March 2022


Platinum Jubilee street parties


Applications to hold a street party for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee must be submitted by 14 April.

“We will be supporting residents to hold parties on 5 June between 9am and 9pm. We have created a guide that gives a breakdown of the process and some helpful hints about holding a fun and safe event. In keeping with the spirit of the occasion, we will waive any fees,” said a Redbridge Council spokesperson.



We had an overwhelming response: Wanstead answers call for Ukraine appeal

Screenshot 2022-03-29 at 11.12.24

Organisers of Wanstead’s Tin in a Bin network were overwhelmed by local support for their Ukraine appeal last month.

“We were approached by Redbridge Council to assist with the appeal. We put messages out across social media platforms and we can’t thank you all enough for your kindness. We collaborated with Woodford Baptist Church as volunteers took donations to the lorries, which transported the supplies to the Polish border. Once again, the Wanstead Community Hub was instrumental in mobilising teams. We had an overwhelming response but feel we may be called upon again as the situation continues to unfold,” said Juliette Harvey, who co-founded Tin in a Bin at the start of the pandemic.

An event to thank volunteers will take place at Wanstead Cricket Club on 15 April from 3pm to 6pm. “There are so many people who contribute to what we do we thought it would be nice to have a get together, a chance to put names to faces and meet the team.”


Local elections hustings at Wanstead Library to have environmental focus


An election hustings with an environmental focus will be held at Wanstead Library next month ahead of the local elections on 5 May.

“One candidate from each of the main parties contesting the election in either the Wanstead Village or Wanstead Park wards has been invited. Questions can be submitted in advance or on the night. This is a rare and important opportunity for local people from across the political spectrum to gather in one space, to quiz candidates, and to hear them discuss and debate the multiple issues facing our environment and how to tackle them.” said Paul Kaufman, chair of the East London Humanists, which is organising the event in partnership with the Wanstead Society.

The hustings will start at 7.30pm (doors open at 7pm) on 11 April. The event is free and open to all. There will be a collection to cover hall hire costs with any surplus being contributed to the DEC Ukraine appeal.

To submit a question for the hustings, complete the form below:


    Community knitting to support our Ukrainian neighbours


    Wanstead-based knitting group Social Knitworks has created a new range of woolly poppies to show support for Ukraine.

    “We normally knit and crochet to help vulnerable people locally. However, we felt we had to do something for our Ukrainian neighbours. So, we dusted off our poppy patterns and found a few new ones, but instead of red, we have developed a range in blue and yellow, priced £4 each. All proceeds will go to the DEC Ukraine Appeal,” said Liz Hickson.



    Staff and patient stories wanted for hospital community history project

    RLHWX-P-1-1-26-WX-nurse-trainingWhipps Cross Hospital Preliminary Training school, September 1945. ©Barts Health NHS Trust Archives

    Residents are invited to take part in Whipps Cross Voices, a community history project about Whipps Cross Hospital.

    “We want to capture stories about the hospital from staff and patients, past and present, and preserve them as a historical resource for the future… You may be interested in recording your own memories, working in the archives with our existing collections, or helping us to curate the stories for displays online and at Whipps Cross,” said a spokesperson for Barts Health Archives.

    A virtual launch event takes place today (30 March 2022) from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.



    Wall of Shame: help identify people illegally dumping their rubbish


    Redbridge Council launched a new microsite dedicated to identifying culprits caught on camera dumping rubbish on the borough’s streets.

    The ‘Wall of Shame’ shares CCTV footage of people discarding their rubbish illegally, and is part of the council’s efforts to reduce fly-tipping in Redbridge.

    “Featuring on the site this month are two men shamelessly dumping a mattress, bags and waste in Ilford Lane, a man fly-tipping a bag next to a street litter bin in Ley Street, a woman dumping bags along a wall in Baxter Road,  two further fly tips by a man and woman both dumping bags beside a communication box in Henley Road, and a man caught spraying graffiti on a wall in Bernards Close,” said a council spokesperson.

    Click here to view the site or watch this month’s footage below. If you are able to identify any of the culprits caught on camera, email

    Residents can also report any fly-tips they spot in the borough through the council’s Report It page. All fly tips made known to the council are recorded and investigated, with enforcement action being taken if evidence is found. The council aims to clear all recorded fly-tips within 24 hours of it being reported.


    Wellness Festival returns: five weeks of online events in aid of charity


    Wellness Festival 2022 – a five-week programme of well-being events – launched yesterday and runs until 8 May.

    “We are hosting a series of online events offering practical tools for people to take into their everyday lives. Sessions are run by a range of local experts, including yoga instructors, nutritionists, mental health advocates and musicians,” said organiser and Wanstead resident Elsa Arnold.

    Sponsored by Petty Son and Prestwich, all proceeds will be donated to the charity YoungMinds.



    Wanstead Village Directory selected by Redbridge Libraries’ virtual service


    The Wanstead Village Directory and South Woodford Village Gazette have become the first publications selected by Redbridge Libraries to be made available on PressReader, a digital platform that allows library cardholders and leisure centre visitors to access newspapers and magazines from around the world.

    “We are delighted to be adding these local publications to our virtual library service. This is the first step in making local content more widely available on PressReader,” said a Vision RCL spokesperson.



    History comes home

    sp2WSPU badges designed by Sylvia Pankhurst

    Redbridge Museum will open a new permanent exhibition later this year exploring 200,000 years of local history. In the second of a series of articles, Museum Officer Nishat Alam looks at some of the items on show

    For Women’s History Month, I want to celebrate a major event in British women’s history – winning the right to vote. From the mid-19th century, women across the country campaigned endlessly for this right. Redbridge was no exception.

    Much like today, Ilford, Wanstead and Woodford each had their own distinct identities, often informed by affluence and class, and this influenced the kinds of suffrage activity that took place in each area.

    In Ilford, campaigners known as ‘suffragettes’ who aligned with the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) were considered militant in their approach, smashing shop windows and setting fire to post boxes to bring about awareness of their cause. Women in Wanstead and Woodford tended to be more conservative. Woodford had its own branch of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies who believed in peaceful protest, distributing petitions and pamphlets or writing letters to their local MPs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the shock factor of the WSPU’s methods drew more attention, and in 1918 some women were finally given the vote.

    One woman who did not stop fighting, even when both groups suspended their campaigns during wartime, was Sylvia Pankhurst. Sylvia had been deeply involved in WSPU activities; her family had founded the organisation, she had designed flags, badges and banners, and had undergone force-feeding while on hunger strike in prison. She was also a pacifist and opposed the WSPU’s support for the war. As Sylvia’s politics became increasingly socialist, she was expelled from the organisation but continued to campaign with her own working women’s group in London’s East End.

    In 1924, Sylvia moved to Woodford. From her home on Charteris Road, she campaigned in support of mothers’ rights and against racism and fascism for 30 years. She opposed the Italian colonisation of Ethiopia, and in 1956 was invited to move there by the Emperor Haile Selassie. She died and was buried in Addis Ababa in 1960.

    Sylvia’s legacy in Redbridge remains and women continue to connect with her struggle for social justice. The Anti-Air War Memorial in Woodford Green, which she commissioned in 1935, became the site for events held in the 1980s by the Wanstead and Woodford Women for Peace, a local activist group that campaigned against the use of nuclear weapons during the Cold War.

    The story of Sylvia’s life is documented on a new website ( and will be explored through objects, photographs and film in the new Redbridge Museum.

    Redbridge Museum is located on Clements Road, Ilford. Visit

    To complete a survey about what else should go on display, visit


    End of the Road


    Dear gas and oil, we want a divorce and we’re taking the kids, writes Troy Da Costa of Wanstead Climate Action, who believes it’s time Britain ended its abusive relationship with fossil fuels

    An unprecedented rise in gas prices will see a tripling in household fuel costs this April and an increase in inflation to a 30-year high of 6%. The cost to offset the rise is said to be £7bn. As always, the poorest and most vulnerable among us will be pushed into making some undesirable choices.

    Insulating social housing could have gone a long way towards reducing the number of people forced into fuel poverty, which is defined as a household paying more than 10% of its income on heating and electricity. 

    A national plan to retrofit all homes with low-energy and low-carbon technologies would have reduced demand and kept the volatile fuel prices in check, while making strides towards reducing our overall dependence on burning fossil fuels.

    Coincidentally, these are the two main demands of an environmental group known as Insulate Britain, a group consisting of teachers, librarians and pensioners, many of whom risked life and limb and are now doing prison time for stating the obvious.

    There are no guarantees the price of gas will magically fall to a more comfortable level after April, and throwing grants at the problem and reducing taxes and levies will only provide a temporary reprieve.

    We need a nationally driven campaign, intervention at the highest levels, to move away from this fossil fuel addiction, or forever be at the whims of the inflammatory market.

    Currently, there are schemes at a local level to help insulate your home and replace your boiler with one that’s more efficient, but the scope of who is eligible to receive these is too narrow to make a difference.

    The only way to bring down the price of fuel is to use less at a national level. Green technologies already exist and are quickly becoming cheaper and more efficient. At times like this, we should be benefiting from these. We should be leaders in green energy, free from the tyranny of our instinct to set fire to things to keep warm and cook our food.

    We have arrived at the end of our relationship with oil and gas. The point where it costs more than it benefits us. Our efforts to cling to the good old days and fanciful memories of better times have brought us to an expensive and startling awakening. To continue as we are would be delusional. 

    Now is the time to pack our bags and walk away from this marriage of inconvenience for good.

    For more information on Wanstead Climate Action, visit


    Ground rent grounded


    Derek Inkpin from local solicitors Wiseman Lee explains why a new law is a step in the right direction to ending the ground rent scandal in the world of leasehold property

    Leases of flats sold say 40 or 50 years ago were normally for 99 or 125 years, at a fixed ground rent of £50 to £100 each year. In the past few years, however, land developers of both leasehold houses and flats have started to include ground rents of between £250 and £500 per annum. What is worse is that some leases now have rent review clauses, which allow the ground rent to double say every 10 years.

    If a ground rent of say £250 a year doubles every 10 years, a leaseholder would be obliged to pay £16,000 each year after 60 years. Not only would a flat owner find that amount unmanageable, but the flat, if let, would have a rent expense that could not be passed on to the tenant.

    If you had bought the house or flat and did not appreciate the problem of rising ground rents, and your solicitor also failed to notice this, your mortgage lender most certainly would not lend in such cases, and this at least would stop a purchaser buying a property that would be pretty much worthless on the open market.

    All this may be familiar to you because in recent years it has hit the headlines as a mis-selling scandal. Leaseholders saddled with this problem may try to purchase the freehold to overcome their defective lease or alternatively try to agree amendments to their leases, but these potential solutions are likely to come at a significant cost. If solicitors fail to notice these problems then they are likely to face a successful claim against them for negligence.

    Being stuck with an unsellable flat or house (much like the cladding scandal) is, of course, the stuff of nightmares. As a leaseholder, you will feel trapped due to unfair ground rent charges, and claiming against your negligent conveyancing solicitors may take years to resolve.

    The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill – which received Royal Assent on 8 February – seeks to tackle the unfairness of these ground rent situations. The government has committed to legislate to restrict ground rents in new leasehold houses and flats to a peppercorn rent (of no value). In addition, loopholes in leasehold law will be addressed to improve transparency and fairness. The new law will allow leaseholders of houses and flats the right to extend their leases as often as they wish at a zero ground rent for a term of 990 years. Just in case landlords try to impose administration charges instead of a peppercorn rent, this is prevented in the bill.

    Although the new law will only apply to the grant of new leases, it is a step in the right direction after a scandal which has gone on for far too long.

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


    Peter Pan in Wanstead Park: tickets on sale for open-air theatre

    DSC_1786The performances in Wanstead Park are always popular. ©City of London Corporation/Yvette Woodhouse

    Award-winning open-air theatre company Illyria will return to Wanstead Park this summer with three family-friendly performances.

    The new season begins on 4 June with Peter Pan, followed by A Midsummer Night’s Dream on 8 July and The Pirates of Penzance on 29 July. All shows take place in the park’s Temple enclosure (gates open at 6pm; performances start at 7pm), and attendees are encouraged to bring their own seating, rugs, suitable clothing and a picnic.