Wanstead news roundup, 8.9.10; Cars, blooming, bikes

• The 100mph car race on Aldersbrook Road in June last year, which ended up in the deaths of two men, has concluded in jail sentences for Lexus Sport driver Zubair Dawood of Forest Gate and BMW driver Nabeal Javeed of East Ham. Dawood was on the wrong side of the road avoiding a speed camera on the 30mph road, lost control and hit a tree by a Speed Kills sign. (It’s odd, but coverage of the case, – complete with Saab and Mercedes adverts – can be seen here at the Evening Standard, and with Toyota adverts here at the Daily Mirror.)

• More cheerful motor-related news: a stolen Morris Minor which had been lovingly restored in time to serve as a car enthusiast’s wedding car but which was stolen before the big day was tracked down on the streets of Wanstead. It is now back with its rightful owner, the Daily Express reported.

• There was a ‘mass picnic’, reportedly of several hundred people, on Wanstead Flats at the weekend in opposition to the Met’s plan to site an Olympic control centre there.

• Wanstead and Snaresbrook Safer Neighbourhood Teams will give the public a forum at Wanstead House, The Green, Wanstead, on 14 September at 7.30pm.

• The Nightingale Pub on Nightingale Lane won best pub in Redbridge in Bloom. Margaret Ludlow of Wanstead was second in the borough for her front garden.

• Wanstead’s Gabrielle Collard, currently cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats, is having a hard time. Follow her blog here. Sounds even worse than a tube strike.

Wanstead ways to get round the Tube strike

It looks like the Tube strike is going ahead, so this is a place Wansteadium readers can share their travel experiences – either woes or ways round the strike.

Get in touch either by e-mail – wansteadium[at]gmail.com – or via the twitter hashtag #tubestrike #e11, or on Facebook.

MONDAY 7pm, Nic Newman writes: “Great idea to use Wansteadium to get people sharing best routes. Any thoughts on the best way to get to kensington tomorrow? train, river? ”

2130 BST: TFL reporting Central Line operating with only minor delays, though BBC Travel saying severe delays on Central and Circle.

2230 BST: Torrential rain in Wanstead worries fairweather cyclists.

2330 BST: @sweuxth tweets: “Btw for all Central Line users a member of staff told me it’ll most likely be closed all day tomorrow so don’t bother going to work tomorrow

TUESDAY 0630 BST: TFL says Central Line is suspended, as is Victoria Line (so no point schlepping to Walthamstow. Overground has good service. Live details here.

0635BST: But, in a variation of that old Southern Comfort ad, at least it’s stopped raining.

0830BST: TFL saying Central Line now suspended between Leytonstone and White City. However, Wanstead station all locked up.

0845BST: Live departure board for Wanstead: http://bit.ly/9Dl8am

0848BST: And live departure board for Snaresbrook. http://bit.ly/cFqPme – currently two trains showing at 5 and 13 minutes away, but only going as far as Leytonstone.

@Wansteadium try the 0728 from stop a by the station towards victoria, route 744 741 742less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

The plan is overground to wanstead park, short walk to Forest Gate, train to Stratford and DLR to the Wharf. What could possibly go wrong?less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

1000BST: Ahh some perspective: BBC News – the Blitz in pictures.

2 hours to get home (40 mins from Manor Park to Wanstead)less than a minute ago via web

At bus stop at Forest Gate, thanks to tube strike. Thought it would turn into a full blown riot as driver said only going to Wanstead Parkless than a minute ago via web

Central Line doors now go both ways at Stratford

File under “minor improvements to life”. The doors on westbound Central Line trains now open on both sides at Stratford, following the opening of the Harry Potter-ish Platform 3a. For people travelling with prams or buggies, or for those with restricted mobility, it should make changing lines at the station more straightforward. TFL says there is also a new lift for step-free access.

A statement from TFL says:

“When facing the direction of travel, you should exit via the right side of the train to change onto London Overground and National Rail services or via the left side of the train to change onto the Jubilee line, DLR or to leave the station. A lift for step-free access and new signage, to help you plan your route through the station, are also being introduced.”

The potential downside is for visitors, those lacking in confidence, or for the tired and emotional, any of whom might find themselves not quite where they want to be. But generally for those travelling from Snaresbrook or Wanstead this development should be a good thing.

First look at renovated Wanstead hall

So school’s back this week, and for some Wanstead children it will mean going – perhaps for the first time – to the Grove Hall on Grosvenor Road on a regular basis.

The former United Reformed Church hall has been thoroughly renovated by its new owners, Paul Samouelle and Maria Sanchez, who run the Treehouse Nursery on Woodbine Place. The hall will be used for their growing breakfast and after-school clubs.

It’s been a careful renovation, with many original features, such as wood panelling, preserved. The sprung hall floor has been stripped to reveal a beautifully light hue which seems to enhance the decidedly non-conformist style of windows. The entire inside of the hall has been replastered and redecorated, meaning one of Wanstead’s few large spaces lives on. Backrooms have had more substantial treatment to make a number of modern areas, including a small courtyard which had become completely overgrown. Toilets and kitchen areas feel like they could be in a new build.

It must have been a painful decision for congregation members to sell the hall – something they did to fund repairs to the church building itself. They were given their first opportunity to view the work this weekend; if any had feared that a new owner might not respect the building, they will be relieved by what they saw.

Saddle up

Spare a thought this weekend for Wanstead’s Gabrielle Collard (@dollycreative) who is about to embark on a Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle ride (yes, that’s right, uphill).  She is planning to complete the 860-mile ride in 17 days, all in the aid of the Depression Alliance and the Maria Falco Trust.  You can follow her progress on her site, or donate if you wish through her JustGiving page.