Aldersbrook… you’re breaking up…

Photo: Google Streetview

Wansteadium reader Sue writes: 

“We’ve been having real problems for a month now with our Vodafone supply in Aldersbrook. Calls cut out after one minute or simply can’t make calls. Vodafone won’t take ownership of the problem. I had yet another chat with them today- on my landline – and they said it’s not a Vodafone problem as the mast is working ok but the signal for some unexplained reason “Perhaps a new building has gone up” meant the signal isn’t getting into the houses of one or two postcodes so it’s a coverage problem.”

Anyone else experiencing similar problems?

Lights on early


Newcomers to Wanstead will need to know about a quaint tradition we have in these parts in which every aspect of the Christmas Tree on George Green, opposite Wanstead Tube station, is picked apart in minute detail. The size, the shape, the functioningness of the bulbs, the similarity (or not) to badgers etc etc.

And while we fully expect that tradition to be maintained, there is a notable change to tradition this year: the lights will be turned on with children singing TONIGHT, THURSDAY, from 4pm. (The ceremony usually takes place on Friday, but not this year.)

You have been told. Comments will be expected

A bid for Redbridge

Redbridge is bidding to become London’s first Borough of Culture in a new competition being run by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The competition would see a prize of a million pounds in funding for cultural activities and would bring a London-wide focus to events in the winning area.

Some of London’s leading arts organisations, including the Tate and Shakespeare’s Globe, have said they will partner with the winning borough to stage events.

As part of the preparation of the bid, Redbridge is asking for ideas for cultural development – which can be submitted via the bid’s website, thisisredbridge.org or via Twitter with the hashtag#thisisredbridge.

Thanks to its involvement in the Wanstead Fringe, Wansteadium reckons a good supporting role could be played by what goes on here (and will be suggesting that if a planning proposal were ever approved for the Evergreen Field, it should include provision for a flexible arts & cultural events space).

U-turn on garden waste

Redbridge’s experiment with £1-a-time flimsy compostable garden waste bags is being dropped – in favour of a system which is very much like the one it replaced.

From next Spring, fortnightly free collections will take place across the borough. And each house is going to be given a “sturdy reusable collection bag” to put their garden waste in. Presumably they will look a bit like this:

Sensibly, any gardeners who have kept their old pre-2017 bags will still be able to use them under the new system.

The u-turn comes as a result of consultation which took place in the council’s Our Streets Commission which asked residents what they thought would build pride in the area.

It will be a shift welcomed by most gardeners – as well as having to subscribe and pay for the disposable bags, they found the bags tore easily. It was a poor substitute for the previous system which had become widely understood and used.

Redbridge offers the following Q&As:

Will the new bags be more durable?
The bags we propose using for garden waste next year will be durable, woven, polythene bags very similar to those used under the previous collection system.

Do I need a new bag – I’ve kept my old one can’t I just use it again?
One bag will be delivered to all households known to have a garden, as it is more practical to do this rather than running the risk of missing out on residents who do not have existing bags. Gardeners will be free to continue to use their old bags as well as their new one and additional black bags or charity bags can be left out for the fortnightly collection, as long as they aren’t tied and we can see the contents aren’t contaminated.

Do I need to sign up somewhere to make sure I get a bag?
No. The new service is a universal service, meaning that it is available to all residents who wish to use it – you don’t need to subscribe to it.

When will I get my new bag?
Bags will be delivered in January and February ready for the first collection in early March.

What about any garden waste I have in December, January and February?
You can bring garden waste to the recycling centre during the months when the collection service does not run.