January 2021


Trust in your Trustees


A trust allows you to place assets under the control of chosen trustees, either during your lifetime (by deed) or on your death (by will). Hollie Skipper from local solicitors Wiseman Lee explains

A Discretionary Trust allows you to leave a portion of your assets under the control of your trustees. These should be people that you trust implicitly, such as friends, family or professional advisers, who may also be the executors of your will.

You will choose exactly who the beneficiaries of the trust are and exactly how much the fund will be. You can create a trust over a percentage of your assets, over a specific sum of money or over your entire estate. The fund can be held in a simple bank account or invested.

Your beneficiaries are not entitled to any part of the fund until your trustees decide. Their decision will likely be based on the needs of the beneficiary. Your trustees will have the discretion to decide how much your beneficiaries receive and when, and payments can be small and regular or in lump sums. You are able to leave some written guidance to your trustees, although they are not bound to follow this.

Why create a trust?

  • Future flexibility: you may be unsure how you would like your assets to be distributed in years to come, so leaving this to your trustees to consider in the future may be more practical.
  • Beneficiary receiving benefits: if your beneficiary receives an inheritance, this could be considered when they are financially assessed and mean they lose some, or all, of their state benefits. Your trustees can pay your beneficiaries just enough money to ensure their benefits are not affected.
  • A beneficiary unable to manage their own affairs: your trustees could use the trust fund to ensure your beneficiary is cared for during their lifetime. If your beneficiary has lost capacity and does not have an attorney or deputy appointed, then the trust arrangement could prove beneficial.
  • Concerns about a beneficiary receiving a large sum of money: whether it is a young or irresponsible beneficiary, a beneficiary who may be vulnerable or subsequently needs to move into care, you may decide it is not sensible for them to be given their inheritance in one go or be immediately entitled to the money.
  • Protecting the money from creditors: as your beneficiary will not be absolutely entitled to the funds until your trustees decide, the money is protected in the event of bankruptcy.

Depending on how much you settle into trust and when, there will be potential inheritance tax consequences or benefits. Specialist advice is needed.

Wiseman Lee is located at 9–13 Cambridge Park, Wanstead, E11 2PU. For more information, call 020 8215 1000

Zooming in

tea-for-two---alan-simpson© Alan Simpson

Having embraced Zoom for their fortnightly meetings, Woodford & Wanstead Photographic Society member Alan Simpson gives a snapshot of what the historic club offers to the community

Founded in 1893 in the Coffee Tavern beside George Lane (South Woodford) railway station, Woodford Photographic Society added Wanstead to its name in 2005 because that is where, in more normal times, we now meet. As one of the oldest photographic societies in the East Anglian Federation, we celebrated our 125th anniversary in 2018.

Our fortnightly programme of events includes talks, competitions, exhibitions and outings. We also run informal masterclasses to teach Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom basics. We have a wide variety of photographic skill levels and everyone is willing to share his or her knowledge and learn from others. Social nights are held on the second and fourth Monday of each month. These informal meetings take place in the bar area at Wanstead House and give members opportunities to network. The club is also active on Facebook and Instagram, where members and non-members can share images and comments. Visitors and potential new members can attend their first three club meetings free of charge.

Our programme includes talks and demonstrations by guest speakers, some from the local area, and others from further afield. Our competitions are judged by qualified external judges. Under Covid-19 restrictions, we made good use of Zoom and had judges and presenters from across the country.

Our current membership total is approaching 40, and through Zoom, we even recruited a new member in the USA! Several members have gained Royal Photographic Society LRPS and ARPS distinctions. One member has recently gained his FRPS, the club’s first for several years.

Most genres are represented by our members. Our annual print and projected image competitions can attract more than 200 entries. The subjects include landscapes, portraits, sport, street photography, nature and wildlife, with many particularly creative images amongst them.

When the club was formed back in 1893, its aims included ‘the discussion of the subjects connected with photography in a social manner, and the encouragement of photographic research practice among the members by mutual and friendly assistance’, and ‘a desire to do something of value to the community’. Today, we are a friendly club and welcome everyone with a passion for photography, amateur or professional, acknowledged artist or enthusiastic novice.

We hope to continue our mutual and friendly assistance, and to carry on serving the photographic community well into the future.

The Woodford & Wanstead Photographic Society normally meet on the first and third Monday of each month from 7.45pm at Wanstead House. All meetings are currently on Zoom. Annual membership is £55. Visit wnstd.com/wwps

Wheelie bins from spring 2021

L1210473-2©Geoff Wilkinson

Most residents in Redbridge will get a new free wheelie bin this year.

“The wheelie bins will be hitting homes across the borough from spring and will help reduce the amount of street rubbish on bin collection day,” said a spokesperson. The roll-out follows a pilot in February 2020, which saw a reduction in household rubbish and an increase in recycling. Each 180-litre bin holds around three black sacks of rubbish.

Visit wnstd.com/wheelie


Local filmmaker’s comedy about hobby horsing ready for festivals

HH20The Hobbyhorser proof of concept short film was shot at Redbridge Drama Centre, Wanstead Youth Centre and in Roding Valley Park

Wanstead resident and filmmaker Marc Coleman is hoping his new comedy about the Finnish sport of hobby horsing will get the green light from backers this year.

“In early January, we’ll hopefully be screening the short film at the Kenneth More Theatre for all cast and crew. The film will then be sent off to festivals and producers in the hope of gaining funding to make the already written feature film,” said Marc, whose next project will be a comedy-horror about a sea creature discovered along the Essex coastline.


Gardening grows

DSCF4094©Geoff Wilkinson

Marian Temple looks back at Wanstead’s community gardening during 2020. With participation boosted by the pandemic, four previously neglected patches of public soil were transformed for all to enjoy in 2021 and beyond. Photo of the new Gravel Garden by Geoff Wilkinson

A year of pandemic and lockdowns would not immediately seem to be a promising year for community gardening activities, but in reality, 2020 proved to be one of our busiest years ever! Luckily, gardeners were exempt from the lockdowns and there were many who were unable to go to work, so had time on their hands to join us. 

With a lot of hard work, the Cherry Pye Bed – the traffic island between The George and Wanstead Station – was changed from a dreary patch of tired shrubs to a glorious flower meadow. It lasted just a few weeks, but it was at the very time when people felt at their most vulnerable and anxious, so the swathe of bright flowers gave us all a much-needed fillip. The seed sowing was just a temporary measure. Our real aim, the laying of perennial flower turf, had to wait till December when the bed was stripped of greenery and fallen leaves, raked level and the turf laid. We needed the help of our friends the Good Gymmers – a running club who make it their business to do community tasks. The turf was heavy and it was a hands and knees job with Stanley knives to fit the sections in. The turf will be more robust and need less maintenance once established, and the flowers should come up every year. Fingers crossed for this one.

While we were still working on the Cherry Pye Bed, a new perennial border was making its appearance the other side of George Green, against the handsome wall where the traffic on the A12 disappears into the tunnel under the green. This border was created against all the odds during a dry spell. Now, it looks as if it’s always been there, a colourful delight for footpath users and cyclists as well as a resource for the nearby children’s nursery.

Just around the corner at the end of the new border, another classic sad patch of public soil has been changed into a gravel garden (with the gravel kindly funded by Martin & Co). This was a dead-end patch with an overflowing litter bin, smashed whisky bottles, weeds and rubbish. The new dry garden with plants, we hope, will survive long summer periods without rain and should provide year-long interest. It is west-facing and sheltered by the beautiful wall. Plants so far include an olive tree, succulents, Mediterranean favourites and our favourites, cottage garden hollyhocks.

Next to what is now called the Gravel Garden was a small, sad weedy patch with a junction box of some sort plonked in it. Of course, our out-of-control diggers couldn’t resist it. It’s now dug over and planted. Look for spring bulbs and wallflowers early in the year and a host of other plants strutting their stuff throughout 2021. What good company for the junction box!

Ironically, the pandemic has bequeathed Wanstead four new mini gardens, unlooked for, but to be enjoyed in 2021 and beyond.

For more information on the work of the Wanstead Community Gardeners and to get involved, visit wnstd.com/wcg

Deep roots


Wanstead resident Jean Medcalf has published her first poetry book at the age of 89. To Everything There is a Season is a collection of lyrical, spiritual poems about nature. In the third of a series of articles, Jean introduces New Year, a poem about new beginnings.

The new year is always the time when our thoughts turn to new beginnings. I clearly recall the beginning of my life in Wanstead.

I first came to Wanstead to work in the late 1950s. I was recently married and living in Leytonstone, and I found a job in a little plumber’s called Toogoods, which was in Eastway, next to Nightingale Green. I worked there as a shorthand typist along with three or four other girls. One very pretty girl, Valerie, was the envy of us all when she announced she was going on holiday to Lake Como in Italy. We were even more impressed when she returned, engaged to a handsome young Italian fisherman named Mario!

Toogoods was a friendly little place. The cleaning lady was called Flo Clarke. She was unfortunately afflicted with St Vitus’ dance, which meant she was constantly twitching. She had very little money, so to help make ends meet, she used to cook dinner for us girls in her home, and we would each give her sixpence or a shilling. She lived in one of the little cottages along Eastway. They were tiny Victorian houses with little doors that led to the stairs. Flo’s husband, Harry, was a painter and decorator who was well known in Wanstead. Once a week, all of us girls would walk up to the Bungalow Café for lunch.

The boss, Mr Dunham, was an affable man. The first Christmas I worked there, all the girls bought little presents for each other, and we all gave a gift to our boss as well. He graciously accepted the presents, and then said that he was sorry that he couldn’t give any presents to us in return because he was a Jehovah’s Witness and it was against his religion! However, he told us he would keep all the presents, as he would not dream of hurting our feelings by refusing!

So, that was how I first got to know Wanstead. I knew it would be a good place to settle and bring up a family, and when we saw a house for sale in the area, we went to view it. The house felt very homely, with a glowing coal fire burning in the hearth and a large back garden with an old plum tree and a seat beneath it. I loved the house at first sight, and after 60 years, I love it still.

Our house was close to the Nightingale pub and the parade of shops opposite, and there were more shops along Nightingale Lane and Elmcroft Avenue. Back then, we had a butcher, a toy shop, a hairdresser, a sweet shop, two grocers, a rag-and-bone yard, a junkyard, a fish and chip shop and a watch mender’s. I will tell you more about them next time.

New Year
by Jean Medcalf

Midnight tolls
A flock of bells peals out
Swinging on a clapper
We fly
Backwards and forwards
Higher and higher
Soaring and swooping
Balanced like birds on the upstroke of twelve
We poise
And dive
With courage into a virgin year.