1102457_10152349631672565_1617590813_oAlison as Mary Anning in Fossils and Monsters

Their Master’s Voice

Residents are invited to join the audience as eight professional singers take part in a masterclass with Royal College of Music vocal studies professor Alison Wells at St Mary’s Church this month This month, I will be giving a masterclass to eight professional and advanced student singers at St Mary’s Church in Wanstead. The event last year was a great success. Over 170 people came along to watch what is a fascinating process. I worked with each singer for 30 minutes to help them find more technical ease in their singing, and also to help them develop an imaginative approach to the interpretation of the pieces they were singing. Several people remarked they had thought the singers were brilliant anyway, and how wonderful it was to see that...


Reasons to write about the seasons: Frankie Valli, Vivaldi or the weather?

Over-50s poetry group the Redbridge Rhymesters will be joined by Snaresbrook Primary School pupils on 24 March as they host a creative writing session at the Allan Burgess Centre with a theme of ‘The Four Seasons’. “Apart from the obvious summer, autumn, winter and spring ideas, I am hoping writers might come up with something about Frankie Valli, or even one of Vivaldi’s concertos. We shall see what imaginations are fired up,” said event organiser Alexandra Wilde. Visitors are welcome. Call 020 8989 6338...

IMG_1594A Di’s Diamonds outing to Purfleet Heritage & Military Centre on a private bus

Old enough to…

In the eighth of a series of articles looking at the work of Age UK Redbridge, Barking and Havering, Janet West introduces Di’s Diamonds, which is now offering a social calendar of events for local over-50s Di’s Diamonds is a group of men and women, single or partnered and aged 50-plus, from all walks of life and backgrounds, who want to get out and about, socialise and make friends. We understand that doing these things on your own can sometimes be daunting, especially if you haven’t socialised in a while. The group was originally set up by two ladies – Diane and Cathy – on a voluntary basis in Havering, organising coffee mornings, lunches and outings, but as the numbers grew, it became difficult to manage....


The inside story

An emerging home trend could change the quality of your life, explains local interior designer and Art Group Wanstead member Anna Wicslo It might not trip off your tongue yet, but the word on the lips of the biggest movers and shakers in home design is biophilia. And it’s fast becoming one of the most important factors in the worlds of interior design and architecture. Biophilic design aims to increase our connection with nature, contributing to good health and wellbeing. Countless studies show its effects can be relaxing, while in home workspaces it can be stimulating, boosting focus and productivity, and helping to spark creativity while lowering stress hormones and blood pressure. Humans are understood to have an innate connection to nature and natural processes,...


The Hobbs Album

In the first of a series of articles looking at historic photos of the local area found in a 100-year-old family album, historian Richard Arnopp  presents a selection of images of Wanstead Park Since 2007, I’ve been involved in the campaign to raise public awareness of Wanstead Park, an important and historic open space. I’ve also been an active researcher into various aspects of the park’s history, to inform the development of plans for the future by shedding light on its past. One of my projects has been to build up a collection of historic images of Wanstead Park, Bush Wood and Wanstead Flats. In 2017, I acquired an album of photographs taken by members of the Hobbs family, some of whom lived locally. The...

Aerial-photo4Aerial photographs of the River Roding flooding in December 2019, taken by a local resident

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 seventh of a series of articles, Nina Garner from the Environment Agency reports on the River Roding Project, which aims to reduce that risk. Photo by Geoff Wilkinson On Saturday 21 December 2019, the Environment Agency issued flood alerts and warnings along the River Roding due to heavy rainfall. These informed local residents of a risk of flooding and covered areas including Woodford, Ilford, Barking, Loughton and East Ham. Although no properties were flooded in 2019, the river peaked at 7am on 21 December, reaching 1.83m. This river level reached was the...


Too many toys? Sell them at NCT’s nearly new sale in Wanstead

Parents with too many children’s clothes and toys will have the chance to sell them to other local parents at NCT Redbridge’s nearly new sale at Christ Church hall on 25 April. Stallholders keep 70% of their sale prices, with the rest supporting the charity’s work. Seller registration opens to the general public on 9 March (cost: £5). “Keep an eye on our Facebook page so you don’t miss out when it goes live as seller spaces sold out within 24 hours for our November sale,” said a spokesperson. Visit wnstd.com/nct25april...

20200120_114103Members of the Wanstead, Woodford and Barkingside Marie Curie Fundraising Group

£100k & counting

Members of the Wanstead, Woodford and Barkingside Marie Curie Fundraising Group have reached their £100,000 target. Jill Playford thanks local supporters and explains how the money will be used A celebration was held in February to thank all supporters and collectors who helped us to raise the fantastic amount of £100,000 over the last few years, paying for 5,000 Marie Curie nursing hours. We get wonderful support from our local communities with local businesses donating raffle prizes, Wanstead High School donating the proceeds from their annual charity cross country run, Wanstead House holding cake and coffee mornings to raise money and students from Forest School helping out at our Great Daffodil Appeal collections. The group was formed in June 2013 with four members who had all...


Relax & take control

Before being diagnosed with cancer in 2016, Wanstead Business Network member Lucy Howe ran a wellness clinic in South Woodford. Now in remission, she is keen to help others again Being told you have cancer is one of the scariest things you can ever hear. I know, because I’ve heard the words: “You have cancer.” That was the day the world fell out of my bottom! Being diagnosed with cancer four years ago shocked me to the core, but made me realise the environment of my body was out of balance and I was being warned something needed to be done. What can cause cancer? Is it the toxicity around us or is it stress-related from a busy lifestyle? Who knows? Making choices to reduce the...


Celebrating Purim: charity donations, gifts and triangular treats

Leytonstone and Wanstead Synagogue invite those interested in Jewish culture to celebrate Purim on 9 March. “Purim is a festival marking the deliverance of the Jews of Persia from extermination 2,500 years ago… People eat triangular-shaped cakes filled with poppy seeds (Hamantashen), give each other small gifts of fruit and sweets and donate to charity. It is a really happy day!” said Martin Gaba. Celebrations will take place at 2 Fillebrook Road, Leytonstone from 6.30pm, followed by a party with live music. Call 07434 631 948...


Remarkable Lives

Historian and author Diane Atkinson – whose latest book has become the definitive history of the suffragettes – will be discussing some ‘remarkable lives’ at Wanstead Library this March I’m really looking forward to coming to Wanstead Library to talk about my latest book, Rise Up Women! The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes. It is a collective biography of 200 women – there were thousands more – who worked so hard and sacrificed so much for women’s suffrage. Women from all social class backgrounds, all ages, all parts of the United Kingdom and all life experiences ‘came out’ as suffragettes, many of them leaving their previous lives behind forever. For many years, the suffragettes were written out of the story of women getting the vote,...

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Listen and learn: Henry Chandler and John Paul Ekins

In the 22nd of a series of articles, David Bird discusses the work of Redbridge Music Society and introduces violinist Henry Chandler and pianist John Paul Ekins, who will perform in Wanstead this month edbridge Music Society continues its current programme of bringing high quality musical events to the borough with a recital given by prizewinning young musicians Henry Chandler and John Paul Ekins, who will perform music by Beethoven, Schubert and César Franck. Although still in his twenties, Henry Chandler has already performed under famous conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Leif Segerstam and Sir Roger Norrington and has played with prestigious orchestras, including the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, English National Opera, Oxford Philomusica and European Union Chamber orchestras. He has also appeared in a masterclass with world-renowned...