Climate ChangeThis is an emergency

‘This is an emergency’: local meeting on climate change (and what to do about it)

A public meeting on climate change will take place at Wanstead House this month. Featuring speakers from Extinction Rebellion – an international social movement that aims to bring about change through non-violent resistance – the event on 26 March (7pm to 9pm; free) will share the latest climate science findings, discuss some of the current psychology around climate change and offer solutions through the study of social movements. "The planet is in ecological crisis: we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction event this planet has experienced. Scientists believe we may have entered a period of abrupt climate breakdown. This is an emergency," said event organiser Kathy Taylor. "Everyone is welcome, and there will be time to ask questions and discuss afterwards." Email


Decade to remember

Join historian Nick Dobson on a trip back to 1950s London at Wanstead Library this month and discover a decade during which wartime austerity gave way to growing optimism It is tempting to look at the 1950s as the dull decade bracketed by the battlefield of the forties and carnival of the sixties. If the London of the 1960s is in glorious psychedelic colour, then surely the fifties remain in drab black and white? However, the decade which started in austerity ended with Harold Macmillan telling us we had never had it so good! It was a decade of steady progress towards new confidence and prosperity; a march towards modern Britain, seen with greatest clarity in London. At the start of the fifties, the average...

DSC_4428-q©Geoff Wilkinson

Floating ideas

Rising at Molehill Green in Essex, the River Roding passes through the Wanstead and Woodford area en route to the Thames, bringing with it a very real flood risk to local homes. In the first of a series of articles charting the ideas and hopes of the River Roding Project – which aims to reduce that risk – Laura Hepworth from the Environment Agency is keen to seek community support for the project. Photography by Geoff Wilkinson The River Roding has a long history of flooding. Flood events have been recorded since 1926, occurring in 1939, 1947, 1974, 1988, 1993, 2000 and 2007. In 2000, over 400 properties flooded in Woodford. Charlie Brown’s Roundabout was shut for over a week, impacting access to schools and supermarkets. Broadmead...


Here for us all

With a new shop to open in Wanstead this month, Saint Francis Hospice will raise its profile in the area. But the service provided by the Havering-based charity has always been here for us, says Amanda Green. This time two years ago Saint Francis Hospice entered my life as my mum entered Saint Francis Hospice. It was life-changing on many levels. Mostly, of course, because my beloved mum was dying and went into Saint Francis to receive end-of-life care. But it was also life-changing because once I and my family experienced what a hospice does, and in particular the care which Mum received, there was no way we couldn't feel anything but compelled to support the charity by raising funds and awareness. For me, this...


Busy doing nothing

Before the internet, boredom was something to be feared. Today, experts are wondering whether it is good for us. Wanstead resident Steve Wilks examines why this may be the case. Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard thought it was the root of all evil. Writer Mary Renault considered it intellectual defeat. French sociologist Jean Baudrillard declared it the world's second-worst crime. But where boredom might once have been something to fear, today we are never truly bored. In our era of non-stop notifications, how can we be? According to a survey, the average Brit checks their smartphone 28 times a day – at least once per hour. That's more that 10,000 times a year. "Those little spaces of 'no work', like walking through a park, are disappearing,"...


Cuban knees-up

Independent local travel advisor Jack Leaf offers an overview of his recent luxury cruise around Cuba, which allowed him to tick off a music-related travel ambition. Whilst cruising between the Spanish colonial cities of Trinidad in Cuba and Cartagena in Columbia, it struck me that I should be writing about MV Silver Cloud and the Silversea expedition cruise I am currently enjoying. I have long wanted to visit Cuba but the rumours of food scarcity and poor quality deterred me, until I heard about this cruise itinerary. Silversea is one of the finest international cruise lines, so one is assured of a high standard of accommodation and cuisine on relatively small ships (300 to 400 passengers) and their expedition cruises include a full itinerary of...

l-1©Peter Luscombe

Testimony to talent

Wanstead resident Peter Luscombe and other members of the Essex Art Club will be exhibiting their work at the Barbican Library this month. Here, Peter explains how his training as an architect led to a lifelong hobby

IMG_2394Sandy and Gemma working on their allotment

Allotment life

Gemma and Sandy Sanderson have created their own self-sustainable oasis at the Redbridge Lane West allotments. Paul Donovan, a member of the Wanstead Transition Initiative, meets them