Box closes

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The box tree caterpillar, which as we reported last year had reached Wanstead on its advance northwards through the country, has knocked Wanstead’s box trees for six. Gardeners are having to come to terms with their lovingly cultivated plants being stripped almost bare by the creature, and there seems to be little that can be done about it, other than hoping to see if the bushes recover next year.

The European Boxwood and Topiary society website (don’t ever claim that Wansteadium doesn’t do its research) seems to hold out some hope if gardeners are prepared to use pesticides in a pretty concentrated burst. Alternatively there do seem to be some resistant strains of box on sale, but they are naturally very expensive.

Any gardeners willing to share tips, please do so using the comments field.

Driver cleared over Wanstead High Street death

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The scene following the incident last May

The woman charged with causing the death of 91-year-old Wanstead man Basant Lal Sharma on the zebra crossing on Wanstead High Street was cleared at the Old Bailey last week.

Charlotte Griffiths was charged with causing death by careless driving following the incident at the top of Grove Park in May 2016. She was found not guilty following a two-day trial.

The Evening Standard reported that Ms Griffiths, 26, had no penalty points, was not affected by drugs or alcohol and there was no evidence she had been distracted by her mobile phone.

The full report is here.

Confirmed: The Nightingale has closed

Pic: Google Streetview
Wansteadium can confirm the rumours which have been circulating round Wanstead on Monday that the Nightingale pub has closed.

Landlord Noel McMahon told Wansteadium: “Unfortunately, ill health has put me in the unenviable situation that I now find myself in. The only roads left open to me regretfully is closure.”

The pub has been a fixture of Wanstead life for hundreds of years and was extensively refurbished last year. Noel is known to have been in hospital recently, though the pub has maintained a busy calendar of events, including several during the Wanstead Fringe. It is sure to be sadly missed by many regulars and locals.

Art triumph

Congratulations to everyone involved in the Art Trail – especially (to Wansteadium’s untrained eye) Alison Stenhouse whose tree pictures were on show in Revive, and Grace’s prints of fish in genuine squid ink, which were on show at Wanstead Fish, where she works.

And of course the crowd-pleasing Lego sculptures hidden in shops around the area. We liked the Tool Box brush and Ginger Pig steak in particular. We hear that so popular were they that one model actually got stolen from its host shop.

Well done to all involved (and kudos to Stow Bros which sponsored the Trail).

Wanstead rallies for Imran

Customers seem to be rallying round Imran Asghar, cricket-loving ironmonger and Tool Box proprietor, following a racist knife attack he suffered in his shop last week. Four men, one in his 50s, and one with a crutch, entered the shop, assaulted Imran, threatened him and abused him racially. Partly as a result, the shop seems busier than ever.