Blue-irises-and-willow-pattern©Sally Medcalf

High Art

Sally Medcalf thanks her Wanstead High School art teachers for inspiring her creativity, which will be on show during the 10th Art Trail Wanstead next month I was born and grew up in Wanstead, and was lucky to attend Wanstead High School, which has a fantastic art department. We had some great teachers – Phil Tootell, Don Campbell and Dave Hall – who were a big influence on me and gave me so much encouragement. They were very enthusiastic and inspired me to develop my art, experiment and push boundaries. I did my foundation course at Sir John Cass School of Art, studied graphics and illustration at East Ham College of Technology, then worked in a graphic design studio. More recently, I have been attending...


Time to take part

Following the success of last year’s postcard art exhibition, Eugene Coyle invites you to be part of this year’s time-themed display during next month’s Art Trail Wanstead One of the most satisfying elements of last year’s first postcard art exhibition was how many embraced the idea, interpreting the trail theme in many creative ways. It inspired me to run the exhibition again as part of Art Trail Wanstead, affording me the opportunity, once again, to communicate with many people locally and further afield. I enjoyed the challenge of inspiring fellow artists and non-artists alike to enter an artwork on a postcard, even if they don’t consider themselves creative. We are all creative! The exhibition’s core success lies in attracting submissions from those who wouldn’t normally consider...


Wild Wanstead (part 15)

In the 15th of a series of articles charting the Wild Wanstead project – which aims to transform Wanstead into a multi-garden nature reserve – Nicola Steele explains the benefits of living walls when garden space is tight Wanstead is buzzing with builders, as usual. But how can we keep it buzzing with bees, too? In our smallish gardens, large extensions can significantly reduce available space for the plants and trees so essential for wildlife (and humans) to thrive in cities. But one solution to help enhance the natural habitat while you build is to wrap your extension in greenery – and a living wall is a way to do that. Living walls are a growing trend around town and look set to become a...

20190620_183803Local councillors and campaigners in Ilford ahead of the climate emergency vote


Councillor Paul Donovan and Councillor Jo Blackman explain how the recent declaration of a climate emergency by Redbridge Council will impact on Wanstead life Redbridge Council has declared a climate emergency, committing to go carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon free by 2050. The council unanimously carried the motion – brought by Wanstead Village councillors – on 20 June. Enactment of the motion will bring the whole question of the environment up the council agenda. The big challenge now is to put the worthy words into action. The motion commits the council to carry out a green audit of its services and tackle air pollution, particularly at schools. Plastic use is to be radically reduced in council operations, with efforts being made to cut single-use plastic...

Screenshot 2019-07-22 12.08.18

Eco-friendly trail

The popular Wanstead Fringe Jumble Trail returns next month and this year it will be doing its modest part to help protect our planet. Mark Herring reports As usual, the Fringe will unleash a full and varied programme of theatre, comedy, music and art on the people of Wanstead, with new venues and plenty of old favourites. That includes the one and only Wanstead Jumble Trail, which offers a brilliant opportunity to clear out your wardrobe and free up some space in the toy cupboard – assuming you dare to open it. The trail also provides a great excuse to get out there and meet your neighbours, steal ideas for your garden or just have a wander around the area. Who knows who you might meet...

IMG_0431An image of the pub with A H Bywater painted above the door, who was landlord in 1901

History continues

Once frequented by highwaymen and now run by a football legend, the site of the pub now known as Nightingale on the Green has a rich history. Millicent Brown reports It is a historic Wanstead public house which has been visited by families for centuries – and recently, it has been buzzing once again under changed ownership and the new name of Nightingale on the Green. Dating back to the early 18th century, the picturesque green it is situated upon – once known as Mob’s Hole – was the heart of all the crime that characterised this now tranquil area of Wanstead. At that time, a woman who called herself Lady Butterfield kept a notorious roadhouse here. The green was a well-known place for people...


WWII memories

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, the East of London Family History Society is inviting its members to share their wartime memories. Janet Seward reports In August, the Newham and Redbridge branch of the East of London Family History Society will hold a members’ evening, but guests are still welcome. These evenings are an opportunity for members to share family stories or the trials and tribulations of detecting their ancestors. We don’t usually have a theme to these evenings, but as September brings the 80th anniversary of the start of the World War II, we have decided to devote the session to memories of that time. So far, we have three confirmed speakers. Michael Potter and I will co-ordinate...


Family event: evening bat walk through Wanstead Park

A bat walk for families with children aged seven and over will take place in Wanstead Park on 30 August. Hosted by the Field Studies Council and the Friends of Wanstead Parklands, the two-and-a-half-hour walk will depart from the Temple at 7.30pm (adults: free; kids: £5). “Explore the park’s diversity of bat species – including soprano and common pipistrelles and Daubenton’s – and learn how they use sound to see. We will use bat detectors to hear them,” said a spokesperson. Visit

Wanstead+Park+1©Geoff Wilkinson

Family event: learn how to identify trees in Wanstead Park

The Field Studies Council (FSC) in partnership with the Friends of Wanstead Parklands will be running a tree identification course for families in Wanstead Park this month. “Join us on a walk and learn how to identify our trees using their leaves, bark and seeds… Discover how trees contribute to our environment,” said an FSC spokesperson. Suitable for children aged 18 months to 11 years, the workshop will run from 10am to 12 noon and from 1pm to 3pm on 21 August (meet at the Temple; adults: free; kids: £5). Visit


Family event: bug hunt in Wanstead Park

Children and their families are invited to take part in bug hunt in Wanstead Park this month as part of a series of activities run by the Field Studies Council in partnership with the Friends of Wanstead Parklands. “We will look for creepy crawlies under logs and stones and spot insects on plants and trees,” said a spokesperson. Suitable for children aged 18 months to 11 years, the hunt will take place from 10am to 12 noon and from 1pm to 3pm on 8 August (meet at the Temple; adults: free; kids: £5). Visit

Whipps Cross HospitalWhipps Cross Hospital

Petition calling for government funding for Whipps Cross Hospital

A local health campaign group is urging residents to sign a petition calling for the government to provide funding to rebuild Whipps Cross Hospital. “Barts Health NHS Trust has the go-ahead to develop plans for Whipps… But with a funding shortfall, the pressure will be to sell off too much land to the detriment of the size and facilities of the new hospital. Government failure to invest in NHS building is a real threat to our hospital’s success,” said a spokesperson for Waltham Forest Save Our NHS. Visit


Wanstead Society plans to host more social events for its members

Following a popular summer social event earlier this month, the Wanstead Society is developing plans to host more informal gatherings for its members. "We held our annual summer social in the Nightingale on the Green pub in July. We had a great turn out and hope to make the society more social with more drinks and dinner events in the near future,” said Scott Wilding, chairman of the community group. The Wanstead Society is a non-political organisation working to protect, preserve and improve the local area. Visit