… wait for it… Churchill’s. Yes, Wansteadium can exclusively reveal that the East London estate agent which seemed to be a fixture in the office on the corner of Wanstead High Street and Woodbine Place – and which shut up shop during the credit crunch -Â will be making a comeback over the summer. It is expected to return at the end of August.
And though another estate agent is hardly going to add to the diversity of Wanstead High Street, which has taken a battering in recent weeks, it is at least an indication that the housing market is picking up and that despite having offices in South Woodford,
Leytonstone, Walthamstow and other nearby spots, Wanstead is still worth treating as an entity in its own right.
AÂ particularly moody shot of Wanstead Flats, courtesy of photographer Lowell Mason. More of his work at on show at Flickr.
• There was a nasty-sounding van-jacking in Snaresbrook when a driver was threatened with a gun. According to the Wanstead Guardian, though, the driver, a former doorman, seems to have been more traumatised by being made to take off his trousers by his attacker.
It’s hard to stay calm when you’ve got a gun held at your head. But you’ve got to do it. It’s when you panic that you get problems. At the time I just kept as calm as I could. I’ve had knives waved at me before when I used to do the doors – but a gun is different altogether. I was a bit confused when he asked me to take my trousers off. I thought ‘if he tries anything funny here he’s going to have to start shooting.
• Wansteadium noted two weeks ago that the Redbridge council elections had turned out to be a mirror-image of the national election result. To make the parallel even more apt, the Tories and Lib Dems have formed a coalition in Redbridge too. Wanstead councillor Thomas Chan, who was the first Chinese mayor in Britain, has now finished his term as mayor.
The Wanstead Society has decided to oppose new plans to demolish the historic Kinema building. Its owner wants to build eight flats and a restaurant, but says the plans would be sympathetic to the style of the High Street.
• There’s another flag on a tree.
Wanstead is, of course, no stranger to L-plates. In fact it seems to be an irresistible draw to learner drivers – some say the reason is that it’s in London but relatively suburban, others that there’s no car park attached to the test centre and so the parking tests are easier. Whatever the reason, Wanstead drivers will continue to grit their teeth, count to 10, and refuse to let any frustration show.
Wansteadium reader Cliff Xuan has usefully plotted on Google Maps the various test routes around Wanstead. The full selection is here.
View Wanstead Hermon Hill, Test Route 11 in a larger map
It looks dramatic – smoke billowing out of the Boots shopfront on Wanstead High Street, while people huddle on the pavement not knowing what to do.
But it’s not quite what it seems. For the second time in two months, a security system which pumps dry ice into the shop to befuddle intruders has gone off, making passers-by think something disastrous is going on. But all’s well – the ‘smoke’ cleared and the shop opened as usual.