The poster on the outside says: “We’ll be opening some time in January.” The activity inside, with checkouts being tested and shelves being stocked says it’s going to be any day now. So what’s going on?
Could it possibly be that Tesco is wanting to avoid the promised demonstration at its opening from its Wanstead opponents? And thinks that if it should just happen that it opens at 7am on Monday morning, as if it was nothing special, then somehow the heat will be taken out of the whole thing?
Yes, it’s here – a search up and down the highways and byways of Wanstead to find the biggest pot idol.
It’s the toughest competition in town.
Will it be this humdinger at the end of Nelson Road, the result of a burst water main now nearing its third week?
This nightmare for cyclists on Nightingale Lane?
This boot-sized hole in Wellington Road?
This charming manhole-sized hole in Charnwood Road
or perhaps this sly numer in Sylvan Road?
Perhaps you know better. Let us know in the comments field below or upload pictures to Flickr tagged WANSTEADIUM.
Things don’t look too bright for the Wesley Owen Christian bookshop in South Woodford. The company went into administration just after Christmas, but, as the Bookseller magazine reports, church members in South Woodford have pledged Â£23,000 of a total Â£100K needed to keep the shop open. More details at the Christian Bookshops Blog.
BT has announced that Wanstead is among the telephone exchanges getting upgraded fibre optic cables, which apparently opens the way to faster broadband speeds – up to 40MB, according to Broadband Genie, which reports it here. Some lucky customers might even be in line for 100MB speeds, though surely no one in Wanstead would really know what to do with that? Far too grown up, surely?
The plan to introduce fees for some of Wanstead’s previously free car parks was never going to be popular. But now the council has announced how much the charges are going to be.
It’s going to cose 10p for the first hour and Â£3 for three hours and over.
Imagine how quaint it’s going to feel, paying 10p for an hour’s parking. Maybe there’s some really clever marketing going on here, finally confirming Wanstead’s image as a village which the 1980s somehow forgot. “Wanstead – where the parking costs 10p” – you can almost see the adverts already.
Someone alert Horsfall and Wright to stock up on space hoppers – we can make a party of it.
Last month the Wanstead Guardian reported that the anti-Tesco campaigner Ashley Gunstock had been spotted shopping in the Tesco at Green Man. It was a bit of a political jibe, really, coming from a political opponent, and there can be very few people who never ever go into a Tesco. But Wansteadium did take some amusement from Mr Gunstock’s remark that if he did go to Tesco, he tried “to get there by bicycle”.
Now he’s hit back, in a way, on his blog, where he says that he is declining Tesco’s “kind offer” to shop in its new store (when it eventually gets round to opening), that his campaign will continue, and adds this interesting observation:
I have always made it absolutely clear that I believe that the supermarket and, incidentally, the car (that I also make use of) which have been in existence since the 19th century are part of the fabric of (and have a place in) our society.
It’s interesting both because one doesn’t hear this point of view very often – that driving to the supermarket is something we’ve done for generations – and also because it can’t strictly be true. The first motor cars were sold in the 1880s, but weren’t anywhere near mass produced or affordable until the 1920s. And if by supermarkets one means large self-service shops which sell a range of groceries, you almost certainly had to wait again until the 1920s.
But nitpicking aside, his main point is that “there is no need for yet another supermarket in a thriving high street, such as the one that we are fortunate to have in Wanstead”. That might be true – but as has been observed here before, wouldn’t it be worse if Tesco was closing a shop on Wanstead High Street?