April 2023


‘A fantastic experience’: Ukrainian sponsor speaks at event


A Wanstead resident has told of her experience of sharing her home with a Ukrainian family.

“My husband, myself, and my daughter found it a fantastic experience. We enjoyed outings together. We all went to Kew Gardens and Colchester Zoo, which was great fun. The family have now moved into rented accommodation. It feels good that we helped them settle in,” said Mary Ramsay, speaking at a recent council-organised event.

Around 300 Ukrainians have made Redbridge their home as part of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.


Wanstead High School PTA launches pre-loved uniform shop

Screenshot 2023-04-24 at 15.15.50

The recently relaunched PTA at Wanstead High School has set up a pre-loved uniform shop.

“Our aims are to be more sustainable as a school, to allow everyone equal access to branded uniform and to raise some much-needed funds to benefit the students. Our next pop-up shop will be at Eton Manor RFC’s community day on 27 May. More donation dates and drop-off points will be announced soon. If you have uniform to donate, please get in touch,” said PTA organiser Louise Russell.

Email WHSPTA23@gmail.com


Does the Roman road from London to Colchester pass over Wanstead Flats?


A geophysical survey has been carried out on part of Wanstead Flats in an attempt to determine if the line of the Roman road from London to Colchester passes across the Flats as opposed to the modern Romford Road, as is commonly believed.

“There has long been a school of thought that this important Roman highway actually ran a little to the north, along the ancient track which is now known as Windmill Lane and Forest Lane, and continuing through the Flats… A very definite parch mark is visible along the southern extremity of the Flats (Manor Park Flats),” said a Friends of Wanstead Parklands spokesperson.

Architect Mark Willingale obtained permission from Epping Forest to carry out a survey of the area around the parch mark. “Initial ground resistivity investigations were inconclusive but suggest that we need further investigation to prove this theory. The gathering of evidence continues,” said Mark.


Summer opening at the Temple

The Temple – Wanstead Park’s visitor centre – will be open on the second weekend of each month until September.

Exploring the park’s history from Roman times to the present day, the Grade II*-listed building will be open from 12 noon to 5pm, with displays including a number of statues which once stood throughout the park and a history of the park’s Roman villa, told through mosaics and other items.

Visit wnstd.com/temple


Mid-April warm spell brings bluebells – and visitors – to Wanstead Park


Wanstead Park’s bluebells have emerged and should remain on show into early May.

“The warmer weather in mid-April encouraged the bluebells to open, and the sunshine brought out their sweet scent. The main show will be at the end of April, hopefully with the flowers on display into May. The park has been very busy with visitors taking photos and children cycling and balancing on the logs. Happily, we’ve seen no sign of destructive trampling so far. The new signage seems to have helped a lot,” said Gill James of the Wren Wildlife Group.


Open table at Holy Trinity Church: everyone is welcome


An open table initiative at Holy Trinity Church on Hermon Hill offers a free hot meal to anyone in the community.

“Christian faith is centred around a meal together, and we want to share with those around us, building community and helping beat loneliness. Everyone is welcome – young and old, rich and poor and of any faith or none. If you are in need, come! If you are not in need but want to build community here, come!” said Rev Abi Todd. The next meal will be served from 5.30pm on 26 April.

Visit wnstd.com/ot


Travelling Down Under: flower arranging with Australian plants

flowers-1An arrangement by Helen including eucalyptus, proteas and agapanthus

A flower arranging demonstration using plants native to Australia will take place at Wanstead Library this month as part of a series of events organised by the Woodford and District Floral Arrangement Group.

“My son lives in Perth, and I have travelled around Australia a couple of times. I’ll be telling the stories of my travels and using plants that are native to the diverse Australian landscape and culture,” said flower arranger Helen Hare, whose presentation will take place on 17 April from 7.30pm (visitors: £7).

Call 020 8508 9765


Woodford artists invite Wanstead residents to spring exhibition

wag©Terry Rumak

Members of Woodford Arts Group have invited the residents of Wanstead to their spring exhibition.

“Wanstead and Woodford have close ties dating back many years. Wanstead already has a vibrant art scene, and our group was founded in 2018 with the aim of establishing Woodford as an area of diverse creativity, so do come and see what we have to offer,” said a spokesperson.

The exhibition runs from 15 to 21 April (12 noon to 6pm) at the Sir James Hawkey Hall in Woodford Green.

Visit wnstd.com/wag


A growing school


Local grassroots forest school and outdoor training centre ‘kinship in nature’ was founded in 2017. Now, directors Misty Twigg and Rhiannon Leyland are keen to share the story with the wider community

Our forest school, ‘kinship in nature’, facilitates meaningful experiences, which foster community, connections and well-being for people and nature. It is with the empowerment of witnessing the positive impact that connecting with nature has had for participants and for ourselves, that we take the project forward to be part of an alternative educational movement in Britain that is now being embraced by the mainstream. 

Our work is rooted in forest school, nature connection and experiential education practices that deepen relationships with the natural world. We offer this through long-term weekly and monthly sessions, one-off school holiday camps and community gatherings. These have been such a success, we currently have more demand than we can meet. Our mission is to reach beyond our forest walls so more humans can benefit. We want everyone to experience the transformational process that is forest school, so future generations can grow up connected to nature. We realised the most effective way to do this would be through enabling others to offer their own provisions, and we’re consulting with various schools and organisations to achieve this. 

We are nature and we need to spend regular periods of time outside in our daily lives. The benefits of connecting to the natural world include nervous system regulation and improvement of mental health. We have had countless positive stories about the benefits our kinship have experienced in their everyday lives. Many of the adults who attend the sessions say how it has really impacted their mental health positively, including overcoming post-natal depression and anxiety. 

We host a number of certified trainings, including first aid. Last year we created a fully funded traineeship for people who need a stepping-stone into a career working in this field. These are all facilitated by experienced and highly regarded industry leaders. We started hosting workshops due to personal growth requests from our team. Participants to date have been local parents, carers, forest school practitioners, teachers and professionals working in related fields.

It has been important to us since our inception to ensure what we do is accessible to the local community. We therefore offer bursaries on all our work in the forest and have never turned anyone away due to a lack of funds. Having grown solely through word of mouth, with so many strings to our bow and incredible opportunities to offer, we feel this is an opportune time to introduce ourselves and give a voice to the transformational ways we are working with the local community.

Kinship in Nature is based at the Wanstead Quaker Meeting House, Bush Road, E11 3AU. For more information, visit kinshipinnature.com


Listen and learn

441-colour-hi-res---Victor-L-CMF-Nov-2021© Benjamin Ealovega

In the 31st of a series of articles, David Bird discusses the work of Redbridge Music Society and introduces pianist Victor Lim, who will be performing at Wanstead Library this month

A major aim of Redbridge Music Society is to support and promote talented young musicians, and this month, award-winning young pianist Victor Lim will give a recital which will include music by Grieg (the famous Holberg Suite), Haydn, Rachmaninoff and other composers.

Victor Lim – who was described in the magazine Revista Arta as a pianist “with great possibilities of nuance and perfect flexibility” – is currently establishing himself as a remarkably versatile and accomplished musician. He trained initially at Wells Cathedral School and then as an Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Scholar at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. With awards from Help Musicians UK and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Victor studied with concert pianist Michael Dussek at London’s Royal Academy of Music, where he graduated with a Dip RAM and received the Christian Carpenter Prize for the best final recital.

Victor’s first public appearance was in 2012 as a keyboard finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition, and since then he has performed extensively across the UK, Europe, China, Singapore and South Korea. Victor is currently a City Music Foundation Artist and a Making Music Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artist. In 2021, he won the Gold Medal of the Royal Northern College of Music where he now continues his studies with the renowned pianist Kathryn Stott.

Victor’s interests cross all genres of music and his interest in new music has led to recent collaborations with composer Graham Fitkin and pianist Stephen Hough. Victor has a special affinity with the music of Beethoven (recognised by two awards from the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe) and a great personal passion for the music of Robert Schumann.

Victor is an active chamber musician and has formed collaborations with a number of other musicians, notably cellist Waynne Kwon, with whom he won the prestigious Tunnell Trust Music Award 2021/22. Victor was the founding member of the Louko Piano Trio, who went on to win all of the chamber music prizes during their time at the Royal Northern College of Music. An experienced educator and ardent advocate of community music, Victor works closely with Olympias Music Foundation in Manchester.

Please come along to this recital and experience and support a remarkably talented young musician, who is surely destined for a brilliant future.

Victor Lim will perform at Wanstead Library on 18 April from 8pm (tickets on the door; visitors: £12; members: £8). Call 07380 606 767. Redbridge Music Society is supported by Vision RCL and affiliated to Making Music.


Good Grief Cafe in Wanstead


A Good Grief Cafe – a place to meet others and discuss feelings of grief and loss – will take place at Wanstead Library on 20 April.

“There is no agenda, objective or theme; the conversation is simply led by the people in the group. It’s a supportive environment for reflection and conversation. Join us for tea, cake and a supportive ear,” said a spokesperson.

The two-hour session starts at 6.30pm and is free to attend. Visit wnstd.com/grief