kinemaOpen-air cinema, a popular Wanstead Fringe event. ©Geoff Wilkinson

Wanstead Fringe 2019 will be ‘bigger, better and more fringe-worthy than ever’

Organisers of the seventh annual Wanstead Fringe – which will run from 7 to 15 September – say this year’s event will be ‘bigger than ever’. "The week-long Fringe will include more live professional theatre, comedy, music, demonstrations, talks and assorted cultural activities than ever before. Not to mention established favourites like the open-air Wanstead Kinema and the jumble trail,” said a spokesperson. Last year, the Fringe attracted thousands of local residents as well as visitors from further afield. This time, organisers are expecting an even higher level of interest – especially with more events taking place in Aldersbrook, including a new play to be staged at the Aldersbrook Community Centre. A musical production of The Railway Children at Forest School promises to be another...


First-aid fun: life-saving skills for children at Wanstead House

Children are invited to learn life-saving skills next month, with two first-aid courses to be held at Wanstead House. Making use of fake blood and music, the sessions – which take place on 1 and 22 August from 10.30am (£19.50) – will cover, among other subjects, choking, CPR and the recovery position. “The course is aimed at children aged four to 13 years. All get to use a training defibrillator and administer a pretend electric shock,” said a spokesperson for course administrators Butterfly First Aid. Visit


Community gardeners encourage help from non-gardeners

The Wanstead Community Gardeners are keen to encourage more people to assist them in their work. “We can do the planting, but as a community, the maintenance can be done by non-gardeners. Watering is needed in times of no rain. Some plants will flower all summer if their seedheads are removed. It would be easy if lots more people just did a bit in a time of their choosing, and this way, it would be a real community effort. Please contact us by email or leave a note in the library,” said Marian Temple. Email


Music event on Wanstead Flats given the go-ahead by City Corporation

The City of London Corporation has given the go-ahead for a large-scale music festival to be held on Wanstead Flats next year. “The City Corporation has received a proposal from MAMA Festivals for a three-day music event on Wanstead Flats in September 2020. Elected members have agreed in principle the event can be held,” said a spokesperson. Organisers must now apply to Redbridge Council for a licence and conduct a public consultation. A petition opposing the plans has received over 600 signatures. Visit

DSC_1786© City of London Corporation / Yvette Woodhouse

Open-air theatre hopes to inspire visitors to Wanstead Park

Open-air theatre company Illyria will return to Wanstead Park this month with two performances: The Tempest (9 August from 7pm) and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (29 August from 4pm). “I hope after seeing the plays, people will be inspired to visit this wonderful park and the magnificent ancient woodland of Epping Forest,” said Graeme Doshi-Smith, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee. Picnics are encouraged. Visit

2I'm-on-the-phone---Alan-Simpson©Alan Simpson

Photo Story 1

In the first of a series of articles by members of the Woodford and Wanstead Photographic Society, Alan Simpson tells the story behind this image taken at City Hall I took this photograph a few years ago, before mobile phones were as ever-present as they are now. Such a scene today would possibly not warrant a photograph or even a second glance. A photo club outing to London’s higher viewpoints included a visit to City Hall (as part of the annual Open House London festival). I therefore took advantage of the only time in the year when the public has access to the viewing gallery on the ninth floor, outside London’s Living Room; this is where you often see the mayor holding forth in television interviews. Looking...

Screenshot_20190618-093153_WhatswAppJill Stock

Wanstead’s loss: Jill Stock

Steve Wilks and Deborah Selner remember Jill Stock, who died at the end of May. Known to many, her funeral saw the City of London Cemetery’s chapel overflowing with friends and family celebrating her life I had the pleasure of knowing Jill when I moved to Wanstead and she introduced me to various people who were involved in Neighbourhood Watch. Ever the community worker, she initially became a Watch Co-ordinator and then Chairman of the Safer Neighbourhood Panel, assisting the police and running the group. Having lived for over 40 years in Wanstead, she had a wealth of local knowledge. She regularly organised the annual street party for residents on Cranbourne Avenue where she lived. Through working as a nurse and being involved in her...

Wanstead-says-Dont-Attack-IranLeft to right: Frank Burberry, Dan Redfern, Minnie Life, and Lucy Nichols of Student Stop the War

Learning lessons

Wanstead resident and student member of Stop the War Coalition Lucy Nichols explains why she and a few friends recently hosted a stall on the High Street opposing war with Iran On Saturday 29 June, myself and a group of student activists from the Stop the War Coalition ran a very successful stall on Wanstead High Street. We talked about the very real threat of war with Iran and encouraged locals to share with us the reasons why they were against British involvement in a war in the Middle East. We came to Wanstead as part of a national day of action called by the Stop the War Coalition, a campaign group set up prior to the war in Iraq which has been campaigning tirelessly against British...


Trouble above

London City Airport’s Master Plan, released on 28 June, proposes to double the number of flights each year. Steve Wilks looks at the effects of the new proposals on Wanstead and its environs With an increasingly global and networked world, travelling in our jobs is becoming more commonplace. At London City Airport, in the last five years, its passenger numbers have grown by 40%, hitting 4.8 million in 2018. It expects demand to rise to 11 million by 2035, but its current capacity is limited to 6.5 million passengers, according to the London Borough of Newham. London City CEO Robert Sinclair has stated the airport does not plan to build a new runway, extend the length of it or expand beyond its current site boundary. The...


Wanstead performing arts school celebrates 10th anniversary

A performing arts school in Wanstead celebrated its 10th anniversary in July by staging a show at Forest School’s Deaton Theatre. “It is very humbling to know that our school has become a significant part of the lives of so many young people over the past 10 years, and to see their growing love and appreciation of the performing arts,” said Michael Da Silva Pearce, principal of DSP Performing, which runs Saturday classes for five- to 16-year-olds at Wanstead High School. Visit