normal times, guided tours are conducted every third Sunday of the month, together with a host of activities and events.

For more information on Copped Hall and future events and tours, visit

A magical gift

Boy-and-Santa-(3)©Alison Stenhouse

From seascapes to The Shard, Art Group Wanstead member Alison Stenhouse is a gifted artist with a diverse portfolio… which now also includes Santa

I am a local artist who has had work in local group shows, shops and cafés as well as Central London galleries. This year, I have had some paintings in The Larder on the High Street.

I enjoy creating many kinds of 2D artwork using paint, pastel, pencil and wood engraving. I draw on location, mainly using pastels, and attend a life-drawing class, but also work from photographs I have taken. My subjects are local scenes, forests, seascapes, skies, still life and people. Depending on my mood, my style varies from small, detailed realistic paintings to larger impressionistic or semi-abstract work.

Light, contrast and bold colours appeal to me. Last year, I made a series of paintings of The Shard building and the River Thames. These were large canvases and depicted scenes at different times of day and night. I have depicted children building sandcastles and crabbing at the seaside. These and other subjects have been exhibited at the Royal Society of Miniature Artists’ exhibition at the Mall Galleries.

For this festive time, the painting featured here is based on a photograph taken when my friend’s grandson visited Santa last year – I have tried to capture the essence of that special moment. I have also recently been doing some watercolour studies of autumn leaves, inspired by their wonderful hues, and I am now painting a winter scene as viewed through a window, contrasting the warmth inside with the snowy countryside beyond.

I belong to Art Group Wanstead, Woodford Arts Group and Essex Art Club. It is good to connect with others and to be inspired by what they are creating.

To contact Alison, email:

Woodford Arts Group (
Art Group Wanstead ( )
Essex Art Club (


Home activist


In the first of a two-part rebel guide for the home activist, Wanstead Climate Action member Tina Nieman Da Costa explains how your food and finance choices can help save the environment

In these uncertain times, now that Covid is back (or never left), it is easy to become overwhelmed by a feeling of powerlessness. The tentative – and sometimes confusing – urgings of the government are not helping, and occasionally, they need to be reminded of the issues that remain unresolved.

Taking your carefully worded, attention-grabbing placard on the virus-riddled Tube and onto the virus-riddled streets of Westminster to be a visible reminder of dissatisfaction of the establishment may add to the growing infection rate, and you don’t want to be that guy. But this does not mean you, as an activist, are now restricted to angry ramblings on social media, the modern equivalent to shouting down the Tower of Babel. Instead, take flight into new avenues of civil disobedience. Here are a few ways to make an effective statement of rebellion and take on the man from the comfort of your home office.

Eat well and exercise
The hard facts are in and it’s true the food industry – including transport, production and waste – impacts heavily on the climate. Small changes to your eating habits can drastically reduce your carbon output. Eat local, eat organic and if you can, have vegan days or go plant-based completely. Combine this with a healthy diet and regular exercise to live a healthier life for longer.

Obesity is the second-highest impacting factor on GDP, costing the UK £27 billion a year in services, the main causes being food and inactivity. By making good choices now, you can guarantee extra resources for future generations, reduce pollution and stick it to a food system that prioritises profit over health.          

Reassess your money power
Money matters may be boring, but money matters matter. On 10 January 2019, The Guardian published “UK councils invest £566m in arms firms linked to the Yemen war,” an article by Rob Davis detailing lists of local councils using pension funds to invest in Saudi armament sales. Do you know what your money is doing? Pensions make up £3 trillion of investments in the UK, which include funds supporting fossil fuels and tobacco, as well as arms trading.

Exert political and economic pressure on institutions by divesting. Speak to your money manager or visit to see what your options are and how your money can make a difference. Ethical funds have seen a steady rise against recent trends, so moving your money makes sense. Make your pension an effective weapon against climate change and all manner of shady dealings. Or as one money manager put it: “Why would you invest in your future, in funds actively working against you actually having a future?”

For more information on Wanstead Climate Action, visit

Memorial bench for Jill Stock on Wanstead High Street

001_Jill_Stock-copyJill Stock (22 May 1947 – 25 May 2019)

A fundraiser has been launched to pay for a bench on the High Street in memory of former Wanstead resident Jill Stock, who was tragically killed following a road traffic collision last year.

“As many of you know, Mum was one of the most community-minded people you could ever meet… Mum was a friend to so many, she would do anything to help someone in need,” said Jill’s daughter Kate Gloudemans.

Any money raised in excess of the £2,000 target will be used for other local community projects.