Active Society

Christchurch Green, the January image in the 2022 calendarChristchurch Green, the January image in the 2022 calendar

The AGM of the Wanstead Society took place last month. Members of the committee reported on different aspects of the Society’s activities, which Acting Chair Eileen Flinter outlines here

During the pandemic lockdown, the Society waived membership fees for the year (normally £10 per household) and urged people to spend the money in local businesses instead. Nevertheless, several unsolicited donations from members meant the Society ended the year in a financially healthy state.

Our key fundraiser, apart from subscriptions, is the annual calendar of Geoff Wilkinson’s photos, generously sponsored by Petty Son and Prestwich. No calendar was produced for 2021, due to Moments, our key retailer (after the Wanstead Festival, which didn’t take place last year) being closed for much of 2020. Happily, the calendar is back for 2022 and is proving very popular (despite, or maybe because of, two overlooked printing errors!)

There was some discussion at the AGM concerning the forthcoming refreshment kiosk on Christchurch Green and the selling of Christmas trees on the same site. Some members were concerned that both ventures offered unfair competition to local businesses at a time when they are still trying to recover from the prolonged closures. Vision RCL is a charity and, thus, exempt from business rates and VAT. The committee is monitoring these developments and is in touch with local councillors and will report any updates through the Society’s website and newsletter.

Included in the invitations to attend the AGM, members were invited to donate food and personal hygiene items to Tin in a Bin as well as new underwear for the The Corner House Project. In true Wanstead style, donations were generous and several people emptied their wallets so that £60 was then spent on warm socks and thermals in addition to the large bags of items collected on the day.

The Society was sorry to say goodbye to Iris Vandenberghe, who has decided to stand down after many years chivvying the council to provide litter bins in the quest for a cleaner Wanstead. The committee and members expressed their gratitude, and Iris agreed to become an honorary committee member and attend meetings which need her expertise.

Scott Wilding, the Chair, was unable to attend the meeting due to testing positive for Covid, but he is standing down from this position for a while and I was appointed as Acting Chair.

The meeting closed with thanks to all who attended – the largest and most participative turnout for some years. Finally, thanks were also offered to The Cuckfield for offering their premises for the meeting and providing refreshments for all attendees.

The Wanstead Society 2022 calendar is available from Moments, 69 High Street, Wanstead, priced £8.

For more information on the Wanstead Society, visit wansteadsociety.org.uk