IMG_20190907_170904_resized_20190916_042011108Donna Mizzi joins cow creator Karen Humpage (right). Arnold the cow collected almost £120 for Compassion in World Farming

The biggest and best

One of our aims has been to make art more accessible. It’s a form of communication. If we’ve helped more local people enjoy art, that’s an important achievement, says Donna Mizzi, Art Trail Wanstead founder. “For some reason, there’s art everywhere on the High Street!” “Gosh, there must be a helluva lot of artists living in Wanstead.” “What’s that cow doing in Majestic Wine Warehouse?” These were just a few of the comments overheard during September’s Art Trail Wanstead. This trail has been the biggest and best in its 10 years, according to many visitors and artists. Almost 80 venues participated in the free 16-day event organised by Art Group Wanstead volunteers. Some small shops showed a few samples while larger businesses accommodated work by...

Lucinda-ImageLucinda Dickens Hawksley

Celebrating culture

Fabula Festival – Redbridge Libraries’ biggest cultural event of the year – is back this autumn and promises to delight residents with a jam-packed programme. Anita Luby reports Fabula Festival (2 to 13 October) is a celebration of the arts and libraries and their power to transform lives. It’s delivered through a programme of performances, children’s events, author talks, films, writing programmes, workshops and arts projects. It gives residents the opportunity to participate in a range of new and exciting activities delivered by a range of local and national organisations, showcasing the very best in literature, music, drama, dance, film, art and technology. Festival highlights include an evening with author Lucinda Dickens Hawksley at Wanstead Library (10 October, 7.30pm). Everyone knows Charles Dickens’ novels, but...

Stairway-to-Heaven©Jim Williams

Photo story 2

In the second of a series of articles by members of the Woodford and Wanstead Photographic Society, Jim Williams tells the story behind this image taken on his way home from work This picture may be nothing special to most photographers, but to me it was a milestone breakthrough, realising I had recognised the possibility of getting this shot. I have been a regular member of Woodford and Wanstead Photographic Society for just under three years but still consider myself a novice when I compare myself to other members I admire. Some people just have the knack of finding the right angle to make an average image great. I often wonder how they see what I don’t and whether you can teach someone creativity or if...

P1060109---CopyThe Great Eastern Railway brackets at Snaresbrook Station

Join local historian for a wander around Snaresbrook

Local historian Lynn Haseldine Jones will lead a walk around Snaresbrook this month looking at the evidence for commuters. “We begin at Snaresbrook Station, where the railway first came in 1856, changing the nature of the village from a predominantly Georgian settlement to a bustling Victorian suburb. There is still evidence of the Great Eastern Railway, hardly noticed by passengers on the busy Central Line,” said Lynn. The free 90-minute walk departs at 2pm on 9 October (booking required). Visit


Spring-flowering bulb giveaway and planting weekend this month

Redbridge Council will be giving away spring-flowering bulbs to the community this month, encouraging everyone to plant them as part of the Big Bulb Planting Weekend (18 to 20 October). This is part of a borough-wide movement to bring everybody together to beautify our streets… Bulbs can be planted in spaces that benefit the community,” said a spokesperson. The bulbs – which include daffodils, tulips and crocuses – must be requested by 10 October and can be collected from Wanstead Library. Visit


Old enough to…

In the third of a series of articles looking at the work of Age UK Redbridge, Barking & Havering, Janet West explains the importance of Older People’s Week and looks at what will be happening in Wanstead The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on 14 December 1990 declaring 1 October as an International Day of Older People. The day is to acknowledge and appreciate the enormous contributions and achievements that older people make to the functioning of society and the economy. According to the United Nations, almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60. By 2050, two billion people, over 20% of the world’s population, will be 60 or older. The increase in the number of older people will be the greatest...

02-Wanstead-Place-Clinic© Denise Rooney

Gardening movement

Marian Temple from the Wanstead Community Gardeners takes a look at the Wanstead Place Clinic garden, a site that epitomises the group’s ethos of collective effort, but is also home to some mystery goings-on Our latest garden has really taken on a life of its own. Planted only in April in order to catch the spring showers, which didn’t come, it has been lovingly watered by the wonderful Carmel who works in the British Heart Foundation shop. She has the enviable ability of involving the whole world in the watering. Thus, the neighbours, the minister one side and the man in the tall house the other side, have been filling watering cans and barrels. Helen and Eileen who work at the clinic have been doing...

37608320500_7c32c4a29d_k© James Petts

Meet and… Greet?

On 3 October, Wanstead residents will get the chance to quiz London City Airport representatives about their expansion proposals. John Stewart of campaign group HACAN East reports. London City Airport has extended the consultation on its expansion proposals in its draft Master Plan to 18 October. The airport wants to almost double flight numbers from today’s levels, end the 24-hour weekend break and bring in more planes in the early morning and late evening. The proposals have proved highly controversial. The Mayor of Newham called the draft Master Plan “fundamentally flawed”. Other local authorities have come out against the proposals and local residents from many parts of London have been sending in objections. Climate change activists have also raised big concerns. London City Airport does...


A guide to Shakespeare’s London: hear the talk or enjoy the walk

William Shakespeare’s London haunts will be the subject of this month’s Wanstead Park Women’s Club meeting. “This talk has developed out of a walk I have led a number of times through and around the City of London, where we explore the places that Shakespeare lived and worked,” said Russell Kenny, who has also devised a self-guided version of the tour (visit The presentation will take place at Aldersbrook Bowls Club on 21 October from 8pm (visitors: £3). Call 020 8925 4875...


Orienteering in Wanstead Park: exercise your mind and body

Local families are invited to explore Wanstead Park next month by taking part in an orienteering event. “Using a map, go exploring and try to navigate your way around all the markers. The whole family can get involved and get active in this fun activity that exercises mind and body,” said a spokesperson for the Field Studies Council. The two-hour activity – which is suitable for children aged seven and over – will take place on 5 October from 10am and 1pm (children: £5; adults: free; booking required). Visit

John-PluckJohn Pluck

Cricket club to install defibrillator following member’s heart attack

A defibrillator will be installed at Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket Club following a heart attack suffered by scorer John Pluck, whose life was saved by the quick action of fellow club members and the use of a defibrillator from neighbouring Linkside Lawn Tennis Club. “The club is pleased to advise that John is making good progress. The club would like to place on record the heroic efforts of Joe Ellis-Grewal, Pinder Grewal, Ben Phillips, Paul Baily and Jayden Rising, among others, who saved John’s life,” said a spokesperson....

image1-copyDashiell Ratcliffe as Jim in The Railway Children, performed at Forest School earlier this month

Young actor ‘couldn’t have wished for a better experience’ in Fringe show

An aspiring young actor from Wanstead has spoken of his enjoyment after being cast in a professional production of The Railway Children for this month’s Wanstead Fringe. “There was never a dull moment and I couldn’t have wished for a better experience, from late-night rehearsals to the adrenaline rush before each show! I learnt so much from working with such a warm, friendly and professional cast,” said 14-year-old Dashiell Ratcliffe. “There was a lovely family bond working with a cast so closely, and I already miss the buzz of it all!”...