Wanstead’s new cafe… ring any bells?

img_1270-2This is the look for the new coffee shop on Wanstead High Street, currently getting ready to open in its spot formerly occupied by the Orange Tree.

Apart from typical semantic whingeing from people like Wansteadium (how exactly can something be “Est” and “since”?), so far it looks smart and in keeping with the generally rising standards of shopfronts in Wanstead.

But there is something about the beige-on-brown which looks familiar… what can it be?… Any clues anyone?

Is Wellesley Road cursed?

img_2828Having been hit by roadworks and flooding in the same place three times in 12 months, Wellesley Road has again been dug up at the same spot, this time reportedly because of a leaking gas pipe.

Long-suffering residents and shopkeepers are once again dealing with the road being closed. And spare a thought for anxious learner drivers leaving the Wanstead Test Centre and having to cope with diversions.

That poor, poor road. And if it is cursed, who cursed it? There can be only two candidates.

Either the man whose family gave the road its name – the wicked cad of Wanstead House, Mr William Pole-Tylney Long-Wellesley, noted Trump-style manhood bragger (he used to allow himself to be referred to as Mr Long Pole, we learned in Geraldine Roberts’ magnificent book on the subject*).

Or perhaps it is the wronged party, Lady Catherine Tylney-Long, the richest commoner in the British Isles, whose dedication and fortune were squandered by the ignorant oaf. There have been rumours of her tragic ghost wandering the grounds of her former estate in Wanstead Park. Perhaps she has at last sought revenge on the road, hoping perhaps to start a movement to have it renamed.

Or maybe it’s just bad pipes.

(* You can buy Geraldine Roberts’ book here from Amazon. It’s a great read.)


Wanstead gets a new newspaper

img_7927 img_8676Not many places get new newspapers nowadays – in fact the opposite is true with more than 300 newspapers closing across the UK in the past ten years.

But Wanstead has bucked the trend with the launch of a new free weekly newspaper – the Wanstead and Woodford Recorder. Issues are being handed out on Wanstead High Street and there will presumably be some door-to-door distribution.

It will come as an unwelcome development for the Wanstead and Woodford Guardian, but is good news for readers – nothing sharpens journalistic ambition like competition.

Wansteadium reader Clive Power has been incredibly quick off the blocks by comparing the rival editions and offers the following analysis.


 W&W GuardianW&W Recorder
Editions: Thurs 13 October 2016Total size of stories (not including headlines & pix)
Wanstead & Woodford news10.68m²         52%11.99m²       52%
Other news: pan-Redbridge1.36m²            7%5.72m²        24%
Out of area news8.45m²          41%5.55m²        24%


Wanstead & Woodford sport0.93m²             8%3.73m²        23%
Local sport, incl WHUFC, LOFC6.37m²           53%11.24m²       70%
Out of area sport4.67m²           39%1.07m²         7%
        (100%)                  (100%)


Price65pFree (80p where sold)

He adds this note:

I measured the size of the news (including planning applications) and sports stories. I did not include headlines or photos or old stories reprinted.  So I did not include the many Reception class photos in this week’s W&WG (although only 10 out of 61 of these were from W&W schools).

I did not include the letters as there hasn’t been time for W&WR letters yet (although it is likely to print the same letters as the Ilford Recorder). W&WG had 4 letters (all ‘out of area’) this week; W&WR had 6 (from the Ilford Recorder) plus social media points.